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Some Dragons

Discussion in 'Macro, Flowers, Insects, and Greenery' started by j.ankanpaa, Aug 24, 2008.

  1. Hello!

    Our August here has mostly totally sucked. Not much luck with the weather now that I´m back as a weekend shooter after summer vacation. But got couple of OK days (fri & sat) and managed to get some shots...

    On friday we visted at a swamp pond to see some Darners.

    #1 Male Aeshna Subarctica
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    #2 Male Aeshna juncea
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    #3 I almost got it, but then again I didn´t. This male A. juncea just came too close, too fast
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    Yesterday we visited in area which is known of Gomphids, you know :) smile:) ,
    River Dragons. But we saw also some Aeshnas there, so let´s look them at first

    #4 A very co-opperative male A. juncea
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    #6 Have a closer look and here you can see one of the most powerful engines of insect world, an Ajuncea V8
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    #7 We saw also a male Aeshna cyanea which briefly perched close to us and let us take couple of shots
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    Ofcourse Ophiogomphus cecilia was our main species to see during this trip as the guy who was with me had never seen them before. We got lucky and found some of them.

    #8 Male O. cecilia
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    #9 It drives me craze when I know someone is thinking I´m pretty
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    #12 This shot is not very good, I know, there´s some motion blur. But it´s very very interesting. This was second time I saw this: a male Platycnemis pennipes (a Damsel) tries to mate with a male O. cecilia (a Dragon)... Well, that´s what it look like but I also posted this shot to our posting list here and one of the guys with connections e-mailed the shot to some Dragonfly behaviour expert and here´s the answer he got: "I think this is definitely an ambitious and misguided attempt to copulate."
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    #13... OK, here´s another a bit weird shot... Take a guess what is wrong in this shot
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    EDIT: OH, I forgot this! Shooting this is one of the greatest things in this season so far. Sympetrum sanguineum is very rare here and getting a female was great!

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    Lenses used Nikkor 300mm AF-S F4 + Sigma 150mm macro.

    Thanks for looking!:smile:
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 24, 2008
  2. Captivating as always Jukka. Those blue eyes are outstanding and those DIF's are unreal. I don't know how you do it. I have tried with the d300 and 70/300 vr and can't even get locked in!
    Care to share your settings for focus? I know mere explanation of technique will leave too many gaps but perhaps I am not even using the correct focus modes.
  3. Awesome series Jukka, #2 and 3 are fantastic, were you using the 300 f/4 on those flight shots?

    What a great variety of dragons you had that day. I have a hard time identifying some of the darners when I see them, they all look similar and most of the time they are in flight which makes it even harder.

    Good show,
  4. Awesome pics...

    Well all i have is good to say. I love looking at your pictures. You really can capture shots that I never thought people could get. Thats incredible, and its all new to me, but learning from shots like these will only help me to get better. Keep up the awesome pics. :smile:
  5. Great shots as always, Jukka.

    #13 looks like a bit of male on male action!


  6. Crave

    Crave Guest

    Excellent serie Jukka!
    I really liked the last two, the ligth is perfect, and the colours are perfect, and of course the second, its a very hard shoot!
    Here in Portugal i cant photograph one of those big dragons, they simply dont land!..
    Keep them coming!!
  7. Aeshna Subarctica- what a glorious dragon! I saw a photo today of one at an art show, but the photographer did not know what kind of dragon it is. I am thinking she copped this photo, I don't think we have it in eastern US.

    My favorites are #2, #4 and #15. The big dragons here never seem to land. Thanks for the lovely series.
  8. Fabulous series as always, and accompanied by excellent instructive text as well!
  10. Great series Jukka. Glad you identify these, makes it easier for me to look up what I may have seen and shot.
  11. tojor


    Jul 27, 2005
    Great stuff Jukka. I wish I could get such good shots of the A. juncea and A. subarctica. I just found a place not far away from home where both species are supposed to be. Love the Sympetrum sanguineum shot too. Beautiful light.
  12. Great shots Jukka! Beautiful dragons :) 
  13. Spectre


    Feb 20, 2008
    Wonderful set Jukka. The A. juncea is a beautiful dragon. Very nice.

    Nice to see a Gomphid...the O. cecilia is very nice. I would definately say the Damsel in #12 is a bit ambitious...... The Damsel is fortunate he didn't get eaten.
  14. Thanks 3cats!

    There´re IMO even more important factors shooting DIFs than settings. I think it´s more important to follow Dragons, how they behave in-flight.

    As there´re some species, I would say, near impossible to shoot in-flight as they´re too fast, too unpredictable, flying too high, flying too far away...

    Then there´re species (like A. juncea) which fly somewhat permanent routes and stop to hover still every now and then and often in same spots.

    So, just follow one or two of them and try to locate those spots where they hover still the most. Then place youself at good location and pre-adjust the focus by estimating your distance to the expected hovering spot... The way I have doing these is to get the Dragon somewhat clear (even sharp if possible) in VF by MFing and when achieving that then hit the shutter button all the way down without half-press so that at the moment the camera locks it also fires. Half-press just doesn´t work, even though I said they´re hovering still, they´re not exactly still, so they´re quickly out of DOF area if there´s a lack between achieving the focus lock and the shutter release...

    I use a single focus and the center focus point... I have D200 and atleast with it the continuous AF doesn´t work well... Maybe D300 is better in continuous AF mode...

    Thanks, Brian!

    Yes, 300 was used on those!

    Yes, Darners are not the easiest. Especieally in-flight. We have 5 Darners looking pretty much the same, like "Blue Darners". Ofcourse you can already rule some of them out by what kind of place you saw them...

    Thanks, Hurleygirl!

    Excellent, Larry!!! #13 is indeed some male action...

    Hi Crave! Long time no see! How are you? :smile:

    Well, I guess you need to wait a bit longer for cooler weathers in Portugal than we do. These Aeshnids are actually quite easy when wheater get cooler in autumns...

    Thanks, Birgit!

    A. subarctica is a very nice Dragon, indeed! But we also have one even more glorious Dragon here which is actually the reason for some people goming to visit in Finland: Aeshna crenata...Ok, Aeshna osiliensis too...

    Thanks, Rich!

    Thanks, Ron!

    Tak, Torben!

    Well, we have got quite cool weather here lately so these do perch more often now than let´s say in July...

    There´re sings that S. sanguineum is populating our southern coast line now. Two years ago just a hand full of them where found on the main land and now they seem to be here and there...

    Thanks, Paul!

    Thanks, Paul!

    O. cecilia is my favourite...Absolutely!!!

    Yep, the Damsel didn´t get eaten.
  15. kiankheong


    Nov 19, 2007
    Picture #12, a new hybrid species in the making! :eek: 

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