Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

September 13, 2009

Roseate Skimmer on a Stick

Filed under: composition, Dragonfly, favorite places, Gilbert Water Ranch, Non Birds — richditch @ 6:46 pm
Roseate Skimmer Dragonfly

Roseate Skimmer Dragonfly

There’s still not a lot of photogenic birds around Phoenix now, at least not close enough to shoot, so here’s another “backup subject” that I take when I can’t work with the birds.

Like many birders I know, I’m fascinated by dragonflies. There’s a lot of variety in them, they’re large enough to easily see, they show interesting behavior, and they sit still long enough for photos.

One of my local favorites is the Roseate Skimmer – the color on the males is really eye-catching. As usual, this one was taken at the Water Ranch in Gilbert, AZ, using my basic bird rig: D200, 300/2.8, 2x on a solid tripod. I get acceptable magnification from this because I’m working with the close focus of the 300. And the depth of field is so shallow that it renders most backgrounds as smooth color.

There are only three generally pleasing ays to shoot dragonflies: from above to show the detail of the four spread wings, head-on to emphasize the big eyes against the wings, and from the side as shown here to emphasize the long tail and interesting legs. This side view also allows me to feature the wonderful twig

9/6/09, ISO 500, 1/320th second at f/5.6.

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