Or at least that is what I would have thought about photographing dragonflies in flight.
In fact it was surprisingly simple.
I have wanted to get some dragonfly photos but had little success. Well to be honest, I hadn't really tried that hard. But after seeing some great dragonfly photos on Steve Borichevsky's blog Shooting My Universe I was encouraged to give it a try. He was kind enough to send me a link to a video he had made showing how he got those great shots. Now armed with all this intelligence I went into the field.
Well the little buggers never did land as they did in the video, but I discovered they had the same flight pattern. After making several hit and run forays driving off intruders from their territory, they would resume a holding pattern in the same general air space. I had my 70-300mm lens mounted on a monopod. I would leave it set at 70mm in order to locate the dragon in the view finder, zoom in to 300mm, manual focus and click. It was all too easy.
These shots were about the best of the lot, as you can imagine there was a lot of camera movement trying to keep him in view long enough to focus and click. I then thought how I should up the shutter speed to freeze the wings in motion. I got one shot at another location and then the show was over. They zipped off to other places and never returned. So I figure they were just curious with me, and eventually got bored moving on elsewhere to do what dragonflies do.
I include this image not only for the south end view of a northbound facing dragonfly,
but I like the background colors. Bokeh effect it is called. I just learned that.
A big thank you to Steve.