Photographing dragonflies is very rewarding experience. They exhibit a wide range of bright colors and present a challenge to photograph, at rest or in-flight. My favorite dragonfly photography lens was Canon EF 300mm f/4L telephoto lens as it had minimum focusing distance among all the large telephoto lenses I possessed. Now since I sold that lens for a brighter Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L I added a 1.4x teleconverter, for a bit of additional image magnification. You can also add 25mm extension ring and decrease minimal focus distance.
When I photograph dragonflies I like to have as much distance between me and the dragonfly as is practical. That is why I use this long telephoto lenses instead of a short macro lens. Photographing dragonflies from a distance does not disturb the dragonfly as you are least of a threat to it. It also gives me to better control the background in an image. Dragonflies are best photographed on plain, untextured backgrounds to reveal the intricate patterning of the wings. The wings of a dragonfly are quite transparent and the intricate veining of the wings can be lost against a background full of twigs, sticks, and gravel. Compare the first photo with the last one you will get what I mean.
Dragonflies have a habit to come back to the same perch they were sitting. So if you keep focused on the twig where it was sitting you can get nice in flight shot without much of an effort. It is no use chasing them if you want to shoot dragon flies. Here are few links to know more about dragonfly photography.
Scarlet Skimmer (Crocothemis servilia) is a medium sized blood red or reddish yellow dragonfly with amber colored patch at wing base. It is also known as Crimson Darter, Oriental Scarlet, Ruddy Marsh Skimmer.
The male Scarlet Skimmer is blood red in color. Face is blood red. Eyes are blood red above, purple on the sides. Thorax is blood red to bright orange. Abdomen is blood red with a mid dorsal black stripe. Legs are reddish. Wings are transparent with a base which is marked with rich amber. Wing spot is dark brown.
The female Scarlet Skimmer is reddish yellow in color. Face is pale yellow. Eyes are brown above and olivaceous below. Thorax is dark brown. Abdomen is yellowish brown with a mid dorsal black stripe. Legs are dark brown. Wings are transparent and basal amber marking paler than in the males. Wing spot is pale yellow.
Habits and habitat: One of the commonest red dragonflies. Frequently found in ponds, puddles, rivers, big wells, tanks, ditches and paddy fields. This dragonfly perches on aquatic weeds and chases any passing by dragonflies.
It breeds in marshes associated with ponds, rivers and tanks. Seen flying throughout the year. It is extremely widespread species, occurring throughout mainland tropical and subtropical Asia, Japan, the Ryukyu Archipelago, the greater and lesser Sunda isles, the Philippines and Sulawesi. In the west it extends into Iraq, Iran, Armenia and Turkey. It has been accidentally introduced into Florida in the USA.
EXIF info – Aperture : ƒ/5.6 | Camera : Canon EOS-1D Mark IV | Taken : 22 May, 2011 | Focal length : 420mm | ISO : 800 | Location : 12° 55′ 20.028″ N 74° 51′ 55.2096″ E | Shutter speed : 1/500s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.