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Old Sep 2, 2007, 1:18 PM   #1
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Red Dragonfly taken from different angles (including backlighting) with the Tamron 28-300 LD Macro on the K10D, hand held. All (more than I put up) at 300mm in green mode, AF or manual focus. It kept flying off hawking insects and only returning to sit momentarily - no time to do any fiddling. I walked around the perch tryingdifferent lighting. There was a high sun angle - the first is side lit, the second backlit, and the third full frontal illumination. I had to clone out some glary reflective leaves around the margins of the first two. (Pentax users will have seen these in that forum)

We have had two or three of these around the yard for weeks, but never before had one selsct a decent perch for photographing. It is a mixed blessing having them around, because they have reduced the mosquito population which has been bedevilling us (they aren't called them mosquito hawks for nothing), but if they emerged from our backyard pond, their predaceous and voraceous larvae probably ate up enough of our mosquito fish to allow the mosquito population to build up. Kind of like they are farming their own food supply!

1) Sidelight

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Old Sep 2, 2007, 1:19 PM   #2
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2) Backlight
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Old Sep 2, 2007, 1:20 PM   #3
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3) Full frontal lighting
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Old Sep 3, 2007, 12:49 AM   #4
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cool dragon shots penolta. it's interesting how you can get totally different looking shots when you adjust the perspective in relation to the light source. nice work.

- hung
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Old Sep 4, 2007, 12:02 AM   #5
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Nice shots of the red skimmer. I have yet to capture one of the red ones....

-Kent
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Old Sep 23, 2007, 9:47 PM   #6
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Thanks Hung and Kent. this was only second time I have seen one of these in my yard, and it hasn't been back since - lucky I got it when I did.
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Old Sep 23, 2007, 10:03 PM   #7
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For the last couple of weeks, I've noticed a sharp decline in the dragonfly population at San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary. I only saw 2 this afternoon. I guess the recent drop in temperatures and the storm that blew over, the dragons are leaving. Do they migrate like birds?

- Hung
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Old Sep 23, 2007, 10:25 PM   #8
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Some butterflies are known to migrate, but I don't know if dragonflies do - their aquatic larvae can survive overwinter where the adults cannot. Individuals dragonflies can travel long distances, though - they are often seen far off shore at sea and in the desert many miles from any water. I have seen both dragonflies and Monarch butterflies flying strongly over the channel between here and The Channel Islands, so they do get around. Most insects, however, either must overwinter or die off during the winter. Butterflies like the American Lady I just posted, and the Painted Lady,are widespread in the US, but die off in winter where it is too cold, and repopulate the more northerly states each yearby spreading North from the southern states where they can survive. It seems wasteful, but insects have an immense reproductive potential and can make up for such losses in a short time.
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Old Oct 14, 2007, 10:42 PM   #9
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There are two very similar species of these skimmers; the males are easiest to tell apart. The one pictured above is female. In going through old images, I came across a picture of a male that I had forgotten I had - initially I had rejected it as unsuitable when it was the only one I had, having taken better images of the femalelater. I am posting it now, as it enables me to identify these as Flame Skimmers, the male of which has the basal half of the wings orange/amber, while the similarmale Neon Skimmer has only the basal 1/4 that color.
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Old Oct 14, 2007, 11:19 PM   #10
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awesome dragon shot. isn't it great when you go back through images that didn't make the first cut and you find a gem like this.

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