Dragonfly Day

October 08, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

 

This past weekend, I took advantage of the cool weather to get out and make some images. On Saturday, I gathered with a fantastic group of local photographers for our annual Kelby PhotoWalk. I’ll try and post some of those images when I get a chance.

 

Sunday, I went out alone, and visited one of my favorite locations, Abilene State Park. The Elm Creek Nature Trail is a favorite of mine because it’s one of the few places near Abilene where I can walk amid tall trees. It always reminds me a bit of home.

 

Well, the dragonflies were in abundance. Until Sunday, I'd never taken a single image of a dragonfly. But there they were, so of course, I had to try. I did a lot of things wrong, and learned a lot about dragonflies just by studying them for an hour or so.

 

One thing I noticed was that a particular dragonfly will return to a particular stem or piece of grass to perch. So if you spook him (or her - how do you know a male from a female?), you can set up closer and just be still and wait. The dragonfly will probably come back. The key, I found, is the same key to all all wildlife photography: Move slowly and quietly, be patient and put in the time. Slowing down is a discipline that nature rewards. Oh yeah, and a long lens helps too! ;-) Needless to say, I had a blast stalking and hunting dragonflies.

 

 

I was particularly taken by this red one. I’d never seen a dragonfly so fully crimson before, and I was enthralled. Here are a few more.

 

 

After exhausting the dragonflies, I moved on and found a few other images to work on. There were only a few leaves that had changed, but I capitalized on what I could find.

 

 

 

 

On the way home, I stopped by the Buffalo Gap Cemetery and stole an idea from my friend and noted photographer John English. I’d seen an image John shot of this little stone chapel. If you wait till sundown, the sun positively glows through the stained glass window. I thought since I was passing by around the right time, I’d try and recreate John’s shot. It was a shameless copy, but I had fun.

 

 

All images were processed with Lightroom 5.


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