Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Up Close And Personal... Great Blue Skimmer (Libellula vibrans)

When I got back from the lake on Sunday, a couple of dragonflies were careening around the patio. One landed on the tip of a dead culm of a small bamboo plant. Chance for a photo shoot; too good to pass up. The great thing is that dragonflies have a favorite twig they’ll return to again and again and again… So I put my things down and crept back out with camera in hand. The first couple of shots were duds. Shooting a bright dragonfly against a dark background – overexposed!

So I sidled closer and took some more shots at an angle. I’m only a few feet away by this time. It’s a male Great Blue Skimmer (Libellula vibrans), one of my favorites.

With a few reasonable shots, time to live dangerously. I’ve found that some dragonflies don’t react to a camera lens held close to them whereas they will fly off if I move close. So I switched to macro and moved slowly to the left. I’ve learned to hold the camera at arms length, focus and shoot.

A ‘distance’ shot.

And then the really close up. I’m almost touching him with the lens.

He was quite patient. He did fly off a couple of times, circled around and came back to land less than a foot from me. A real treat!

Click the image to view a larger image

Identification resources:

- Dragonflies of Georgia: Great Blue Skimmer (Libellula vibrans)

- BugGuide: Great Blue Skimmer (Libellula vibrans) [Male][Female]

Related post:

- Dragonfly: Great Blue Skimmer (Libellula vibrans)


Suzi Smith said...

huh... fancy that!! I shall have to try it... I've seen some beauties, but not managed a decent shot yet. Fascinating to see close up!

JSK said...

Hope it works for you. Doesn't work with all dragonflies but it's certainly worth the effort. I do take a lot of shots. Inevitably some will not be in focus. Good luck. Let me know if it works for you.

Anonymous said...

The eyes are gorgeous on this dragonfly! Excellent shot!

Joy K. said...

I'll try your technique. Thanks for the description.

In one of my favorite memories, I was sitting right here on my porch, bare feet up on a railing, when a dragonfly landed on my big toe. He used me as his headquarters for about 10 minutes.

JSK said...

I hope it works for you. It doesn't work with all dragonflies but when it does, it's great.

Must say I'm envious since I've never had one land on me. Did you have a camera at hand?

Joy K. said...

Of course not. Do people ever have cameras at hand when amazing things like that happen? I call it "Michigan J. Frog" Syndrome.

JSK said...

Or if they do, it's out of reach...