Damselfly (Bluet)

Damselflie-1To view more of my photography please visit www.rakmilphotography.com

Ondonta are the order of insects that includes damselflies and dragonflies. Once they start arriving in numbers they will attract people with cameras and people with nets. At least that’s true where I live. The catch and release crowd are correct that you cannot easily identify them with specificity without a magnifying glass. The photographers get a little frustrated when the Odonata are very active and somehow never stop for a break. Some particularly adept photographers are good at getting photographs of them in the air, interacting or even feeding. Ondonta are true predators and watching them catch something and devour it is even less appealing that watching lions do the same.

Among the damselflies and dragonflies are those that when skittish leave their perch, but also return to the same precise spot; others roam in a regular pattern. It pays to stop and study what is going on.

Its almost impossible to focus on their eyes which in the case of a damselfly it is mostly liquid and the dragonfly too detailed and reflective, the trick is to focus on their body close to their eyes. Dragonflies’ eyes usually show some reflection of the light around them as a lighter area within the circle of the larger eye, it is hard to avoid.

Lighting is challenging as both insects can get into tight spots in the undergrowth. Flash can come in handy. Just realize you may not get another chance, as any shadow or light is going to make them skittish. Shorelines of any kind are great places to spot them, but they can move far inland. Some actually change color as they age and the older they are the more interesting the color.

Unfortunately in many places the viewing is not good this year, and even in the best spots in North America now, it seems the population is thin.

2 responses

  1. Great photograph and great suggestions. I keep hoping to get a photo of dragonflies, but I haven’t seen any perching around here, at least not this year. I think that I need to go on a more dedicated expedition!


    July 11, 2013 at 10:22 am

  2. Funny you should say that about the eyes, it’s often the only thing I shoot on Odonates, especially dragons. Of course it’s often the only thing that fits into the frame. 😀

    Also if anyone is looking for dragonflies, the Assabet National Wildlife Refuge in Massachusetts seems to be doing quite well. I’ve never seen so many! It was like they were swarming me at times (and I wish they were instead of the mosquitoes and deer flies). Not sure if there was a great variation of species. The only dragon I seem to have luck with lately, and not much at that, is the Blue Dasher (which happens to be pictured in my avatar).


    July 11, 2013 at 12:18 pm

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