Dam Heads

One of my favourite things to try to take is head shots of damselflies, as when up close they have some great expressions.  To do this you either need to get up early and catch them before they are flying, or if like me, you are not a morning person, get them later on in the day when the temperature falls and they start to roost / become more docile on the stems.  Alternatively – catching them eating can make for an opportunity like these in the Nom Nom Nom post.

If you can get one to pose in a head on at the top of a stem – then this I feel makes for the best type of shot.  Normally this is in a positon where the background will either turn black with the flash ( needed on the MPE-65mm when taking handheld – and in duller conditions on other macro lenses too) , or the background is messy.  To get round this I carry some coloured cards that I can hold or place behind them to give a nice even coloured background.

This first one is taken on my 100mm lens – with a blue card in the background.

Mr Blue Sky
Canon EOS 650D (65mm, f/9, 1/200 sec, ISO200)
Mr Blue Sky

But with the MPE-65mm ( or if you have extension tubes, reversed lens – anything to increase the magnification to between 2-3x) then you can get real close up detail.  These next few shots of the same damselfly illustrate this and the different colour background effects due to the blue and pink cards.

I think blue suits me
Canon EOS 650D (65mm, f/9, 1/200 sec, ISO200)
I think blue suits me
Hi Hi!
Canon EOS 650D (65mm, f/9, 1/200 sec, ISO200)
Hi Hi!
Pink Peeker
Canon EOS 650D (65mm, f/11, 1/200 sec, ISO200)
Pink Peeker
Well Hello There!
Canon EOS 650D (65mm, f/9, 1/200 sec, ISO200)
Well Hello There!

The first two of those shots were single images – the later two stacked images in Helicon Focus.

It’s not always possible to get the damselfly to pose at the top of some vegatation – but when they are further down – sometimes even revolving around the stems – this can give some good results too.  Here are some single images of another damselfly with a yellow card in the background.

I can see you!
Canon EOS 650D (65mm, f/11, 1/200 sec, ISO200)
I can see you!
Common Blue on Stem Head Shot Yellow
Canon EOS 650D (65mm, f/11, 1/200 sec, ISO200)
Common Blue on Stem Head Shot Yellow
Common Blue on Stem Head Shot
Canon EOS 650D (65mm, f/11, 1/200 sec, ISO200)
Common Blue on Stem Head Shot

These next two are stacked (2 shots) in Helicon Focus.

2-Shot-stack of Damselfly
Canon EOS 650D (65mm, f/5.6, 1/200 sec, ISO400)
2-Shot-stack of Damselfly
Snip Snip Horray!
Canon EOS 650D (65mm, f/11, 1/200 sec, ISO200)
Snip Snip Horray!

Finally – if you find one on a leaf – you can then use this instead of a card in the background to give some colour.  Anything in the background that is close will do this with flash.

Female Red-eyed Damselfly Head on (2)
Canon EOS 650D (65mm, f/11, 1/200 sec, ISO200)
Female Red-eyed Damselfly Head on (2)
Female Red-eyed Damselfly Head on
Canon EOS 650D (65mm, f/11, 1/200 sec, ISO200)
Female Red-eyed Damselfly Head on

And finally another 2 image of the above damselfly

Red-eye!
Canon EOS 650D (65mm, f/11, 1/200 sec, ISO200)
Red-eye!

All these images were taken in early May 2015 at Blashford Lakes Nature Reserve.

Map of Location

Chris

I've been taking macro photography from 2004. I use both Canon film and digital cameras.

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