View Full Version : Twelve-spotted Skimmer Dragonfly

David Stephens
06-30-2010, 01:18 PM

I'm a macro noob, but I'm seeing more and more subjects that attract me to this craft, so I thought I'd start posting here in hopes of elevating my results. I didn't have my 25mm ET with me, so I ended up cropping a little.

Canon 7D
EF 500mm f/4L IS
Aperture Priority
ISO 800 (windy day)
Resulting S/S 1/1600
No flash
RAW conversion with DxO's Optics Pro 6.2
Induro C414 tripod Arca-Swiss Z1 ballhead with Wimberley Sidekick

Jerry van Dijk
06-30-2010, 03:35 PM
Hi Dave, good to see you're becoming a macro enthousiast! It's a whole new world, waiting to be discovered.
You got a very nice angle and DOF in this dragonfly. I felt the dragonfly (a wonderful species we don't get here, we only have versions without the spots) was a bit lost in his big grey environment and that it could use some extra color because of the harsh light. I also felt that the perch somewhat distracts from the main subject. I took the liberty of making some adjustments to your image.
I cropped the image, putting the head in the ROT hotspot, and losing much empty BG and some of the perch. I adjusted the levels, only clipping the detail in the eye highlight, where there wasn't much detail anyway, added a little saturation and sharpness and came up with this result. See how you like it!
Hope to see more of your macro's soon!

David Stephens
06-30-2010, 03:44 PM
Thanks Jerry. I do like your changes very much. I was thinking about the background already, but the crop does bring much more attention to the skimmer.

Paul Lagasi
06-30-2010, 06:08 PM
I couldn't agree more, lots of interesting things to photograph with macro, welcome...the image repost rocks Jerry, David your original image is well done, sharp and colorful...

Roman Kurywczak
07-01-2010, 06:56 PM
Hey David,
While no officail HAP here in macro......I come close! I do feel that a slightly better angle would improve this comp wise.....but the BG and isolation are VG! ....Jerry's crop put this up a notch. What time of day was this? Tubes would have helped to get the comp more like Jerry's......but the light appears a tad harsh in the shadows.....although the pop up may have helped ease that too. Many things to consider in macro that we don't use in other types of photogrpahy......because we are so close, many things come into play that we must deal with.....especially the wind!!! A Slightly slower SS would still work......flash will help freeze movement.....just some food for thought next time out!
I find tha tmacro slows me down.....makes me look for the small things! Quite the wonderful world!!!

David Stephens
07-01-2010, 10:12 PM
Thanks Roman. This was 2.5 hours before sunset. Here in Colorado the sun's angle is pretty low, but there's not much color in the light yet. The sun is at my back.

I don't understand why you're suggesting lowering the S/S. Is it to get a lower ISO, more DOF or what? The wind was blowing this guy such that his wings were distorted a lot in many of my shots. Even when it'd stop blowing for a few seconds the millet would continue to swing. I'm thinking that the lowest I dare go in this situation would be around 1/1200.

Roman Kurywczak
07-01-2010, 11:05 PM
OK David.....fill flash may have helped open up the shadows.....but 2.5 hours B4 susnet....sunny 16 rule applies...given the ISO setting of 800...do the math with me......this puts you at f11 at 1/1600 sec. Make sense?

David Stephens
07-02-2010, 09:17 AM
OK David.....fill flash may have helped open up the shadows.....but 2.5 hours B4 susnet....sunny 16 rule applies...given the ISO setting of 800...do the math with me......this puts you at f11 at 1/1600 sec. Make sense?

Thanks for the extra effort Roman.

I DO understand your math, but I don't see what's wrong with my exposure at f/8. Rather than manually set exposure, I like to work in AE and adjust EV up and down taking the BG and subject into consideration. Here I was at -1EV and I'm thinking that the camera's calculated exposure actually worked well. My exposure adjustment in PP was +25 if I remember correctly (I'm not at the computer with the processed file). At f/11 I would likely have pulled the EV up even more in PP.

So, what have I missed that you're trying to tell me? Thanks for your patience.

Jonathan Ashton
07-05-2010, 05:26 AM
A very pleasing image, I appreciate the fill in flash would help the shadows but I don't think it would do too much for the body or the millet, I suspect there would be a lot of reflected light there even at -2.