Rethink the most obvious shooting angle: Green-striped Darners

Photos taken yesterday in Sussex County, New Jersey.  I was actually trying to take a macro shot of a caterpillar in the shade (quite frustrating) when I saw these two large dragonflies in the mating wheel position fly near me and land.  I approached slowly with macro lens in hand and got very lucky that they were not startled off.  Haven photographed insects quite a bit the past few years, it’s only natural to look to capture them both together in the same frame without having any of their appendages extend beyond the frame.

Shot #1:

macro odonata photo

A few of a male and female darner in a typical reproductive pose. Photo taken in Sussex County, New Jersey with the Tamron SP 90mm VC F/2.8 Macro Lens and the Canon EOS 60D DSLR.

Metadata: 90mm, 1/640th F/3.2 ISO 100, handheld with VC.  Manual Exposure.

I NEARLY walked away haven taken a pretty sharp frame, but I thought “what the heck” why not try a true macro photo with high magnification on one dragon’s face.  It took 1 or dozen frames to get a handheld shot in focus at that magnification, but to me it created a photo with a much higher “wow” factor.

Photo #2:

macro odonata face photo

An intimate view of a Green-striped Darner showcasing vivid lateral coloration. Photographed with the Tamron SP 90mm VC Macro Lens + Canon EOS 60D in NJ.

Metadata: 90mm, 1/100 F/5.0 ISO 100, handheld with VC.  Manual Exposure.

It is certainly subjective to which shot is “better”, but the 2nd is more to my liking.  By rethinking about possible compositions I have 2 drastically different photos of the same subject taken a minute or two apart.  Quality nature photography is seldom performed in a hurry.  I have always been an advocate of the phrase “haste makes waste”.

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