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Yorkshire based Professional Landscape and Wildlife Photographer

Dragon Jewels

Posted on 26/07/15

On Friday morning it was perfect conditions to continue my wet butterfly series so set of a silly o'clock. I decided to try a different site and there was not a butterfly in sight. But there was an abundance of wet dragon flies instead smile I've seen wet damselflies before but never dragonflies and there were maybe about 10 common darters dotted around the site. If you can catch them before the sun rises onto them they stay perfectly still. Some one asked me recently do you wait until there has been rain. The answer is quite the opposite you want high pressure and cold temperatures so that the moisture in the air condenses on the body of the insects. You also need no wind. Firstly the wind means the condensation evaporates very quickly and secondly dragonflies are quite big so stacking the photos helps and this is very difficult if the dragonfly is moving in the wind.

I used the Canon 5DS for all of these photographs. Huge 50.6 megapixel images which means the little 800 pixel files I use for the internet don't really do them justice. So with some of these are provided a crop. The other beauty with these files is even the crops are printable files!

Just as slight break off topic I've been hanging images at the White Cloth Gallery all day as my exhibition (From the Very Small to the Very Big) starts there this week. I have used 3 images from the 5DS so there's giant versions of a kingfisher, a little owl and a marbled white. The opening night is 30th of July and the White Cloth Gallery is in the centre of Leeds by the train station (PS no ticket required, free event and a good bar). The website is HERE.

Back to dragonflies. This was another dragon at a bit more of a whacky angle. Here you can see how they perch for the night.

You only have a short window before they start cleaning the water drops of their legs and eyes. That is what this dragon is doing here although it does look a little like it's laughing at me!

On the Saturday the wind was back up so had a trip up to Almscliffe crag.

But Sunday morning again looked perfect so headed back out at 4:50am.

This dragon was on a great perch so did a few different angles and views. For the closer shots I used a 36mm extension tube too.

My friend Phil came with me on Sunday too and he spotted this small damselfly which tried to hid behind a blade of grass. Which made quite a cute shot.

Again it wasn't long before sun swung round so went for a slightly more environmental shot for this bejewelled dragon glistening in the sun.

Then went home for a sleep smile

I'm talking at Photolive in London 12th of September about both macro and stacking so if you do want to more that will be well worth checking out. The link to the Photolive website is HERE.

Any questions or feedback just let me know.

Happy clicking,

  • Absolutely amazing shots Ollie and even a shot of Almscliff ?

    geraint evans - 27 July, 2015
  • Beautiful series!

    Roeselien - 27 July, 2015
  • Brilliant Oliver, simply brilliant

    Andy Pritchard - 27 July, 2015
  • Outstanding Oliver

    David - 28 July, 2015
  • Great set of images, Oliver!

    Fabio - 28 July, 2015
  • Wow, wow and wow!

    joetheslug - 01 August, 2015
  • I had the pleasure of attending a lecture given by Oliver at the Stocksbridge Camera Club. The images and stories were outstanding and completely captivating. Im new to photography and I’ve really been inspired by Oliver. Thinking of going to Sweden !

    Alan Chapman - 21 October, 2015
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