A trip to Thursley Common National Nature Reserve

Around this time of year Thursley Common National Nature Reserve is an excellent location to sight and photograph dragonflies beside the marshland, with the added attraction of the surrounding flowering heathland.

On this particular execursion I managed to photograph the Black Darter dragonfly (Sympetrum danae) with the legacy Olympus 90mm F2 macro lens at F4 and the Brown Hawker dragonfly (Aeshna grandis) with the digital 60mm F2.8 macro lens also at F4.

Here is a Black Darter with the flowering heather in the background.

A Black Darter dragonfly with flowering heather in the background
A Black Darter dragonfly with flowering heather in the background

I managed to get pretty close when it flew and rested on the nearby heather in bloom, staying there for enough time to achieve both side and face on shots.

Close up to a Black Darter dragonfly
Close up to a Black Darter dragonfly
A Black Darter dragonfly face on
A Black Darter dragonfly face on

The next two photo’s are examples of the nearly but not quite type of picture.

In this first shot you will see that the eye of the dragonfly is slightly blurred due to the shutter speed being that little too slow to freeze the movement as it turned its head.

I was shooting in natural light and so to correct this I could have either stepped up the apeture to allow more light in, moving from F4 to say F2.8, or push the ISO higher, so from 400 to say 800. The other alternative would be to use fill in flash.

Curious
Curious

In this second shot the angle is just slightly out resulting in the tip of its tail being hidden by some heather.

Side view of a Black Darter dragonfly
Side view of a Black Darter dragonfly

Next is a portrait photo of the Brown Hawker dragonfly.

Brown Hawker dragonfly
Brown Hawker dragonfly

You may also see butterflies like this Large Skipper (Ochlodes sylvanus), which I decided to shoot head on for a different perspective to that of my normal butterfly photo’s.

Face on with a Large Skipper
Face on with a Large Skipper

 

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Pete

I have been shooting nature with Olympus digital & Olympus OM camera gear on film since 2004

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