1/4 Second Dragonfly Gift

This article shares 13 consecutive images from a 1/4 second dragonfly gift, during which the interactions of 2 dragonflies were captured. These Pro Capture H photographs reminded me how Mother Nature sometimes allows us to witness small glimpses of the magic of everyday life.

Rather than only experience our photographs from a technical perspective, it is important to appreciate the essence of life that our images have captured.

During a recent visit to the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington Ontario I was given this 1/4 second dragonfly gift. What made it noteworthy for me was that my initial objective was to photograph flowers. I had no idea that these dragonflies would even be at the gardens.

As I observed the dragonflies around two decorative ponds, I noticed that one of the dragonflies would come back to land on the edge of a specific leaf. This created a good opportunity to capture some images of it taking flight. So, I set about to attempt this image capture.

I never was able to capture this ‘launching into flight’ behaviour, but was given this 1/4 second dragonfly gift as a second dragonfly entered into my Pro Capture H scene. Luckily my reflexes worked well enough to commit these frames to permanent memory.

I used my standard Pro Capture H settings with both my Pre-Shutter frames and Frame Limiter both set to 15. I shot at 60 frames per second with my first frame locking focus and exposure. All of the 15 frames from this Pro Capture H run were captured in a total of 1/4 of a second.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS @ 400 mm, efov 800 mm, f/6.3, 1/2500, ISO-2000, Pro Capture H, cropped to 4941 pixels on the width, subject distance 2.3 metres
OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS @ 400 mm, efov 800 mm, f/6.3, 1/2500, ISO-2000, Pro Capture H, cropped to 4851 pixels on the width, subject distance 2.3 metres
OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS @ 400 mm, efov 800 mm, f/6.3, 1/2500, ISO-2000, Pro Capture H, cropped to 4396 pixels on the width, subject distance 2.3 metres
OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS @ 400 mm, efov 800 mm, f/6.3, 1/2500, ISO-2000, Pro Capture H, cropped to 4139 pixels on the width, subject distance 2.3 metres
OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS @ 400 mm, efov 800 mm, f/6.3, 1/2500, ISO-2000, Pro Capture H, cropped to 4059 pixels on the width, subject distance 2.3 metres
OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS @ 400 mm, efov 800 mm, f/6.3, 1/2500, ISO-2000, Pro Capture H, cropped to 4058 pixels on the width, subject distance 2.3 metres
OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS @ 400 mm, efov 800 mm, f/6.3, 1/2500, ISO-2000, Pro Capture H, cropped to 4057 pixels on the width, subject distance 2.3 metres
OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS @ 400 mm, efov 800 mm, f/6.3, 1/2500, ISO-2000, Pro Capture H, cropped to 4057 pixels on the width, subject distance 2.3 metres
OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS @ 400 mm, efov 800 mm, f/6.3, 1/2500, ISO-2000, Pro Capture H, cropped to 4058 pixels on the width, subject distance 2.3 metres
OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS @ 400 mm, efov 800 mm, f/6.3, 1/2500, ISO-2000, Pro Capture H, cropped to 4058 pixels on the width, subject distance 2.3 metres
OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS @ 400 mm, efov 800 mm, f/6.3, 1/2500, ISO-2000, Pro Capture H, cropped to 4058 pixels on the width, subject distance 2.3 metres
OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS @ 400 mm, efov 800 mm, f/6.3, 1/2500, ISO-2000, Pro Capture H, cropped to 4057 pixels on the width, subject distance 2.3 metres
OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS @ 400 mm, efov 800 mm, f/6.3, 1/2500, ISO-2000, Pro Capture H, cropped to 4057 pixels on the width, subject distance 2.3 metres

Whether I will ever be able to replicate this 1/4 second dragonfly gift that I was given is a question without an answer. What I can say is that I am incredibly grateful to have been given this 1/4 second dragonfly gift as many photographers never receive such a treasure!

Technical Note

Photographs were captured handheld using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. Images were produced from RAW files using my standard process. Crops are noted. This is the 1,040th article published on this website since its original inception.

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8 thoughts on “1/4 Second Dragonfly Gift”

  1. Apart from the technical and subject interest I do get the “gift” aspect you mention – those moments when something unplanned just happens in front of you and your camera that is a glimpse into the wonders that nature holds.

  2. Tom,

    I’m held captive by the series of dragonflies captures. It’s no wonder that in some circles, dragonflies represent fairies with their gossamer wings that defy logic (how can such delicate things afford them the gift of flight?). I can easily see the title’s post as Dance of the Fairies as easily as Dance of the Dragonflies. Hurrah for Olympus tech for letting us see these moments of fleeting magic.

    Oggie
    http://www.lagalog.com

    1. Hi Oggie,

      I am continually amazed at the ‘moments of fleeting magic’ as you note, that can be revealed through Olympus Pro Capture technology. What appears in the EVF as simply a blur of movement is often revealed as fascinating moments of natural interaction. After two years of owning my E-M1X and using Pro Capture H very regularly, I find myself continually experimenting with this technology to discover what it can help reveal.

      Tom

  3. Tom,
    Another remarkable capture. Two males competing for a perch. It appears to have been a bit of a shoving match and the perched individual stood his ground. What we can now enjoy would only be possible with an amazing camera in the hands of an amazing photographer. Hats off to you!

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