Dragonfly Tussle

This article features five consecutive images of a dragonfly tussle that occurred during an August 2022 visit to the Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG). I had been photographing dragonflies taking off and landing on some of the pond plants at the RBG when this interaction transpired.

As is sometimes the case when using Pro Capture, an unexpected action can happen while spooling images into temporary memory. This is one of those occasions when I would have totally missed these images had I not already been in the process of using Pro Capture H.

The photographs in this article were captured at mid-day. I was using the M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS lens fully extended with the MC-14 teleconverter, at a focal length of 560 mm (efov 1120 mm). My shutter speed was 1/5000, with an aperture of f/9, at ISO-6400. A single, small auto focus point was engaged. I positioned myself on a collapsible stool with the dragonflies 4.1 metres (~13.5 feet) away.

These five consecutive images of a dragonfly tussle were captured in a total of 1/12th of a second. The third image in the series is my favourite.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 560 mm, efov 1120 mm, f/9, 1/5000, ISO-6400, Pro Capture H, cropped to 4053 pixels on the width, subject distance 4.1 metres
OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 560 mm, efov 1120 mm, f/9, 1/5000, ISO-6400, Pro Capture H, cropped to 3648 pixels on the width, subject distance 4.1 metres
OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 560 mm, efov 1120 mm, f/9, 1/5000, ISO-6400, Pro Capture H, cropped to 3692 pixels on the width, subject distance 4.1 metres
OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 560 mm, efov 1120 mm, f/9, 1/5000, ISO-6400, Pro Capture H, cropped to 2709 pixels on the width, subject distance 4.1 metres
OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 560 mm, efov 1120 mm, f/9, 1/5000, ISO-6400, Pro Capture H, cropped to 3840 pixels on the width, subject distance 4.1 metres

Sometimes when we are out photographing nature we get fixated on what we perceive to be a specific ‘picture worthy’ moment like an osprey catching a fish. Often we wait patiently for that ‘picture worthy’ moment to occur, and we’re oblivious to other things that are happening in our midst. We tend to forget that nature’s drama is all around us, and often played out by much smaller creatures.

This quick dragonfly tussle is one of those special moments when being in the right place, at the right time, with the right camera gear paid dividends.

Technical Note:

Photographs were captured handheld using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. Images were produced from RAW files using my standard approach in post. I used Pro Capture H with my standard settings… both Pre-Shutter Frames and Frame Limiter were set to 15. This is the 1,222 article published on this website since its original inception in 2015.

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