As the warm embrace of summer envelops the landscape here in Arkansas, my lens is drawn to the captivating world of dragonflies. With each shutter click, I endeavor to unveil their intricate beauty from a range of angles. Today, I invite you to join me on a journey to a county road bordering the Ouachita National Forest, where I encountered these remarkable creatures up close.
The dragonflies that grace our skies often assert their territorial prowess, particularly the males. Some defend their domain against their fellow species, while others stand guard against different dragonfly species or even other types of insects. This instinctual guardianship tends to keep them anchored in a familiar habitat once they’ve claimed it as their own.
One of the secrets to capturing a dragonfly’s essence is discovering a perch that grants a panoramic view of a thriving insect haven. Should you stumble upon such a spot, patience becomes your ally. I’ve practiced this technique time and again, and it has rewarded me with some truly remarkable photographs.
Regrettably, the world of dragonfly classification remains a mystery to me. If you possess the knowledge to identify the specific types captured in these images, I eagerly invite you to share your insights in the comments below or on my Facebook page.
Now, let’s delve into the tale of how I achieved a face-to-face encounter with these dragonflies, rendering their captivating details in pixels.
On a leisurely photo stroll near the edges of the Ouachita National Forest, my lens locked onto the first dragonfly. It graciously allowed my approach, positioned sideways at first. As I inched closer, it briefly took flight, only to return to me with its gaze directed squarely. This precious moment gifted me a plethora of shots, the first of many that day. The second dragonfly mirrored the behavior but steadfastly held its frontal stance.
To capture these marvels, my trusty Fujifilm X-T3 Camera stood ready, equipped with a Canon EF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II lens, firmly attached using a Fringer EF-FX Pro adapter. My reliable companion, the BlackRapid Camera Strap, ensured effortless portability for this combination.
For the initial dragonfly encounter, the camera’s settings were finely tuned:
- Mode: Aperture Priority (AV)
- Aperture: f/8
- ISO: 1600
- Shutter Speed: 1/1100 of a second
- Focal Length: 400 mm
As I continue to immerse myself in the enchanting world of Arkansas dragonflies, I find solace in sharing these snapshots of their lives. The intricacies of their behaviors and the vibrant tapestry they weave within our ecosystems captivate my lens and, I hope, your hearts as well. Stay tuned for more tales from my lens and remember, nature’s wonders await those patient enough to unveil them.
Steve Creek, Wildlife Photographer