Those three small dots / lenses are the so called "simple eyes" or "ocelli", typical for (allmost) all insects.Cool stuff
I wonder what the small pearl-looking objects next to the nose are. And there is something looking like a single optical lens centered in the nose...
Beautiful and informative shots Pieter! Please post more.View attachment 180338
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Emperor Dragonfly laying eggs.
I'll stop now - sorry for taking up all this space! I did a little book on dragonfly photography a few years ago - hence my enthusiasm ;-)
Used a 40D, 5D III, or 7D II, with the 100 f2.8 macro or the 300mm f/4L.
Very interesting reading, thanks for the link. I still suspect that the silvery surface on the outer ocelli is an attempt to keep visible (for humans) light out of the sensor, making it more sensitive to UV, IR or possibly thermal radiation... But the theory that the ocelli is used for attitude control seems reasonable. And maybe the center ocellus at the Ruddy Darter is optimised for low-light conditions considering its relatively large size. ""Second-order neurons in the dragonfly median ocellus respond more strongly to upwards-moving bars and gratings than to downwards-moving bars and gratings, but this effect is only present when ultraviolet light is used in the stimulus "" That makes sense for pilots, it is usually a more acute problem if you are heading down toward the ground than if you are climbing upwards . But UV is less likely to appear in low-light conditions. Fog in daylight is another story; lots of UV. Could the ocellus be equipment for instrument flying?
OK thanks very much Alan - I don't need a lot of encouragement! ;-)Beautiful and informative shots Pieter! Please post more.
I love these - particularly the first one, with the swirly background!Birds have become so scarce this time of year and the heat keeps them hidden in the thick foliage, so what does a bird photographer do? Well, I have suddenly become hooked on dragonflies and damselflies. Portraits can be fun and you can sneak up on them easily. And it's perfect for the opportunistic photographer with lightweight gear, and you don't need very long telephotos. Dragonflies in flight are something different - they can be really difficult to track and focus on. I thought I could never capture them but the 100-400mm II on a 5DIV or 5DSR has proven to be brilliant. So, I am starting a new thread just devoted to dragonflies and damselflies. I'll start with a couple of Banded Demoiselles in flight. They are tiny and fly very erratically. I must admit I didn't even know their name or that they even existed a week ago. But, I am now addicted.View attachment 179469View attachment 179470
How do you manage to do that..? My own experience is that tracking and manual focusing on fast moving targets causes 120% (or maybe a bit more) workload When I'm not fast enough, I only get the tail. All my in-flight shots are "full manual" - focus, exposure, aperture, and of course hand-held.
I find that it's possible to anticipate the right moment, following the dragonfly through the lens and slowly moving the focus ring at the same time. Then there will be a few moments when it is in focus. I don't keep the button pressed - after 5-10 continuous shots the dragonfly is often gone / way out of focus, and I find I get more keepers when I take individual shots 0.5 - 1 second apart while continuously tracking and manually adjusting focus. It also depends a lot on the individual dragonfly: even within a species, some will fly slower, hover more often, and/or fly in a more predictable pattern than others. I tend to stick with a single specimen for a long time, waiting for it to return after it passed by (they usually have pretty fixed patrol patterns). Having said that, you're right about the workload! I would say about 1 in a few 100 is a keeper - and that's before throwing out images with busy backgrounds, uninteresting lighting, wings in weird positions, etc. Yours is a lovely shot, even if it's from a slight angle. Here are a few more of mine.How do you manage to do that..? My own experience is that tracking and manual focusing on fast moving targets causes 120% (or maybe a bit more) workload When I'm not fast enough, I only get the tail