How to photograph dragonflies

A contribution by the guest by Steve Berardi from PhotoNaturalist.


Dragonflies are among the most photogenic insects. They usually have bright contrasting colors that they really stand out in their natural environment and their large size makes them easy to photograph with a standard telephoto lens.

However, there are a few problems with photographing them too: they are easily scared and sometimes it seems as if they just never land somewhere and take a break, so you can shoot!

So, here are a few things to keep in mind when shooting these amazing insects:

Most dragonflies hang very close to bodies of freshwater: Lakes, ponds and streams. So, when you are scouting out places to photograph, make sure it is a place where you right up to the shore line of the water walking can (some nature preserves are in sensitive habitat, so they won’t let you get too close to the water).


Some types can also be found further away from water (such as the variegated Meadowhawk pictured above), but you’ll find the most dragonflies near fresh water.

Dragonflies the warmth of the sun warm their bodies and fly, so they will usually most active on sunny days clearly need.

But that does not mean that you wouldn’t have to look for them on cloudy days too. They will be much harder to find on cloudy days, but they are also a lot easier to approach, because it is more difficult for them to fly away without the heat of the Sun. You also get a nice soft diffuse light on them with cloudy skies.

Each condition has its advantages and disadvantages.

It is very easy to do scare dragonflies and sometimes it seems as if they never land, but the key is patience. Be patient

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