When I go looking for rare-to-uncommon species of odonates, I like to take a few “warm-up shots” at the beginning of the photowalk in order to be sure all my photography gear is working properly — the moment you find your target species is the wrong time to be fiddling around with camera settings or troubleshooting an external flash unit that isn’t firing!

The following photo is one of my “warm-up shots” from a recent photowalk with Michael Powell at a location in Fairfax County, Virginia USA.

26 MAY 2020 | Fairfax County, VA | Common Whitetail (immature male)

Common Whitetail (Plathemis lydia) is a common species of dragonfly. Plathemis lydia is a “habitat generalist” that can be found almost anywhere there is water. It is one of the first species to appear in spring and one of the last species to disappear in fall.

This individual is an immature male, as indicated by the brown coloration of his abdomen, pattern of wing spots, and terminal appendages.

Copyright © 2020 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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6 Responses to “Icebreaker”

  1. Wally Jones Says:

    Excellent tips on taking some “warm up shots”, Walter. As sure as one skips this small step, that once-in-a-lifetime subject will appear to teach you a lesson!

    The Common Whitetail is a handsome odonate which just doesn’t grace our part of the country. Sigh.

  2. Sherry Felix Says:

    To photograph an odonate would be the culmination of a lot of tries for me. 🙂

    • waltersanford Says:

      What is preventing you from photographing odonates successfully? If I know the problem(s), then perhaps I can suggest a solution(s).

      • Sherry Felix Says:

        The are too fast for me and they rarely perch.

        • waltersanford Says:

          Photographing dragonflies in flight is challenging at best and impossible at worst. That said, dragonflies can be classified into two broad groups: fliers; and perchers. Dragonflies in the Family Libellulidae (Skimmers) are perchers and many species in the family are common. Go to a pond or wetland area and you should see lots of perching dragonflies that you can photograph.

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