A Damselfly Without Its Data

Ischnura hastata Citrine Forktail male

I have plenty of photos to share with the world, but the words I would like to accompany them appear to have gone missing lately. And that’s not the only thing. Typically, photos are taken and EXIF data is recorded and appended to the image. I have been using a new workflow where I use Nikon’s viewNX2 to do the initial processing of the RAW (NEF) file, thereafter converting the file into TIFF format (to edit in GIMP). After the the NEF to TIFF conversion, I lose the EXIF data. It is not the biggest deal for my current purposes, but I would rather have the “Date Created” or “Photo taken on” information reflect the actual date and not the day I processed the photo and turned it into a TIFF. It is also nice to be able to share with other photographers the camera settings (of course I have fewer recorded data fields than typically with the reverse lens set up; basic items like aperture and focal length are not available and the camera registers as “No Lens Attached”). My googled journey to find answers left me with virtually nothing…except maybe high blood pressure and a headache.

If any photo processing savvy person knows how to remedy this problem, your input is more than appreciated.

As for our beautiful bug, this is a Citrine Forktail damselfly that I found in Florida in late March or early April (see I’ve lost my mind, obviously located within the EXIF data). The yellow coloration indicates a male. According to BugGuide.net, it is unique among all damselflies with “stigma” (the spot on the wing, to use BugGuide’s term) in that it is not on the edge of the wing but surrounded on all sides with the clear membrane of the wing. It also is (likely) the smallest damselfly in the United States, and certainly the smallest I have personally encountered. It fit very nicely into the dimensions of my camera’s DX (APS-C) sensor as this uncropped shot illustrates.


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