Dragongrass

eastern amberwing dragonfly clinging to a blade of grass

Dragonflies can appear to other insects like merciless war planes, master of the skies, but sometimes you find them hanging out in the grass like this Eastern Amberwing.

Eastern Amberwings are some of the smallest dragonflies that you will see in North America. I found this one in the grass of the picnic area at Clarksburg State Park. With the exception of the ugly sun flare on the eye, it really turned out well — after some post-processing clean up. Underexposure was easily corrected with exposure control; only a little sharpening was needed. The real key was the shadows control brightening up the eye to the right. The lack of specular highlights in comparison to the left side should give a definitive idea about where the flash was positioned. The set up left pretty heavy shadows, and adjusting them in the Nikon software I use often leaves them looking unnatural or jarring as well as degrading image quality. This time — Hallelujah! — it did a nice job, particularly in matching up  the brown and beige parts of the two eyes.

One more note: I almost did and could have, if I may say so, went with an uncropped frame here. In the end on the left side a patch of the bokeh was bright enough for me to deem it distracting. The crop gives it a symmetry with the light greens of the background on either side.

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8 thoughts on “Dragongrass

  1. Hi there, I’m feeling very cheery and chirpy tonight and I just wanted to let you know that I’ve nominated you for a Blog of the Year 2013 Award. My post will be published this evening at around 9.00pm Australian Time. Congratulations to you for a creating a truly Wonderful Blog.

  2. Hi there, I’m feeling very cheery and chirpy again tonight and I just wanted to let you know that I’ve nominated you for another Blog of the Year 2013 One Star for your Award. My post will be published this evening at around 7.00pm Australian Time. Congratulations to you for a creating a truly Wonderful Blog. Kidazzleink.com

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