Blue-eyed Darners mating + Repost

What technical feedback would you like if any?

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

Canon 1DX2, Canon 100-400 II + 1.4X III at 560mm, f/10, ISO 1600, 1/3200 sec HH. (Probably more than needed but I was risking a swim on a steep bank.) Cropped to 40% of the full frame. Not much done except denoise and a bit of sharpen that would hardly show at this size. No cleanup needed. Lifted shadows a bit.

I’ll be interested to see how the dragonfly population will be next summer – it has been lower and quite variable over the last few years at a number of ponds in our area.

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Very impressive shot, Diane! Such great details in both dragonflies. I love the slanted perch that they are on, I think it breaks the frame up nicely, and plenty of room for the dragonflies. The out of focus green stem in the back out out of focus enough that it isn’t a distraction, but we can figure it is another green grass like the one they are on. The composition works well for me. If I have a nit at all, it is that it isn’t my photo! Great shot! :+1: :+1:

A very nice shot and I like that dof. There is lots of detail in both dragonflies.

Diane: What a great capture of the moment. I like that your plane of focus got the eyes of both DF sharp. I go back and forth on the oof stem. It would be relatively easy to eliminate except where it passes behind the wing of the lower DF. Still a fine image as is. Good effort. >=))>

Thanks everyone! @Bill_Fach, you challenged me! I thought about removing the OOF reed and just didn’t get around to it. I thought I could make it mostly disappear with a combination of Selective Color and Hue-Sat, but that proved not to be enough. So after that I did some careful selecting and cloned it out, leaving it behind the translucent wings. More careful selection and some work with Curves got rid of most of it, lightening it and pushing it a bit more toward blue. There was a lot of very low opacity brushing out of that adjustment to mask to the darker areas. Not perfect yet but too many other things to work on for now!

And in going back to do this, I see that my original post was the raw file, just cropped. This one started with the PS file with NR and sharpening.

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Diane: Really good work on the repost and after seeing it I do prefer having the stem removed. I’m going to edit your title to reflect the repost. It’s always a good idea to do so so that others will know to revisit the image. >=))>

Wow, Diane, what a difference. I was totally satisfied with the oof stem, as it did come a place in the image that was at the “thirds”, and kind of balanced it. I knew it was behind the wings, so difficult to remove. Great job on the edit.

Thanks guys! I did edit the title but apparently neglected to hit the pencil icon or something. I’ve done that before – will learn eventually.

After you hit the pencil and edit the title, there is a check mark below (just above your name) to click.

OK – thanks – I’ll try to look more closely. I also have a problem forgetting to hit Send…

Diane, this is a fine catch of this pair. The details show very well and the sharpness on both DFs is excellent (and hard to get). I expect that you needed close to 1/3200 s to get that much lens nice and sharp.

Hi Diane,

Repost is much better and you are a glutton for punishment when you carefully removed the OOF grass. Awesome shot…Jim

Thanks guys! @Jim_Zablotny, I always love a challenge to use PS skills for artistic touches.