My very first orange dragonfly

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I know I promised you some photos of the beautiful Ramona lilacs I spotted a couple of weeks ago during a hike and I’m still working on these photos. But today I’d like to share something quite special because this is a first for me: my first photo of an orange dragonfly. Remember you can click on the photos below for a larger view.

Last year I posted my first (and only) photo of a blue dragonfly. I felt it was beginner’s luck and now I know it really was. Have you ever watched dragonflies? They never stop flying, literally. They only stop for a minute at a time, and that’s for a total of a few hours a day. So if you see one stop by next to you, enjoy it while it lasts.

Dragonflies are different from damselflies, which are a lot smaller. We had one of them enter our home last week and it landed on the window blinds, longing to go back out. I helped it find its freedom back. Phew!

Blue damselfly
Blue damselfly

These damselflies are everywhere right now, and they’re quite people friendly. Dragonflies are harder to spot. So when I saw a large orange dragonfly fly over my head while walking through the San Diego Botanic Garden, I had my fingers crossed. After circling a few times, the dragonfly landed on a brush twig and it didn’t take me long to realize what it was doing. It was surveying its next lunch, a bunch of bees snacking on the nectar of a bush in bloom.

I had to figure out how to take a picture of a fleeting dragonfly while being surrounded by busy bees. And guess what? I got my one shot. And guess what else? It was my only shot, because the dragonfly didn’t like me ruining its cover and it flew away.

Lucky me, the shot was perfectly in focus. This is what I got:

Orange dragonfly
Orange dragonfly

Now I’m thinking of cropping this photo a bit but I’m not sure which way will look best so I’m asking for your honest opinion.

Here’s crop option #1, with a similar composition as the first photo, but zoomed in. The dragonfly is in the bottom right corner.

Zoom of an orange dragonfly
Zoom of an orange dragonfly

Here’s crop option #2, where the dragonfly is more in the top right corner. I tend to favor this one shot.

Close-up of an orange dragonfly
Close-up of an orange dragonfly

Here’s crop option #3, where the dragonfly is centered in the middle of the photo, towards the top.

Macro of an orange dragonfly
Macro of an orange dragonfly

And here’s crop option #4, in a vertical format, making the stick stand out more. This is more zoomed in on the dragonfly so you can see its details better but of course the photo files ends up being a little smaller since it’s cropped quite a lot from the original file.

Orange dragonfly resting on a stick
Orange dragonfly resting on a stick

Which cropping option do you like best? Or do you like the original photo best? Thanks for helping me out!


12 thoughts on “My very first orange dragonfly

  1. Hmm, I guess I like the last one best, probably because I love symmetry, and he’s smack dab in the middle there. 🙂

    Wow, the wings of that dragonfly in the top image are really amazing. You always get me thinking of things I normally wouldn’t!

    • Thanks, Carrie. I like that crop option too because it really emphasizes the dragonfly at the top of the twig. It’s funny because photography rules stay not to center your object in the middle of the picture. But sometimes, it looks just nice that way.

      Aren’t those wings amazing? I guess that’s why dragonflies are the fastest flying insects.

  2. My vote goes to the last image too, because more details can be seen in that one. I love how the green color comes through in the wing.

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