Travel theme: Wild

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Today I’m participating in Where’s My Backpack’s Travel Theme photo challenge. This week’s theme is “wild”. Remember you can click on each photo for a larger view. If you like what you see, feel free to subscribe and receive nature photography updates a few times a week.

I wasn’t sure what photos to use for this theme but the inspiration came to me yesterday, when I got an unexpected visitor in my backyard. If you’ve ever tried to photograph dragonflies, you know they’re not the best subjects and could care less about your requests to sit still. Dragonflies are the fastest flying insects and that makes it a wild encounter if you manage to snap a few photos of them.

Here’s a beautiful orange dragonfly who was kind enough to rest a few inches away from me so I could take a couple of photos with my zoom. That bright orange is quite a wild color too!

Travel theme: Wild - orange dragonfly
Travel theme: Wild – orange dragonfly
Travel theme: Wild - orange dragonfly resting on a branch
Travel theme: Wild – orange dragonfly resting on a branch

Macro Monday: My best orange dragonfly yet!

Zazzle online shop If you enjoy my photos and would like to purchase some, I want to thank you! Simply visit my Zazzle online shop and browse the product offerings. If there’s a photo you would like to purchase but don’t see it in my shop, please contact me by using the Contact form at the bottom of my home page and let me know which photos you are interested in purchasing, and in what format / medium.

Today I’m taking part in Macro Monday at Lisa’s Chaos. Remember you can click on each image to see it in a larger format. And if you like what you see, I encourage you to subscribe so you can enjoy the new photos I post a few times a week.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to photograph another orange dragonfly. By now, I’ve realized that accomplishing such feat requires two things: a lot of patience, and a lot of luck.

I was standing by a small pond and noticed three orange dragonflies constantly flying back and forth right above the water. After some time, I saw one of them getting away from the surface of the pond and browsing the tree branches in the area. Well lucky me, it landed on a branch not far from where I was standing! I slowly made my way towards it and I don’t know if this dragonfly was just tired and needed a break, or wanted to give me a break, but it let me get close enough I didn’t have to zoom and I actually used the macro feature of my camera. And this is what I got.

Macro Monday: close-up of an orange dragonfly
Macro Monday: close-up of an orange dragonfly

It moved its wings a bit after that and I snapped this shot. Still a beautiful orange dragonfly.

Macro Monday: orange dragonfly on a branch
Macro Monday: orange dragonfly on a branch

When it had enough of me looming right over it, it flew to a branch further away and I zoomed to get this shot, just because the dragonfly took off.

Macro Monday: orange dragonfly taking off
Macro Monday: orange dragonfly taking off

I hope you enjoyed this edition of Macro Monday!

My very first orange dragonfly

Zazzle online shop If you enjoy my photos and would like to purchase some, I want to thank you! Simply visit my Zazzle online shop and browse the product offerings. If there’s a photo you would like to purchase but don’t see it in my shop, please contact me by using the Contact form at the bottom of my home page and let me know which photos you are interested in purchasing, and in what format / medium.

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!