WolfAvni
WolfAvni

ROCK HOOKTAIL



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2 Comments | Report
Workerbee2017
 
Workerbee2017 March 08, 2017
What a shot! Did you photostack for this one?
WolfAvni
WolfAvni May 11, 2017
in a manner of speaking. made 5 exposure masks off a single image and then combined them.
michelletracey PRO
 
michelletracey February 16, 2018
WOW! Great job!!
WolfAvni
WolfAvni February 16, 2018
thanks michelle

Behind The Lens

Location
came across a newly emerged Rock Hooktail (Paragomphus cognatus) at the lake edge at home, Giant's Cup Wilderness Reserve, Underberg, South Africa.
Time
Generally the hatching dragon fly nymphs crawl up under cover of dark on structure emerging from the water. The best time to find them is at first light, before the sun has risen
Lighting
The lighting is by way of an old Metz mecablitz used off camera. the illuminating beam is bounced off a foil reflector and shaped by a small slot cut into a cardboard baffle. The light has been heavily diffused through 5 layers of tracing paper and a homemade diffusion screen cut from a translucent milk container The end product is a narrow beam of highly diffused light. in itself a contradiction. The point is to prevent light scatter onto the convex front element on a reversed lens used about 15mm away from the subject
Equipment
Nikon d3 with an old analog 24mm f2.8 Nikkor, used reversed via a BR@ ring + a 29mm extension tube for a magnification of around 5x
Inspiration
With over 17 species of dragonfly on the reserve, this was one I had yet to photograph in 30 years. It was not an opportunity to be missed.
Editing
Made 5 exposure masks off a single image. Each mask 1 stop apart... i.e. -1, -2, +1, +2, +/- 0, which are then combined to get full tonal values from an essentially flat lighting setup.
In my camera bag
a pair of d3's, 24mm, 55mm prime analog lenses + extension tubes and reversal ring for macro. Hanel remote trigger. Metz Mecablitz flash with home made diffuser, tracing paper, duct tape, cardboard and rroll of tinfoil for fill lighting and shaped reflectors.
Feedback
Once temperatures rise the dragonflies become active, they are far too wary to get close enough for this kind of work and so the window of opportunity is restricted to those times when their metabolism is still too low for them to fly. EARLY MORNING!! This holds true for many invertebrate species, but especially for dragonflies which are highly active creatures once on the wing.

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