My photography is about detail, natural history, and color. The calico pennants in my photo depict these three items and together provide an intriguing image for the eye. Dragonflies have been around for over 300 million years and to have a mating pair perched on an equally archaic plant like Equisetum was too good to pass up. The image also reveals that successful designs found in nature are able to produce offspring for future generations. That is what nature is about.
How I got the shot
The night before featured heavy rains and I did not expect to see much insect activity. Mud, biting insects, and a somewhat breezy day were the challenging conditions of the day. With frantic searching, I found a pair of calico pennant dragonflies in the wheel position during mating. I photographed them from above as the sides were obstructed by weed stems. Not satisfied with the results, I waited for the pair to fly to a more open perch. The insects flew a short distance and perched on top of a horsetail stalk. I crawled into position, squared up the lens for a lateral shot and pressed the trigger while the breeze subsided.
What I used
I used a Nikon D850 with a 200mm f4 Micro lens with the following settings: 1/320 second, f/16, ISO 640. The camera was mounted on a Uni-Lock tripod with a Kirk BH1 ballhead. I prefer longer focal length lenses for macro work because having more working distance eliminates frightening the subject and provides more pleasing backgrounds than shorter focal length lenses.