Having spent a few months now photographing dragonfly and damselfly nymphs at home in a tank during the winter months, I have learnt a great deal, not only about the photography side of this project but more importantly, how a range of different species go about their lives and its been an education learning about the identification features of each species as well as their hunting and feeding habits. As the weeks have passed I have picked up the odd tip about the photography side including settings etc and through perseverance and practice, am now starting to reap some of the rewards for this. I appear to get a better quality image when I take the photos at night when I can illuminate the tank and for the hawker nymphs, they are more active after dark. Whilst I have been very pleased with my results so far, there was something missing and after adding a nice green background in the form of a green leaf, I started to get some quality images. The Emperor Dragonfly nymph worked well so with the impressive Brown Hawker nymph which continues to grow well, I had a tank session last night. After completing the basics during the day, cleaning the tank, change of water etc, the area was prepared for the hawker. I spent about an hour using settings f8-f11, ISO 400, manual mode and speed set to 250 and with a cooperative subject, managed to take a pleasing set of photos which I think are the best of this species I have taken so far. The green background really does make the subject stand out well I think and allows the eye to capture the detail of the nymph. Hopefully a few more photos using this method in the next week or so but it won't be long now until I am hopefully photographing an emergence of a Large Red Damselfly, if all goes well!
Brown Hawker Nymph