With Kent having a months rainfall in one day yesterday and rain in the early hours this morning, I thought I would have an early start to see if I could find any dewy/wet dragonflies to photograph. After leaving home at 5am this morning, I arrived at a site near Reculver a few minutes later where I was also greeted by a mist, perfect for looking for dewy dragonflies and the bonus that there was also no wind at this early hour. After getting ready I made my way to the pool passing many dewy spider webs which was a good sign. Although early, as I walked through the long grass, the odd Common Blue and Blue tailed Damselfly could be seen shining in the early morning light. What I really wanted today was to find a Common Darter to photograph, something that was a little bigger than a damselfly and big enough to hold lots of dew and give me the chance to get a few photographs. The hard bit was trying to find one and although quite cloudy early on, I eventually managed to find a few individuals and set about trying to capture some images. I used various settings today including manual mode with the speed set to 200, ISO 400, f8-f16 and in camera flash. This resulted in quite a dark set of shots making it look like they had been photographed in the dark but made the water droplets stand out quite well.
The good thing about this photography is that you can move about and try to get a few different angles knowing that the subject won't move at all. After a few shots taken I moved off checking the long grasses and found a few more with dew on. In some cases, the wings glistened beautifully and were quite easy to see as I approached but many had backgrounds which were not very photogenic. After more searching I found a stunning individual full of dew, what a sight to see and I set about taking more photos. This time I used AV mode, ISO 400, f8 and in camera flash on a monopod except for the last image where the flash was not used. I didn't have lots of light but as it improved, so did the shots. This time the background was much better and I spent a while capturing a number of really pleasing shots, probably my best 'dewy' shots to date I think.
As it slowly started to warm up they become more active and with a few wingbeats, most of the dew was soon removed. With some shots taken I moved off where I found 1 Emperor Dragonfly, a few Common and Ruddy Darter and good numbers still of Emerald Damselfly, Common and Blue tailed Damselfly. Although and early start, it was more than worth it and nothing more rewarding than having a good photographic session and enjoying the peace of the countryside, magic!
Common Darter (no flash used)