As readers of this site will know, as well as studying and photographing dragonflies and damselflies, I have a particular passion for finding and photographing the exuviae of the species I encounter, the shed larval skin left behind when the dragonfly emerges. They can be very tricky to find a times and can be in positions that don't lend themselves to photography but unlike the dragonflies and damselflies, they don't fly away and can provide great photo opportunities when you find them. More often than not, they are in cluttered positions that don't provide ideal photos but I was lucky to find a pristine Hairy Dragonfly exuviae on a reed that I removed from a heavily vegetated area. I set about trying to get my best shots of this exuviae that not only showed it in a natural setting with reeds as background but captured the detail of this delicate, yet quite robust exuviae. I positioned the reed with exuviae on at the edge of the water making sure through the viewfinder of the camera, that I could see the subtle green colours of the reed which I hoped would set off the exuviae well. I then spent some time rattling off some shots which I must say, I am really pleased with. Quite often with dragonfly and damselfly photography, you have to grab 'that' shot when the time arises, but its always nice to be able to spend some time without rushing photographing otherwise generally unseen exuviae which most of us walk by without even knowing its there. Next time you are out at a pond or lake, pull back the reeds and take a look. You may find another world in there waiting to be found.
Hairy Dragonfly Exuviae