Like with any hobby that we do, the more you put into it, the better chance of a reward. This has certainly proven the case in the past week with my visits to Nethergong to see the Southern Migrant Hawkers which have taken up residence at the site this year. I normally travel to a few sites in Kent each year to see them but with them being 10 minutes down the road, I cannot help but keep going back for more. With a number of pleasing photos taken already of this species this year, I arrived a few days ago to see what was on offer in the sunshine and noticed a male patrolling an area of dried up mud in the reeds. I set about trying to capture a few images in flight which can be difficult at the best of times. I had made my initial notes in my head of where best to stand, places the hawker was stopping to hover, settings and background choices and set about taking a few initial shots. As ever, this activity ranges from fun to quite stressful as the odd shot works out but many aren't quite what you want but as the afternoon progressed, I noticed the hawker was approaching quite close to check me out. I could see a shot in my head developing of trying to get the eyes perfectly in focus with the body out of focus. The only problem with this was as the hawker approached, he would only hover very briefly before flying away at speed again. I tried my best to prefocus on an area where he seemed to stop and just crossed everything and hoped. I fired off a few shots which didn't quite work out but eventually all fell into place when I managed to get focus quickly and just fired off a few shots. After checking the back of the camera, I had a few nearly shots and then one shot out of the batch which seemed to look quite good. What you see on a camera and what you see on the computer can be quite different but I'm pleased to see that after a bit of editing, I have a shot which I'm really pleased with. I like the way the head and thorax are in focus and then the rest out of focus. It naturally drawers your eye into the eyes of this stunning dragonfly and even looks like the hawker has pupils and eye brows (someone suggested I had drawn these on!). This has to be my favourite shot so far this year I have taken and may take some beating. As the 'A Team' would have said, "I like it when a plans comes together!".