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Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis) At the edge of a wetland habitat.<br />
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Wish I would have gotten a clearer shot! Augh! Blue dasher,Geotagged,Pachydiplax,Pachydiplax longipennis,Summer,United States,blue dasher,dragonfly,wetland,wetlands Click/tap to enlarge Promoted

Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis)

At the edge of a wetland habitat.

Wish I would have gotten a clearer shot! Augh!

    comments (14)

  1. I think it's a nice shot - the colors are really calming and serene too. Posted 2 months ago
    1. I love the shot too. Well composed and it has these gorgeous reflective eyes in focus. The only unsolicited feedback I'd have is that the color temperature seems a bit low, this gives the blue-ish, colder look. Which actually does work well for this blue insect :) Posted 2 months ago
      1. Thank you both!
        And thanks for the feedback too, Ferdy!
        Posted 2 months ago
      2. Ferdy, so you're saying it should naturally be a bit warmer/redder? How do you change color temperature? Is it a setting on the camera or something to fix in photoshop? Posted 2 months ago
        1. Only Lisa can say if it should look warmer, it's very well possible that the original scene was this cool. Also, picking a specific color temperature can be a creative choice as well, for example a cooler temperature to suggest moon light.

          But I'll still go into your question. Imagine a perfectly white card. With our own eyes, no matter under which light conditions we see it (cloudy, full daylight, indoors), it will appear as white. In reality, that white card's color temperature *is* affected by the light source and conditions yet our eyes/brain compensate for this automatically.

          Camera do not have this automatic mechanism. Well, they do, but they need some help at times. Color temperature is a result of the white balance setting on your camera. You'd ideally have it set correctly during shooting, in one of the following ways:

          - White balance: auto (you let the camera guess the correct white balance based on the scene)
          - White balance: scene (you help the camera by giving it a hint: cloudy, daylight, tungsten, etc)
          - White balance: custom (you manually input a color temperature, expressed in Kelvin)

          For the sake of completeness some info on when/why to set it to custom: imagine doing an important shoot and you need pinpoint consistency across shots as it comes to color temperature. Or, you need perfect skin tones across shots. In those cases, photographers sometimes place a 18% gray card or a white card into a test shot. This marks the neutral color temperature, and then they can very accurately set the correct color temperature either during the shoot or afterwards if they shoot in RAW.

          In many cases you can go about your life and photograph without caring or knowing about white balance or color temperature. Yet there are cases in which it manifests itself: I'm sure you've seen photos that have a green or blue haze on them. Its most noticeable on photos of people, as we're apparently very sensitive to how they should look.

          How to deal with it during shooting: as setting it custom for each scene sucks, you will probably set it to auto on your camera. It's slightly better to set it to one of the scene modes (daylight, cloudy, etc). Or, set it at the beginning of your shoot to the closest value.

          How to deal with it during post processing: if you shoot in RAW, you can change the white balance afterwards. This is one of the biggest advantages of shooting in RAW. If you change the temperature afterwards in a JPEG, however, it's a destructive process, it will not look right.

          And to open another can of worms: when you mess with white balance during post processing, you need to do so ideally on a screen that is color accurate. Most screens are not. An example of a color accurate screen is an IPS type LCD panel that is color calibrated.

          Since I believe you shoot JPEG, I'm going to wrap up the above overdose of info into something much simpler:
          1. Start your shoot
          2. Avoid auto white balance, instead pick a white balance scene mode (daylight, sunlight, shady)
          3. Take test shot, test on LCD if it looks right (to your taste as well as to how it looked in reality)
          4. Go back to 2 if you don't like the results

          Don't forget when you start the next shoot to pick the setting again.

          Personally, I usually pick the white balance scene mode "shady". This warms up colors but never too warm. 1 in 10 may still be too cool which I manually correct during post processing.

          Hope this helps!
          Posted 2 months ago
          1. Thanks for the super thorough explanation!

            First, I think the photo is perfect as is :)

            Second, I do sometimes alter the white balance on my camera to cloudy or whatever because AWB can really suck. But, I admit that I often default to AWB out of laziness. Funny that I didn't realize the AWB is responsible for warmth ;P.

            I think it's interesting you mentioned color accurate screens. I was just talking to someone about this recently. I read that any monitor can be altered so it can be accurate with colors. But, I don't find that to be true and think my monitor is off. I often wonder what my pics really look like on an accurate screen, and am always surprised by how Facebook makes them look. They murder quality, in my opinion.

            I never started with the RAW (hehe) mostly because I was intimidated by the photo processing. I know little about photoshop and don't have the time to learn properly. I crop, sometimes sharpen, etc., but that's it. RAW processing seems to require more knowledge. I would think it a definite advantage though for professionals or semi-pros or people with awesome cameras that want the quality they should be getting.

            My biggest issue (to my knowledge) is lighting, which I have begun experimenting with. I have been using the in camera flash less, and love the results...except that the shadows are so much darker and I'm not sure how to fix that. for example, I posted a dark-ish shot of a stink bug today. I would have prefered less shadow on the detail of the insect, but oh well. Better than a harsh flash, in my opinion.

            Anyway, thanks for sharing your knowledge :). It is always appreciated and I love learning new tidbits!

            Posted 2 months ago
            1. You're welcome. And Lisa, please know that I'm drifting away from that initial remark quite a bit as a general discussion. So please don't take it as comments on the photo itself!

              Regarding monitors, color management is extremely tricky. Say I'd have a perfectly color accurate monitor and use it to properly tune the temperature of a photo. If your monitor isn't calibrated, you'd still see it as being off. But then again, anything you'd view would be off, and that's something you likely are used to, so it has become your "normal". Then there's brightness and contrast that change the perception of color. What you see on an iPad (for example) may look quite different from your monitor.

              As a photographer, all you can do is try and get the colors right on your end, the part you control. In a nutshell, try to have a color accurate screen and use the sRGB color space. This doesn't have to cost a fortune, a 27" IPS LCD can cost as little as 200-300$. It may be factory calibrated yet if you really want to do it right, you have to manually calibrate it to your room's conditions. This can be done using software. The hardware way (very expensive) is to use a "Spyder" device.

              As for Facebook, you're absolutely right that it destroys color accuracy as well as sharpness. I may have shared this before:
              https://ferdychristant.com/facebook-destroyer-of-photography-e75b4d0a356

              I consider that difference to be WILD. Unfortunately, there's nothing we can do about it. Facebook is a great place to share photos, not a great place to view photos.
              Posted 2 months ago
            2. A separate comment on RAW, to not make the other comment overly long. The way I see it, RAW has 3 strong pros and 2 strong cons:

              Pros:
              - Change white balance after the fact
              - Recover details from shadows and highlights
              - It's like a (film)negative, so you can reprocess at any time

              Cons:
              - Bigger files
              - You MUST post process every shot, you cannot directly share a RAW file

              It's of course up to you to consider if the pros outweigh the cons. However, there's nothing intimidating about RAW processing. It's just a bunch of sliders. In fact, Lightroom (my choice of RAW editor) is easier than Photoshop. I also would not consider it a pro thing, it's for anyone. You're getting more out of your camera's capabilities, whether you're a pro or not.

              But it's not a must either. Keep doing what you're doing if you're happy with it.

              But...I do believe you should witness the power of RAW with your own eyes. Pick that dark shot with backlight, a photo that is under or overexposed, and see how with RAW processing you fix it after the fact. It's a WHOA moment and you will likely never want to go back. So big warning here :)
              Posted 2 months ago
              1. Lol, I really am sooo intrigued. And, I would love to witness the improvements it could bring to my photos! I *think* my camera can shoot RAW and "normal" at the same time. I'm sure that would slow down the camera though and take up a ton of space on my cards. So, you shoot all your shots in RAW? Or, just some?

                Hmmm. I'm going to try it. Maybe today ;P
                Posted 2 months ago
                1. Yes, I shoot all my shots in RAW and indeed most cameras allow for dual shots which would be great for you. You can just keep the good JPEGs and if one needs correcting, you use the RAW version. Posted 2 months ago
                  1. WOWZA! Thank you both for all of the information! :O I'm going to practice some RAW shots with my new camera (should be here tomorrow) and macro lens this weekend.

                    Does photoshop process RAW files well?

                    As for the original coolness of the shot, it definitely had those tones. It was a cloudy day with an uncomfortable glare (that I really dislike for sensory reasons). I may play around with warming up the colors and see how I like it! :)

                    @Christine I loved the darker stinkbug picture of yours. It had a richness to it that I absolutely adore!
                    Posted 2 months ago
                    1. Tell us about your new camera? Also a new macro lens?

                      Know that I gladly support the both of you in your RAW journey. There's an initial bump to go over. After that, you're either convinced or you're not. I'd say the odds are at 90% that you won't ever go back once you've seen it in action, but you never know :)

                      If you're interested, perhaps start a new thread over here:
                      https://www.jungledragon.com/forum/20/photo_campus.html
                      Posted 2 months ago
                      1. Jason bought me a Canon EOS 6D Mark II with a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lenses an early birthday present! They should arrive here tomorrow. I'm so excited about it, but it is hard to feel worthy of such an upgrade!

                        I will have to wait to purchase my other lenses (money contraints), and I will keep using the Canon Digital Rebel Xti for wide-angle shots.
                        Posted 2 months ago, modified 2 months ago
                        1. Whoa, sounds like Jason is a keeper. What a perfect gift!
                          Nonsense of course to not feel worthy, you utilize your gear so well so if it fits anyone, it is you.

                          A 100mm 2.8 brings many opportunities! I've been shooting 105mm 2.8 for 6 years now, love it.
                          Posted 2 months ago

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The blue dasher is a dragonfly of the skimmer family. It is common and widely distributed in the United States and Canada.

Mature males develop a bluish-white pruinescence on the back of the abdomen and, in western individuals, on the thorax. They display this pruinescence to other males as a threat while defending territories at the edge of the water.

Although the species name ''longipennis'' means "long wings", the wings are not substantially longer than those of related species... more

Similar species: Dragonflies And Damselflies
Species identified by Lisa Kimmerling
View Lisa Kimmerling's profile

By Lisa Kimmerling

All rights reserved
Uploaded Feb 7, 2019. Captured Jul 24, 2018 04:46 in 21 North Dr, Armuchee, GA 30105, USA.
  • Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XTi
  • f/4.5
  • 1/200s
  • ISO400
  • 60mm