Dragons of the sky

Finally, the hectic long week of rushing and handling up essay assignments is over. I now have a one week mid-term break which is most welcomed indeed. The week after next I will, however, be sitting for three mid-term papers. I’m still going to take a few days off though. So, what better way to kick back and relax than to go out and hunt for insects to photograph? This time, I decided to try out Kent Ridge park.

The park is a perfect place for macro photography as it is surrounded by lush forestry with a variety of plants and trees. I wasn’t too comfortable with entering the forest like areas as I was not really sure if it was allowed. Besides, I was getting eaten alive by mosquitoes. So I stuck to the main path of the park and photographed whatever insects I came into contact with. Needless to say there wasn’t many insects to shoot.

Grasshawk Dragonfly - Neurothemis Fluctuans

I decided to head to the pond inside the park as dragonflies are easily found near one. Dragonflies are some of the easier insects to photograph as they’re not very shy creatures and they don’t constantly move around. Even so, approaching these mini fighter jets of the insect world still requires care and caution as they will fly off when startled. The good thing is that they usually fly back to rest on the same spot even if you happen to startle and scare them into taking flight. So just remain still where you are and wait for it to return.

Most of my shots were underexposed. I had to do a bit of heavy post processing to save what I can of each shot. I particularly like this shot because it is very sharp. However, it was really underexposed and bumping up the exposure via Photoshop made the photo really noisy. The camera LCD display is really the ultimate liar as shots always look good on it but they sometimes become shit the moment you view it on a computer.

Grasshawk Dragonfly - Neurothemis Fluctuans

This particular dragonfly deserves credit as it stayed on this little twig on the ground for a very long time. So I took my time to focus and compose the shots as well trying out different angles of the flash head. Since I was lying on the ground with the camera I decided to try out slower shutter speeds as well. This particular shot was taken at 1/30.

Grasshawk Dragonfly - Neurothemis Fluctuans

Kent Ridge park is huge. I did not finish exploring the place as it was getting late and dark. There’s a nature trail and treetop canopy walk that I missed out. I will definitely be going back there for a second shoot.

Update: Just managed to identify the species of the dragonfly. Despite the three different colors, they are actually of the same species I believe. Correct me if I am wrong.

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8 thoughts on “Dragons of the sky

  1. Thanks Nic! Well, I was lying flat on the ground and that definitely helped in slowing the shutter speed to 1/30. I had people walking pass staring and wondering what I was shooting lying there. Haha πŸ˜€

  2. coool. =) lemme confirm the trip first, then i’ll holler at you through your email. we live in bishan. night photography around SG during the F1 race should be very interesting.

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