Lord Of The Flies

A male Blue Skimmer (Orthetrum caledonicum) at rest. Lake Leschenaultia, Western Australia.


We went to Lake Leschenaultia and I had all these plans to photograph dragonflies in flight. I’d got this shot all planed out in my mind to get a shot of one flying just over some reeds. I’d set the camera up with what would be the best lens and headed out to an area on the lakeside where I knew I’d find some and there would be some nice light. Except it was very windy and I couldn’t find any dragonflies. I went off to the reed beds behind the boat shed thinking that should prove more fruitful as it was in the lee of the wind. There were loads there flying around and it was amazing to watch them chase each other around, but from a photographic point of view it wasn’t so good as there was a rather belligerent tiger snake who really did not want to share his basking spot. So I walked around the lakeside a bit further and found another spot that was sheltered from the wind. But try as I might I just could not get the shot I was after. They wouldn’t fly where I wanted, wouldn’t fly slow enough or in a straight line. In the end I had to content myself with the photo above. The dragonfly just rested on that twig for a couple of seconds in the shade and then it was off.

Nature photography is hard. We can have an idea of the shot in our minds eye and try to make it happen, but then nature doesn’t play ball with us and then we have to adapt and take what we’re given. Bit like life really.