Sunday 27 May 2012

Large Red Damselflies (Meet Your Neighbours)

I recently posted about the emergence of Large Red Damselflies (including video, see here) and noted that this year I have been lucky enough to observe the emergence of several damselflies. I decided to photograph one emergence sequence in the Meet Your Neighbours style, with the idea of a composite image showing the various stages of the process firmly in my mind.

The final composite image is below:


...and here's a closer look at one of the images

on this occasion I didn't have time to wait around until the damselfly's colours had fully developed (it can take several hours) but here's a different, mature, individual for comparison.

and, again, a closer view

Finally, a view of my rough and ready 'field studio' (if that isn't too grand a term for it)! I'm using white Perspex with a flash positioned behind it and a macro flash attached to the lens. I found the trickiest aspect is keeping the Perspex held vertically but settled on a combination of a Plamp and a couple of bamboo canes which seemed to do the job nicely.

All images were taken handheld using a Canon 60mm macro lens.


  1. Thanks, Matt.
    Really enjoying your blog, your work is amazing.
    Best Wishes

  2. thanks very much Pip, much appreciated.

  3. Really inspired by your work, stunning images and blogs, did you use a diffuser on the camera flash?

  4. many thanks Roy. Yes, I used my MT-24 macro flash which was diffused in the manner described in my macro flash diffusion post below:

  5. Beautiful images Matt! The clarity is amazing. I dread having to add more items to my camera bag, but I feel I must try this 'Meet Your Neighbours' technique someday.

  6. thanks Adrian, and you have accurately identified the downside of the MYN technique! I'm thinking of investing in a packhorse... :-)