Monday, July 06, 2009

Epitheca priceps in Flight

If you want to attempt catching a Prince Baskettail (Epitheca princeps) in flight, do the following...

1. Put your camera on 1600 ASA.
2. Shut your F-stop down as best you can to get maximum depth of field.
3. Put your shutter to "fast as you can take them" mode. Mine is 10 frames per second.
4. Hold down the shutter release and point in the general direction of an E. princeps.
5. Pray.

Even if you do pray, you get one decent shot for every 100 you expose. That's one of the beauties of digital. That's because Prince Baskettails, as it says so succinctly in the field guide, "patrols without perching." This one patrols the pond behind the shop, and I watched him for at least 20 minutes and he did not perch once. He's a Tarahumaran, patrolling for up to six hours without stopping.

Always amazed by odonates. I've never seen an emerald behind the shop before, so it was exciting to preview the picture on the back of the D200 and see emerald eyes. I took literally 110 pictures of the Prince, manually focusing through the range while burning off 12 pics at a time. One one was even close to being in focus (the one above). The rear view is a rotten picture technically, but the angle of the E. princeps turning like an F-16 made me want to post it anyway.

Respectfully submitted,


P.S. To make up for the blurry, mostly poor pictures, I dropped this Enallagma signatum here at the end to make me happy. This was a cooperative little dude.

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