Female Blue Dasher Dragonfly (Pachydiplax longipennis)
While wandering about one of my favorite bug-hunting areas, and after an hour or two of unsuccessful attempts at photographing female horseflies, I decided to try my luck with some of the dragons hanging out near a creek. It took a good 10 minutes of chasing this little female Blue Dasher around before she finally found a perch solid enough for her to feel confident on. Once she had a grip on a downed tree limb, I moved in for some higher magnification photos. Like all skimmers she was fairly skittish, fluttering off if I advanced too quickly, but would always would return to her new perch after a few moments.
The image above is an uncropped, full-frame focus stack from 4 photos taken at f/11 with a newly acquired 10 dollar (!) vintage Pentax-M f/2 50mm lens reversed on my extension tubes. The lens is a possible replacement for my battle-worn Pentax-M f/1.7 50mm which has a loose barrel as a result of it being continually reverse mounted. Not sure if this f/2 is as sharp, but I'm not too worried about it. The vignette present in the image is a natural result of me angling the shot so a bit of sky would silhouette her head.