Photo Shoot Report: July 17th at Spring Valley and Caesar Creek

© - American Bullfrog

© - American Bullfrog

I’ve gotten into a bit of a rut when it comes to shooting locations.  Spring Valley has been very good in terms of dragons and damsels, though on this Saturday’s walk it was just okay.

I went into the trip with a little bit of an agenda.  I am very comfortable shooting at Spring Valley and I know more or less what I am going to find when it comes to the species and where they want to land.  Earlier in the week I was playing with a shot that concentrated on dragonfly eyes.  My thought going into the trip was “How close can I get with my lens set up to work in a set of eyes.”  As it turns out, even with my macro extension tube, not nearly as close as I would like to.  I can work about a 1200×1200 square and get the eyes and the legs into a shot or just 750×750 if I want just the eyes and the upper thorax.  It is at that point that my efforts are defeated by the lens combo’s minimum focusing distance.  I could still get significantly closer before intruding into the Blue Dasher’s circle of fear, but the optics would not allow it.  Sounds like next summer I will have to rent Canon’s new 100mm IS macro and see exactly how close I can get.

I shot in Spring Valley for a while before I packed up and moved to my next location.  I had the choice between going to Caesar Creek State Park (where a fellow photographer I know did some nice work on butterflies last week), or try the completely unknown and check out Beavercreek Wildlife Area.  I went with the known and headed out to Caesar Creek.

First stop was the Nature Center.  There were a couple of ponds near the center, but one of the ponds was not photography friendly at all, and the second one was good but the time of day was starting to get the best of me.  After making a few images, to include the American Bullfrog in the top left of the post, I walked into the Nature Center.  I talked a bit with the young lady working there and she told me there was a third pond very close to the nature center.  With directions in hand I went over there and hit the jackpot.  Widow Skimmers, Slaty Skimmers, Common Pondhawks, and Blue Dashers.  Great lighting conditions.  No other distractions.  Wish I had gotten there sooner.

Next I moved over to the Visitor’s Center and found another pond that was also blessed with dragonflies and damselflies.  Lighting conditions got considerably trickier, but I made good images of Common Whitetails and Slaty Skimmers.  Blue Dashers, Eastern Amberwings, and Widows Skimmers were present there as well.

I wandered back to Spring Valley on my way home, but light was difficult and I didn’t make very many shots.  By this point I had exhausted the supply of iced tea in my Bubba Keg, so it was time to head back to the oversized dorm room.

Very good day of shooting, though only about 60% of what I’ve been doing lately in terms of frame count.  But probably a half dozen keepers and at least one wall hanger.  More shots from the trip are over on my Flickr page, though I would bet that you will see one or two as images for sale when I get the time to work them.

~ by Jim Miller on Tuesday, 20 July 2010.

One Response to “Photo Shoot Report: July 17th at Spring Valley and Caesar Creek”

  1. You nhave some great shots on your Flicr page!Love the close-ups! Great job.

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