I felt sweating in front of a computer screen on one of the hottest and certainly muggiest afternoons in a long while was not the most productive way, nor the most comfortable, so a short trip in an air-conditioned car then sweating whilst trying to hand hold the 100-400mm lens steady on the 5D MkIII was preferable; the aim being to try to capture dragonflies in flight.
Foolishly I thought using a tripod was a good idea, but it really wasn’t and soon though I did use it on occasion as a monopod, it simply became a burden to carry with me! As I entered the steps to the reeds I spotted a tiny lizard, but I just watched it as it soon found a way to elude me, certainly well before I could have readied a camera! I carried on down to where I soon spotted a few dragonflies flitting and briefly hovering above shallow pools among the reeds. It took me fully a sweaty twenty minutes without ever reaching the point where I could press the shutter release, and during that period a couple from Windsor paid a short visit, which gave me a spotter, for the lady was able to point out a small red dragonfly stationary on a reed, so I got my first shot of the day, but I had my sights set on the larger species that were brightly coloured green and blue and hopefully hovering in flight long enough for me to focus and capture.
I persevered for some time and the couple continued further into the Reserve and later returned and in passing wish me success. Later another photographer came along and she mentioned there was a large family of rats below the bird feeder, so I decided to take a diversion from dragonflies and went along and took a few shots as the youngsters came out in the open for a while before being spooked and returning to cover. I then returned to my original spot as did the photographer and occasionally in the lulls between dragonfly visits we chatted, and on mentioning I enjoyed shooting kingfishers she told me her boyfriend chose the colours of a kingfisher for his canoe – I did wonder whether that platform might be successful in attracting our feathered friends, but I think not.
Eventually as the sun dipped further, I decided I might move to the reeds at the edge of the lake in front of the play area, and this proved marginally better and I did manage a couple of passably sharp shots of one in flight, but got some interesting compositions of one in the reeds, static. Then as I took a winding route back to the car I spotted another that alighted on a blackberry cluster and later still some bees among the flowers, so my journey was not wasted, so there was to be a gallery in the end, and it meant the perspiration had been worth enduring.