Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Flying Dragon Fly

Photographed at Shutter speed of 0.0125 sec. In spite of such high speed you can make out the flapping of the dragonfly's wings. This shows how fast it was flapping and flying. In order to freeze the dragon flies flight I had to reduce the shutter speed to 0.00125 sec (1/800th of a second) as shown in the 3rd sequence below.
If you look closely, you will see that a dragonfly has two wings on each side of its body a long front wing and a slightly shorter back wing. During flight, small but powerful "tornadoes" of air move along each of the dragonfly's front wings. These tiny tornadoes help the dragonfly maintain its lift and stay airborne. A dragonfly's back wings help keep the "tornadoes" from breaking up.
With a shutter speed of 1/800th of a second i was able to freeze the dragonfly midair. Well with this I conclude that the insect flaps its wings at a rate of 700-800 times per second. This was my observation, any entomologist please correct me,if i am wrong.

The best time to photograph dragon flies mid air is during its mating season. The male fly to show its skill to a potential mate, hovers midair for a while. Though the flight is not absolutely stationery, photographing becomes a little easier. Specially because you can preset the focal length and be ready. Because of the creatures size, auto focus does not work, and manually focusing once the subject is framed is quite impossible.
I was unable to get a crisp close up image of the dragon fly, today. Keep watching this page, with improved skill and better equipment, that day is not very far.

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