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The Emperor

The Emperor
Photo Information
Copyright: Alan Turvey (liquidsunshine) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1878 W: 112 N: 1560] (5437)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-07-10
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon EOS 300 D, Sigma 50-500mm f/4-6.3 EX APO RF, Hoya skylight (1B)
Exposure: f/8, 1/1000 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Dragon-fly [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2005-07-10 10:42
Viewed: 3909
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 58
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Today I achieved something which I have never done in the past. I came home with over 500 shots, and at least 450 are good. Not only are they good, I managed to get Dragonflies, damselflies, butterflies as well as some orchids. Even now, the sun is beating down....what a day.
I spent a few hours at College lake nature centre in Bulbourne. I decided to take the Sigma big boy with me as well as the macro lens, as I'd seen some Dragonflies at a distance on a previous visit. Here is an Emperor Dragonfly. I spent about an hour on my slim belly!! next to a pond getting a couple of hundred shots of these big dragonflies.


Size Average length: 78 mm
Average wingspan: 106 mm
Length of larvae: 45-56 mm

Common and widespread

The emperor is Britain's largest dragonfly; they are a spectacular sight with their broad wings and powerful flight. After emerging, both sexes are pale green with brownish markings. The legs are brown, becoming yellowish towards the base; the wings have black veins, and take on a yellowish-brown tinge with age. Males develop a bright blue abdomen with a black 'fish-bone' line passing down the centre; the thorax and head are green and the prominent eyes are blue. Females have similar markings to males, but are mainly green in colour, becoming brownish on the last few segments of the abdomen. Both sexes possess appendages at the tip of the abdomen known as 'claspers', which are used in mating; in males these claspers are more robust than in females. The larvae or 'nymphs' are brownish in colour and have stocky bodies with rounded heads that feature very large eyes.

This dragonfly has a broad global distribution; it is found in Europe from Portugal to Germany in the north, and extends eastwards to central Asia. It is also known from North Africa and the Middle East. In Britain, it is fairly widespread in southern England and south Wales, but becomes quite scarce in the north Midlands, although there are signs that the species is currently extending northwards.

Breeds in a range of aquatic habitats including large ponds, canals, slow-flowing rivers, lakes, flooded gravel pits, and dykes, but in all cases there must be a plentiful supply of marginal vegetation that emerges from the water.

Notes from Arkive.org

Thanks for looking

marhowie, Vicky, AndyB, TAZ, carper, gerhardt, wallhalla15, Clochette, mogens-j, phlr, annagrace, red45, zenitlady, Signal-Womb, puffy, dew77, coasties, sAner, electra, christophe, Luc, Runnerduck, Comandante has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To malgosia: I agree!!!liquidsunshine 1 07-10 13:33
To marhowie: ISO 400liquidsunshine 1 07-10 11:20
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Critiques [Translate]

Excellent capture Alan! Who needs a tripod at 1/1000th! Well composed with great detail, colors and sharpness. Excellent use of F/8, Very well done! ISO 200 or 400?

  • Great 
  • Vicky Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 45 W: 0 N: 94] (468)
  • [2005-07-10 10:58]

Well done Alan! It's a wonderful capture and I bet your slim belly is even slimmer after all that lying about on it!
The details and colours are stunning and the PoV is perfect with good focus and composition. Good job! Vicky

  • Great 
  • AndyB Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1366 W: 32 N: 1351] (3982)
  • [2005-07-10 11:16]

Hello Alan,
Its an excellent capture.
Very good composition and nice sharp detail.
Superb!It sounds like you've had a great day.

  • Great 
  • livios Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2150 W: 319 N: 4263] (16942)
  • [2005-07-10 11:41]

Alan, how great you went back home with so many useful shots. Congratulations.

What grabs my attention in this picture of yours is sharpness, colors and the background. The background, to me, has a panning effect; the colos of the dragonfly are really very nice; finally, sharpness is another winner.

Excellent job.

  • Great 
  • Fisher Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1540 W: 309 N: 2234] (8915)
  • [2005-07-10 12:58]

A winner!!!!!!!!!
Excellent shot and well done on the composition and details. This is an awesome pic, what a beauty. Worth laying down for.


  • Great 
  • carper Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1973 W: 119 N: 2582] (8439)
  • [2005-07-10 13:06]

It's a beauty Alan,
well I know the story of taking a lot photo's, with alot near miss shots,not good in pov or the head is not good, or the butterfly is just turning, or flying away, yes I know what you mean by taking good shots, Today I made 21 shots and I had over 4 photo's. Yes I am a perfectionist otherwise I don't keep the photo.
This is a very nice shot, the pov is nice, and the dof is okee. Good it can be done better, always. good job anyway,
gr. Jaap

hello Alan:)

exellent photo
exellent DOF
exellent POV
exellent colours:)

do u agree:)?


have a nice evening:)


Its a great feeling when everything comes together in a days shoot. Looking at this beauty I can only say, congrats! It's a smashing shot Alan, Well done.

BTW: It's our second largest dragon the Black Emperor is larger but still evades my capture. :)

Hi Alan
So, this was a great day for you !! Are you going to post the 450 good ones ? ;-)
Well, this Emperor seems to have had hard days, but is still very elegant in this metallic blue tone. A beautiful pic, sharp and clear. Very well done !

  • Great 
  • sela Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 47 W: 0 N: 39] (738)
  • [2005-07-10 15:13]

Excellent macro. Bravo!Itīs a big hit.

Great capture Alan. Very good colours, great light, perfect dof and very nice composition

  • Great 
  • phlr Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1237 W: 130 N: 882] (2821)
  • [2005-07-10 15:57]

The "Emperor" is very old...!
Great shot! 5*!

Great luck on this shot - although after an hour on your belly you should have some great ones! Lovely colors and POV.

Cheers, my friend across the pond!


  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2005-07-10 16:22]

Wow, Alan! Real veteran here. Damaged wings and tired eyes ;-) Excellent capture! POV, composition, colours - all rocks!

Hello again, Alan. 10 out of 10 on everything in this shot! Perfect!

Cracking shot Alan, nice composition, superb detail, colour, amazing insect. Iv yet to see anything like this. Love the colour and strange BG to this also. Congrats.

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2005-07-11 2:57]

Congratulations on your very productive day, Alan. Beautiful shot on that dragonfly. The pose is very nice, as well as the light and the colors. Very sharp details and excellent POV and composition. The tattered wings really convey their delicate quality. Well done and TFS. : )

  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2005-07-11 3:28]

Your Emperor has made the war, its wings are damaged ;-) Colors, details and sharpness are very good ! Thanks for sharing Alan.

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2005-07-11 3:54]

Hi Alan, very nice shot of this Emperor. I guess you have rotated it 90 degrees? Funny, most people seeem to do that!

Very good details and well done on this capture. Great result.

  • Great 
  • puffy Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 289 W: 0 N: 339] (1351)
  • [2005-07-11 4:05]

Superb shot Alan, great colours, lighting, DOF, sharpness just excellent!!!! Congrats!!! Thanks for sharing

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2005-07-11 4:07]

Hello Alan!
Wonderful shot.Details,colors,sharpness and composition are perfect.Excellent work!TFS...:-)

Excellent details & sharpness, perfect composition and great colours. Fantastic work! Well done, Alan.

The wings are looking a little worse for ware, but this is a great shot. Details are crystal clear. The colour is wonderful. Wonderful work Alan and congrats on a successful shoot!

  • Great 
  • sAner Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 74 N: 1426] (4750)
  • [2005-07-11 6:19]

Hi Alan,

This is an excellent capture. Superb details and lovely colors. Very well composed also. I love the diagonal lines of the green underground. Well done & TFS!


Hello Alan,
Excellent picture, the color and sharpness is perfect. Good job!

Hello Alan
Sharpness: 5/5
Color: 5/5
DOF: 5/5
POV: 5/5
Excellent shot
In a friendly way Christophe

  • Great 
  • Luc Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1835 W: 301 N: 4287] (14767)
  • [2005-07-11 8:09]

Hello Alan!
Personal assessment of the photo: excellent. You had a dream day as I like them, completely plonged in Nature photography.
Strong visual impact.
Aptness of the photo for the site: excellent.
Personal assessment of the note: complete.
Thank you very much for sharing.
Have a good week!

Wow! This is stunning Alan, incredibly sharp.
The colours are amazing.
I fantastic capture, can't wait to see the other 450 ;-)
Thanks for posting.

Hello Alan!
Very nice macro.Clear details,sharpness,POV and composition are perect.Thanks for sharing.

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