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Brakes On!

Brakes On!
Photo Information
Copyright: Grzegorz Wieczorek (red45) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-07-06
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon EOS 400D, Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 APO DG Macro
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-09-19 10:50
Viewed: 2902
Points: 16
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This picture of Sympetrum sp. in very strange pose reminds me small aircraft during unluckily brakeage. I saw such behavior few times. I don't know if it is some kind of defense or maybe 'ready to copulate' position. Anyway I know that composition is too tight, but I like pose and sunburnt colours so I've decided to post it. Picture taken as always near small ponds in Botanic Garden.

Thanks for suggestions my friend - I did some research and this is result from Wiki:

The obelisk posture is a handstand-like position that some dragonflies and damselflies assume to prevent overheating on sunny days. The abdomen is raised until its tip points at the sun, minimizing the surface area exposed to solar radiation. When the sun is close to directly overhead, the vertical alignment of the insect's body suggests an obelisk.

Dragonflies may also raise their abdomens for other reasons. For instance, male Blue Dashers (Pachydiplax longipennis) assume an obelisk-like posture while guarding their territories or during conflicts with other males, displaying the blue pruinescence on their abdomens to best advantage. However, both females and males will raise their abdomens at high temperature and lower them again if shaded. This behavior can be demonstrated in the laboratory by heating captive Blue Dashers with a 250 watt lamp, and has been shown to be effective in stopping or slowing the rise in their body temperature.

The obelisk posture has been observed in about 30 species in the Demoiselle, Clubtail, and Skimmer families. All are "perchers" -- sit-and-wait predators that fly up from a perch to take prey and perch again to eat it. Since they spend most of their time stationary, perchers have the most opportunity to thermoregulate by adjusting their position.

crs, haraprasan, techranger, uleko, mariki has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Greg,
A nice capture of this beautiful dragonfly. Very well composed with sharp details. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Fantastic capture of this "halting" dragonfly. Beautifully detailed and composed... TFS


  • cosmln Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 201 W: 12 N: 493] (1952)
  • [2008-09-19 14:58]

Hi Grzegorz,

Sympetrum sanguineum in "obelisk" position.
some libelulids (from Europe) have this position: Sympetrum, Crocothemis, Trithemis.

i think a fill flash will help in a similar situation (against sun).


  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2008-09-19 21:50]

The pose reminds me of the gymnasts at the Olympic Games...
Nice and sharp, and apart from the cropped wing, it's a good shot Greg.
You can just about see its facial expressions.

  • Great 
  • crs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 469 W: 0 N: 922] (3551)
  • [2008-09-20 0:36]

Hello Grzegorz,

There is a very interesting light falling on the dragonfly giving vivid but delicate color tones. These colors matces in a fine way with the background and the pearch insect is sitting on. Probably not cutting the wing in the right side should have been better, but this minor element do not diminish anyhow the value of the photo.

Thank you for sharing,

P.S. Smily tomorrow

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-09-20 1:50]

Hello Greg,
If it was very hot at the time that is most likely the reason for its upright pose. But maybe there are other reasons for this behaviour too! Anyway, a great shot of it in this attractive pose showing fine details and colours. A little bit tightly cropped but otherwise a fine composition.
TFS and cheers, Ulla

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2008-09-20 2:57]

Hi Greg

I see your friend here didn't forget about the flaps, either :) They help while braking, too :))
A very nice shot and a gorgeous obelisk pose captured here.
The side POV shows it exactly and very well while the contrasting and uniform BG allows a great isolation for your subject even from the thumbnail.
Even if the sharpness isn't quite spot-on here, in all the body parts, i like this shot because it's meant to show a distinct behavior feature of this group of animals.

Nicely done!
Bravo and TFS

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-09-20 5:49]

Hello Greg,
Wonderful photo with a wonderful pose. Excellent sharp focus and very beautiful warm colours. Great composition and OOF BG.

  • Great 
  • mariki Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 838 W: 60 N: 2307] (9477)
  • [2008-09-20 13:27]

Hello Grzegorz,

Very good composition with an amazing pose of the dragonfly. Good focus and sharpness. Very nice light and colours.

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