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Am I Blue?

Am I Blue?
Photo Information
Copyright: Ken Slade (Ken52) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 636 W: 93 N: 1243] (4195)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-06-24
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon 350D (Digital Rebel XT), Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM, 58mm circular polarizer
Exposure: f/11, 1/250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Dragonflies of the World [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-07-06 19:51
Viewed: 4669
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 46
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I caught this young male Widow Skimmer in his prime. With age that beautiful shade of blue on his wings and abdomen with turn a pruinose white.

Widow Skimmer (Libellula luctuosa)

Size: Total length: 38-50 mm; abdomen: 24-32 mm; hindwing: 33-41 mm.

Distribution: Widespread throughout US. and southeastern Canada; absent from Great Plains.

Identification: Its face is pale yellow or brown in females and young males, but darkens to black along with the top of the head in mature males. The pterothorax is dark brown with a pale yellow middorsal stripe that extends onto the prothorax. This area becomes obscured with brown color in females and black in mature males, ultimately turning powder blue. The sides are pale yellow with an ill-defined dark stripe on the third lateral suture. This area becomes obscured in females and turns a dark brassy brown in older males. There are large black bands on the wings that extend basally to the nodus in both sexes. The wingtips are occasionally darkened, especially in females and western-individuals. Mature males develop a white area beyond the basal dark stripe that extends to the wing apex. The legs are black. The abdomen is only moderately depressed and tapers rearward. It is pale yellow with broad black middorsal and lateral stripes. The yellow is interrupted only by a black carinae. Segment 8 in females is slightly expanded laterally. The caudal appendages are black. The color of the abdomen darkens in both sexes and becomes powder pruinose blue in males.

Similar Species: No other skimmer has broad wing bands in both the fore- and hindwings.

Habitat: Still bodies of water, including marshy ponds, lakes and borrow pits

Discussion: This widespread species is found nearly everywhere in the North America except along the gulf of the southeastern United States and the Great Basin. It is an active flier around nearly any still body of water, creeks or stream, where males may be seen regularly combating over territories. Females rhythmically dip their abdomens to the water while flying just above the surface, and unaccompanied, but occasionally guarded by the male.

Source: http://odonatacentral.bfl.utexas.edu/fieldguide/species.asp?TaxaID=230

Aperture = f11.0
Shutter = 1/250s
ISO = 400
Focal Length = 210mm
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens

tkp1165, Alex99, pushpinder, horia, sandpiper2, Miss_Piggy, jaycee, sranjan, lise, uleko, bobcat08, vanderschelden, jusninasirun, oscarromulus has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Ken
Very nice close up. Very sharp,lot of detail and great color.
Very good job!!

vert nice close up, TFS Ori

great shot with a very well managed dof...
love the pose that you've got here.


  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2008-07-06 23:09]

Very well captured Ken,
Great colours and a clean, sharp image. Nicely exposed, and great wing detail.

This is the season for them.
Very clear focus Ken.
I like this species of dragonfly a lot.
It is a quite different looking blue, I guess in partof where the sun was.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-07-07 0:25]

Hi Ken.
You managed to catch a true beauty and you have done it perfectly as always. Simply amazing back POV and composition of the shot. I am impressed with great DOF and details/sharpness of the main subject (fine specimen of the dragonfly and so impressive stem). Light smooth BG underlines the beauty of the darkly coloured photo model excellently. Bravo. Perfect job.

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-07-07 3:53]

Hello Ken

What a beautiful capture.The pose and composition are lovely.
Excellent focus and sharp details.
The colours are natural and well saturated.
Very good POV.
Another fine dragonfly image,your gallery is full of these beauties.


  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2008-07-07 4:18]

Hi Ken

A gorgeous macro of this simply fantastic species - the widow skimmer!
I've seen this species while i was in the US, but never got a good shot of it...i am a bit jealous on you :)

The details and composition here are terrific and the completely blurred BG makes the dragonfly stand out superbly!
Further more, the colors and natural contrast of this species is very correctly rendered and the DOF ensures top sharpness on the head, body and all wings.


Hi Ken

Another really good dragon shot, he's a good good lookin specimen
Excellent composition
Excellent sharpness
Great POV and DOF
Good background.


  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-07-07 5:42]

Hello Ken,
What a fantastic blue colours in this insect.
Sharpness and details are amazing.
Great DOF, composition and OOF BG.

Hallo Ken
A super shot. Worth all the praises it received and still going to receive. Clarity, detail and focus is excellent.
Sorry for shorter than usual comment. Time and the rat race is chasing me.
Best regards.

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-07-07 11:12]

Hi Ken,

A stunning close-up of this Widow Skimmer in a perfect position. The blues and browns are so deep and rich - just beautiful. Razor sharp details throughout but the wings are spectacular. Beautiful diagonal composition.


  • Great 
  • Amadeo Gold Star Critiquer [C: 168 W: 0 N: 755] (3323)
  • [2008-07-07 11:52]

Hola Ken, excelente macro, con una bonita composición, buena luz y color. El detalle es muy bueno. Un saludo

Dear Ken,
Very well captured rare specimen of skimmer; its blue color is unique with great POV.

  • Great 
  • deud Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 438 W: 11 N: 534] (2540)
  • [2008-07-07 23:57]

fantastic sharpness and details! great colors, composition. tfs

  • Great 
  • lise Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 169 W: 48 N: 548] (2877)
  • [2008-07-08 17:32]

Hi Ken,
Wow! This skimmer is simply amazing!
Wonderful sharpness and details, nice sharp colours.
Very well done

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-07-11 11:13]

Hi Ken,
Outstanding shot of this beautiful Widow Skimmer with immaculate sharpness and lovely colours. Superb lighting and a great pose captured here. Excellent DOF, POV and composition. Kudos.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-07-12 4:44]

Hello Ken,
Wow, this is absolutely fabulous - i.e. both the Dragonfly and your capture!! I like the Libellulas we have here but this one would be a dream to see and photograph! Fantastic colours and great details. I like the smooth background too and the fine composition.
Many thanks, Ulla

Hello Ken,

What a beautiful colors and what a sharpness. Fantastic. I like the diagonal compo. The colours are natural and well saturated. A very nice close up and thanks for sharing. TFS BOB

Hello Ken(again).
If they are good, they are good and they are good. Very good. This one is no exception.
Well done

Hello Ken. Excellent handling of your brilliant optics. I like the framing with sharp focus and well metered shot. Beautiful sharp copy with flawless detail. The background is very well silenced for viewing pleasure. Thanks for sharing and best regards. Jusni

There is "MAGIC" in your work.
What do you put in your morning coffee???
Mario with greetings from Canada.

Fantastic details on the wings, and great color!

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