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Four-spotted Pennant

Four-spotted Pennant
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: 2008-07-11
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon 350D (Digital Rebel XT), Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM
Exposure: f/8, 1/160 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Dragonflies of the World [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-07-11 19:05
Viewed: 4588
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 42
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I am just now figuring out how to do exposure bias with my Canon Rebel 350D. Until recently, I did not realize that when shooting in Aperture Priority mode, all I needed to do was hold down the "AV" button while turning the dial. It has resulted in a higher percentage of "keepers."

I saw this male Four-spotted Pennant today at the fish pond. The sky was a little overcast, but there was good light. This photo was taken shortly after mid-day. I guess the dragonfly was feeling the heat, since he chose to pose in the obelisk position. I believe this is only the second of this species posted on TN.

Four-spotted Pennant (Brachymesia gravida)

This is the most widespread and commonly encountered tropical pennant in our area. The face is black and white, becoming entirely black, along with the top of the head, in older individuals. The thorax is brown, becoming dark bluish-black with age, but less so in females. The wings have a distinct white pterostigma. There are four rows of cells beyond the forewing triangle. Males and mature females develop a dark brown spot b etween the nodus and pterostigma in all wings. The legs are black. The abdomen is brown with an interrupted longitudinal dark middorsal stripe in tenerals and females. This stripe becomes entirely black in males. The abdomen is swollen basally and compressed for a short distance thereafter, but never tapering to the end.

Total length: 47-55 mm; abdomen: 30-40 mm; hindwing: 32-42 mm.

Similar Species:
Young individuals are similar to Tawny Pennant (B. herbida), but the latter have a tan face and pterostigma and they lack prominent wing spots. Band-winged Dragonlet (Erythrodiplax umbrata ) is similar, but it has complete bands in the wings rather than spots and it has pale lateral spots on the middle abdominal segments.

Ponds, lakes and roadside ditches, including brackish waters.

This species is typical of the genus, often perching high on twigs, stems and bush tops. It may be abundant on fence wire and telephone lines. After a brief mating, females oviposit in a similar fashion to Red-tailed Pennant (B. furcata), dipping eggs into the water, sometimes guarded by the male.

Found largely along coastal areas from New Jersey to Arizona.

Source: http://www.odonatacentral.org/index.php/FieldGuideAction.get/id/46849

Aperture = f8.0
Shutter = 1/160s
Flash fired
Exposure Bias = +2/3
ISO = 100
Focal Length = 200mm
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens

gerbilratz, siggi, Royaldevon, maurydv, uleko, marhowie, nglen, Pentaxfriend, Dis. Ac., horia, GLEM, oscarromulus, vanderschelden has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Elegante composición, muy buen enfoque y un trabajo excepcional con la luz y los colores. Equilibrio en todos los aspectos.
Buen fin de semana Ken: Josep Ignasi.

Amazing detail, excellent POV, this is a cracking good shot of the insect, the background enhances the whole image, fine work...regards h

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2008-07-12 0:41]

Hi Ken,
Wow ! What a wonderful insect! The composition is pleasant, colors vivid, sharpness good... Congratulations
Regards Siggi

Hello Ken,

A wonderful capture of this insect doing an acrobatic pose!
It is sharp, detailed and nicely composed.
I found it very interesting to note that it was holding on with its 'ankles' and not its feet, with its back pair of legs!

Kind regards,
Bev :-)

Spettacolare macro, eccellente POV e molto creativa la composizione con la rotazione verso l'alto, straordinaria nitidezza, bellissimi i colori e stupendo BG. Grazie e complimenti. Ciao Maurizio

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-07-12 4:47]

Hello Ken,
Another brilliant and well-timed shot of a beautiful acrobat! I love the flue colour of the abdumen and the wings are lovely. Amazing how they tend to put their tail up in the heat! I love the shape of the grass that makes it into a superb composition too.
TFS and regards, Ulla

Hi Ken,
I like the classic tail-up pose, a great POV & neutral, clean BG. Great color, detail, DOF & an interesting comp.
Good to hear you found the right button for the exposure bias..
Could be useful ;-}
Well done!

Wow! This is such a beautiful capture and so lovely specie. It looks like a little ballerina :)! Details are wonderful and I like this pose you captured. You had great timing for this one. Thanks,

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-07-12 10:25]

Hi Ken,

Judging from this shot you have figured out the Exposure Bias perfectly. This Four Spotted Pennant is wonderful - even I can tell how it got its name! I love the position - a perfect handstand. Fantastic details of the face, head, body and those beautiful wings. Lovely colors, background and composition.


  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-07-12 12:15]

Hi Ken. A very fine close up of this beautiful looking Dragonfly, which you have captured a good pose on the grass. Excellent detail and sharp focusing with bright colours. very well done TFS.

Hi Ken,

Beautiful shot of this lovely Four-spotted Pennant in a fine pose
perfect colors, POV and BG

TFS Thijs

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-07-12 22:03]

Hello Ken

Just marking the post for now


Hi Ken,

great picture from this Dragonfly.
Exelent sharpness, pov and dof.


  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2008-07-14 0:30]

Hi Ken

Another super macro of a dragonfly from you!
I really like the "obelisc" pose you managed to capture here from this dragon as well as the terrific 90 degree angle of the leaf it is on...i think that such geometric elements really add to the composition and design of the photo.
That side, great sharpness and wonderful BG.

Bravo and TFS

You've been on a wonderful dragonfly expedition. Gorgeous shot with perfect lighting. And the pose is remarkable!

  • Great 
  • GLEM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 540 W: 87 N: 750] (10)
  • [2008-07-15 9:18]

hi Ken
I think that you become a specialist of dragonflies. Magnificent recording with a beautiful work of patience to obtain this acrobatic and aesthetic posture. Magnificent neatness and colors.

Tfs gl

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-07-15 10:18]

Hi Ken,
Outstanding shot of this elegant dragonfly with immaculate sharpness, lovely colours and fine details. Fantastic pose captured here with the lighting being perfect. Great BG lets the subjects stand out pretty well too. Excellent DOF, POV and composition. Kudos.

Truely UNIQUE!!!
DETAILS.... & more DETAILS!!!
GREAT piece of work.
Warm regards,
Mario from Calgary.

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2008-07-26 17:34]

Hello Ken,
a very clear shot and indeed a very interesting position by the creature. great pestel background and great composition. Exact moment to shoot.


Very good gallery apparently;-).
I missed a lot/-).
Another excellent image. The blacks are all right here; no noise due to ETTR. At least,I guess so...I do have to learn.

amazing portrait, TFS Ori

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