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Southern Hawker

Southern Hawker
Photo Information
Copyright: Joe Kellard (joey) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-09-15
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon EOS 400D (Rebel XTi), Sigma 180mm f/3.5 Macro EX APO IF HSM, Digital ISO-800, Kood 72mm UV filter
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/3000 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Dragonflies of Europe 2, bobair's favorites beyond the alloted amount. [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-10-06 2:02
Viewed: 3464
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 46
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Here's another flying Southern Hawker :-)
I think it's one of the most beautiful dragonflies. I was used to Migrant Hawkers which are nowhere near as brightly coloured, and when this fellow appeared it looked like a precious gem compared to the others! :-)

I hope you like it!

Southern Hawker - Aeshna cyanea

Length: 70mm
A large, inquisitive Hawker usually seen individually. It may fly quite close to investigate observers. The spots on segments S8-10 are joined, unlike other Hawkers. The ante-humeral stripes are broad and strongly coloured The costa is dark and there is an elongated triangular mark on S2. The male is brightly maked on a dark background, usually apple green except for S8-10, which are pale blue. Occasionally, all pale blue marked individuals are seen.
The female is brown with bright geen markings.

Breeds in water line vegetation in well-vegetated, small ponds, often in garden ponds. Hunts well away from water and may be found hawking woodland rides well into the evening.

Status and Distribution
Very common in southern and central England and Wales, more local elsewhere (vagrant only to Ireland).
Distribution map from the National Biodiversity Network Gateway (opens in new window).

Similar species
Similar in appearence to other Hawkers but the bands on S9 and S10 and the broad ante-humerals are distinctive.

*Shutter speed says "1/3000" but it's actually 1/3200! :-)

ramthakur, rcrick, fartash, Adanac, Heaven, matatur, uleko, jaycee, eqshannon, gracious, horia has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To eqshannon: Hi!joey 1 10-07 06:37
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Critiques [Translate]

At shutter speed 1/3200, the image of this cute dragonfly in flight is stunningly sharp and crisp, Joe. It is a true freeze shot and cannot be compared with anything else here on TN.
I congratulate you for creating this image of unsurpassable beauty and technical excellence.

Hi Joe,
Very good in-flight shot of this beautiful Southern Hawker. Nice POV and composition, sharp details even the wings visible due to fast shutter speed, bright colours and natural blurred BG. Good work!

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-10-06 3:11]

Hello Joe,
This is what you can call a MASTERPIECE. Really stunning! Sharpness, colours, DOF, POV, BG and composition are all perfect. Congratulations!

Hi Joe,

A very good in-flight shot, you've captured this beautiful Southern Hawker in a perfect pose. Excellent detail, and wonderful colours, just superb, all the best,

Cheers Rick :)

Dear Joe
What a wonderful shot of this Southern Hawker,
Perfect focusing,exposure and BG.Superb shot my friend.


hello joe,
this is simply superb, you have got very good sharpness, this image of the flying dargonfly is one of the better ones i have seen here,
well done,
tfs & regards

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-10-06 4:30]

Hello Joe,
Ok where is the string that he was suspended from, WOW. All kidding as side extremely impressive image all around.

Hi Joe!

It's not only one of the most beautiful dragonflies, but also a funny one! Doesn't its head look like a figure coming straight from a comics strip? The quality of your picture is perfect as usually!

Kond regards


A beautiful flier in flight with landing gear withdrawn Joe, you've succesfully caught a perfect composition here. TFS and cheers,

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-10-06 6:08]

Hello Joe,
Brilliant and well-timed in-flight capture of A. cyanea. Great focus on its little face, lovely natural colours and a fine background. I like the diagonal composition too.
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

  • Great 
  • viv Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 292 W: 3 N: 653] (3317)
  • [2008-10-06 6:21]

Hello Joe,
What a timing, it has become a wonderfull composition. great job. Very crisp and clear.

Gran encuadre para esta dificultosa toma. No se como pudiste hacerlo !! Acertado tiempo de exposición y un fondo muy adecuado. Enhorabuena .
Un abrazo: J. Ignasi

Hi Joe, superb capture of fantastic flyng dragonfly, perfect focus, great colors, beautiful details and splendid sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

  • cosmln Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 201 W: 12 N: 493] (1952)
  • [2008-10-06 7:04]

Hi Joe,

WOW this is perfect.

Great shot to capture and freeze it it full flight - not easy I imagine. The sharpness is great on the head - pity you couldn't get that on the wings too, but that must be pretty much impossible given the shutter speed you need to take this. Good blur in the background too - it really makes your Southern Hawker stand out. Well done

  • Great 
  • Hil Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 696 W: 13 N: 1407] (5035)
  • [2008-10-06 11:06]

Hi Joe,

Great in-flight of the Southern Hawker and i totally agree that it is a very beautiful dragonfly.
Great pose and POV with excllent details and superb colours.


  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-10-06 11:22]

Hi Joe,

Zoom - here he comes - right at you. Wonderful inflight of this Southern Hawker. You got this perfectly - he looks like a cute little toy airplane. Gorgeous colors. I have never seen a Hawker's face this clearly - just wonderful. Beautiful details throughout but the face is so marvelous I had to specify that. Excellent background and composition.


hi Joe,
amazing capture in motion
hard work...compliments

Your image has been been on my mind all day..I saw it early on but went off to do my daily work..I have things backwards today and not the first time...and

This is the second year I have none or perhaps if one can count it, ONE single image of these...all of this while you and others photograph them perch and you as well as a few others..in the air...it is remarkable and disarming..there is no way I can do this without standing outside all the day turning in circles and clicking about 3-400 images and MAYBE just to get only one...

Hello Joe,
Always good in the inflight shot of dfly!
best dof with great sharpness, warm colour and details
very well done and sharing

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2008-10-07 4:48]

joe, Fantastic shot and brilliant. Amazing shot. Ganesh

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2008-10-08 0:28]

Hi Joe

I completely agree with you: Aeshna cyanea is one of the most beautiful dragonflies from Europe!
I think i quite felt the same: i used to see a lot of Migrants and be glad when that happened, but when i saw some Southerns this year...well my perception changed :)

This is a fantastic capture, mate, well taken from all points of view. The high ISO is less visible in this image size but it definitely gave you a really short shutter speed in order to freeze those wings in mid-flight.
The shallow DOF focuses on the head and thorax of the d-fly and gave you a superb uniform BG behind the subject, too, the exposure is spot-on and all the colors are gorgeous.
Overall: an impeccable in-flight!


Un joli instant figé au bon moment.
Bonne journée.

Hello Joe
Now this is a stunner!!
You have done so well with the 180mm macro on this shot..It has a good working distance for static subjects but I would say its a bit short for inflight Dragons...How wrong I am!!
The details are so good...I love the details that you have captured in the wings..I love the whole picture!!

It goes without saying that my hat is tipped in a whole new fashion on this one.


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