Photographing Dragonflies and Damselflies

Dragonflies and damselflies are brightly colored and strange-looking. They can pose a challenge for even experienced photographers. However, there are ways you can increase your chances of getting the perfect wall shot. This article will help you gain an understanding of the best ways to achieve these shots.


While you don’t necessarily need expensive equipment to capture these flying beasts in flight, you can still get some decent photos if you follow my tips. However, a proper kit will make the most of your shots.

Having said that, the more advanced your camera is, the easier it will be to take photos. While an SLR gives you greater control, it is your lens selection that will be the most controversial. There are two ways to look at it. The first is to use a macro lens and get close to your subject. This requires patience and some luck. Another option is to use a longer lens (300-500mm) but extend tubes to decrease the minimum focal distance to take frame-filling photos. This allows you to stay at a distance, so you are less likely to be spooked by the insect. This is an excellent option if you already own a long lens. You can also find extension tubes on Amazon. They are very affordable.

Although natural sunlight is the best, it is also a good idea to use a flash unit. This will ensure that you have sufficient fill light for your subject. A ring light is excellent for macro photography, but any flash will do. An extender can be used with longer lenses.


After you have all your equipment ready, the most important thing is to learn about dragonflies. If you don’t spend enough time with them, your chances of failing your first attempt at photography them are high.

Many dragonflies, especially the larger species, have a set feeding and flight route or a favorite perch or hover point. You can study the dragonflies and learn from them what to do. This will allow you to be in a position to capture their movements and photos while they are at rest. However, it is also possible to use this technique to catch them in flight, which can be very difficult. Knowing your subject is essential.


It is a good idea to wear drab colors when photographing dragonflies, as with all wildlife photography. Remember that insects (such as dragonflies) are sensitive to ultraviolet (Ultraviolet). Bright colors reflect UV more.

Dragonflies are best protected by their ability to detect movement. If you want to approach a dragonfly, it is essential to slow down and keep your activities even. Judgy actions will make your prey vulnerable to flight. It is not worth sneaking up on a dragonfly to grab your camera at the last moment. You will waste your time.


Before you begin to compose a photograph of a damselfly or dragonfly, think about the following: What is the picture for? If you want to take a picture to identify the dragonfly or damselfly (either to assist others or to help you later), you will need to think about what your purpose is.

You may want to alter your composition approach if you’re looking for visually pleasing photos to display. A better picture will be created if the background is transparent and the subject is at eye level. This can be difficult for damselflies, so make sure you get down amongst them. If they are larger species, it is best to take their pictures on a single post.

Depth of field

If you’re photographing small objects at close range, you need to consider how much of the subject you want in focus. This can help you to determine your composition. The closer you are to the issue, the greater the chance of finding focus areas.

With patience, practice, and time you can take amazing photos of dragonflies that show off their unusual features and lace-like wings. If you find these tips helpful, I’d love to know.