It can be quite a challenge photographing dragonflies, they are very wary insects with three hundred and sixty degree vision, and many species spend a large part of their time on the wing. Thankfully the aptly named perchers are easier to get on with, often returning time and again to favourite perches, perhaps a rock in a stream, or a convenient twig or leaf. There are three species locally, the Scarlet Percher, Diplacodes haematodes, the Wandering Percher, D. bipunctata, and the Black-faced Percher, D. melanopsis. I remember the first time I saw a black-faced, it was perched on a fence wire beside a billabong in February 2008, and I photographed it with the camera I was using then, a Panasonic FZ30. Then, twelve months later, several appeared in the garden, and have continued to do so in most years since. According to The Complete Field Guide by Theischinger and Hawking, they inhabit “riverine pools, lakes, ponds, and swamps” so could come into the garden from a small nearby dam. They are back now, and are providing plenty of photo opportunities, the males have not yet developed their full mature colour, that will happen over time. The FZ30 served me well for Odonata photography, but was duly retired to landscape work, and an SLR with 200 mm macro took its place. Here are four shots from a recent session.
Click to enlarge.