The dramatic colours of a dragonfly. Canon EOS 7D EF-S 10-22mm at 22mm f/4.5 1/250 ISO 200
I was driving around town with my windows open and a dragonfly flew in the passenger window smacked against something hard and died. When I got home I took looked at the poor insects and his body was still in remarkably good shape so I took it out to a very shady part of the the backyard and setup to photograph it. I set up my flash on a stand and began to figure out my exposure. As I learned from David Hobby (He has a very good tutorial on learning to use your flash in manual mode. Check it out you will learn a lot.), I started with an exposure that would allow me to eliminate the ambient light so that the background would go very dark. This meant using a relatively high shutter speed. If you look at this image without flash it is basically black even though it was the middle of the day. This allowed me to completely control the light in the scene. From there it is just a matter of adjusting the power of the flash until I got the effect I wanted. I used one Sigma EF-G 530 flash inside a shoot-through umbrella set at 1/16 power. The umbrella gave the light a nice wrap around effect and placed a nice circular blue-white highlight in the tops of the dragonfly’s eyes.