Photographing damselfly in flight

Libellago Stigmatizans (or Orange-faced Gem) is classified as “probably extinct” in Singapore. Two males species were spotted in a stream at Panti Forest where the water was quite muddy.

They were flying non-stop and engaged in territorial fights. Occasionally, one would perch near the water surface but the next moment, you would see the 2nd one attacking it and they started fighting in mid-air again. Under such situation, shooting them with a tripod proved to be near impossible. So, I released my camera from the tripod, set to full flash mode and my target was to get both males fighting in the air in a single frame.

As the stream water was at ¾ knee level high, I could not squat down as it would wet my backside. Standing would not be able to get close enough to the damsels, so I had to blend down quite a little like an old man. It was tiring shooting in this position as I had to move where the damsels moved. I had to take a break every 5 minutes or so. This went on for the next half an hour and despite my hard work I failed to get the shots I wanted. I could only manage some flight shots of an individual male as a consolation.

Initially, I tried using manual focus but my hands were not fast enough. Autofocus works better for me in this condition.

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