Outdoor photographer of the year 2010Red-veined Darter detail

Back in November I was delighted to be shortlisted as a possible category winner by Outdoor Photography in the Small World (macro) section of their first annual Outdoor Photographer of the Year awards. This was the first time I had entered a major competition and given that it attracted over 3000 images from 119 countries I was amazed that I made it to the final shortlist with this image of a male Red-veined Darter - Sympetrum fonscolombei adopting the obelisk position. Hopefully I can go one step further in the future! 


The image was taken near Villamartin, where the Rio Guadalete enters the Embalse de Bornos, Andalucia, Spain in August 2009.

Even dragonflies can get too hot in the 40 C heat of a Spanish summer, and one aspect of their behaviour that I really wanted to capture was this temperature regulation posture known as the “obelisk” position. Pointing its abdomen directly at the sun this Red-veined Darter is reducing the body surface area exposed to the sun’s rays to an absolute minimum.

Canon 400D with Tamron 90mm Macro, ISO 200, 1/160sec at f/9, hand held

Male Red Veined Darter