Flickr a Day 184: ‘Brilliant Emerald (Somatochlora Metallica)’

If dragonflies, damselflies, and butterflies are you thing—as they are mine, being a bug lover— Paul Ritchie gives glorious, intimate views of them. The Day goes to self-titled “Brilliant Emerald (Somatochlora Metallica)”, which he shot one year ago (July 2, 2014), using Nikon D90 and 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 lens. Vitals: f/4.8, ISO 500, 1/1000 sec, 195mm.

The EXIF data doesn’t reveal the difficulty of the shot. Paul describes the Brilliant Emerald as an “elusive species”. In a expedition into the Ashdown Forest, he “found my prize hawking around a clearing at a completely different stream to the one I should have been at”. But being a little paradise, as he describes it, and photographing an elusive, flighty prey is something else. “The challenge was exactly that. Panning was the only option; left to right, right to left, and back and forth, which luckily gave me something to come home with”. What a something, too.

The self-described amateur joined Flickr in August 2007, and he maintains site Hampshire Butterflies, referring to his United Kingdom town of residence. “Photography is a passion”, Paul says. “Insects provide a challenge for me with their unpredictable nature and as a subject are far more beautiful to observe and photograph”. He adds: “There is nothing I like better than to spend a few hours outdoors far from human habitation in the company of all nature has to offer”.

Photo Credit: Paul Ritchie