Ohio Dragonfly Survey. One of our main goals with that three year project (2017 thru 2019) is to document shifts in dragonfly populations.
Finally, a note about dragonfly photography. There are many ways to photographically skin a dragonfly, or damselfly, and most any camera can get an identifiable shot if the shooter can get close enough (AND the species is identifiable in a photo). But dedicated macro lenses often work best, and my two favorite dragonfly lenses have long been Canon's superb 100mm f/2.8 macro lens, and the quirky but crazy sharp Canon 180mm f/3.5 macro lens. In a perfect world, I would use the 100mm for small stuff like bluets, forktails, and spreadwings, and the 180mm for larger dragonflies. The latter is a telephoto macro lens that allows the user to be about twice as far away as is necessary with the 100mm lens. Keeping distance from the subject is helpful as dragonflies can be quick to flee in the face of a perceived threat.
But recently I've hit on a new favorite dragonfly lens rig, usually mated to my Canon 5D IV. It is the aging but still amazing Canon 300mm f/4, with image stabilization. I got this lens used a while back, and didn't have to pay a lot for it. It's good for lots of things, but when I coupled it with a 12mm extension tube and turned it to dragonflies, I realized it was an excellent dragon-slayer indeed. The 300mm works well on even tiny damselflies, but really shines with the larger dragonflies. Because of its long focal length, I can often remain well back from the subject and am thus more unlikely to flush it. This lens/camera combo is what allowed me to photo-document the subject of this post.