Here are some frequently asked questions. If your question hasn't been answered below, please feel free to email us at .
1. What equipment do you use?
- Our typical setup consists of a Canon 7D Mark ii (or, more recently, a Canon 90D) mounted on a tripod with a ballhead, a 180 mm macro lens, a wireless or cable shutter release and very occasionally one or more extension tubes.
2. Do you use tele or zoom lenses?
- No, we don't. We only use dedicated, manually focused macro lenses with focal lengths of 90, 100, 150 or - more typically - 180 mm.
3. What type of flash do you use?
- Since the June 2015 update we can say that we haven't used flash or any other type of artificial lighting in any of the photographs on our website. Our reason for avoiding flash is quite simple: photographs made with natural light are more ... erm ... natural than those made with flash.
4. Wouldn't it be much easier to capture those dragonflies and then photograph them?
- Yes, it certainly would be. But would you be happy with a 'wildlife photograph' made in a zoo? Or with a photograph of a 'ferocious' lion which has first been heavily sedated? We wouldn't, and so we only photograph animals that are free to come and go as they please, even if that means many can't be photographed. No net, no tricks - just the camera and lots of patience.
5. I'm the editor of a popular science magazine. Can we publish some of your photos?
- Yes, of course you can. We'd be happy to discuss with you the terms and conditions of such publication, and to establish reasonable licensing fees.
6. How many of your photos have been published and where?
- Some of our photographs have been included in the following publications:
- Bos, Wasscher & Reinboud (2007): Veldgids Libellen, 5th ed.
- Boudot, Kalkman et al. (2009): Atlas of the Odonata of the Mediterranean and North Africa; Libellula Supplement 9
- Boudot & Kalkman (eds.)(2015): Atlas of the European Dragonflies and Damselflies
- García, Diaz, Gordillo & Breña (2010): Atlas de los Odonatos de Extremadura
- Grao, Romero & Garrido (2009): Odonatos. Habitantes del agua
- Lopau, W. (2010): Verbreitungsatlas der Libellen in Griechenland (Odonata); Libellula Supplement 10
- Mezquita Aranburu, I. (2012): Libélulas de Bizkaia; "Temas vizcainos" collection, no. 444-445
- Smallshire & Swash, (2020): Europe's Dragonflies
- Sundseth & Creed (2009): Natura 2000 - Protecting Europe's Biodiversity
- Thompson & Nelson (2014), Guide to the Dragonflies and Damselflies of Ireland
- Verdú, J. R., Numa, C. & Galante, E. (eds.)(2011). Atlas y Libro Rojo de los Invertebrados amenazados de España (Especies Vulnerables).
- Waldhauser, M. & Černý, M. (2014): Vážky České republiky
7. Are you sure your captions refer to the correct species?
- Yes, we are reasonably sure. If we have any doubts about the correct determination of a species, we don't include any photographs of the animal(s) in question. We are also very fortunate to have enlisted the assistance of expert entomologists in determining the species.
8. How do you crop your photographs?
- We'd like to say that we never crop any of our photographs but that wouldn't be entirely true - even though it does remain our objective to avoid cropping altogether. Having said that, the reality is a bit more complex and we need to distinguish between shaving and cropping. Because we put a one-inch border around our prints, and because we print on 18 x 12 inch paper, we have to shave some pixels off the height of our landscape-orientated photographs (or the width of our portrait-orientated photographs) in order to maintain/restore the original 3 x 2 (or 2 x 3) format. Other than such shaving, however, more than 99.5% of our photographs (as of July 2017) are indeed uncropped. In other words, they only contain native pixels rather than the 'invented', interpolated pixels that come with cropping. Those photographs that we have cropped are mainly of dragonflies in flight, where getting close enough to the subject to fill the frame sufficiently is virtually impossible to achieve with a manually focused macro lens, irrespective of its focal length. If you would like more information about the degree of cropping applied to a photograph before ordering a print of it, please let us know and we'll gladly send you the relevant data.
9. How often do you use autofocus?
- In a word: never. As of September 2015 all of our photographs have been made using manual focus.
10. Why do you have 20 photos of so many species?
- Because 20 is the maximum we've set ourselves for each European species. In May 2016 we reached our target number of 20 photos for each of the 133 species which were on our checklist at the time. As of late 2020, a new species has been added to our checklist, i.e. the recently discovered Cazuma Pincertail (Onychomphus cazuma). Our goal is to add 20 photographs of that species to our website as soon as possible, while at the same time continuing to replace existing photos with newer, better ones.
11. Why is there no forum on your website?
- We don't host a forum for three main reasons. Firstly, maintaining and policing a forum would be an administrative task which would only distract time and attention from our main activity, dragonfly photography. Secondly, we reckon there are already enough forums as it is and ours would almost certainly add no value whatsoever. And thirdly, we don't particularly like a lot of the forums we've seen; a large number of them seem rather parasitic in nature in that their owners tend to generate very little content themselves, other than the occasional equipment field test in which they claim on rather spurious grounds that "camera X is vastly superior to camera Y", "lens A blows lens B out of the water", etc. And such a claim is then typically accompanied by a direct link to the owner's favourite retailer's website. So instead of generating quality content to attract visitors those forum owners seem more interested in generating internet traffic, presumably with a view to increasing their (click-through) advertising revenue. If that idea appeals to you, then you're in luck - you should have no problem whatsoever finding a forum or two somewhere near you. If the idea doesn't appeal to you and you'd rather see content than unsolicited advertising, then you too are in luck - you've come to the right place.
12. Can I include one or two of your photos in my PowerPoint presentation?
- We receive this request quite often and to date we've never refused (although we do continue to reserve the right to refuse). We would insist, though, that you do ask our permission prior to the presentation and that you include the appropriate accreditations.