Odonata Hotspots

It’s always a delight when I stumble upon a pond or stream with dragonflies and damselflies flying around, defending their territories, basking, hunting, and propagating, their very existence a pleasure for me to witness. However, the rare joy is when I find a gem of a habitat – an area so ideal for odonate life that while I photograph one new species, I have to avoid being distracted by the other four or five more colorful new species I’m simultaneously seeing out of the corner of my eye. I had one such explosive pond-wading experience several days ago while visiting a spice estate near Kumily.  Continue reading

Bi-Colored Damselfly

As mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve been developing my techniques for improved macro photography without a macro lens. Tough work, but highly rewarding. Besides areas I will soon explore thanks to a new array of equipment (extension tubes, magnification filters, etc.), I have currently enjoyed a great deal of success with the relatively unknown backward-lens trick. Although you lose the ability to focus and meter light, the technique is excellent for artistic photographs of small things. And if it hasn’t been made clear from my dozens of posts on the subject – I love small things. Continue reading

Eye of the Beholder

Being a macro photographer without a macro lens is complicated. There are plenty of corners that can be cut, and crutches to lean on, but in the end, the best way to get a high-quality macro image is using the right equipment. The trick I use most often is cropping – my 18-55mm lens can focus on relatively close subjects, although not nearly close enough to get the desired macro effect. If the focus falls upon the right points, the final image can be cropped, and the subject’s size increased without distortion. These three images are all created from the same one – the one on the left. To see the increased detail, click the picture for a full-size version.  Continue reading