Yearly Archives: 2014
It is always nice to see one of your images being used for publication, but I was particularly fond of this one, because it is my very first book cover. A striking and nice detail is that the book has nothing to do with nature photography. The picture in question though is an abstract image of bio film, taken in Austria in 2011. The writer is the Dutch writer Margriet Wentink and the book is published by Akasha. Thank you so much guys and I wish you all the best with the publication of the book.
After my adventures with the Banded demoiselles, fun was not over yet. We are so blessed over here in the Netherlands with the presence of the Banded darters. Together with the Banded demoiselles these are, in my opinion, the most beautiful dragonflies we have over here. It is a small species with a red colored body of the male and a more brown colored body of the female. Both sexes have a brown band across each wing. It is in particular these brown bands that make these dragonflies so special and recognizable.
I was eager to see the Banded darters again this year, after my first encounter with them last year. But I have to admit, I was surprised by the difficulty to find them in first instance. While I found them in the top of the vegetation last year, this year often they were found more close to the ground. As photogenic they eventually are, setting in the vegetation they can be really inconspicuous. Dewy mornings turned out to be the most successful. With their wings covered with dewdrops they are better traced and found.
On top of my wishing list there were the more atmospheric pictures with back light, with the Banded darter in its natural habitat and lit by the morning sun. This is not as easy as it sounds however. I had to visit the area many times, starting before sunrise of course, to finally witness some warm colored sunrises. I was happy!
And yes, I had to try a shot with dew/rain drops. Seen so many times in other photographs, I wanted to take my own one for once. In this case, a spray bottle added some magical dewdrops as ingredients.
For me as a photographer, the actual moment of sunrise is both magical and stressful. The warm light is overwhelming and seen the fact it only last a few minutes, I have to act really fast. I have to know what I want to shoot. There is no time to doubt, because the magical light might be gone before I know it. In this case I chose to go for a more detailed picture of the beautiful and distinctive wings of the dragonfly. But even knowing this it still is hard working. With the sun as back light I set my focusing on manual and my exposure on aperture priority. Manual focusing because these lightening conditions are often too hard for the macro lens to handle. Aperture priority because the size of the aperture controls the size of the sun in this case.
While somehow the Banded darters invite me to take back light pictures, I also wanted something else. No sun in front, but in the back this time. As I often practice this technique with flowers, I never used it with the Darters. Still, there is a first time for everything. So with the sun behind me and the Banded darter kept carefully in the shadow by using my own shade in combination with an umbrella, I took the next photograph. The background is lit by the sun and the painterly effect is caused by vegetation in front of the lens.
I love to play with sharpness versus unsharpness. It is so much fun to do. Macro at its best when only one tiny detail is sharp and leaves the rest of the picture in a kind of abstract form. I know it is a Banded darter, but in fact it doesn’t matter in this picture.
Now the Banded darters are gone. Also meaning summer has ended. I had so much fun shooting them, can’t wait to see them again next year. I’ll comfort myself with the last one, one of my favorites.
During the Photokina in Cologne, one of the world’s leading imaging fairs (16 till 21 September 2014) , CEWE color showed three of my images in large format. They were printed as uv direct print on alu dibond. Also my images were used to show a calendar for 2015 and moreover the book ‘Inspiration Natur’, printed for the Stapelfelder Fototage, was shown. I am proud! Thanks a lot CEWE color for giving me this opportunity!
All pictures were taken by Lex Hulscher.
Seen my latest post with new pictures already dates from some while ago, I feel I owe you something. So I decided to update you with my most recent shots of the Banded Demoiselle together with a little look behind the scenes.
You might know I needed some time to adapt again to the Netherlands and its nature after my holiday to Costa Rica earlier this year. Costa Rica, land of colors and abundance of so many different kind of animals and plants. Photographic challenges everywhere you look. Back here it seemed I had to look so much harder to notice any photographic subjects. Now, a few months later you don’t hear me complaining anymore. We might not have this abundance in nature, but what we have is great!
Think for example about the Banded Demoiselle. Such a beautiful damselfly with colored wings. The male has a dark blue/black band across the central portion of his wings while his body colour is metallic blue/green. The female has iridescent pale green wings and her body is green with a bronze tip. Their flight is butterfly-like and it is specially the flight of the male, for example in an attempt to conquer a female, that fascinates me.
My photographic journey starts in the morning when the damselflies are still resting and sleeping. This is the perfect time to approach them at close distance because they won’t fly away.
When temperature rises the damselflies become more and more active. Depending on the weather they act differently. When it’s sunny and warm they are extremely active with their mating behavior. The males are showing territorial behavior and are constantly on the lookout for females. When it’s cloudy there is much less activity. Photographing this activity is a new challenge for me. Obviously it means I temporarily have to forget about my beloved macro lens and I have to switch to the télé lenses. Also I must be very careful with my equipment when I go into the water to take pictures from just above the water level. Using a float turned out to be very helpful.
This is the part where I have to warn you: Do not try this at home! Meaning: put on your waders before you go into the water! What happened? During a similar action my boyfriend was harassed by larvae of the leaf worm. Apparently they can penetrate into the skin without being noticed ore felt. But when they die the body shows an allergic reaction in the form of severe itching lumps, lasting for more than a week. I suppose I was very lucky not being bitten during this shoot…
Of course now with my waders on… Not looking very feminine, but hey who cares…
And then there are the shoots from the shore. Trying to capture the flight of the beautiful males.
It seems the Banded Demoiselles have now almost all disappeared (at least at my spotting place). I can’t believe how fast they have gone. Reminds me summer is almost over… But no worries, there are lots of other subjects to find… Stay tuned!
As some of you might know, I have published a so called ‘book on demand’ in 2011, called ‘Small Surprising’. It contains a large collection of my macro pictures, captured until the date of issue in 2011. Thanks to this book on demand principle I have sold quite some books personally and hand signed.
Now this selling method is becoming too much time consuming and too labor intensive. So sadly enough I have to quit selling my book in this way. I do have some good news at the same time, namely that it still is possible to buy my book by means of ordering it in the Blurb book store. Unfortunately without a signature, but on the other hand printed in very good quality. And of course I am always willing to sign a book (might we ever meet) that is bought in the Blurb books store.
A big THANK YOU to all of you who bought a book of me in the past. I am thrilled and honored by your interest and I have enjoyed each and every delivery.