Under this link you will find a variety of topics. It might be a unique photo, or series of technical articles. It might fun facts about the behavior or the life of some animal. Also tips or technical explanations are presented. Actually, every time it will be something different.
In response to my photos from last month, I was asked by a number of people to explain how I made the photos seven weeks after the fire that fit so accurately on the first photos. I’ll explain it all here.
When I took the photos during the fire, I did that without a tripod and I didn’t pay attention to where I was exactly with each photo…..(read more)
SEVEN WEEKS AFTER THE FIRE
Seven weeks after the fire It is unbelievable how quickly plant growth tries to erase all traces after the fire in the Peel (see April 2020). To illustrate this, I animated two photos of the situation during the fire on April 20 and now seven weeks later on June 8. You can see that the ferns grow very fast while many trees….(read more)
THE BIRTH OF A DRAGONFLY
The transition from the larva stage to the adult insect is called “sneaking out” in dragonflies. The photo series below is of the hatching of a Common Curlebore (Gomphus vulgatissimus). Dragonflies live as larva in the water, they are formidable robbers there. After a few molts, they are fully grown and ready to sneak out. For this they leave the water by crawling up on a plant somewhere. When they have found a suitable….(read more)
FIRE IN THE DEURNESE PEEL
On April 20, 2020, a major fire started in the Deurnese Peel. It had not rained for six weeks and therefore it was very dry and there was also quite a strong wind. As a result, the fire quickly took hold. In a short time, a large area was ablaze. In the end, it became the largest wildfire the Netherlands has ever known, a sad record. Of the 1,000 hectares, 800 ha has now been burned. The surrounding fire brigades provided…….(read more)
Sony DSC-RX10 MIV versus Canon G3-X
In 2015 I bought the Canon G3-X and not much later I sold my SLR cameras and lenses. Many photographers apparently think that for certain functions you necessarily need a system camera with interchangeable lenses. Nothing could be further from the truth, I could also set all the settings and functions that I had on my Canon EOS 5D MkIII on the G3 X.
In 2019 I wanted to add a second camera and I would have preferred…..(read more)
SHEETWEB SPIDER SP. (Ostearius melanopygius)
In mid-December, in the Ardennes, near Rochefort, I saw a mountain of horse manure almost completely covered with spider webs. The mountain was twenty-five meters long and about two meters wide. The spiderweb stood out because it was full of dew drops. It had frozen that night and the dew had not yet evaporated. Of course I wanted to photograph details of that dewy spiderweb it looked rather surreal. I could……(read more)
From a friend I got the tip that there was a dead fox at a badger castle known to me. I had no idea what I would find there. A badger castle is quite large because there are always several pipes dug. It took me a while to find the dead fox, it was much less noticeable than I expected. I had hoped to find a fairly intact fox with a nice fur and tail. The body, legs and tail were barely recognizable as he was now. His head with the bared teeth….(read more)
FINALLY AGAIN MUSHROOMS
Before the fall of 2018 I thought to make some nice pictures of mushrooms. Unfortunately we had to deal with a very dry summer and autumn. There were hardly any mushrooms to be found. The summer of 2019 was also very dry, but luckily there was some rain from the end of September. Just in time to create a true mushroom explosion. Because the weather…. (read more)
ALL YEAR ROUND
If you have photographed a characteristic tree somewhere in your area, go back there in all seasons, times of the day and all weather conditions. You can then make a nice series, a journey through the seasons, all year round. There are a few points to keep in mind to make the photos overlap nicely. Start by marking the location of your tripod, for example by hitting a piece of wood in the ground. Always place the tripod exactly above it and always……(read more)
One closeup lens is not the other.
A friend of mine thought he had bought a good closeup lens, after all it was from B + W, a well-known brand and no mess from an unknown manufacturer. And a little more friendly price than the Canon closeup lens I use. However, he was not completely….(read more)
CATALONIA AND THE CAMARGUE
We were recently in Catalonia, because of the natural beauty. Especially the two-tailed pasha (Charaxius jasius), also called foxy emperor, was high on the wish list. The landscape is beautiful because of the old basalt formations, both the basalt columns and the horizontal basalt. On the return trip we spent a few more days in the Camargue, near Arles in the south of France. The Camargue is the delta of the Rhône and….(read more)
The caterpillar of the old world swallowtail has spun and will pupate after several days. He peels off his caterpillar skin under the “seat belt”. You should try taking your coat off in the car without loosening the seat belt. The butterfly emerges from the pupa after 2 to 3 weeks.(read more)
BAYERISCHER WALD – ZICKSEE – BALATON LAKE
The Bayerischer Wald has been on my holiday destination wish list for a long time. I thought it would be a nice idea to link this trip to a trip to Austria and Hungary, which I made 19 years ago together with Angelique Belfroid and the brothers Elbert-Jan and Chris Achterberg. The map opposite shows the route from 1 our campsite in the Bayrischer Wald on the Czech border…. (read more)
The French Jura is known for its many waterfalls and normally also quite a lot of rain. But this year it had rained exceptionally little, so the falls were not very spectacular either. We went down seventy meters in a gorge. This allowed us to view what was left of this waterfall at that time from a different perspective. At another waterfall, from a small dam, I knew the habitat…..(read more)
In early August 2016 we were in Switzerland for a week. I took 448 photos there, of which 122 were finaly archived and 24 edited for publication. (read more)
It was not exactly sunny beach weather when we went to Ameland for a week in April. Lots of rain and wind. It was also still quite cold for the time of year. Yet it was precisely because of those weather conditions that it was a nice photo holiday. We have seen and photographed many birds from the car. In between showers we could take long walks and get a breath of fresh air on the …. (read more)
CANON POWERSHOT G3-X, MAYBE NOT SO CRAZY AFTER ALL….
Since I was a child, whenever I was given a chore to do, I always thought “There must be an easier way”. Easier way became my mantra, so when I go out for a day of photography, I only carry the very minimum of equipment. Hauling a heavy backpack with….(read more)
AFBEELDINGSMAATSTAF EN BELICHTINGSCOMPENSATIE
Wanneer je in het macrogebied fotografeert krijg je te maken met lichtverlies. Hoe groter de afbeeldingsmaatstaf hoe meer lichtverlies. Het lichtverlies is alleen afhankelijk van de afbeeldingsmaatstaf en niet van het gebruik van tussenringen, een voorzetlens, een balg of een macro-objectief.
Bij dezelfde afbeeldingsmaatstaf en dezelfde hoeveelheid licht zul je altijd…..
THE MAP BUTTERFLY IS VERY UNUSUAL INDEED.
For many reasons, the Map (Araschnia levana) is a very special butterfly. It was first seen in South Limburg in 1939. By the early sixties, it was found throughout the southern half of the Netherlands, and in 1983 it reached the West Frisian Islands of Texel and Terschelling… (read more)
WHERE ARE ALL THOSE MOSQUITOES COMING FROM?
Somewhere in the corner of your yard, a forgotten watering can or bucket hides with a little water in the bottom. Or maybe a rain gutter doesn’t drain properly and is never completely dry. These places are ideal breeding places for mosquitoes. If (rain)water stands for any length… (read more)
DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE
Down by the Riverside…This song often plays in my head when I’m on photo safari along streams, canals or wetlands. And while I didn’t first meet my wife down by the riverside, I’ve always been able to find lots of beautiful insects. Most insects don’t like dry surroundings, so the water’s… (read more)
CATERPILLARS, A STUNNING PHOTO SUBJECT
Most people don’t like caterpillars. The Dutch expression says they must be fought with “fire and sword” because they eat our plants. In general, it isn’t quite that bad. There are exceptions of course. If you’re trying to grow organic cabbage, you won’t be happy when the caterpillars of the… (read more)
ON AND IN A BRICK WALL
Interesting and beautiful creatures live on (and in) the brick wall of your house, especially spiders, and several types of solitary bees and wasps. In April I saw a red mason bee (Osmia bicolor) that constantly flew back and forth to the same hole in the bricks which used… (read more)
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF THE CANON EOS 7D
It took a long time, but I finally decided to acquire a Canon 7D. Now that I’ve had a chance to work with it, I admit that this camera, with it’s smaller sensor, has advantages the stack up well against the disadvantages. Read on, I’ll explain.
ADVANTAGES: 1. When used with EF lenses, you’ll never have problems with… (read more)
PHOTOGRAPHING WATER FLEAS
When you photograph water fleas, mosquito larvae, diaptomus, cyclops, and other fresh water plankton, a whole new world of color and composition will be revealed to you, one you could never imagine. Photo upper left: Three water fleas. Because they are transparent, you can see eggs in one, those little green balls… (read more)
EVERY SERIOUS PHOTOGRAPHER USES A TRIPOD WHY?
Is the use of a tripod something from a previous century, or is it still needed? After all, we can increase our ISO to previously unheard of values, and we now have lenses with built-in image stabilization. I ALWAYS USE A TRIPOD, AND I’LL TELL YOU WHY: High… (read more)
COME HAVE A CLOSER LOOK
This month we’ve added something new to the web site, the ability to zoom into very large images. For example, the butterfly shown here is a 10 megabyte file. Yet it loads very quickly. The nicest feature is the ability to zoom in and see the incredible detail. For… (read more)
An article about antlions in December? There are currently no antlions to be found, they are all hibernating, which they do in their larval stage. But yes, these pictures have been waiting for an article for a while now, and December is a month with few insects to photograph. So with a… (read more)
THE TRICK WITH THE CUP, FOR PHOTOGRAPHING INSECTS
“Look, there’s one” said our guide in the rainforest of South America. But we didn’t see anything. The snake was almost completely hidden by the leaves that covered the forest floor. He grabbed the snake by the tail and put him in a small plastic aquarium… (read more)
DEPTH-OF-FIELD AND SENSOR SIZE
With a smaller sensor, you get greater depth-of-field, true or false. On various Internet photography forums, there’s been a lot of discussion about the idea that a smaller image sensor provides greater depth-of-field, why this is so, or if it is even true. Cause and effect are often confused on… (read more)
SPIDERS AND SPIDERWEBS
In Holland, September is by far the best month for photographing spiders and spiderwebs. Our most common spider is the European garden spider, or cross spider (Araneus diadematus). The female of the species has reached their maximum size at this time, and make very large webs. You’ll see them everywhere. If… (read more)
For the entire month of July, we were on vacation, free as a bird, roaming through France and Northern Spain. And when I’m on vacation, I live by the motto of “The fewer people, the more fun”. So we don’t visit any cities, museums, or old churches. We also don’t go “fun-shopping”… (read more)
FIX IT IN PHOTOSHOP
Click on the left or right arrow of the dividing line to move it, and you can see the before and after picture. When you encounter an adder (Vipera berus) in it’s natural environment, you need to take care not to disturb it to get your shot. You can not… (read more)
The green frog, with his wonderful color and charming behavior, makes a great photo subject. They can be very shy when in the ponds and marshes where they live and it is often difficult to photograph them at their level. But, if you have a pond with frogs in your backyard, or… (read more)
LADYBUGS (or LADYBIRDS)
Let’s go on photo safari for ladybugs (sometimes called ladybirds). The ladybug is a striking, easy to detect beetle. Everyone likes this nice creature that is not scary or dirty, so it’s the perfect photo subject. The ladybug is used as a symbol against senseless violence. But when you see how… (read more)
APERTURE – MAGNIFICATION – DEPTH OF FIELD
These three concepts are extremely important for the macro photographer, but they are not always fully understood by everyone. APERTURE: This is often a source of confusion. Why is 16 smaller than 4? Well, the numbers are actually fractions, you often see them expressed as f/16 and… (read more)
A BEAUTIFUL ANIMAL, OR A BEAUTIFUL PHOTO
When I first started with macro photography, I didn’t want to photograph butterflies. Why not? Well, my thoughts back then were “butterflies are themselves beautiful, so it will always be a beautiful photograph.” Much later I came to the conclusion that this really isn’t true. But all… (read more)
THE DIRECTION OF THE LIGHT
In a real winter, you can find plenty of wonderful macro-photography subjects in ice, snow and hoarfrost. This has not happened yet this winter, although it is cold enough to fire up the wood-burning stove. When I was filling the firewood basket, I found a piece of wood with a… (read more)
LIVE VIEW FUNCTION
When you are photographing static subjects, it’s sometimes easier if you can take the time to carefully evaluate your camera setting and composition. Generally, when you shoot with a compact camera, you look at the image on the LCD screen, and with a digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) you generally look through… (read more)
With macro photography, there is clearly a difference in technique between photographing moving or static subjects. By static subjects, I mean flowers, seedpods, fruit, details of leaves, mushrooms, etc. Even photographing butterflies or damselflies early in the morning, when they are still too cold to move, I consider static subjects. Often they… (read more)
INDIAN SUMMER IN DETAIL
In North America, the term Indian Summer refers to hot autumn days after the first frost, a sort of reversal of the weather. This is the time when the trees take on the intense hues of orange and red. Even here in the Netherlands, landscape photographers are often inspired by the… (read more)
Although photographing mushrooms isn’t usually considered macro photography, I would like to impart some tips on this subject. After all, it is no longer the season for insects, and mushrooms are all proudly posing for us. It looks like an easy subject for our lens, and this is true, at least in… (read more)
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT…
This time I would like to break out of my niche as a macro nature photographer. Now I’m just a photographer, without macro or nature. I want to talk about how an image is created. The saying goes: “Opportunity makes the thief” and this also holds true for… (read more)
ON SAFARI IN YOUR OWN BACK YARD
One of the nice things in nature macro photography is that you can start anywhere. Just look around in your garden, or if don’t have a garden, in the park across the street. At any time of day, as long as sufficient light, you will find photographic… (read more)
At the foot of the Pyrenees in Spain is the beautiful natural campground, Camping Can Banal. The owner is from the Netherlands, so there is no language problem for Dutch travelers. The campsite is only 70 km from the French/Spanish border (by Perpignan), near Olot. This site is for real campers with… (read more)
TAKE A SECOND LOOK
We were in the Ardennes. It was towards evening when we came across a meadow with hundreds of Orange Lucerne butterflies swarming. Unfortunately, it was too late to think about photography. Luckily the next day we had fine weather as well, and the butterflies were still there. The meadow was… (read more)
STOP THE WIND
If you’re taking a picture of a flower, you’ll probably want to use a tripod. Because you need to get sufficient depth-of-field, a smaller aperture is chosen, but now you need a slower shutter speed. With a tripod you ensure that the camera is perfectly stationary, but the flower is still… (read more)
ORANGE-TIP (Anthocharis cardamines)
Female left, male right. Butterfly season begins in April here in the Netherlands. Of course you may see butterflies as early as February, but these are adult butterflies that were dormant during the winter, and became active again as the weather improved. Butterflies overwinter in several ways, depending on the species… (read more)
The male MOORFROG (Rana arvalis) turns a bright blue during the mating season. This change of clothes only last for a few days, then they return to their usual brown color. If you want to photograph this beautiful blue suit, you need to be at the right place at the right time, usually… (read more)
AN OLD WORLD SWALLOWTAIL LAYS AN EGG
It isn’t summer yet, but if you want to take a picture like this one, you’ll need an early start. Because you’ll need to plant fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) in your garden, which you can plant starting at the end of February. These swallowtails search out several different… (read more)
THE DIFFERCE BETWEEN A FULL-FRAME SENSOR (36 x 24 mm) AND AN APS-C SENSOR (22.5 x 15 mm)
On the left you see a northern dune tiger beetle (Cicindela hybrida) photographed with the EOS 5D MkII, and on the right, the same image as it would look like if it was photographed with… (read more)
PHOTOGRAPHING ICE CRYSTALS ON GLASS
This detail of ice crystals on a window pane was actually about 7.2 mm wide. The outside temperature was just above freezing, so the sharpest edges melted off. Because we’re shooting such a small area, there are lots of opportunities for unique compositions.
Camera: Canon EOS 5D MkII… (read more)
RED SWAMP CRAYFISH
The photo on the left shows the threat-position, and above in it’s environment. I photographed it in Spain by a lake called El Pantano de la Sotonera. The Red Swamp Crayfish (Procambarus clarkii), sometimes called the Louisiana crawfish, originally comes from the Southeastern United States, and is threatening the European species. Technical… (read more)