Standing at the edge of a small fenland pond somewhere in the East of the Netherlands, I wonder how many people notice the spectacular show that is taking place just above the water’s surface. Not many, I estimate, because I am regularly asked by passing walkers what it is that I am photographing. “Damselflies,” I reply, and just to be certain they understand I point to the slender blue stripes that are flashing across the water.
It is unbelievably fascinating to immerse yourself in the world of insects. You enter a new domain that few people know. Another great thing is that this nature-in-miniature is often entirely free of human influence. Pure wilderness at micro level. The small fen seems to be a paradise for damselflies and dragonflies. On a hot summer’s day, it is a hive of activity, with dozens of damselflies skimming across the surface together. The purple moor-grass and soft rushes along the edge are full of couples, angrily engaged in reproduction. Again and again I try to capture the elegance of the damselflies in my photographs. It’s a difficult task. They are incredibly fast, agile and unpredictable – at least to me. It’s only after many thousands of shots and several more summers that I have some images that I feel do justice to the beauty of these graceful hunters.
The damselfly photo series was published in GEO magazine, National Geographic (NL edition) and many other magazines.