I recently visited the Millingerwaard twice. The reason was the messages on waarneming.nl about vagrant emperor dragonflies. Vagrant emperor dragonflies were indeed plentiful and I also saw a number of lesser emperor dragonflies.
It is a beautiful area where you can go walk wherever you want, without having to stick to public footpaths: explore!
No signs with conditions and commandments, no posts to follow on beaten paths, no landscape raked and mowed, no visitor center or other entertainment. Go in the footsteps of a predecessor, person, cow or horse. Or pave your own way, while in the background the industrial orchestra of the sand excavation sounds.
Just after sunrise, the view is still largely covered by the fog. The growl of sand excavation mixes with the moans of a galloway, while the rising sun slowly reveals the landscape. This scene alone makes the trip more than worthwhile.
The dragonflies are fortunately easy to find, but the challenge remains, creating a gripping composition. The play with the light, the separation of foreground and background with the limited depth of field of a macro lens. I am not concerned with registering, but with my vision, the interpretation of the moment.
As I explore the area, I hear the rustling of dragonfly wings. In the grass I find a battered lesser emperor dragonfly. A leg is missing and flying is no longer possible. After a few portraits I leave the dragonfly in a sheltered place. Did I use or abuse a situation? The life of a dragonfly is short and intense.
In the past I regularly visited the Amsterdam watersupply dunes, also a nature reserve where you are free to explore. I need to visit that area sometime soon ...
More macro photography in my portfolio.