If you’ve been reading my posts here, you would definitely know how much trouble I go through to get dragonfly shots much of the time. I think they are incredible creatures and find it well worth it. Well sometimes you get lucky and can get images with much less work.
The photos running in the slide show here are the perfect example.
It was car wash day at the house, although at that moment I was, if I remember correctly, writing a post here on this blog. Suddenly, I was notified to get my butt out to the driveway to photograph this Flame Skimmer. In the interest of moving fast I just grabbed my 1dIII and 180mm macro. After photographing him for a while and seeing he was pretty tolerant as long as I approached him very slowly, I decided to go get my flash rig.
About half of the images here are from that phase.
Things at this point were going so smoothly that I decided to grab my camcorder and make some video footage of him hunting from the antenna. The encounter only ended when I determined that I had made just about every image I could think of and went back to my other work.
Shortly after Nature Photography Day, I posted a bit here with a behind the scenes video of what I did that day. I didn’t post the still images here because I religiously register copyright images on photographs monthly. It is considerably easier to register unpublished images, so I keep them unpublished until I register them. Unfortunately, this does mean that sometimes I am dying to show you a few images here and must wait until later. For example, on Sunday I shot a bunch of Civil War reenactment photos that I really want to show you now, but must wait. (Interestingly enough, my favorite images were not at the height of the action, but at other times throughout the day.)
Anyhow, the main point of this post is to show you the still images I made that day. The above slideshow would be them or if you’d like more time to study these spiders and bees.
You probably know that I recently wrote a how-to book on Insect Photography, Insects in a Flash. These images illustrate quite well the point about going to flowers to help find insects that I talk about in the book.
Yesterday was a big day for me. My first book of any kind, Insects in a Flash, was published as an e-book. I was very excited and if you saw about this post on Facebook or Google+ then you know that already. As you can probably imagine though, there was a lot of work building up to this.
Obviously, there was all the time photographing the insects. I’ve touched upon this here before and it is not the subject of this particular post.
The process as far as producing the book begins when I discovered Flatbooks (advertising banner to side.) I can’t remember how this exactly happened, but it all started from a suggestion by Scott Kelby that we check out Trey Ratcliff, the founder of Flatbooks. Eventually, I found Flatbooks and clicked on one of the various links about becoming one of their authors. I had an idea in my head about teaching my methods for photographing insects. I proposed this idea to them and in a little while, just long enough for the whole thing to slip my mind, I got a reply back that they were interested in the story.
After this came a short discussion on schedule for delivering the book etc. Once that was ironed out I began work on the book.
I essentially considered the photography complete unless I happened to make a few more images before submitting the completed work. Turns out that spring has been unusually cool here in Oregon and thus photographing my preferred dragonfly species has not been very productive. So, there was the writing to do. At one point, I found writing reasonably easy, but I am out of practice. Thus, it was a bit of a struggle and one I faced mostly alone, except for some editing and inspirational help from family.
After that step, came the design. I decided to get a subscription of Adobe’s InDesign and tackle this step myself. I completed an initial draft and had family check it for real obvious problems. Then I submitted it to Luke at Flatbooks. This is when it became real obvious just how helpful Flatbooks can be. Luke did the real obvious proofing, plus a great deal of design advice. It was great to see the design move along pretty dramatically, but still keep the essentials of what I originally envisioned. After, a few iterations of this process, Luke thought it was time to hand it off to Griffin for a final polishing.
Griffin worked mostly autonomously, but did come to me for digital assets necessary for completion of the book as well as my approval on the work. In no time at all, Griffin was completing is final polishing and the book was installed on the web site ready to go. Griffin has also offered help on a few issues I’ve been having with the banner ad, etc., items he had no obligation to help me with.
The most unusual thing about the whole process to me was I sure can’t figure out what sort of hours these guys work. I got e-mail messages from them at all sorts of strange times. Being that I’m passionate about this and willing to address things completely outside the window you’d normally consider work hours, meant this allowed for faster progress.