Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Dew-covered damselflies glitter like jewels in the morning sunshine


Beautiful: Dew drops on the damselflys in the dawn sun makes them shimmer like jewels

These sparkling objects look more like dazzling jewels than humble damselflies.

But the beautiful creations are actually insects covered in early morning dew, a combination which creates a jaw-dropping natural effect in the morning sunshine.

The incredible images were captured on camera by photographer Patrick Goossens.

Early riser: Goosens gets up before dawn every morning to take his pictures

The Belgian insect expert has dedicated years to getting the perfect shot, studying dragonfly and damselfly behaviour to help him get closer to the creatures.

Goossens, 50, gets up before sunrise to catch the dew-covered insects in their best light and has just minutes to capture the sparkling creatures before the wind and sun cause the tiny drops of water to evaporate.

The photographer, from St-Martens-Bodegem, near Brussels, said: 'My interest in dragonflies and damselflies started five years ago, when I was forced to stay at home for a few months after a severe work accident.

Routine: Goossens likes to be in position 15 minutes before the sun comes up to capture the natural effect

Conditions: The best chance of dew comes from May to June and from September to October

'While I was sitting in my garden next to my pond, a dragonfly was landing in front of me.

'It was beautiful, but I didn't know much about them.

'I looked them up on the internet and bought some books about their behaviour, before joining a dragonfly association.

'The first year my photos were really bad, but the more I learnt about their behaviour the easier it was to approach them and the better my photos were.

'Then one morning I found some damselflies completely covered with dew.
'They looked awesome and I started to photograph them as much as I could.

Make it snappy: Goossens has to work quickly because wind blows the dew from the damselflies

'I have to get up early to find the dragonflies while they're still covered in dew and I like to be on the spot 15 minutes before sunrise.

'The best chances for dew are in the months of May to June and September to October. If there is some ground mist, that will add to the amount of drops.

'I have to be very careful when setting up my tripod and camera, so as not to hit the grass or vegetation and cause the dewdrops to fall.

'I have to work fast, because once the sun comes up the wind is picking up also, and the dew will be gone very quickly.

'Dragonflies and damselflies have become my passion.

'The thrill of capturing them on camera in their full glory is very exciting for me and I hope it will encourage other people to take an interest in them.'

source: dailymail

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