Question: What is the connection between dragonflies and the Japanese flag? Answer: a photo competition. The foundation for protection of butterflies and dragonflies in the Netherlands held a photo competition and in the article on the competition's outcome in its magazine Vlinders, the jury said that it first ditched photos that were "like the Japanese flag". No further explanation, so I had to think about if for a second or two, but then it dawned on me. The Japanese flag has a red circle in the middle of a white field, and that is--whatever else it may be in any type of symbolism or national honour and pride--not the model of a dynamic, interesting photo composition. So all photos with a butterfly or dragonlfly boringly in the middle of way too much space around it, did not make it to the second round of the competition.
I'd almost say that I wich I had that problem. I find it hard enough to get close enough to these fascinating insects to get a good picture (no, I would not settle for the amount of white of the Japanese flag) and then to have the luck that they sit still for long enough to et a sharp picture. All I can add to this first message in too many weeks on my blog is a testimony to my frustration, photographed in the Netherlands, last summer: some kind of a dragonfly that sat still for long enough, but I was too much in a hurry to push the button to take the time to make sure that I had enough sharpness and depth of field... Although it is red like the centre of the Japanese flag, at least it is not boringly in the middle and with a little cropping you can easily avoid the large (white) space around it. And then to see the amazingly good pictures that made it into the Vlinders magazine! Lots of room for improvement--let's try this summer!