Grasping opportunities

Black-necked Grebe
Black-necked Grebe

Sometimes one has to grasp an opportunity when he sees one. Yesterday was such a day. In photography it’s always good to focus on a subject and and not get distracted by other things. That way you might end up with nothing, no pictures of the original target and no pictures of whatever was distracting. However, sometimes an opportunity shows that is too good to let go.

I came home from school yesterday with a pile of exams to grade. However, the weather was good, finally, so I decided to go out, to search for dragonflies. My main target was the Crescent Bluet, a damselfly species that is only active in the spring. When I arrived at the place where I hoped to find them, it turned out to be harder as I expected. I found one, but she was gone before I could get my camera. A bit later I found another one, but he took off into the (very vulnerable) swamp. So also no good for pictures… Meanwhile I found some other photographers who were taking pictures of Black-necked Grebes in the nice evening light. They were really close and didn’t seem to be bothered by the presence of some photographers nearby. These birds are one of the nicest of the Netherlands, with their bright red eye and yellow ear tufts. As the sun was low already, the light became better and better. I decided to change lenses and join the other photographers. I laid down near the shore and waited for the grebes to show up near my. After a while one past a bit of open water, allowing me to take this picture.

After the grebes had gone, I gave the damselflies another try, but they still didn’t want to pose…

Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.


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