Here are some frequently asked questions. Click them to display our answers. If your question hasn't been answered below, please email us directly at or use our feedback form.
1. Why dragonflies?
A short answer: because with 300 million years on their clock they predate crocodiles. And - unlike most crocodiles - they can even fly backwards!
2. What equipment do you use?
Our typical setup consists of a Canon EOS 40D, 50D or 7D mounted on a tripod with a ballhead, a dedicated 90, 100 or 180 mm macro lens, a wireless or cable shutter release and occasionally one or more extension tubes.
3. Do you use tele or zoom lenses?
No, we don't. We only use dedicated, manually-focussed macro lenses with a focal length of 90, 100 or mostly 180 mm.
4. What type of flash do you use?
We'd like to say that we never use flash, and that would be almost but not entirely true. On our Boyeria irene species page three of the 20 photographs were taken with flash (i.e. the camera's built-in flash); all our other photographs of European species were taken without. So that's three photographs out of a total of more than 2,500. Our reason for avoiding flash is quite simple: photographs made with natural light are more ... erm ... natural than those made with flash.
5. Wouldn't it be much easier to capture those dragonflies and then photograph them?
Yes, it certainly would be. But would you be happy with a 'wildlife photograph' made in a zoo? Or with a photograph of a 'ferocious' lion which has first been heavily sedated? We wouldn't, and so we only photograph animals that are free to come and go as they please, even if that means many can't be photographed. No net, no ether, no tricks - just the camera and lots of patience.
6. How will you ship my prints?
Once we have received your payment, your prints will be shipped in a cardboard postal cylinder or in a flat sturdy box.
7. Do you ship framed photographs?
No, we don't. Unfortunately the risk of breakage or other damage during transport is too high. But of course you can, and we believe you should, get your prints framed locally.
8. How much are the shipping costs?
Since we offer free worldwide shipping, shipping costs are included in the price.
9. How will you send me my soft copies?
Once we have received your payment, we will copy your photographs to a temporary password-protected dropzone on our server and will inform you of your personal password. After you have downloaded the files, we will then remove them. Alternatively, we can send you the photographs on a CD.
10. Can I get a large soft copy before deciding whether to order?
Yes, upon request we can send you a large 'soiled' proof copy with a banner text written across that will allow you to assess the quality of our photographs. This copy is for inspection purposes only and must not be distributed to any third party.
11. What is your returns policy?
Our policy is not to accept any returns or to give any refunds, except in very specific and unusual circumstances (e.g. photographs damaged during transport).
Our policy is not to provide any of your details to any third party, ever.
13. Will I have to pay import duties on my order?
Since we use a print partner based in the EU for our European customers and a print partner based in the US for our US customers, taxes or duties shouldn't be an issue, at least for our EU and US customers.
14. Do you accept credit card or PayPal payments?
No, we don't. For your and our comfort and security, we only accept bank transfer payments.
15. I'm the editor of a popular science magazine. Can we publish some of your photos?
Yes, of course you can. We'd be happy to discuss with you the terms and conditions of such publication, and to establish reasonable licensing fees.
16. How many of your photos have been published and where?
So far a few of our photographs have been included in the following publications:
* Bos, Wasscher & Reinboud (2007): Veldgids Libellen, 5th ed.
* Sundseth & Creed (2009): Natura 2000 - Protecting Europe's Biodiversity
* Boudot, Kalkman et al. (2009): Atlas of the Odonata of the Mediterranean and North Africa; Libellula Supplement 9
* García, Diaz, Gordillo & Breña (2010): Atlas de los Odonatos de Extremadura
* Grao, Romero & Garrido (2009): Odonatos. Habitantes del agua
* Lopau, W. (2010): Verbreitungsatlas der Libellen in Griechenland (Odonata); Libellula Supplement 10
* Mezquita Aranburu, I. (2012): Libélulas de Bizkaia; "Temas vizcainos" collection, no. 444-445
* Verdú, J. R., Numa, C. & Galante, E. (eds)(2011). Atlas y Libro Rojo de los Invertebrados amenazados de España (Especies Vulnerables). Click here to download this publication in PDF format.
and we're hopeful that many more publications will follow in 2013.
17. I'd prefer my prints with a grey border and with a French caption. Is that possible?
Yes, it is. We can put whatever colour border you'd like and either remove the caption altogether or include the species' common name in another language. In case there is any doubt, we will consult you first before deciding on the appropriate common name.
18. Are you sure your captions refer to the correct species?
Yes, we are reasonably sure. If we have any doubts about the correct determination of a species, we don't include any photographs of the animal(s) in question. We are also very fortunate to have enlisted the assistance of expert entomologists in determining the species.
19. How do you crop your photographs?
We'd like to say that we never crop any of our photographs but that wouldn't be entirely true - even though it does remain our objective to avoid cropping altogether. Having said that, the reality is a bit more complex and we need to distinguish between shaving and cropping. Because we put a one-inch border around our prints, and because we print on 18 x 12 inch paper, we have to shave some pixels off the height of our landscape-orientated photographs (or the width of our portrait-orientated photographs) in order to maintain/restore the original 3 x 2 (or 2 x 3) format. Other than such shaving, however, 96.7% of our photographs (as of February 2013) are indeed uncropped. In other words, they only contain native pixels rather than the 'invented', interpolated pixels that come with cropping. Those photographs that we have cropped fall into two main categories: older photos for which we used relatively short focal-length lenses and couldn't get close enough to the subject to fill our sensor sufficiently with it, and photographs of dragonflies in flight, where such closeness is virtually impossible to achieve with a manually-focussed macro lens, irrespective of its focal length. If you would like more information about the degree of cropping applied to a photograph before ordering a print of it, please let us know and we'll gladly send you the relevant data.
20. How often do you use autofocus?
We'd like to say that we never use autofocus and, as of June 2005, that would indeed be entirely true. In other words, for the past seven years now we have exclusively used manual focus. For some of our older photographs (made in 2004 and early 2005), we did use autofocus, but they now represent less than 0.5% of our portfolio and we'll continue to work towards better, manually-focussed replacements.
21. Who do you use for printing your photos?
We've been very happy to use the services of Peak Imaging of Sheffield, UK, who have provided us with superb photographic prints and excellent service. Peak Imaging use a Durst Theta 76 printer and print on Fuji Crystal Archive paper (Satin Matt and Gloss).
22. Do you only do 18 x 12" prints?
No, not necessarily. Upon request we can also provide smaller prints (e.g. 6 x 4" or 18 x 12 cm) which are very suitable for making your own greeting cards. But we don't normally do prints larger than 18 x 12 inches (45.72 x 30.48 cm). Having said that, our large posters are 30 x 20 inches (76.2 x 50.8 cm)!
23. Why do you have 20 photos of so many species?
Because 20 is the maximum we've set ourselves for each European species. So ultimately we're hoping to put 2,580 high-quality photographs up on our site. In the meantime, whenever it makes sense to do so, we replace existing photos with newer, even better ones.
24. Why is there no forum on your website?
We don't host a forum for three main reasons. Firstly, maintaining and policing a forum would be an administrative task which would only distract time and attention from our main activity, dragonfly photography. Secondly, we reckon there are already enough forums as it is and ours would almost certainly add no value whatsoever. And thirdly, we don't particularly like a lot of the forums we've seen; a large number of them seem rather parasitic in nature in that their owners tend to generate very little content themselves, other than the occasional equipment field test in which they claim on rather spurious grounds that "camera X is vastly superior to camera Y", "lens A blows lens B out of the water", etc. And such a claim is then typically accompanied by a direct link to the owner's favourite retailer's website. So instead of generating quality content to attract visitors those forum owners seem more interested in generating internet traffic, presumably with a view to increasing their (click-through) advertising revenue. If that idea appeals to you, then you're in luck - you should have no problem whatsoever finding a forum or two somewhere near you. If the idea doesn't appeal to you and you'd rather see content than unsolicited advertising, then you too are in luck - you've come to the right place.
25. Can I include one or two of your photos in my PowerPoint presentation?
We receive this request quite often and to date we've never refused (although we do continue to reserve the right to refuse). We insist, though, that you do ask our permission prior to the presentation and that you include the appropriate accreditations.