Dragonflies in the Agora in Thassos, Greece

Dragonflies in Thassos


Dragonflies in Thassos


These dragonflies were in a marshy spot in the grounds of the Agora or ancient public square in Thassos.

Thassos is known as the emerald isle because of an abundance of grass and trees.

It is the most northerly island of the Aegean group and is just opposite the mainland Greek town of Kavala

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Photo Comments:

I have a strong interest in macro and wildlife photography.

One corner of the Agora or ancient meeting place in Thassos was marshland and an ideal habitat for dragonflies.

I made a number of trips in the early morning, evening and mid day to check when the dragonflies would be active or resting.

One problem was that the ground was really marshy and I could not get too close even if the dragonflies had put up with me.

Dragonflies, like other living creatures have a comfort zone and will take no notice of other creatures – even humans if they stay outside.

I had my macro lens with me, my favourite Canon 100mm and I was using a crop sensor camera which provided a focal length equivalent to about 140mm in 35mm terms.

I took some good photos with this combination but I was still not able to reach into the centre of the marsh and get close enough.

For this picture I switched to my 80-200mm Canon zoom and used a close up attachment.

This gave me both the distance and magnification that I needed.

It seems to me that the use of macro lenses has changed with digital imaging.

In the past I would have used my macro lens to photograph stamps, postcards, old bookplates and other things which needed a flat field and great overall sharpness.

Nowadays, unless I need some particular lighting effect, I just use my flatbed scanner.

The point is that for many macro shots it’s not important to have corner to corner sharpness as most of the picture area is an out of focus background.

This means that a zoom lens with a close up attachment, if stopped down a bit, can provide excellent image quality.

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Stock photography by John Rocha at Alamy

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