a lesson from the dragonfly

The photos on this post were actually taken over a year ago, in summer 2009, and are outtakes for a shot I was trying to get for the book.  I took over 100 shots of this dragonfly, and the image that I finally chose might actually be my favourite that I took of all the ones in the book.

I remember when I was shooting this dragonfly, I was amazed by how determined he was to remain resting there on this dried-up branch of a potted plant in our back garden.  He let me get really close to him, but every now and then he would get a bit nervous and fly about 2 feet above my head.  After a few seconds, he'd return to the exact same position on the branch, and allow me to take a few more shots from different angles.

Then he would fly about 2 feet above my head.

Then gently alight on the branch.

Then fly ....

... and alight.

Over and over this dragonfly did this, for about 20 minutes, as I shot photographs from various different angles; up close, and from far away.

In a lot of ways, this month I feel like that dragonfly:  I know I should be sitting still, enjoying the lull before the real marketing and promotion of the book begins, but every now and then I feel like I! should! be! doing! something!

Then I calm down and realize that perhaps I should just take it a day at a time, that the book launch hasn't even happened yet.

Then I think but I! should! be! outlining! the! second! book!

Then I realize that since the first book isn't officially launched yet, I probably have some time.

It is the curse of the type-A personality, I suppose: the need to be always be thinking about the next project, and get it going.  But as I was looking through all the photos of this dragonfly last night, I was reminded that patience, in this case and on that day, won out:  because he kept returning, I managed to get one of the best photographs I've ever taken. 

Sometimes patience, it seems, results in a happy ending.

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Incidentally, the next installment of Own Your Beauty is currently being featured on The Beauty of Different blog:  this month, we discuss imperfection, perception, and the fact that there are no flaws.  Feel free to go check it out.


Images:  Photographed with my Nikon D300, 60mm micro lens.  The images were inspired by Pam in Missouri who left a comment in the photography scavenger hunt, saying "dragonflies, at rest or in flight; I think they are the most beautiful creature God has made."


SongWe have all the time in the world, as performed by Fun Lovin' Criminals