Mike: Sorry, I missed your earlier question. If I'm using my DSLR (which isn't often, because it's a real pain to drag it and all its lenses around for very long lol), then I focus manually. If I'm using my zoom point and shoot, I turn the "constant auto-focus" to off. I normally try to just focus on the head (eyes in particular) and crop off the rest as, if it's a large animal, you're bound to see the "waves/imperfections" in a larger piece of plastic. If it's real glass (outdoors) you're going to get reflections of objects and people (including you lol) unless the sun is directly behind you. If you're lucky enough to be the only person standing there, then move your camera to what I call a calligraphy slant (anywhere from 45 to 90 degrees) to the subject, if you can. INDOOR glass cages are almost impossible to shoot a decent picture through (as I'm sure folks who have tried photographing the lions at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas have discovered lol), as there are reflections all over the place due to the overhead and exterior lights, as well as any open doorways down the halls in zoos. Haven't had much luck with those at all. I did get some decent ones of apes/monkeys in the San Diego Zoo, but that was only because the animals were quite far back from the barrier, so it was easier to focus on them (without the camera trying to look at the closest object all the time). I'll try to find some of those (I have about 20,000 photographs - 19,500 of which aren't worth posting lol - between 3 computers and numerous cd's, so it might take me awhile).
Ren: I believe your dragonfly is a male Fulvous Forest Skimmer (Neurothemis fulvia
). The female doesn't look much like the male at all. The critters are found throughout Asia/India.
gossamer and golden - is it any wonder small children mistake these for fairies? : )