Thursday, July 21, 2011

Butterflies of the World

I have spent more of my time as a photographer taking pictures of  Butterflies and Moths than any other person, place or thing. The combination of beauty and color has provided me with a never ending project that no mater how long I spend in it, this project will never be over. There are several problems with photographing these insects. First you have to find them (go to a live butterfly show for those of you who don't know where to find them). After you find some butterflies you find that they are moving objects that don't sit still and may flap their wings while you are taking a picture. Next in order to keep the wings in focus a high depth of field is needed,  (try 400 to 800) but a slow shutter speed will cause blur if the wings are moving. I mostly have found that an iso of around 200 and a lot of waiting till their is no movement yields the outcome that I like. Macro lenses are great but not always needed, and flashes sometimes cause the butterfly to close it's wings before the shutter opens.... good luck  

This is a Hummingbird Moth it took me 6 years to figure out how get this shot. This moth spends about 2 or 3 seconds hovering on each flower. I mostly get a blur with every camera setting tried. With a nikon wide angle 18-35mm lens held at arms length (auto focus) using a shutter speed of 1/250 sec. and the pop up flash (iso 250) this is the result. Remember generally  I try photographing butterflies at around f-16 or higher.

 Blue Cracker
 Tailed Jay
 Heliconius doris
Emerald Swallowtail

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