A butterfly. A beautiful butterfly. You see it floating along in all its majestic beauty. Doesn’t it look beautiful? Now, just try to photograph it!

Have you ever tried to photograph a butterfly? If you have, I’d like to know what worked for you? I was photographing osprey last week when some butterflies came along and grabbed my attention. I was waiting for the mother osprey to go out on another fishing expedition, so turning my attention elsewhere was not a problem. I thought, gee, there’s a butterfly, that should make a good photograph. Little did I realize how difficult this was going to be for me!

Butterflies are small and don’t sit still for very long. They float around from one spot to the next and focusing on them is a real challenge. I knew that chasing a butterfly is counterproductive and decided to simply stay in my position and let the butterflies come closer to me. This worked fairly well if I remained patient, but focusing still was not easy. I had many more out of focus photos than keepers. Are there any secrets or tricks to the trade when photographing butterflies?

Here are a few photos of my attempt at butterfly photography. I am not really completely happy with any of them. They are an attempt, which is a good thing, but now I have a strong desire to try this kind of wildlife photography again!

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0 Responses to Butterflies

  1. Willard says:

    They look good, Bob–but I know what you mean. They definitely know when you are after them and can be quite elusive. I have been using the 500mmF4 with 25mm extension tube lately with some success, but this has mostly trying to film (video) them with the Rebel T3i and its’ 3x crop factor. I too find them a very appealing subject and one needs to spend more time working with them. I never had much luck with the 100mm f2.8 macro lens as I couldn’t get close enough in most cases for stunning photos.

  2. bobshank says:

    Thanks, Willard! I am envious of your 500mm f/4. I’ve never had too much trouble with that commandment about not coveting your neighbor’s ox or his wife, but when it comes to the big glass I’m in big trouble!

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