04 August 2009

Insects at last!

Over the years I've never really been massively into insects. Not that I've anything against them - it's just that I much prefer photographing my bigger birds and mammals. That said, I've still tried to get some decent shots, and I know that invertebrates will be useful for illustrating articles etc.

The last couple of summers saw a combination of increased effort on my part, along with two of the wettest summers on record. That put pay to my aims to increase my butterfly and dragonfly portfolio.. This year it's been quite different, and finally my efforts have paid off. I've managed a number of butterflies which I desparately wanted, including the frustrating common blue. Dragonflies however, continue to taunt me. Here's a few successful images - a combination of persistence and timing helping to bag some butterfly shots.

Early morning searches for inactive butterflies has proved pretty fruitless. Therefore my technique for butterfly photography has been pretty standard, usually shooting an hour or two after sunrise and trying to photograph towards the light. My usual technique is to rate at ISO 200 and shoot handheld, often around 1/250 at f8, using my elbows as support whenever possible, and firing a series of shots to increase chances of pin-sharpness.No dragonflies this summer as yet, but a nice colourful image of a damselfly which was very obliging. The light was very harsh so I waited for the cloud to pass over the sun and then shot. Reduced light levels in this case meant shooting at ISO 400 and hand holding at shutter speeds down to 1/125 second - tough to keep it pin sharp but it's possible. A few butterfly species have been a little elusive, including orange tip, but I can't complain too much - it's been a fairly successful year.

1 comment:

  1. I like the common blues - good symmetry and their beautiful antennas too.. Just wish I could find this myself..!