Butterflies (And More Zeiss 135 Shots)

Yesterday Stacey, Ivan and I attended an ABC Open photography workshop/Clermont Camera Social Club meetup hosted by the wonderful Werner family on their property “Vicenza” (first syllable pronounced as in vice I’m told), which is roughly 85km out of Clermont. ABC Open Tropical North producer Daniel Battley drove out from Mackay to run the workshop, and the topics were use of Go Pro and Contour and other similar sports video cameras, the Video Postcards Project ABC Open is running currently, and shooting for the Snapped: Reflections theme. To be honest, the reflections theme really hasn’t inspired me as much as I’d hoped, but instead I got the opportunity to shoot something I’ve had trouble with in the past: butterflies.

Out the front of the station house they have a lovely garden full of Duranta erecta plants, which are all flowering. And given that most of the surrounding country is currently lying fallow waiting for rains before planting, there were literally hundreds of butterflies congregating around the flowers. So, after wondering around the cars for a bit thinking about how to shoot a good reflections shot, I decided to give up and shoot the butterflies. And, because I like challenges, I decided to shoot the erratically moving little critters on a manual focus/manual aperture lens. I actually did pretty well…

Euploea alcathoe (I think), this was one of the best in terms of focus and depth of field. 60D + CZ Jena 135.

Euploea alcathoe (I think), this was one of the best in terms of focus and depth of field. 60D + CZ Jena 135.

100% crop of the above image. 60D + CZ Jena 135.

100% crop of the above image. Considering this isn’t a dedicated macro lens, and is more than 30 years old, I’m impressed. 60D + CZ Jena 135.

I think this one is a Papilio demoleus. They didn't stay still as much, so I didn't have as many successes with them, but I really like the way this shot highlights how torn up the trailing edges of this individual's wings are. 60D + CZ Jena 135.

I think this one is a Papilio demoleus. They didn’t stay still as much, so I didn’t have as many successes with them, but I really like the way this shot highlights how torn up the trailing edges of this individual’s wings are. 60D + CZ Jena 135.

Another Papilio demoleus, didn't quite get the right focus this time either, but still a pretty photo.

Another Papilio demoleus, didn’t quite get the right focus this time, but still a pretty photo. 60D + CZ Jena 135.

Another Euploea alcathoe.

Another shot of the Euploea alcathoe in the first shot. 60D + CZ Jena 135.

Another Euploea alcathoe (I think), to prove the first one wasn't just luck.

Another Euploea alcathoe shot (this is also the same individual as the first shot I think), to prove the first one wasn’t just luck. 60D + CZ Jena 135mm.

I love it when you miss the focus you were after, but still get a great shot. I love how in focus the trailing edge is in this shot. Euploea alcathoe, I think. 60D + CZ Jena 135mm.

I love it when you miss the focus you were after, but still get a great shot.The focus highlighting the trailing edge of this Euploea alcathoe’s wings is amazing, even if I do say so myself. 60D + CZ Jena 135mm.

Incidentally, we actually showed up to the workshop about 45 minutes late, because we got sidetracked on the way taking photos:

Wolfang Peak looking all gloomy under some morning fog that had lifted but hadn't quite burned off yet. First time I'd seen it from this angle. 60D + CZ Jena 135.

Wolfang Peak looking all gloomy under some morning fog that had lifted but hadn’t quite burned off yet. First time I’d seen it from this angle. 60D + CZ Jena 135.

And the same subject shot from beside the Peak Downs Highway after little Ivan decided he was hungry. EOS-60D + CZ Jena 135.

And the same subject shot from beside the Peak Downs Highway after little Ivan decided he was hungry. EOS-60D + CZ Jena 135.

I also took the opportunity to play around with a couple of my other manual lenses, as well as trying out the video mode on my 60D with a couple of test videos, but that’ll be for another post.

As a side note, my posts from yesterday were also shot before/during the workshop. It’s a pity they aren’t doing a theme for refractions rather than reflections.

The video postcard the group made during the workshop can be found here, although since I was feeling sapped of inspiration I didn’t really contribute much except for proof reading the “script”.

Also, you can check out a couple of the Clermont Camera Social Club’s Snapped: Reflections contributions taken during the workshop here, here, here and here.

Shannon Walters

An amateur photographer who also spends time making chainmaille and doing too many other things to mention.

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