As I mentioned on Twitter the other day, on Sunday afternoon, with nothing better to do, I took over 715 photos of the butterflies around the flowering Duranta hedge in our front yard. I was pleasantly surprised when I came back inside to find that well over half of them were decent photos, and more than 100 were actually quite good. Processing them was a bit of a pain – picking the best ones proved difficult. Anyway, here’s a selection from the day.
I’ve put the best ones in as images, and then rolled the rest of the good ones into a couple of galleries.
This is one of the shots that I was after for most of the day. However, since the flowers were mostly above eye level there weren’t that many that I could get the right angle on. Common Lime Butterfly A.K.A. Mariposa del Muerte A.K.A. Citrus Swallowtail Butterfly A.K.A. Papilio Demoleus. 60D + 24-105L.
Almost exactly what I was aiming for here. The only thing I wasn’t happy about was the out of focus flower in front of the butterfly. I was going to ‘shop it out… but then I just couldn’t bring myself to do that. Kinda feels dishonest. Monarch Butterfly A.K.A. Wanderer A.K.A. Danaus plexippus. 60D + CZ 135mm.
Best “study” shot of a Papilio Demoleus I got. 60D + 24-105L.
Butterflies in flight are difficult. They are erratic, and surprisingly fast for such graceful creatures. Believe it or not this was with the manual focus CZ 135mm. Danaus plexippus. 60D + CZ 135mm.
And because of the crazy erratic flight, sometimes you miss the focus. But sometimes that’s a good thing. Danaus plexippus. 60D + CZ 135mm.
I love this one because it’s like it’s trying to hide from the camera (actually it flew in there when I moved suddenly, so it’s hiding from me). Papilio demoleus. 60D + 24-105L.
Another angle that I found quite difficult to shoot, owing the the fact that butterflies mostly hold their wings together when resting, or continue to flap the wings to maintain stability. Papilio demoleus. 60D + CZ 135mm.
Anyway, that’s it for my favourite shots, however, there was three other images I was really happy with. At some stage during the afternoon I noticed a particular Papilio demoleus that must’ve been quite an elderly specimen, as it wasn’t white anymore (they yellow with age). I decided that it was something different, so I wanted to shoot it. Of course, as soon as I started, a younger individual entered the picture. I’m not sure if this was attempted courtship or some kind of dispute, but I shot it anyway:
And now for the rest of the good images:
I think I’ll take a break from butterflies now.