MOAR BUTTERFLIES!!!!

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.

Was trying for this shot for a lot of the day, but since the flowers were mostly above eye level there weren't that many that I could get the right angle on.

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. EOS-60D + CZ 135mm.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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:

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And now for the rest of the good images:

I think I’ll take a break from butterflies now.

Shannon Walters

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

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