I like a challenge but have to say it will take some practice. Not that many butterflies other than Cabbage Whites fly around the yard in the first place, but getting them focused is really difficult with their jerky motion. This post is not how to do it, but just to give it a try. I have photographed them in flight before, but never so close. One day I hope to get really nice shots. Practice, practice, practice…
I am not talking about landing and feeding, but them fluttering around the garden. I have great photos of them sitting and feeding… but I could not get one photo in flight that was really sharp and clear.
This Swallowtail never landed on the carrots but looked like he might, that is why I have the closeup shots. I should have had the camera shutter speed a bit faster. In case you are wondering, it was 1/1000 sec. f5.0 ISO 400. It really needed 1/1250 sec. at least to keep the wings from blurring. Note to self.
Hummingbirds I can stop the wings at 1/1000 sec. I have images of the hummingbirds using my feeder finally. It took cutting down all the Monarda for them to take a gander at the feeders. The wind ravaged the plants, so it was cut back hard to rebloom later.
This image taken today by the Monarda that bloomed again is if you lower the shutter speed. 1/320 sec. f5.6 ISO 400. Many prefer the blur to show the motion. I like seeing the light through the wings.
You will see hummingbirds in free flight coming up. Again, much harder than hovering at a flower or feeder, like shown above.
The Swallowtail seemed very attracted to the carrots, so I kept the camera framing them and just waited for the flyby. I have parsley, fennel and basil growing and flowering, but he wanted carrots. He also ignored the Butterfly Weed. Oh well, just glad to have something that interested him.
Maybe him is a her! I can’t tell the difference. The carrot family is a good place for some butterflies to lay eggs. Who knows, maybe some caterpillars soon.
I did notice against a darker background the camera could focus a bit better through all the fluttering and weaving back and forth. You really have to give this a try. I did have fun chasing him around.
Between them and erratically flying dragonflies, it pushes one’s photographic limits.
Exposure is hard to determine. In the hummingbirds coming up, I sat and waited until a hummingbird flew into the garden and captured him on entry to land in the pear tree. I was not happy with either the Swallowtail or the hummingbird shots, but with practice these panning shots will become more easily executed. Practice is the key…
This is a flying Black Saddlebags Dragonfly above. Also hard to photograph…
Unless of course they are resting.
It is funny, but my Swallowtail flew right in front of my NWF sign but I did not get a very focused shot. The best one was right before he got there. Thought he might like to do a little conservation promotion…
Well, my little exercise proved harder than I thought. I hope a few more fly in so I get some practice.
Garden tour next! We are off to….