I would dearly love to photograph butterflies in flight but this is no easy task. Their flight path is ridiculously erratic and their wings flap right over their heads making focus on the eyes almost impossible.
I tried to capture this one for a long time one day last summer. I can almost imagine it’s looking at me thinking: shall I, shan’t I?
This is the best shot I got that day. Yes, it’s not terribly good, but at least you can tell it’s a butterfly 😉 I will try again this year. Although I have planted for insects, my garden sees very few butterflies, but a wildflower park has recently been planted not too far away and it will hopefully be open to the public for the first time this spring. Come on Spring, hurry up!
Not the least bit dodgy IMHO….
Thanks. As long as you don’t look too closely 😉
Don’t know where I hid that magnifying glass 😉
These are great, Rachael. I think the only time I was ever successful at shooting butterflies are when they are in captivity…
I do have an ok shot of a captive butterfly in flight in a glasshouse but I don’t count that one. The big hothouse species are a lot easier, aren’t they.
Some butterflies are definitely easier to photograph than others. Your cabbage white is one of those that don’t sit still very long and have very erratic flight. Pick something less flighty like Red Admirals or Swallowtails (sorry, I don’t know what you call them in the UK).
Sadly, I have never seen a red admiral in my garden, despite planting for them. I think they are just not around our area much. There is a native swallowtail in Britain, but not in this part. In fact, I have never seen one in the wild. The biggest butterfly I get in my garden is the comma. I am going to try to photograph one in flight
this year. Maybe I will get lucky! Otherwise, it’s small whites, holly blues, the very occasional orange tip, and on one occasion only, a small copper. That was a beauty!
They are sometime maddening to photograph. In all the photos I’ve taken, I’ve only managed one decent photo in flight (http://smu.gs/WkQdAR). Still, it’s nice to get them standing still as well.
I had a look at your shot and it’s super! No wonder it’s one of your favourites. I think it’s a swallowtail? As I said to Sue, we have a native swallowtail in this country but it’s rare and I have never seen one in the wild. I would love to though. I do have a shot of one in flight in a glasshouse, but that’s cheating 😉
I have trouble with butterflies too. You did a great job! Like Sue said these are particularly hard, they don’t sit still at all. Not to make you long for spring even more, but I took a walk in the salt marsh today and there were hundreds of these white butterflies flitting around every where. Hang in there and take lots of photos!
Thanks, Roy. It’s snowing here so I think I have a long wait ahead of me before any butterflies show up. Did you take any pictures? I will pop over to your blog and see.
I prefer shooting butterflies with the video cam. The only way I can get them to sit still long enough for a close-up is with a rotting banana or tomato prop — hardly the pretty flowered background!