How to Photograph Butterflies


Introduction

For my first 245 blog postings the narrative has followed the classic travelogue or trail-guide model. Much information has been included in the posting about the trails, the environment and flora & fauna.

Beginning with this blog, the approach will be to keep the narrative short. I will either focus on why the particular hike is of unique interest, or focus on how one or more of the pictures were taken. I may include some tips about using an iPhone for taking outdoor photos too.

Let me know what you think about the new approach. Also, if you have other ideas to make the blog more appealing, please use the comment box below. I would also be interested in your thoughts about improving the format.

Butterflies

The trick to photographing small things that move a lot is to use a telephoto lens with a fast shutter speed (ISO 1000 or higher). Another tip is to keep your DSLR’s on/off switch in the on position with the lens’ cap removed. When a butterfly lands close by, immediately focus on its head and shoot quickly and often.

Look for butterflies in mid-summer in the alpine areas where colorful wildflowers are still in bloom. The butterflies below were shot on 6,500-foot Lookout Mountain east of Mt. Hood.

Huckleberries

Huckleberries

Two-headed Butterfly?

Two-headed Butterfly (Fritillaries)

Mt. Hood manufacturing its own storm

Mt. Hood manufacturing its own storm

A hazy look over eastern Oregon from the summit of Lookout Mountain

A hazy look over eastern Oregon from the summit of Lookout Mountain

Butterfly enjoying a Yarrow

Sooty Hairstreak Butterfly

Oval Lake

Oval Lake

Scarlet Gilia

Scarlet Gilia

Fret Creek

Fret Creek

Butterfly enjoying a Pearly Everlasting

Fritillary Butterfly enjoying a Pearly Everlasting

Summit-approach trail to Lookout Mountain

Summit-approach trail to Lookout Mountain

Categories: Oregon Cascades HikesTags: , , , , , , ,

7 comments

  1. I agree….to photograph a butterfly it works best to shoot quickly and often.
    Or try whispering sweetly, “Don’t move…at least for a few seconds. The flower you are sitting on right now brings out the beautiful color of your wings.”
    Sometimes that works. 😉

    Like

  2. The frittaries, two-hearded butterflies, are so amazing. Evolution rules all.

    Like

  3. fast shutter speed as well as a gentle approach and patience!

    Like

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