When photographing butterflies and other insects there are a few things to consider.
With this in mind I decided to revisit some of the images of butterflies, moths and dragonflies taken last year on the Isle of Mull and put together this small selection of images and my Top Five Tips for photographing butterflies and other insects.
- Wear drab clothing: Wearing drab clothes helps you to blend in to the surroundings so as not to be a distraction to the butterfly.
- Choose cool days: Butterflies are most active on warm sunny days, choose a day that is cool or make an early start and try to locate butterflies on grasses or other vegetation whilst they are still sluggish.
- Use a tripod: If at all possible use a tripod, whilst this requires great care so as not to disturb the butterfly it will make for better composed and sharper images.
- Depth of Field: Depth of field is an important consideration, ideally all of the subject should be sharp, certainly with butterflies if the plain of the camera sensor is parallel to the plain of the wing then achieving sharpness throughout should be possible.
- Control movement: Choose a sufficiently fast shutter speed, say 1/250th second to eliminate both camera and subject movement. It may be necessary to increase the ISO to achieve this fast shutter speed, however, for best results I would be very reluctant to go higher than ISO 640.
Large Heath (Coenonympha tullia)
Transparent Burnet (Zygaena purpuralis)
Small Pearl-Bordered Fritillary (Boloria selene)
Golden-ringed Dragonfly (Cordulegaster boltonii)
Poplar Hawk-moth (Laothoe populi)