The backyard butterfly haven is paying off in large dividends this year. This big beauty stopped by briefly – long enough for me to capture a few shots – then off he went, fluttering his wings so fast that only in the photos could I see that this was a battle-scarred veteran.
This is one of my favorite poses, second only to that moment when a butterfly peeks at me over the top of a flower.
Butterflies are complex beauties, such as this Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, with many design elements competing with the surroundings. One of the tricks I have found when photographing them is to simplify the background as much as possible.
Sometimes simplification takes the route of minimizing color and background complexity.
When the background is busy, try to use a low depth of field.
Ok, so that sounds all intentional and designerly; in reality, sometimes you only get a fleeting moment in which to point and start shooting, hoping for the best. But then, wow is it fun when you realize you have a winner!
I was getting all wrapped up in the technicalities of butterfly chasing today when suddenly I realized I needed to lower the lens and simply enjoy them fluttering about my head. That is the true beauty of butterflies.
My childhood summers came flooding back. In that moment I experienced the simplification many of us long for.
So, stop and enjoy what you are photographing. Simplify and enjoy the impressions of life.
A sudden flash of shimmery blue caught my eye. Grabbing the camera, I cautiously moved in closer, attempting to focus. Blues are among the hardest for me to photograph. The beautiful shimmer makes focusing difficult and I see very few of them around the area. I was hoping he would not fly away before I captured his illusive beauty.
Then he turned and showed me the battle scar. What a trooper.
He posed so proudly, but would not let me get too close before gracefully flitting away once again.
I felt the awe and wonder of having seen something quite magnificent in so delicate a form.