The beauty of butterflies has been displayed on calendars, posters, in ads for various products, and framed to be sold as art. These colorful and delicate little creatures can be found all over the world. It isn’t as difficult to get some great pictures of them as it might seem. As long as you have a good camera and follow some of the 7 tips on photographing butterflies that are listed below, you should be able to come out with some excellent photographs.
7. Choose a sunny, windless day for taking photos
Wind takes a toll on butterflies, due to their fragile body structure. Most butterflies take cover on windy days, so getting some pictures of them can be difficult at this time. Sunny days with little to no wind present are best suited for getting some nicely lit shots of butterflies. Taking pictures on sunny days means you won’t have to mess with hauling a flash around for your camera, which is always a plus.
6. Position the sunshine behind you
Make sure the butterflies you are photographing are positioned in such a way that the sunlight is able to make every detail show clearly. You need to have the sun coming from over your shoulder, in order to distribute the light evenly across the subject being photographed. If you are facing into the sun while taking a picture, the possibility of the butterfly being lost in the sunlight is great.
5. Watch closely for shadows being cast on your subject
It’s easy to focus on the butterfly being photographed and not realize you are casting a shadow over it. I’ve seem some fantastic photos of butterflies that are ruined by the shadow of a camera or hand being shown in the picture as well. Sure, there are artistic ways to do this, but if you are looking for crisp, clear pictures of butterflies, then beware of the shadows.
4. Take as many pictures as you can
The nice thing about taking photographs with a digital camera is that photos can be deleted before they are printed. Some of them can be enhanced with a variety of editing equipment and saved. If you are into taking pictures with 35mm film, then snapping lots of shots can get a bit pricey. This is why I switched to a digital camera when they first came out. It’s also much easier to save pictures to a CD instead of trying to find a box large enough for tons of prints to fit in.
3. Use a fast shutter speed
Taking pictures of butterflies is almost like snapping photos at a sporting event. All it takes is a small flutter of a wing to blur the shot. This can be made into an artsy type of photo, but if every picture is like this you might not be very pleased. A fast shutter speed will enable you to capture the beauty of a butterfly, even in flight, without having to deal with a blurring image.
2. Try using a tripod
Toting a tripod around can be a bit cumbersome, but it is much easier to get a steady shot. These work very well in an area where butterflies are plentiful and you don’t have to move from flower to flower for a good shot. If you are taking pictures of butterflies where there is a lot of movement between flowers, then you might consider ditching the tripod all together.
1. Be patient!
Anyone that has sat and watched butterflies knows just how unpredictable they can be. It might take up to 20 minutes for you to get a good shot in. Pick a location and relax for a while. If you get frustrated and keep moving around, you’ll only scare off your potential subjects. Take your time and enjoy being outside!
I hope these 7 tips on photographing butterflies are helpful to you. Getting some excellent pictures of butterflies and framing them are perfect for gifts too. I love nature photos that don’t look planned. Have you already tried your hand at taking some photos of butterflies? How did they turn out? What got you interested in wanting to take pictures of butterflies in the first place?