Butterflies (3 photos)

Joined
Feb 6, 2006
Messages
20,041
Location
TX originally from Louisiana
I took off and went up to Hagerman today. It was kinda tough driving - so much construction! I had a hard time finding birds to shoot at, but did find butterflies! Since I was by myself, I could take as much time as I wanted! Now, I don't know if my DOF should have been deeper or not, but tried to focus on the bug's eyes. Any tips on future butterfly shooting will be appreciated! I got these with my 300mm f4 and 1.4 TC attached. I thought about using one of my kenkos but didn't know which one to use.

#1
3766649153_a452acf599_b.png
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


#2
View attachment 387837

#3
View attachment 387838
 

Butlerkid

Cafe Ambassador
Administrator
Joined
Apr 8, 2008
Messages
23,838
Location
Rutledge, Tennessee
Real Name
Karen
Oh my! The first two are outstanding! The center blur in the last on is distracting..maybe a tighter crop?

Good work!
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2006
Messages
5,604
Location
Winnipeg, Canada
OK here are some suggestions and critique.

I think you might be better off with tubes as you'll be working with a shorter focal length so less effect of camera movement. I use 52.5mm with that lens and that will give you focusing from 7 feet down to 3.5 feet and cover any medium to large insect you may run into. I find a tripod critical for my unsteady hands. I usually use f8 and go to f11 on occasion. As long as it's not windy, the insect isn't moving much and I have a tripod, shutter speed isn't that critical so I shoot aperture priority and manual focus.

You've tried to get focus on the eyes which I find important. If a butterfly is open the wings are often in a "V" formation and getting it all in focus is impossible so I try to get the head and one wing in focus. I move around to try to get an angle that gets the whole under-surface of a closed butterfly in focus. It's tough.

Picture #1 (Viceroy)- you nipped the tip of the wing. For me that's a reject unless it's a picture I took only to i.d. the critter. Backing up a bit and getting a slightly smaller insect image allows for some composition choice later. Perhaps you could have changed your camera angle to get more in focus, perhaps not. Colour and exposure look fine. Subjects with both black and white in them are always a challenge.

Picture #2 (Giant swallowtail?) Perhaps give the butterfly a bit of room around it. Better focus on wing would have been nice.

Picture #3 (Monarch) Best of the bunch for composition but the OOF foreground object is very distracting as has been mentioned already. Focus on the butterfly doesn't appear to be as good in this one.

I think all you really need is practice.

Cheers,

Larry
 
Joined
Feb 6, 2006
Messages
20,041
Location
TX originally from Louisiana
THANK YOU LARRY! I'm so glad someone finally said something! This will give me work to do in improving! I was shooting from my car as I was very afraid of snakes. When shooting from my car, the engine is always turned off and I use my wildlife bean bag for support. I was at Hagerman Wildlife Refuge on one of the little roads that kinda "jut" out into the lake. On the tubes, I have the 12. 20, and 36. Should I keep using my 300mm F4 with one of those tubes? And then which one? When I go up to Hagerman, depending on traffic, I may not have as much time as I want to change out things.
On that huge swallowtail - I actually did try to change lenses, but the darned thing kept on fluttering out of sight, so I just "winged" it. Thanks for helping me, this will definitely give me something to work on!

I"m cutting and pasting your response too!
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2006
Messages
5,604
Location
Winnipeg, Canada
Hi Dianne

First off get out of the car!! You are going to be severely limited in your shooting angles if you don't. Even if you stick to walking roads and trails you'll get much better photo ops. I've walked a fair bit in snake country and haven't been bitten yet, except by chiggers and you can guard against those! If you are really worried you could get some anti-snake chaps or whatever they are called.

If you check some of my posts (mostly dragonflies) you'll see what I'm getting with the 300 and 52.5mm of tubes (not my latest fly post, that was a 105mm because the beast was only a few inches off the ground in the grass). I find it's great for the long working distance you get.

If I had those tubes I'd use the 20+36 (56mm) but the 12 and 36mm tubes together (48mm) is very close. Do experiment, it only takes a few seconds to add or subtract a tube.

I'd also try to find a place closer to home to shoot!

Larry
 
Joined
Feb 6, 2006
Messages
20,041
Location
TX originally from Louisiana
Hi Dianne

First off get out of the car!! You are going to be severely limited in your shooting angles if you don't. Even if you stick to walking roads and trails you'll get much better photo ops. I've walked a fair bit in snake country and haven't been bitten yet, except by chiggers and you can guard against those! If you are really worried you could get some anti-snake chaps or whatever they are called.

If you check some of my posts (mostly dragonflies) you'll see what I'm getting with the 300 and 52.5mm of tubes (not my latest fly post, that was a 105mm because the beast was only a few inches off the ground in the grass). I find it's great for the long working distance you get.

If I had those tubes I'd use the 20+36 (56mm) but the 12 and 36mm tubes together (48mm) is very close. Do experiment, it only takes a few seconds to add or subtract a tube.

I'd also try to find a place closer to home to shoot!

Larry

LOL, you're so right Larry! I do need to get out of the car - it's not like I don't carry the tripod, because I do! It's looking kinda stormy, so we may just go over to Arbor Hills or maybe the Heard Museum. Da hubby said we may go to Hagerman tomorrow, make a day of it, take lunch and not be in a hurry. The kids love going up there too, and my daughter especially enjoys shooting with my D50. All 3 kids have their own cameras!
I didn't think about stacking the kenkos - need to experiment for sure! Thanks for your encouragement, definitely appreciated!
 
Joined
Feb 6, 2006
Messages
20,041
Location
TX originally from Louisiana
Interesting thread. I agree on the oof area in last but I'm sure you saw that yourself.

Interested to know if anyone sees any degradation of quality with tubes. I have yet to try them on the 300.

Well, I haven't had much time to really practice with the tubes. We're making plans to gou tomorrow and hopefully will get in quite a bit of practice! I just hope the variety of butterflies will be good!
 
Joined
Mar 27, 2008
Messages
4,813
Location
Chgo/Glenview. my heart, New Mexico
Interesting thread. I agree on the oof area in last but I'm sure you saw that yourself. Perhaps crop it to just that one pod he is on. BTW I have some of those I dried and they look cool.

Interested to know if anyone sees any degradation of quality with tubes. I have yet to try them on the 300.

soory something went wrong with editing my post
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2006
Messages
5,604
Location
Winnipeg, Canada
Interesting thread.---- Interested to know if anyone sees any degradation of quality with tubes. I have yet to try them on the 300.------

Take a look at some of my pictures or Jukka'a or others. You can decide for yourself if you like the quality. Personally I'm thrilled to bits with the combo.

Cheers,

Larry
 

Latest posts

Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Nikon Cafe is a fan site and not associated with Nikon Corporation.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Forum GIFs powered by GIPHY: https://giphy.com/
Copyright © Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom