Butterfly Photography Made Easy

Butterflies are excellent subjects for a photograph, with their gorgeous colours and markings, and often taken in conjunction with some pretty flower or foliage. They do however tend to flit about, rarely staying in one place for more than a second or two (the same can be said for the bees), flying off just as the shot is composed and in focus.

Say Cheese!Peacock Butterfly (Inachis io) in stealth mode

Say Cheese!
Peacock Butterfly (Inachis io) in stealth mode

This perfect specimen below however was much easier to work with, on account of the fact that it is sadly dead. I found it lying on the path, in a remarkable state of preservation – and thought I should honour its memory by taking an image.

Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides podalirius)

Lights, Camera, No Action
Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides podalirius)

Despite the name ‘scarce’, this swallowtail butterfly is quite common (although not in the UK). It’s habitat is blackthorn or sloe bushes, which abound in the hedgerows surrounding the house. I would really have preferred to try to capture an image whilst it was still alive, and am now on the lookout for other members of the family – but it did make an excellent, well-behaved model.

Below are a couple of beauties, who managed to stay still long enough to get a shot…

Painted Lady Butterfly (Vanessa cardui)

Painted Lady Butterfly (Vanessa cardui)

Marbled White Butterfly (Melanargia galathea) on clover

Marbled White Butterfly (Melanargia galathea) on clover

4 thoughts on “Butterfly Photography Made Easy

  1. I always scan the pictures first – don’t ask why – and I really thought when I saw the swallow tail that you had looked it up in some book and put it in!!- so when I did read what you had written I was amazed – it is a beautiful photo – top class! Do not want to put a downer on all of this – but the pesky things lay eggs too! – have spent the last few days gently encouraging a range of butterflies to go and visit other gardens and not our veg patch.

    • Thanks for the kind comment. I hope your butterflies are more obedient than mine – maybe they don’t understand my french accent. I have been advised to spray the vegetables with dilute ‘savon noire’ – a natural product – don’t know what it is in English.

    • I agree – the butterfly photos are secondary and something of a bonus. At least, whilst looking for bees, my eyes have been opened up to lots of other wee beasties, not to mention orchids!

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