How-To nature Photography

How to take photos of butterflies


Dear Reader,

Photos are awesome, and even more if you manage to take shots of particularly difficult animals. Clearly I’m still learning and I was VERY lucky this butterfly just stayed there on that flower for so long!

I can’t say butterflies are too difficult either as sometimes they do fly away slowly, but it is a challenge indeed when you see one so beautiful flying over a flower.

Patzcuaro_butterfly_macro_close_up_stanito_mexico
This is a butterfly I found in Pátzcuaro, Michoacán. Michoacán is famous for its butterflies and every year you can witness the famous Monarch Butterfly migrating from south of the United States and Canada towards warmer Mexico.

These are some of the tips I learned (and still learning) as a beginner amateur photographer that I can pass you, hoping that your next butterfly stays as still as mine:

  1. Get a little down: Some of my best photos are taken lying down or kneeling. Not only butterfly seem to be less scared but also many of them, including monarchs, contrast beautifully against a blue sky background. It’s much better and more dramatic to have a blue sky background from ground level that merge with the butterfly colours.
  2. Get your settings right and play with them: It doesn’t matter how good your camera is if your settings are wrong for shooting butterflies outdoors. For instance, you’ll often need a faster shutter speed to prevent blur associated with a fast-moving subject. You can also play with your Settings in order to adjust the ISO (which is the sensitivity of the image sensor) to manage the movements of the butterfly and shoot it timely.
  3. Photo Editing Software: my camera actually does a good job by itself but if not there is rarely a photo or video you take that won’t need some editing. The editing program I use has lots of photoshop functionality, without the photoshop price and is included in my mac and it has served me well for the use of my blog readers 🙂

These are some things I use editing software for on a regular basis on my Mac Book with the Photo application within the new Yosemite theme:

  • cropping photos and centring them
  • sharpening images that are slightly out of focus
  • minor color adjustments or enhancements

Know thy camera, dear Reader, because colourful butterflies and humming birds move really fast so you want to try with a familiar camera to be ready at the right moment! Just have a few trials with your camera before attempting immortalise butterflies and other flying creatures. Stanito was purely lucky this time with the lazy butterfly 🙂 !

6 comments

    1. Hello Sheridan 🙂 thank you for your comment.
      I hope you can make the best out of your camera 😀 I’m still learning and this post is the little I’ve experimented so far, I’m glad you find it useful!

  1. Butterflies are tricky, I went a butterfly house where they’re were thousands of them but they still moved pretty fast. I did hey some good pictures though and these tips are helpful thanks.

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