Top Tips for Photographing Butterflies

Spring and summer provides professional and amateur photographers with boundless subjects for their work. From the first bursts of life through rich, dark soil, to the cornucopia of colour in a garden the eyes are treated to a burgeoning world of texture and hue.

Wildlife comes out of hiding to celebrate the lush newness of nature, insects, birds and amphibians rejoice in song and activity.

An obvious favourite subject, given its beauty and variety, is the butterfly. Whether sitting quietly on a flower, wings wafting like gently-blowing fans, or flitting along on a soft breeze, their appeal is undeniable.  Patient shutterbugs zoom in for closeups of this pretty insect on dewy petals or waiting, wings spread, on a warm rock.

Perhaps it's the short life span, but butterflies are not generally known to sit still long. And skittish by nature they don't often tolerate someone moving in too close. I had my moment several summers ago, though, when a group of Monarchs cavorted for me on some Scotch thistles at the beach. Had I not known better I would have sworn they were performing just for the camera, as they set themselves up in various poses and held them long enough for me to snap some photos.

I did win a prize or two for the end result, but I have never doubted for a minute that something magical happened that day and the photographs I captured was less about anything I did than they were about a special moment in time.  I simply got lucky.

Luck, however, isn't always something we can rely on. Here are some informative sites with great tips on how to capture the elegant, though occasionally elusive, butterfly through the lens of your camera:

DPS 8 Tips for Photographing Butterflies

Photographing Butterflies in the Wild

Composition Tips for Butterfly Photography

Get the Most From Your Butterfly Hunt

Butterfly Photography Tips


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