Friday, August 7, 2009

Giant Swallowtail

I have been trying to capture one of these butterflies all summer long. Giant Swallowtails, don't light on a flower for any length of time. They are mostly in the air and very fast flyers. The wings also never stop fluttering and it's very hard to catch it without too much blurring on their beautiful wings.

It's funny that I've been forcing myself to get out there and shoot for the last two weeks, and for some reason, I've captured some of the best photos that I've ever captured. For that, I thank the members of my photography class. Since I've been teaching them, I've tried very hard to practice what I preach, but getting out there and shooting a lot, all the time thinking while I shoot. I can't be satisfied with just adequate photos, since I keep telling them to capture the best angle, perspective and to be careful to hold the camera steady. Writing the hand outs has also reminded me of some of the basics. Things I just did without thinking, now I have to think before I shoot and I'm not satisfied with "just capturing it on my card". I'm thinking about the best way to capture it. So, thank you, students. We all need to learn.

This butterfly was shot using F7.1 for 2 reasons; it is the sharpest aperture on my lens and to get a little extra Depth of Field to keep the flowers and his wings in focus. I used ISO 400 to give me a faster shutter speed (1/320th) to stop the motion of his wings. Today was an overcast day, so there were no lighting issues to deal with so I set it to 0eV, which worked out fine. It gave me a perfect histogram with no clipped highlights or shadows. That's the beauty of shooting on an overcast day. It also helps to increase the saturation in the colors. No flash was used.
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