Butterflies are fascinating insects and capturing them sharp and crisp on your camera can be quite a challenge.
Here are a few points which I wanted to share about shooting butterflies, from my experience:
1. Minimum focusing distance is the key to shoot butterflies, it’s better to use a Macro lens, if you want to go closer to those beautiful patterns on the wings. You can also use extension tubes; they are an inexpensive alternative to macro lenses.
2. Getting a sharp and crisp focus can be a challenge at times, it’s better to focus in the eyes of the butterfly always.
3. You will have one plane of focus, where the wing/s will be completely in focus, try and keep your sensor parallel to the plane of the butterfly’s wings.
4. If possible use a tripod, keeping the head loose. This will help to reduce camera shake, which becomes obvious while shooting from precarious positions or with long lenses.
5. Try and shoot early in the morning, or when it is cold and cloudy outside. Butterflies become very active with the sun and are difficult to be found resting at one place.
6. Don’t create shadows on them; they will fly away for sure.
7. Let the sunrays lit the butterfly from front, sidelight can create harsh shadows and backlight will take away all the details from their wings. Lighting is very important. Make your decision to click, based on that.
8. If the lighting is improper, crank up the ISO to about 640 or 400, to get a better shutter speed.
9. Shoot in aperture priority to avoid the hassle of adjusting both aperture and shutter speed, while in a hurry. You can use expose compensation, to balance the exposure, in case you feel the camera isn’t reading it correctly.
10.Set your shooting mode to continuous and click at least 3 or 4 frames continuously every time, this will help reduce the effect of camera shake. You will definitely get one of them to be tack sharp.
Share some of your inputs on the above points and please add some more to them, if you feel they can be important for shooting butterflies.