Tag Archives: butterfly

Why Am I Struggling with the Butterflies?

The flowers in our back yard are very popular with butterflies and, with nice evening light in the garden, I was bound to drag out the macro lens.  However, when I tried getting some shots, the camera was having a really hard time focusing.  I often ended up using the manual focus ring to get something close when the camera kept focusing on the background.  I had struggled with a couple of other subjects previously and I was beginning to get really annoyed.  This was not a cheap lens, and the camera certainly isn’t cheap but why wouldn’t it focus on a butterfly?  I was using animal mode so thought it would cope.

I ended up trying different focus area modes.  Narrowing it down to the small focus spot and moving that around by hand rather than using the subject detection modes was my next effort.  I seemed to have some better luck, but it still was unreliable and was giving me a red box around the focus area.  Why wouldn’t it work.  I took a look in the menus to see if there was something in there which was going to be an issue but nothing there either.  I was beginning to be fearful I had a dud.  Then I noticed something.  The focus limit switch had moved from the full range to having a minimum focus distance of 0.5m.  That would certainly be an issue.  Put it back to where it should have been and suddenly the focus was working perfectly.  What a dope.  Not sure when I had knocked that switch but it might have been a while back.  Doh!

Butterflies Or Moths?

A bit of a Google search on the distinguishing characteristics of butterflies versus moths helped me out a bit but I don’t think it was quite as clear cut as I was hoping.  We have a fluttering insect that seems to like our lavender plants a lot.  I spent a little time one evening trying to get some shots of them at work.  They don’t stay on any one section for long so a little patience and luck is in order.  I didn’t know whether they were moths or butterflies.  I think that they might be butterflies but, if they aren’t please don’t be too harsh in the comments.

Butterflies Everywhere!

We took a wander through the butterfly enclosure at Woodland Park Zoo.  These enclosures require a fair bit of care on the part of the visitor.  They briefed you as you went in what to watch for.  Double doors are at the entrance and exit to stop the butterflies escaping (or at least keep them in the entrance hall if they do manage to sneak out).  You must watch carefully for them.  They will land on you and your stuff but they will often be resting on the ground.  Treading on one will not be considered cool!

I will state right now that I didn’t make much effort to photograph a butterfly in flight.  They are rather fast movers as you quickly discover if you try to photograph them while airborne.  I have tried this before and I wasn’t going to frustrate myself again.  Instead I settled for a few shots of the stationary versions.  I assure you that they were real and alive – this was not a staged creation for me.