Sunday, August 12, 2012

Did one follow me home?

Sometimes a treat lands almost on our doorstep. Having enjoyed (here and here) a visit to the butterfly house at the Museum of Life and Science, I looked out in the porch two days later and saw a perfect specimen that was spreading its wings on the tiles. I ran for my macro lens, then slowly approached. It allowed a few shots before flying off, but then it landed on a boxwood bush. I was able to cautiously approach again, and managed  this shot. Good luck favors the prepared camera!

At this close range/magnification, even a small lens aperture (f/11 in this case) yields very shallow depth of field, so I had to time the shot to the movement of its wings, so that most of the butterfly would be in sharp focus. Because the light was very dim, a high ISO sensitivity was needed to allow a reasonably fast shutter speed. I could not have made this photo in the years that I was shooting film, and indeed its technical quality is largely dependent on the characteristics of recent model DSLR cameras. It still requires some thought and practice, though.


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