Posts Tagged butterfly

Monarch on a Butterfly Bench

F5.6 – 1/200 – ISO 100 – 100mm macro – Canon 5D M3


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How to confuse a photographer

Interesting title, huh?  In this case it was this one little butterfly that threw me entirely for a loop.  When I was sifting through my photos of the butterflies this one caught my eye because of it’s wings; two different colors!  Initially I thought this was some new amazing species but while I looked and looked through all of my resources I could not find one like it.  Frustrated and confused I took a wild stab at just Googling what I was seeing.

What came up was the answer to my confusion.  This is a Myscelia ethusa/ Mexican Bluewing butterfly.  It’s upper side is black with iridescent blue bands with white spots.  The iridescence of it’s wings can cause it to look various shades of blue to even purple depending on how light hits it.  Eureka! Now I had the answer to why it looked this way.  Somehow the light was hitting it’s wings just so resulting in them looking like this.  Problem solved…





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Zebra Palm King

In black and white; original color photo here.  While butterflies normally – because of their beautiful colors – do not convert very well to monochrome, occasionally you may find one that does look fantastic in monochrome because of it’s colors and patterns.  In this case it didn’t hurt that the tree branch it was on was just full of texture which I think compliments the image.



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I believe this is a Clipper Butterfly (Parthenos sylvia) found in South and South East Asia.  I’m always amazed at the patterns and colors on butterflies and moths.


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Which end is up?

I’ve forgotten the name of this one but I recall an employee at the Butterfly Wonderland telling me it was a Zebra something or other – possibly a Zebra Palm King.   What I noticed about it is that his top and bottom are a bit similar.  Seems this species has evolved to have a bottom that looks like it could be the top so that if a predator were to take a nip of the one “head” it could live to flutter for another day.

BTW – This critter and tree limb look amazing in monochrome.  Will share it with you on Monday.


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State Butterfly of Arizona

The Two-Tailed Swallowtail.  I get down right giddy when I come across a species I’ve never seen before and this was one of those moments.  Such a beautiful creature.



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Perfectly Imperfect

In photography we all strive to get the shot as perfect as possible and many times we do.  The colors are right, the composition is spot on, the clarity is ideal and so on.  But there are times (and whether we want to admit it or not sometimes many times) when we flub.  Out of focus, motion blur when we weren’t going for blur, too much noise, over exposed or under exposed… we’ve all got those war stories to tell.  But what if even though the image didn’t turn out the way we had originally planned it still is a nice image in it’s own imperfect way?

Such is the case here.  The lighting conditions were all over the place in the butterfly wonderland.  Some butterflies were in direct (and a bit harsh) light, others where in the shadows and some where in partial sun and shade.  Options were to adjust my settings for each area I was in and possibly risk missing a shot since butterflies tend to get a bit impatient or to set my camera to aperture priority only changing that setting based upon where and what I was shooting letting the camera do the rest of the thinking.

That worked for me the majority of the time but not always I’m afraid.  In this case I hadn’t changed my settings from the prior butterfly to accommodate this one (shame on me; I turned around and there it was so I just went for it) who was moving his wings fairly quickly.  The shutter speed was too slow for this Paper Kite butterfly resulting in my focal point being not where I wanted it and the image not being as sharp as I wanted it around his head.  Even when I do my best to hold perfectly still I never really am… wiggle happens.

I was disappointed that the image didn’t come out the way I wanted it to but I came to like it anyway because of the composition and colors; imperfections and all.  What’s your thoughts on this and which version do you like – monochrome or color?

paperkite4807-edit-2 paperkite4807-edit


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