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MN Shutterbug

MARINERMAGNUM, this one is for you.

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Plus a couple more. Shooting them with their wings open is a real challenge, especially without a pod of some sort. I'd get him in focus and hold the camera as steady as possible, until he finally opened his wings. Next time, I use a monopod. wink These were all shot with the 100-400 lens.

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I hope it's ok that I looked at these too XT. grin The open wings do look nice. Good shootin'!

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No problem, mmeyer. I just wanted to dedicate the first one to MM, due to me challenging him to capture one with wings open. As soon as I saw the monarch, I knew I had to attempt the shot myself. Would you believe I actually have a sore back from holding the camera still, for the time it took him to open his wings?

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Rats!

I had some spotted tonight,open wings and all,while we were cruisin the gravel road on the golf cart. They are hangin out on some purple colored plants. Ran out of time tonight,but I'll try tommorow night.

You done good!

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Mike, very nice shots!

The key to getting the whole butterfly in focus when flattened is to get the sensor completely parallel to the plane of the butterfly with wings spread. At or near the lens's minimum focus distance, depth of focus is razor thin even at f5.6 or f8, so parallel comp is a big deal.

That's often hard with the 100-400, which won't focus within six feet, because you generally have to get pretty well above the butterfly to achieve parallel. Since I'm not tall enough for the NBA (I'm 5-9), I've actually carried around a short stepladder to get me high enough to get parallel with the 100-400. On the other hand, using a macro can get you the right angle in those cases, but then you're VERY close to the butterfly, and they can spook. So it's six of one, half dozen of the other.

Most often, they'll perch with wings closed and will open-and-close very quickly. Making sure you're parallel as mentioned, don't lock focus until the wings open slightly, then lock focus on the thorax and trigger a burst with the camera on high speed burst rate, keeping the shutter button depressed until the butterfly closes again. One or two of the burst will be sharp, and if you're parallel, one of those likely will have the whole butterfly in focus when it's completely flat.

Practice doesn't make perfect with this technique (perfect is every frame sharp every time), but it makes nice. In fact, if flat and totally in focus is the goal, there are WAY more in the trash than in the keeper bin.

I've actually had better luck with this handholding than with a monopod or tripod, because butterflies move around a flower a lot, and there usually isn't time to reposition all the gear fast enough to get parallel and get the shot.

I can post an example of a monarch from last week with the 100 macro that illustrates this, but don't want to piggyback images on a thread that's not mine unless it's OK with the OP.

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Steve, don't you dare piggyback on my thread. All you'll do is make mine look second rate. mad

Heck man, I'm just kidding. grin Go ahead. I'm always open to learning new things. To be honest, I didn't even think about keeping everything in focus. I just wanted the shot.

MM, feel free to piggyback when you get yours too.

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Well, mixed messages.

OK, here goes. I don't care much for this as a photo. The light was bad and the background hot-and-cold. A half hour in photoshop would tame the background, of course. The image just illustrates the concept of parallel subject, parallel sensor.

How to get this close without spooking the subject? That's another thread. wink

Canon 30D, Canon 100 f2.8 macro, iso200, 1/250 at f5.6, handheld, full frame, using the technique mentioned earlier in the thread

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Nice work X. Besides Steve cheated anyway, he used a fancy lens designed for that type of shot.

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Nice work X. Besides Steve cheated anyway, he used a fancy lens designed for that type of shot.

Yeah, he probably dressed up as a butterfly too, to get that close with 100mm macro. laugh

Nice shot XT, I don't have any good butterfly images in my files. I'll have to work on that.

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Nice shot XT, I don't have any good butterfly images in my files. I'll have to work on that.

Thanks, and I don't have any good flower shots, such as you have, either. grin

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Or just trade files and then have a beer. Less to work on that way wink Sorry, I'm still on pain killers laugh

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