Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Butterfly Photography

For somebody without a big lens who loves nature photography the best subjects to photograph are butterflies and dragonflies. At least in my opinion birds are the best subjects to photograph but without a very powerful lens you will have very few opportunities especially if you live in Indiana. Luckily there are many very beautiful butterflies that call Indiana their home.

There are many keys to creating a pleasing image of a butterfly; most of these rules are the same for all wildlife photography.

Lighting is a very important factor as it is in all photography. For the most part you will want to try to get front lighting. This means that you want the sun to be directly behind you, lighting up the butterfly beautifully.

The Background is extremely important when photographing butterflies. A clean, out of focus background almost always creates a better image. This makes the subject pop out of the frame. There are times however, when the habitat around the butterfly is unique and beautiful; when this occurs having a busier background can create a beautiful image.

Black Swallowtail. This shot show how a nice out of focus background enhances the image.


The Angle can make or break an image. Getting down and taking the picture at the eye level of the subject is almost always the way to go. It gives the viewer a more personal view into the life of the subject.

Giant Swallowtail. This shot shows the importance of being at eye-level.

The great thing about photography is that any rule can be broken and result in an amazing image. The most important thing when photographing butterflies is to be creative and include as much color as possible. Many times the best butterfly shots are the ones that break all the rules of photography.

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