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|Category:||Animals / Wildlife|
Butterfly photography - Photographing butterflies is challenging but rewarding says epz member Angi Nelson.
You may end up chasing around after your chosen subject endlessly, getting stung by nettles and covered in all manner of bugs and ruining your clothes with grass stains in the process. You receive the funniest of looks from passers by walking their dogs when they see your bum sticking in the air whilst you crouch in the grass unawares, thinking “what a geek!” The things we do for a decent photograph eh!
Here we have a few tips to aid you in your pursuit of the perfect butterfly image and hopefully help you make the most of your time doing so.
Check out your local countryside for appropriate locations such as meadows with wild flowers growing in abundance or visit nature reserves and gardens. A useful resource to help you learn more about butterflies before you start out is the Butterfly conservation website. Your local Butterfly conservation branch also holds various events which may help you with photographic opportunities. If you cannot get out and about to photograph butterflies its worth growing plants in your garden or window boxes etc that will attract these fluttering delights, such as Aubrieta, Buddleia, Primrose, Honeysuckle, Lavender, Lilac, Marigold, Phlox, Mint, and Thyme.
Get to know which plants caterpillars feed upon, again you can plant these in your garden or you will know what to look out for on your travels. The following is a list of a few plants and the caterpillars that feed on them (taken from the above website):-
|Red Admiral, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell||Nettle|
|Large and Small White||Nasturtium, Cabbage|
|Holly Blue||Holly, Ivy|
|Brimstone||Alder Buckthorn, Buckthorn|
|Common Blue||Birdsfoot Trefoil, Black Medick|
|Orange Tip, Green-veined White||Garlic Mustard, Cuckooflower|
The best time of day to maximize your chances of photographing butterflies will be early morning or in the evening as they are moving around a great slower. At these times you may even be lucky enough to see one emerging or covered in dew which can make for that extra special photograph. Wearing clothing that blends in with your surroundings may help you creep up on them unnoticed. Care should be taken not to destroy their habitat as many species are declining in numbers. If you start out early and temperatures are relatively cool then you may get lucky and find a few sleeping. By approaching slowly and quietly you may be able to move distracting stems etc out of the way without disturbing your subject, to help with a more pleasing composition.
Words and images by Angi Nelson.
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