Butterflies from the Fairchild Butterfly Garden in Miami, Florida (photographed with a Sony mirrorless camera)

Butterflies from the Fairchild Butterfly Garden in Miami, Florida (photographed with a Sony mirrorless camera)

Butterflies are like flying flowers

1) Go to a Butterfly Garden

If you go a butterfly garden you will have the pleasure of seeing many species in one place. You will also see many different types of flowers and plants that will help make your images even more beautiful. All in one small place. It is a challenge to photograph butterflies in the wild but not impossible. You would have to find an area with butterfly bushes and then wait.

2) The best time to photograph

Photograph with the gorgeous morning light if you can: sunrise to about 9:00 am depending where in the world you are.

Afternoon: 3:30- sunset.

Under the shade: This will provide for vibrant colors

Do not photograph under bright sunlight because the butterflies will look washed out and your images will have hot spots (white areas with no details)

3) Cameras

DSLR cameras:

Butterfly photos will come out gorgeous when you use a dslr (or similar) camera because you will be able to create a soft focus background which will enhance the butterfly.

-Lens 50 mm or a telephoto zoom

-Aim for these settings:

F1.4 , F2 or the largest aperture on your lens. Some telephotos have F5.6 as the largest setting yours may be different.

Mobile cameras:

Get as close as you can and zoom in. If you want a more blurry background you may want to edit this after you photograph or try using the

Photographed with a mobile phone. Photo on the right was edited using the Snapseed App

Photographed with a mobile phone. Photo on the right was edited using the Snapseed App

4) Photograph your Butterfly

-When you enter a butterfly garden take a quick look around and study which plants are attracting more butterflies.

-Go to those plants and wait for the butterflies to land on the flowers and leaves. If you start chasing them it will be a frustrating event, you might frighten the butterflies away and spoil it for others and you might go home without any butterfly photos.

-Background: Choose a beautiful background. You want something that has more green and maybe some colorful flowers.

-Mobile users get as close as you can. You will become the zoom lens!

Get close to your butterfly (photographed with a Sony mirrorless camera)

Get close to your butterfly (photographed with a Sony mirrorless camera)

-Camera users should also get close unless you have a huge telephoto.

-Frame carefully. If you can photograph at eye-level to the butterfly that will be great.

-The longer you stay in the butterfly garden the more you will learn about the butterflies and which plants are the most popular for their landing.

-Get to know the butterflies! Some are very quick, just like humming birds. They will be in constant movement and are very difficult to photograph and others are more laid back and love to lounge around on some plants.

One more little note:

The dslr camera vs the mobile camera: If you are photographing with a dslr their is a great possibility that you won’t have to edit your image because you can set your camera but if you are photographing with a mobile phone you may very well have to edit you images later.

Marguerite

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