Butterflies are one of the most beautiful creatures of nature and a delight to all photographers. But capturing this attractive lepidopteran in photographs is not at all an easy task. You need to know about which lens to use, what should be the right camera settings, and most importantly, how to stabilize your camera while shooting. This article will guide you step by step in all the 3 areas.
Top 3 Tips to Take Beautiful Butterfly Photographs
Use A Macro Or Telephoto Lens For Butterfly Photography
It is very difficult to click photos of butterflies with a regular lens. It is because you will need to focus from a short distance, which these lenses cannot. The result will be a pile of blurred photos. So, use a macro lens that will help you to take super close-up images of the butterflies, without disturbing them. Some photographers use attachments like reversing rings, extension tubes, bellows, etc. to turn glasses into macro lenses. It is a much cheaper yet effective way of taking close-ups than buying an expensive macro lens. If you do not have the budget to even buy the macro attachments, you can consider using the telephoto lens of your camera and simply zoom in to click the butterflies.
Know The Right Camera Settings For Butterfly Photography
Aperture, shutter speed, and ISO are three crucial components of camera settings for butterfly photography. As it is a kind of macro photography, the background is meant to be blurry. So, you can keep the aperture smaller, to make the subject appear sharp. An aperture ranging between f/8 and f/22 will be fine. As you know, the butterflies move really fast. So, you should use a fast shutter speed to avoid ending up with blurred photos. The ideal shutter speed for butterfly photos is 1/500th a second and higher. Keep the ISO as low as possible to avoid any noise or grain in the butterfly photographs. Even if you shoot in a cloudy or shady area where the light is scarce, do not set the ISO higher than 400.
Stabilize The Shots In Butterfly Photography
It is the most challenging aspect of butterfly photography. If you do not stable your camera, it will shake, and produce blurred images. It is particularly important because you are using long lenses. While in other fields of photography, the best way to stabilize the camera would be using a tripod, it is not a very good option for butterfly photography. It will restrict you from following the butterflies. You may loosen the head a bit to move the camera, but that does not give you enough freedom. The solution to this issue is rather simple - use a monopod instead of a tripod. It will make your movement much easier. You may also use a tabletop tripod like the Gorillapod to click the butterflies from a low angle. It is easy to carry, and control.
Butterfly photography is daunting, time-consuming, and challenging. But it is highly rewarding too- not only due to its high demand but also in terms of the joy the perfectly taken butterfly photos give to the photographer. So, go ahead pursuing it with the help of the aforementioned tips.
Written By Sanga Basu, Content Writer, WPC.