I hadn’t had my camera in hand all week, so after grading a set of student essays on my free day, I headed to the front circle garden to see if there if anything was going on. Indeed there was. These late fall days have been warm and dry, and while many of the flowers have faded the Russian sage, rudebekia, marigolds, and blanket flowers still offer a profusion of color and nectar, especially for one stunning young monarch that seemed to have a voracious appetite. I surmised that perhaps it was tanking up for its migratory trip to Mexico perhaps.
I love my Cannon Rebel. I can shoot dozens of shots without worry of how much film I might shoot. To photograph the butterflies, I use my 75-300mm telephoto lens. I find that lens perfect because I can get fairly close and yet not disturb them, shooting as many pictures as I want. Sometimes I use the automatic advance shutter. I also turn of the auto focus because the lens seems to have a mind of its own, focusing on anything but what I want. Quite by accident, I have been able to catch some butterflies in flight.
I download my pictures to my MacBook into iPhoto where I do some editing and cropping. I like to crop the photos as closely a possible to get as much detail as possible. The yellow sulphurs—shot in the late, bright afternoon sun—need the exposure adjusted in order to enhance their already pale yellow color. While the bright orange blanket flowers and rudbekias may see a bit hot, the butterfly’s color warms up nicely. From iPhoto, I open the photo in Piacasa to export it in just the right size for the blog.
On this venture to the Garden Spot, I shot dozens of pictures of the monarch, sulphurs, and the little blue butterfly. These shots are my best.