Swallowtail Butterfly

While at Krause Springs in Spicewood, Texas…near the entrance they have a small butterfly garden.  You can find a few fluttering around.  Up on this cool looking plant/flower was this beautiful Swallowtail Butterfly.  The flowers were about 7 feet high so I was using my 105 Macro hand held to try and catch some photos.  He was a bit skittish, but was used to me in about 10 minutes.  The tough part was that it was breezy and these tall flowers were blowing in the wind.  A great challenge photographically!   I tried shooting manual and increased my shutter to 1/250 of a second.  Only a few shots came out.  As it always goes, this was my first photo.   The rest were a bit blurry.  A breeze or wind is a tough one in macro photography.   I was also curious to see how a butterfly works with fractalius and here is an extra version!   Enjoy the doubleshot!

I just grouped all my Fractalius photos together in a gallery on my web site here…  Talke Photography

Albuquerque, NM – Butterfly


NIKON D300, Nikon 105 VR Macro

This little guy was taken at the the Rio Grande Botanic Garden in Albuquerque, NM.   We are still having very nice weather in Texas now and just recently I have been seeing lots of butterflies…a Monarch was in our garden yesterday.   This may be due to the migration this year.   This guy is not a Monarch, but he may migrate like a Monarch as well!  The Monarch migration story is amazing!

Here is some info from the web on the Monarch:    Monarch Butterflies breed in the northern United States and southern Canada through the summer, but as fall approaches they migrate south to their traditional overwintering sites in California and Mexico. The adults who migrate south are not the ones who migrated north – they are their descendents, often several generations removed. They seem to be able to navigate using the sun and magnetic fields, and the migrating butterflies often use the same individual trees their ancestors used in the previous winter.  Monarch Butterflies need to make this long migration each year (as much as 2,000 miles) because the northern winter is too cold for the adults and the southern overwintering places are too far south for the milkweed that the caterpillars require.

Nature is amazing!  Enjoy!



NIKON D300, Nikon 105 Macro

I have always been a fan of butterfly photos.  This little guy was in my backyard in the spring.  He was very gracious and posed for lots of photos for me.  Usually butterflies fly away as you get close.  I used my Nikon 105 Macro hand held for this shot.  I was probably only 6 inches away from him as he was taking a drink.  Not sure why he was so brave?  Sometimes you get lucky!   Its always tough to notice when you are taking shots….but its always neat to see the location of their eyes when you take a look at the photograph afterwards.   Are they looking at you or the flower?    Interesting creatures!   I would really one day try an HDR on a butterfly!  Now that might be cool!   Enjoy!

Orlando, FL – Butterfly

Monarch Butterfly

NIKON D70S, Nikon 18-70

This shot was taken in my front yard when we lived in Orlando a few years ago.  One of my favorite butterfly shots to date.  Monarch’s are the best known butterflies in North America.  Even in your yard you can find great pics.  I saw this little guy fluttering around outside and grabbed my camera.  Luckily he wasn’t shy!   Most butterflies will fly away as you get near.  He looks like a grizzled veteran, so maybe he was ok with posing due to previous experience?  Butterflies are great subjects if you can get them in the right spot.  It just take patience.    I didnt have my macro lens back then, so I used the standard Nikon kit lens for this shot.  Enjoy!

Fredricksburg, Texas – Butterfly

Butterfly Fredricksburg

NIKON D300, Nikon 105 VR

Here is a picture I took at the Wildseed Farm – Butterfly Haus in Fredricksburg. It is fun to walk inside such a house filled with Butterflies fluttering all over.  Still with all their buddies around they still get skittish around people.  You try to get get close and they fly away.  Makes it fun!  There was one type of butterfly I had never seen before….the assistant at the house called it the Postman.  It was red and black.   She said its called the Postman as it follows the same route everyday!  This little guy was so elusive!  I think his route was to avoid my camera!  I tired for 20 mins to get his pic and I finally did and it just came out ok.  

This brought me to think where did the name butterfly came from?   It seems there are many possible origins and no set definative answer.  I found this on the net…One common yet erroneous explanation for this word’s origin is that it comes from flutterby. What we do know, instead, is that this word is very old (pre-8th century). It was originally buturfliog, a compound of butere “butter” and fleoge “fly”. Why butter? Some suggest that it was due to many butterflies being yellow in color, like butter. Others believe it is based upon the yellow excrement of butterflies. Still others hold to the notion that butterflies were thought to land in kitchens and drink milk or butter left uncovered (this, interestingly, is supported by a German word for butterfly, milchdieb “milk-thief”).

Taking pictures of butterflies is not easy.  The picture is of a Monarch Butterfly.  I did this shot hand held.  But I’d suggest a monopod if possible.  Out of all the pics I took (50) about 5 came out decent.  Dont forget to use your macro lens.  Its fun to get close up shots….if you do  – focus on the eyes – that will give you your best picture.  But I have learned that taking shots a little further away gives you a more pleasing view for your eye.   Also it wont scare the butterfly as much as well!  Have fun and cover your milk!