Happy surprises

One of the best things about having a small pocket camera, is being able to keep it with you at all times. Then you have it handy for when you see something really spectacular. Now, I don’t normally carry my camera with me when I take out the trash, but on this particular day it was in my purse as I headed off to pick-up my daughter from school. I decided to clean up some trash in my car and take it to the outside can and this is what I found.

This little guy was fascinating and I photographed it from every possible angle. Later, I looked through my National Audobon Society Field Guide to North American Butterflies (Knopf, 1995) but could not find even a close match to this caterpillar. However, what I did find was a great reference in the back- “”How to Photograph Butterflies”.

In part, the entry talked about using a higher aperture for greater depth-of-field, a macro lens, and using a high ASA/ISO. All great tips! Additionally, the article also suggested shooting in “early morning when temperatures are fairly low and butterflies are just warming up.” Also, the photographer needs to keep “low and slow,” keeping your body even with or not much higher than your butterfly.  “Kneel a few feet from the butterfly and slowly inch forward.” You should also avoid rapid or jerky movements.

On a recent field trip to the Armstrong Atlantic State University’s international gardens, my students had the chance to shoot bees and butterflies. Many were successful in capturing these sometimes elusive creatures. But as with all of God’s creatures- patience is a virtue!

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