Butterflies and Macro

Back in mid-July, I visited the Chicago Botanic Garden with neighbor and fellow photographer, Laura Hedien.  Laura and I have frequently gone out on photo excursions to shoot a myriad of subjects, including lighthouses, a wolf sanctuary, downtown Chicago and Milwaukee, airplanes at Oshkosh, trains, and other things.  This latest excursion was focused primarily on doing macro photography of butterflies at the Botanic Garden’s “Butterflies and Blooms” exhibition, which runs through September 2, 2019.

Macro is certainly not my specialty, nor is photographing butterflies, or any other sort of insect, for that matter.  I used my Fuji XT-1 with the XF 60mm f2.4 R Macro lens, and was generally pleased with the results.  I will not likely become a “bug” photographer now, but this was an interesting new challenge that yielded some good lessons on using a macro lens up close. Since this was all shot handheld with no image stabilization, I quickly saw the need to raise the ISO to keep the shutter times short enough to minimize motion blur – butterflies tend to flit! The higher ISO also permitted the use of smaller apertures that provided a greater depth of field at these close focus ranges (6 inches to a foot, or so).

Here are some of the better results from this excursion.

Clipper
(Parthenos sylvia), Chicago Botanical Garden
Common Lacewing
(Cethosia biblis), Chicago Botanical Garden
Orchard Swallowtail (Papilio demodocus), Chicago Botanical Garden
Clipper
(Parthenos sylvia), Chicago Botanical Garden
Malachite
(Siproeta stelenes), Chicago Botanical Garden

4 thoughts on “Butterflies and Macro

  1. You have much better shots than when I went there. You also had a better selection of butterflies. Macro is hard for sure.

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