There’s a time and place for resorting to an iPhone for close shots. The time is when your camera is not handy – possibly 3 or 4 counties away; the place is where you are right now, when an orange tip – so often a skittish species – decides to choose a plant to land on and to stay there for a while.
The technique for getting reasonably sharp pictures with an iPhone is this: take 20 – 30 rapid shots of the subject, holding the phone at varying distances from it until you get too close and the creature flies away. This specialist process is necessary because it is impossible to be sure what the camera has actually focused on and what the optimum distance for the shot actually is. This may be a question of distance, angle or lighting – or any combination. These were the best of them – but I also got some great detailed shots of the flowers and their stems, with the butterfly a smear of orange and white.
These images are never going to make the grade in the aggressively contested photograph section of the village art and craft show (unless there’s a special iPhone group, perhaps). But they are better than I was expecting, with reasonably sharp ‘buds’, as I think the blobs on the end of the feelers are called. That’s the first thing I look at when deleting butterfly photos…
Easter Monday sunshine after 3 drizzly overcast days. Suddenly the garden is full of birds, bees and butterflies. We have had indoor butterflies right through the winter – all tortoiseshells. They have to be guided gently to an open window. If we haven’t been around for a while, it’s a sadder result. Where on earth have they been coming from? The house may be old, but it is by and large weatherproof and butterflyproof, so they must be emerging in the house…
In the garden we saw plenty of peacocks and tortoiseshells, and several large whites and brimstones. I had a short time to try out a new camera – an alien thing with changeable lenses, a bossy screen, strange settings, too many choices, a mind of its own and an ignorant owner. I deleted almost all the photos, but these just about survived the cut. But they are poor, and nowhere near what can be achieved with my previous camera (which I have kept). But just as I was about to blame my tools and indeed condemn them utterly for incompetence, I realised that the problem is not in fact with the camera at all. Damn. I’ve got to trawl through the 756 page manual again… It’s all my fault!
Even the peacock photos that I had high hopes of were rubbish. This is the dodgy best. Next time out, all will be well…
I’ve been waiting for these tiny butterflies to appear, but this is the only one I have seen this year, and then for only a minute or two. Then Hurricane Bertha’s tail-end arrived and the butterflies have all but disappeared except for the occasional large white fluttering round. The flowers this one was visiting are tiny; and the butterfly looks small, even on them.
RECENT BUTTERFLY POSTS
Planting hyssop and other bee- / butterfly- / moth-friendly plants in a resurrected border last summer is paying dividends this year. Butterflies and moths that I have never seen (noticed) in the garden before have taken to the new arrangements in a big way. This is the only painted lady I have seen this year, and she didn’t stay long – but I’m glad she paused briefly when I was right there with a camera…
I can’t remember when I last saw a Comma, but yesterday there was one fluttering around me as I fished on the Frome. I’d forgotten how comparatively large they are. I only had a tiny camera with me, one that doesn’t matter if it goes in the water. It’s for recording fish, should I ever catch one and have a free hand available as I remove the (barbless) hook and release the fish as quickly as possible. In practice, never.
There were wonderful damselflies – blue, turquoise, reddish and green – but it would have been a waste of time to photograph them. I also saw a white egret (quite common now in Dorset) and 4 kingfishers. Or more likely the same bird 4 times.