Meet the Monarch Butterfly! The Monarch Butterfly is big, flashy and one can not miss them when they start showing up! The Monarch Butterfly just happens to like the Zinnia Flowers here in our garden.
The Monarch Butterfly does not like any other of our flowers like they do our Zinnias! I do keep the Zinnia Flowers blooming until they go to seed, not allowing anyone to cut down the zinnia leaving the flowers to all the wildlife that likes to feed on the flower.
Photographing the Monarch Butterfly is not real difficult since they are a big butterfly. The trick is, like anything else, not getting to close! Being down wind helps if you have stinky perfumes on that is only helpful to humans. Such things as insects, other wildlife do not feel the same way about such smells. Perfumes from oh soap, hair products, what you wash your clothing in to insect repellant are all things to sabotage your Butterfly or any Wildlife Photography. Keep down wind!
The shot above I am behind other flowers. Blending in is something I am getting real good at! I have gotten the feedback that I must use a special telephoto lens.... no. Nothing special, this telephoto lens I like to use (I have two cannon, and one Quantary (sp)), using the Quantary more often for I know where all the features are without looking. All extent to 300, and have the stabilizer function and for those who have the stabilizer lens's you know how good the feature is! This to my way of thinking is nothing special. One still has to get pretty close to the subject without it running off, or in this instance flying off.
I do not use any fancy computer software. I use manual settings just because auto function is to slow for me personally. I have no patience for the lens to get into focus for me. I have noticed my patience for critters far extends my patience for quite a deal more then anything else I run into in life. I do not use my tri-pod much at all. If I need to bring both camera bodies with me with different lenses, (what my biggest tele lens with extender goes to 1000 and I do need something to help keep it stable. All manual), I will use what I find to help stabilize the lens. Branches, the truck, boulders. I just do not stay still for long to wait for anything as of yet.
Some of these shots in this series have been seen before! This series of this Monarch Butterfly are all considered, "Usable". Meaning everyone of these photographs have been developed and look good. Gosh I think the biggest of any of these photographs of this series have been developed to 20" x 30" size.
The background color there is nothing but dried grass. I like the background to look as good as the subject. The shot above of the Monarch Butterfly flying out of the frame is just what is. This is what happened as I was taking the photographs and thought it looked cool so kept it. Most folks who watch Butterflies know butterflies have a agenda all their own, we are just observing them doing what they would do if we are watching or not. You can actually see from their behavior if they are done with whatever feed source they are on!
The last photograph above I was behind a flower! I blurred the flower I was behind out with the lens as I was concentrating on the Monarch Butterfly itself. If I relied on the camera itself, the lens would have automatically concentrated on the flower I was behind, actually it could have been a leaf I was behind come to think of it..... dose not matter. A camera and lens is only a tool anyway. It is what one does with the tools they have that matters!
I think of Wildlife Photography as a dance. Get in sink with whatever you are observing, photographing. I have actually fallen due to not paying attention to what is on the ground around me as I was paying more attention to whatever I was photographing which is a little funny! The dogs have even learned this so they try hard to stay out of my way when they hear the click of the camera ha! Also why Guy pays so much attention as I am near a cliff or something that could harm my body. Guy knows I am in the, "zone".
The click of the camera has also been rather good for this journey I have found myself on with the Wildlife Photography. Critters do several things, they stop and look right at me! You can see this in some of my photography. The Wildlife will attack my camera more then me. This is good for such things as Hummingbirds. The Hummers do this more then any other creature so far on a constant bases! The hummers from my observations seam to think the click of my camera is another hummer! Wildlife just does not know what to think of the noisy clicks of the camera!! I have used this curiosity for my own benefit / photography. I have been attacked several times now from birds of prey to antelope (pronghorns), however nothing serious has happened. The funniest thing has been the grouse. What made it funny was, grouse are the size of a chicken, and I just found this humorous.
Best stop my ranting, hope you found this post interesting. Perhaps a little informative and pleasing to the eye!
UPDATE: I got this in my email (7/22/2016),which is really good news for the monarch! https://www.edf.org/card/future-monarchs