Thursday, May 6, 2010

Juvenal’s Duskywing Photo Study

If you walk through the woods of Cape Ann, you will no doubt flush up a few of these Juvenal’s Duskywings.  I’ve watched a few of them over the days and I seem to find them in the same place suggesting that they have territories.  I’ve seen one fly into another’s territory and then watched the dogfight.   But mostly, I’ve seen them just laying in the sun on the leaf litter.

 Juvenal's Duskywing 5-2-2010 1-42-21

They are not very tolerant of photographers.  I’ve taken all of these pictures from six feet with a 80-300mm lens set on full.  Now mind you, the Nikkor 80-300mm lens is a commercial grade lens, designed for serious, put poor photographers like me.  So you lose a bit of detail when you push the envelop with this lens.

Juvenal's Duskywing 5-2-2010 3-11-42

But I do okay with what I have.  This duskywing had a favorite hangout place which gives us a chance to play a bit.  When I extend the lens to 300mm and shot in at the minimum focus distance, which is about 5.5 feet for this lens. This gives a real shallow depth of field and washes out the background. Note that by looking at the background when setting up a shot, you can have some object of a pleasant color washed out in the background.  The photo above was shot with clumps of green grass and brown, dried up grass.  These provide a variation of color.

Juvenal's Duskywing 5-2-2010 3-12-24

By changing my angle slightly, I put a White Pine tree in the background which gave a green background. This effect is known as bokeh, a Japanese term for the subjective aesthetic quality of out-of-focus areas of a photographic image.

Juvenal's Duskywing 5-2-2010 1-38-49

Another concept is to fight the “bull’s eye syndrome”.  BORING! Move the center of attention off the center of the photo! 

Juvenal's Duskywing 4-24-2010 12-11-28

Although they are not the most flamboyant butterfly, they do add interest to the world.  I’ve had some fun shooting them.  I now most of you have different gear than I do.  The important thing is to get out there and use what you have.  Now that the price of film and processing isn’t a concern, go ahead and burn some images.  See what works for you.

6 comments:

Roy said...

You did a great job under the circumstances Steve.
I often use a Canon 100-400mm for butterflies or a 70-200 and its surprising what you get with them. I also use a Canon G10 at about an inch from the subject, but as you say not all of the butterflies are willing subjects, some more than others I find. They are usually less lively towards the end of their flight period when they have fulfilled their aim in life.

Mojo Jojo said...

Hey hey, not only nice pictures, but also good advice on photography. I love that! Thanks for you nice blog.

Kerri said...

I think these are GREAT shots Steve! I've seen several of these (or what looks to be these) and they've been very hard to capture!

Carol Mattingly said...

I'm not so great at closeups but yours I really like. Nicely done. Carol

Eve said...

I love the Juvenal's Steve. I really like all your angles and compositions. I've got a bunch of Duskywings here...I'm really going to have to get out there and work on sorting them out! Thanks Steve!

Mary said...

You make this drab looking butterfly look very beautiful! I really like the one with the green background.

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