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Old Jun 3, 2005, 1:42 AM   #1
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I used a canon G6 to take these photos of Ulysses butterflies flying. The G6 doesn't have a big zoom, and the Ulysses butterfly is extremely erratic when it flies. Actually, this is one of the most erratic flyers I've ever seen, so it's not so easy to get a focus on it. And waiting for this butterfly in my yard is like waiting for a untimely bus to come along. Although, with some self-learned experience, I'm starting to come across a trick that sometimes works to entice the butterfly to come out from hiding. The trick is....I stand still for a long time, and after some time, I start walking very slowly across the lawn. I think the butterfly sees this motion, or is attracted to the colours on my shirt etc, so it will sometimes pop out, as predicted. That's only if there's one nearby ... and watching! This behaviour might be owing to the butterflying being tricked into thinking that there's another ulysses butterfly (that's me) in the area when I move....so it comes out of hiding to do some scouting. I came to this conclusion because often, I'd be waiting for a very long time for a ulysses butterfly to appear......and then, on so many occasions, the butterfly flies out after I've turned off the camera, and proceeding to go back indoors. The number of times this has happened became too much of a coincidence.....unless the butterfly has brains and wants to toy with me.
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Old Jun 3, 2005, 1:43 AM   #2
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This one was flying up around near the tv antenna...and flying quite fast.
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Old Jun 3, 2005, 1:45 AM   #3
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This one looked to me as if was upside down, but I think it's doing a dive and is flying toward the camera. The focus isn't so good on this one.
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Old Jun 3, 2005, 1:48 AM   #4
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The underside wings are just brownish. The very bright flourescent blue is only seen when the butterfly opens its wings.
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Old Jun 3, 2005, 1:53 AM   #5
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This photo shows both the underside of the wing and the top side at the same time. I was lucky to get this shot because the butterfly is so quick. A blink of an eye, and the butterfly is out of the frame. The focus isn't the best either. My aperture on the G6 only goes down to f/8. And the highest ISO I'm daring to use is 200 on the G6 for noise considerations. I notice that the ulysses prefers to fly when it's very sunny. Once the clouds begin to shade the sun, the butterfly won't fly out.

The dark blue colour on its front wing tip looks accurate....because that's really the colour of the intense electric royal blue flashes from the wings that I see, when the ulysses is flying. The colour is very flourescent, and gives a real hypnotic effect when this big butterfly is in action.
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Old Jun 3, 2005, 4:25 AM   #6
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Hope you can get a good close in shot, as this is quite the colorful butterfly.
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Old Jun 3, 2005, 4:52 AM   #7
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woodmeister wrote:
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Hope you can get a good close in shot, as this is quite the colorful butterfly.
I'll give it my very best to try to get a close-in one that's better focused woodmeister. They have an extremely erratic flying behaviour. We haven't got the tree that they like to visit in our yard, so they're not so abundant. But luckily, I managed to sneak up on one while it was resting. These things are REALLY big!

I'll show a picture of that one in this attachment here.
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Old Jun 3, 2005, 7:37 AM   #8
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It's extremely difficult to get the blue side of the wings because they fold their wings when they land. You were lucky to get the first one. Love the last one.
Ron
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Old Jun 4, 2005, 3:17 AM   #9
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Thanks for checking out my pictures Ron! So far, I found it really difficult to get one closer-up with a sharp focus and good exposure...because they just flash past like lightning. All I've managed to do with the close-up ones is just set a manual focus distance...eg 3 metres, set shutter priority of 1/500 seconds, and hope that the exposure and focus is ok. The shot I took today is the closest I've ever got...a 50 percent reduction on a 3072 x 2304 original, and then cropped a little bit to get the file size to fit the upload.

For this attached photo, this really was more than a 'point and shoot'. It was a point-the-camera-LENS-in-the-general-direction and press the shutter button, and hope that the butterfly was in the frame. There was no time to use either viewfinders on the camera, and the butterfly was gone again in a flash. But I think that this photo at least gives us a chance to see at least something...because the butterfly is just too quick in the air to get a good look at it. HOWEVER .... because the background is so far out of focus....this picture can cause nausea effects....so folks...don't look at this particular picture too long.
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Old Jun 4, 2005, 8:59 AM   #10
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Kenny, I guess you don't want a critique on the last one. :blah: But is does show the amazing color.
Ron
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