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Old Aug 1, 2003, 8:54 AM   #1
kex
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Default How do I take pictures of moving objects like butterflies?

Hi,
I'm wondering, how I can take sharp photos of butterflies, bees, flies and all the other moving insects.
We got some flowers in the garden and about 20 butterflies are always flying around there.
But I'm not able to take good pictures of them, because they always fly away, when I come near with the cam.

So does anybody of you have any advice how to take pictures which are sharp and good?
I got a Canon A60, and I tried really a lot. But I'm still waiting for my dream shot
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Old Aug 1, 2003, 12:03 PM   #2
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Getting it right will cost time and practise.

Thinks to think about:
-Certain species of butterflies are very causious. And thus harder to approach.
Other wil stay close to the same place (terrytorium) and are more predictable.

-Try not to move a lot.

-Focus in on the flower were a butterfly may land and eat.

-Use high shutterspeed to avoid motion un sharpness.

Good luck, fillip
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Old Aug 1, 2003, 1:23 PM   #3
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Also a longer zoom can help. Then you don't have to get as close. The downside with that is that the angle you shoot at might not be as pleasing (it will be lower down, instead of over the butterfly looking down.)

Eric
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Old Aug 2, 2003, 7:11 AM   #4
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thanks for your tips!
I'll try them out later. But as one of you already said: It takes a lot of time and practise... but I'm ready to take it
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Old Aug 2, 2003, 9:52 AM   #5
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A bit of sugar solution (in water) applied where you want to take the shot can help.

I usually find that when I am trying to shoot butterflies the settle on my shoulder or head - very frustrating.
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Old Aug 2, 2003, 2:10 PM   #6
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I forgot two other things which are helpful:

1) A camera which can focus quickly. When an animal doesn't stay still for very long, you need a quick acting camera. (The inverse of this is to prefocus and wait for them to land where you want them to. Then you have a 0-latency focus camera because it didn't need to focus!)

2) Focus tracking or AI Focus. To be able to do this well, the camera needs to focus fairly fast. This allows the camera to track the object in focus as you follow it. This can be helpful for some things... but I find that butterflies and bees to be so small and move so eratically that this doesn't always help.

Eric
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Old Aug 3, 2003, 7:25 PM   #7
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Fuji s602 has teh ability to do precapture bursts. Specifically, you can take shots at 5fps for 25 frame sessions, the buffer keeps the last 5 images from the moment you release the shutter for an efeective 1 second instant replay of 5 frames - captured. Basicly, you can shoot an insect while in action and the second it does something you like, let go of shutter and you hve 5 frames from 1 second back in time.

-Chris
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Old Aug 5, 2003, 6:57 AM   #8
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My advice is take your time. They will settle. I find the best approach is to place myself in a good spot and wait.

Morning / late afternoon / very early evening is good as the light is ok and they're not quite as bouncy as at mid-day.

You will get variation by species, a Meadow Browns is very jittery in comparison to a Painted Lady or a Red Admiral, and Burnet Moths are incredibly relaxed.

If you do need to move around, move slowly and avoid casting a shadow on your potential subject, or creating too much vibration as you try and position yourself for a shot.

I also use a 28-105mm zoom lens (equiavalent to 150mm with my camera) on a shoulder pod. I can often get 1/200-1/250 at f11 which is ok. Not as good as a tripod, but a reasonable compromise.
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Old Aug 5, 2003, 9:12 AM   #9
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You could try to go out early at dawn, before the day warms up.
Most of these insects are slugish until they heat up.

With any luck, looking around carefully at this time of day you should be able to find your targets dew laden and just hanging on the flowers.
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Old Aug 5, 2003, 10:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterP
You could try to go out early at dawn, before the day warms up.
Most of these insects are slugish until they heat up.

With any luck, looking around carefully at this time of day you should be able to find your targets dew laden and just hanging on the flowers.
well. I seem to be like insects, because I need to heat up in the morning, too.
But I'll try that, next time, when I get up early.
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