May  2012



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Flying Butterfly













Flying Butterfly 4


 Additional images can be viewed here


Once a year, Safari Park (formerly Wild Animal Park) in northern San Diego County displays tropical butterflies in one of its green houses.  The exhibit is so popular, you have to arrive before the park opens just to get a time ticket to see the butterflies.  Unfortunately, the exhibit is still very crowed and can be difficult to take serious photos.   I generally use a 200-400 telephoto zoom lens to blur the background but some of the more aggressive visitors will move in on the butterflies with I-Phones, subsequently blocking my view of the butterfly. 


The typical butterfly shot consists of a butterfly on a flower. However on my 3rd visit to the butterfly house, a butterfly was flapping its wings in mid air so I quickly pointed the lens in the butterfly's direction and the lens actually focused on the flying butterfly.  You've got to be kidding me.  I've never owned a DSLR before that could focus on a butterfly flying through the air.  I quickly jacked the ISO up to 6,400 and began trying to shoot flying butterflies.  It really is a lot harder than it looks.  I quickly leaned that butterflies actually jump off flowers backwards when they start to fly.  I didn't know that and probably never would have, if I hadn't tried to photography them flying.


The above image shot was taken with a full frame, 36 MP DSLR with 200-400 F5.6 zoom lens on carbon fiber tripod.