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Aug 6, 2016 11:42 AM CST
|Saw a wonderful hummingbird and butterfly in my gardens today. But i couldn't get a picture|
Aug 6, 2016 12:29 PM CST
|How nice! Wish I could get those sort of photos too but my camera just isn't good enough. Or maybe it is the photographer (most likely reason).|
Aug 6, 2016 1:59 PM CST
|Zoom lenses are super helpful. You don't have to get as close to get in close. You give them the space they desire and you get your picture. |
Note: advice given to me from a photographer.
Aug 6, 2016 3:05 PM CST
|A tripod is pretty usefull too. Like I can hold a camera steady,yeah!|
Aug 6, 2016 4:14 PM CST
|Took a trip to olbricht botanical gardens in Madison Wisconsin. |
Aug 6, 2016 5:19 PM CST
|Just this past Wednesday I met a staff member from Olbrich Gardens.He was attending the national Perennial Plant Symposium here. They were touring the Minnesota Arboretum on Wednesday, and as an arboretum volunteer, I was stationed at the rock garden. Four large buses brought a lot of PPA members that afternoon. Among others, I also met Tony Avent of Plant Delights Nursery in North Carolina and the Director of the U of Tennessee Botanic gardens. I was really surprised how much interest there was in rock and alpine material; being a trade organization, I thought their main focus would be more showy plants.|
Aug 6, 2016 5:20 PM CST
|Photos are most easily taken when the bugs/butterflies/hummingbirds come to you. When you're in the garden, don't be clamoring through like a bear, always be cognizant of what's going on all around (for instance: do you hear that hummingbird several yards away?), and stop and smell the roses! (I mean lilies, of course. )|
The only bad thing about zoom lenses is as you reach your focus with the telephoto, it's likely you shutter speed will be slower, and fast action images won't be so clear.
Aug 6, 2016 5:27 PM CST
|Kind of like this photo I snapped when I was out photoing lilies. This guy just zoomed in and landed on the stepping stone right in front of me. He even let me get several pictures.|
Aug 6, 2016 7:47 PM CST
|Olbrich Gardens is a great visit any time of year. I always find some great specimen I *need* to have. The last was the white fringe tree, ended up searching the world over to find it too. What a pretty sight blooming. There is always something I learn about, something new I see. |
Hope you enjoyed the day. It was a nice one. Great pics too!
Aug 6, 2016 8:17 PM CST
|I have two Fringe trees, grown from seed from a local park. I've tried for years to get a good close up pic of the flowers, and finally was able to do it with my new camera:|
Aug 6, 2016 8:30 PM CST
|I was so awestruck when I saw it the first time. Fragrant too. Unique in its own right. I've googled it a few times since then trying to find a source. The first thing to come up was seed. Wasn't convinced that would work. |
Lefty yours is nice, all from seed too. Wow, it does work. How long from seed to first Flower?
Ended up finding a male cultivar that it supposed to produce more flowers called Spring Fleecing. It won some big award in 2014. Found a small start, which I find adjust a whole lot better than the bigger trees. Planted this year. I can't wait to watch it grow up.... Neighboring a magnolia of course.
Aug 7, 2016 2:45 AM CST
|Not sure about hummingbirds - as we don't have them here I never photographed them - but photographing birds and insects are generally two very different things. For bird photography some kind of setup is generally used to get the best images as birds are more aware about human presence. They are also much more aware about the camera "eye" and directing a long lens against them is often perceived as a threat. Better to place the food, arrange a pretty perch, hide yourself and wait. |
Now we all are different and so are the techniques we will need to use, but for insects less planning is usually needed as they can be more easily approached as long as you don't cast your shadow on them. Not casting a shadow is usually very important!!! Also try using a slow approach. Move a little. Stop. Move again. Some feel that wearing dark clothes can be beneficial as well, although I haven't any strong personal opinion about this.
Now butterflies are more skittish than most insects, but approach is still possible, especially if they are busy feeding:
But of course a telephoto lens has its merits as well:
If they are busy doing other thing, well there is an opportunity to shoot
When the magnification is hight it's usally best to gently grab the perch with your left hand (if you are right handed) to stabilize the image and to be able to focus more easily.
A bit of wind helps as the critter wont be able to differentiate between the wind and the movement your hand causes. John Kimbler (Dalantech) wrote a tuturial about this technique a few years back that some might find useful: http://dalantech.deviantart.co...
I picked these mating weevils up and carried them around until I found a suitable background to photograph against. In this case a Rhododendron flower. The difference in color in the above and bellow image comes from how far the background is away from the flash.
Also remember that if there is a sudden temperature drop many insect get a bit more slow and more easy to photograph. A bit of surprise rain is extra useful.
A hoverfly that was very relaxed on a cloudy day. Perched on an allium. Flash was used. If I remember correctly the movement of the front legs was a part of cleaning the compound eyes:
However the best time to do this is if you can find them early in the morning as they await the morning sun to warm them up and they will then have a very hard time moving. In this case tripod is mandatory as the shutter speeds will be very slow. One important thing to realize is that if you live in a forested area (as I do) many insect will find shelter high up in trees instead of on the ground. So they can't easily be found. In open grassland you will have much more success.
The most difficult part is trying to photograph rapidly moving insects at high magnification and in this case I strongly recommend flash and to spray and pray...
Aug 7, 2016 10:13 AM CST
|The lady doesn't mind getting pollen on her dress. Oh, it's so-o-o-o good!!! |
Aug 7, 2016 4:03 PM CST
|William, those photos are incredible!|
Just yesterday, a friend gave me a link to a blog documenting a prairie restoration just across the Minnesota border in western Wisconsin. If you like good pics (but not as excellent as William's) of butterflies and moths, and species you've probably never seen before, take a look at their entries:
Aug 7, 2016 4:25 PM CST
|Regarding the White Fringe tree, our summers are too short for the first warm cycle that the seed needs to sprout. So the seed took close to two years to sprout. I believe it took around seven years of growth to flower. I don't have any constantly moist areas which the tree supposedly prefers. Although literature says it's not drought tolerant, I don't find that to be the case.|
Aug 8, 2016 10:43 AM CST
|Thank you, Rick. Glad you enjoyed the photos.|
It seems they do some very nice prairie restoration work at that old Wisconsin farm. That kind of work is truly important in these days of monoculture and mowed grass lawns.