Photographing butterflies

Last week was a short week at work for me as I had the day off (and a pressing engagement) on Friday with some tropical butterflies at RHS Wisley! I was on a macro photography course with insect photographer extraordinaire Adrian Davies. The course took place in the morning where we were allowed 2 hours in the glasshouse with the butterflies before the general public came in. Once we had got our shots we went back to the classroom for reviving tea and to review our pictures & work on any specific issues. For the course I’d bought a new lens but unfortunately I seemed to be quite wobbly (might have been the excitement) and most of my pics were blurred, I did however manage to retrieve some (and some of these are from my camera phone which I took in to the butterfly house after our class was over, cheating but I wanted a visual reminder of the beautiful breeds we had seen). I learnt a lot, LOVED spending time with the butterflies and would love to practice during the rest of this year and go back next year to see if I’ve improved

This beautiful thing is a Great Yellow Mormon, it was lovely to see it at virtually eye level hanging off the heavily scented yellow and red hanging plant

Above two views of the giant owl so named due to the ‘owl eye’ on the lower wing used to startle predators (Adrian encouraged us to try to capture ‘different’ views of the butterflies rather than just photographing them with their wings spread & I think the above example was one of the most successful alternative views that I shot).

This is another ‘alternative view’ of the underside of the Great Yellow Mormon

Underside of the Eggfly butterfly, very daintily sat on a leaf.

Dirce Beauty or Mosaic Zebra:¬†Colobura dirce. A , Brazilian butterfly of the Nymphalidae family. (I’m annoyed at myself for cutting the antenna off as otherwise this was quite a good shot, I particularly like the texture of the flower the butterfly is sat on!)

The above is a giant swallowtail, strangely though my camera didn’t seem to be able to capture the yellow weirdly representing it as white!

I think this is a mocker swallowtail (hard to tell from the underside of the wing)

Another Great Yellow Mornon

Underwing of a Blue Morpho butterfly, I waited by this one for 10 mins or so hoping he would open his wings so I could photograph the fabulous blue colour reflected on them. Alas he didn’t feel like it and remained like this (but the underwing is quite lovely too with all the circles on it).

Slightly blurry tiger longwing

The most tricky to find & photograph of the lot, but if you are a regular reader of this blog you’ll know why I had to try – glasswing

As my school teachers might have said, 10 for effort but could do better. Onwards!

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