Orange Butterfly

400mm  f/8  1/400sec  ISO400
Last Fall I was visiting the Charleston, South Carolina, area. At the beaches of Fort Moultrie on Sullivan's Island I noticed a lot of orange butterflies flying around in the dunes and bushes. I love butterflies, but it is not easy to capture one. As soon as I directed my lens to one and got closer to it it flew away. Or they were moving all the time around the blossoms they were drinking from. But from time to time I had luck that one of these butterflies kept still for some seconds and got my shot.

400mm  f/8  1/800sec  ISO400

400mm  f/8  1/800sec  ISO400
The most interesting part of a butterfly is of course it's beautiful and colorful wings. So mostly you take photos straightly down to it's back. I did those shots as well, but I wanted to try some other perspectives. The bushes were at man's height and thus there was no need to get down low to photograph the insect's profile or front. I could take these photos from a comfortable standing position. I was concentrating at one butterfly that was drinking from a group of blossoms. With every new blossom it stuck it's nozzle into it changed it's position. So I got all the scenes I wanted without moving much. And you can even see this extremely long nozzle.

400mm  f/8  1/2000sec  ISO400

I took these photos with my EOS 500D camera and my EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L lens mounted to it. My usual settings when shooting with this combination is Av mode with fixed aperture value of f/8 and a fixed ISO value of 400. This aperture value shall produce best image quality and to get feasible shutter speeds I have to increase ISO up to 400. The resulting shutter speeds were calculated by camera automatically. I had no tripod with me, thus I had to shoot free-hand.