Eastern Tiger Swallowtail On Butterfly Bush

The Butterfly Bush by our pond saw a lot of activity today. The most I have seen with butterfly activity. Between Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterflies and Painted Lady Butterflies plus a lot of bees and wasps, it was non stop activity for a few hours. They were about 14 ft away across the pond, so I was using a Canon 400mm f/4 DO lens with a combination of extension tubes and Canon 1.4X Teleconverters to fill the frame. I also used a Flash to add some fill light to the shadows, from -2/3 thirds to -1 full stop. Using this combination you lose autofocus, but it lets you get some interesting closeups when you cannot get to your subject. The only problem I had with the Butterflies was they were constantly moving and I was trying not to go above ISO 1250, so my shutter speed was about 1/125, so I had some motion blur here and there. The Dragonflies are more cooperative sitting fairly still until they take off. Usually I only use 1 – 1.4X teleconverter plus extension tube narrower in front of the teleconverter and a wider extension tube behind the teleconverter which helps enlarge the image on the sensor. Gives me a lot of dragonfly image on the sensor, especially for the Blue Dashers which are only 1.5″ long. This combination works great out to 8-10 feet, giving me ample dragonfly image on the sensor.

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Canon 400mm f/4 DO lens, 36mm extension tube, Canon 1.4x Teleconverter, 24mm extension tube, Canon 1.4X teleconverter. Target Butterfly Bush in background. Usually I also use a better Beamer Flash Extender, helps batteries last longer. The extension tubes allow using 2 – 1.4 Teleconverters which are sharper than a 2X teleconverter, but also enlarge the image on the sensor more than just the teleconverters. Takes a little practice focusing consistently and adjusting exposure, mainly exposure compensation with shadows and highlights. 
Mkiv setupIMG_1015

 

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2 Comments on “Eastern Tiger Swallowtail On Butterfly Bush

  1. Thanks! It is fun to see the variety of subjects that stops by our small pond. Some stay, some just pass through, but it is great to get photo subjects that come to you!

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