Taking Great Butterfly Pictures

Taking butterfly pictures requires a lot of skill to achieve effectively. Butterflies are difficult to photograph because of their size and the way they move. However, if done successfully, butterfly pictures can be stunning to look at. There are a few tips to consider for better butterfly photographs.

Equipment

Use a DSLR camera when photographing butterflies. Point and shoot cameras often do not have enough shutter speed to capture the speed of the butterfly’s movement. For photographers that are planning to use a point and shoot camera, the best moment to photograph is when the butterfly lands on the leaf or flower.  

Timing

The best time to photograph in the wild is during the early morning. There is just enough light to illuminate the subject without producing harsh light or extreme shadows. This is also the time when butterflies are most active. It may even be possible to capture a butterfly coming out of its own cocoon. Expect to wait before seeing any butterflies.

Location

Look for areas rich in flowers and plants. These are the areas most frequented by butterflies during the early hours. Photographers that are looking for emerging butterflies should look for trees such as elm, cottonwood, aspen or even milkweed. It is also possible to draw the butterflies to ones yard by planting flowers and installing some trellis.

Distance

Butterflies are easily disturbed by the slightest movement around them. After choosing an area known to be frequented by butterflies, choose a spot that is some distance from the plants or flowers. Learn to use a zoom lens to photograph the subject.