My Step Into Close Up Nature Photography
Macro and close-up nature photography have interested me since getting into photography. When I’m out walking I’m always drawn to the finer details in nature. From beautiful butterflies, flitting from plant to plant to the tiny bugs congregated on flowerheads and even cute spiders (words I never thought I’d type)! It all fascinates me.
I love the way the light can change how a dying plant looks or the way a leaf lit up from behind can look like a stain-glassed window. It’s all rather beautiful when we stop and take a look.Nature photography may not always go to plan, but this is where patience pays off #photography Click To Tweet
Patience Pays Off
Last year I was lucky enough to upgrade my camera to a pre-loved full-framed Nikon for a very good price. This year I got my grubby little mitts on the no longer in production Sigma 150mm macro lens. It was also a pre-loved item and an excellent price! I can’t recommend going down the pre-loved route enough. It is a case of sitting back and waiting, but patience does pay off.
I would never have been able to afford a new Nikon d610 and as the lens is no longer in production I had no choice but to wait. I didn’t buy the first lens that became available and when one came up I asked questions and corresponded with the seller until I was sure and confident to hand over the cash.
Learning A New Photographic Skill
As with everything it takes time to learn macro and close up nature photography. I’m still very much in the beginner phase but am most definitely enjoying it.
Nature photography often doesn’t go to plan due to Mother Nature having other ideas, but that’s what I enjoy. The randomness of it, never knowing what I will see next. I only commented today that there has been a distinct lack of snakes on my morning walks. A relief for some, but a bit of a puzzle for me! Maybe next week I’ll see a beauty of a snake… How much do you want to bet that I won’t have my camera on me?
It wasn’t until June that I managed to get out properly with the macro lens. The hardest part was heading out without the dogs, but nature photography and adventurous dogs don’t mix. Did they understand that? Not a chance!
As it was my first proper outing with the macro lens I didn’t expect much in the way of photographs as the lens is a bit of a beast. Stupidly I left the tripod at home too, so I was pleasantly surprised to find several photos worthy of sharing. These are some of the butterflies I managed to photograph on that early morning photo walk.
The Wonderful Close Up World Of Butterflies –
I have tried my best to identify the butterflies in the photos correctly, but please put me right if I’ve made a mistake. So many of them look alike that identifying them is not an easy task.
There is one butterfly in particular that I have not been able to identify. I saved it until last, maybe you can help?
Small Heath Butterfly
Small heath butterflies are in abundance certain areas in the hills. They tend to land with closed wings, which makes it easy to see the prominent markings on the underside of the wings.
Northern Brown Argus Butterfly
This Northern brown argus butterfly I did get quite excited about. It’s not one I see often on my morning walks. It was in a dryer area of the hill, not so populated by the more common butterflies. The
This one was a little flighty and kept taking off and landing, but with much creeping, breath-holding and fast shutter speed, I managed to get some photos I was happy with. In the morning light the there was a green iridescent colouring on parts of its wings.
How different the upper-side of butterfly wings can look to the underside? You can just about see some of the green iridescent colouring on the upperside of the Northern brown argus.The upper wings of the Northern Brown Argus butterfly have a beautiful iridescent sheen. #butterfly #photos Click To Tweet
Wall Brown Butterfly
The wall brown butterfly was easier to photograph as it seemed to enjoy its breakfast of sweet nectar at a leisurely pace. If you look closely the proboscis (straw-like tongue of the butterfly) is quite visible. I was tickled pink at managing to capture that too!
Small White Butterfly
Now is this small white butterfly the same white butterfly my Dad and many other gardener throw hissy fits about? I’m not sure if the name cabbage white does this butterfly any justice.
It flits from flower to flower supping up nectar, but never settling for too long. Or maybe it’s just camera shy?
The Swallowtail butterfly is one of my favourites. It’s not such a common butterfly, but our neighbours have a bush with many flowers that attracts them and I’ve noticed that it does seem to like to like the wild chives that grow in the hills.
Do You Recognise This Butterfly?
Can you help identify the butterfly in the photograph below? I’ve looked, but I’m really not sure what it is. It was rather small and not one of the more common types I see. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a photo of the underside of the wings.Can you help to identify this small butterfly? #photos #butterflyidentification Click To Tweet
Wanting to present photos in a different way I even had a go at creating a slide show of the butterflies I saw on my early morning wander…
Where Are The Caterpillars?
For all the butterflies I see in the hills I’ve yet to see the caterpillars. The only one I have seen is the caterpillar of the swallowtail butterfly which was feasting on some fennel in my parents garden. A rather grand looking caterpillar it was too!
What types of butterfly species do you see where you are? Do you enjoy close up nature photography?
© 2020, Debbie. All rights reserved.
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