I came across this little creature on my balcony. The wind was blowing it and it was clinging on for dear life. At first I thought it was a fragment of a leaf when I saw it fluttering in the wind and almost flattened to the concrete or whisked off over the edge of the balcony.
My curiosity got the better of me for some reason. Maybe I am just a curious soul who notices minute things some people never see. I got down on my knees and looked closer. It was then that I realised that this was not just a leaf though it looked like it. It was a butterfly.
Don’t ask me for it’s scientific or unscientific names. I have no idea. To me it is just a butterfly. That suffices. This is not my area of expertise. But if you do know, please enlighten me. I know that there will always be that one person that knows everything about creatures like these. Back to the topic…
At the time, I did not have my camera with me and I thought that if I went in to grab it, I would come back and this little fella would be long gone.
Despite the odds and my thoughts, I went back in and grabbed my camera and changed the 50mm Canon lens on it to a Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX macro lens and headed back outside.
I quickly made my adjustments to get a good exposure. In the back of my mind, I was wondering how long this creature would stick around. If one has ever tried photographing butterflies and the likes, then they will be aware how skittish these little things are.
They are very camera shy and if you are lucky, you can find one that will hold still allowing you to take multiple shots. It is possible. It has been done before and what man or woman has done before can be done again.
They, the butterflies that is, also make very beautiful subjects to capture; especially, in their natural habitat and if you are patient and well prepared.
Those conditions didn’t apply in my situation. I was merely hopeful and being reactive to a subject that fell at my feet and taking advantage of the situation.
My balcony is not very big so getting down on my stomach was a challenge considering the location of this creature. But somehow, I managed to contort myself sufficiently to position myself. And the aid of gorilla pad helped me to steady my camera as the macro lens is the old type without image stabilisation.
Unfortunately, Canon don’t do in body stabilisation so in situations when you are shooting macro, you need to find someway to stabilise your camera and the gorilla pad was the thing that did it for me allowing me to get some half decent images.
Because of the limitations of time and space and the reactive nature of this project, I was restricted to what I could achieve. I was able to change my perspective a few times to generate different angles of views and I think I did an okay job.
I would have loved to get better images and better angles. But with subjects [creatures] that are alive, you sometimes have to take what you get.
I am pretty lucky this creature landed at my feet and hung around long enough for me to take a few photos and allow me to share these images and what I saw. It was simply too irresistible not to capture.
The jigsaw puzzle shape of the wings are fascinating as are the colours and the markings along the span as you can see from the image below.
The earthy brown and green colours makes it a bit less vibrant than other colourful butterflies. But they are still an interesting set of colours.
What I noticed afterwards was the interesting colour palette which I cannot take credit for. They are the prefect fit, compliment and backdrop to a nature photo shoot.
It appears to be more a case of serendipity than careful planning by the photographer. I guess the whole thing was merely a case of serendipity because I didn’t plan to shoot this butterfly. I simply did what I normally do when an opportunity presents itself to me. I shoot.
As much as I took advantage of this opportunity that fell at my feet because it was too irresistible not to shoot, I missed a few opportunities to shoot this butterfly with it’s wings fully open revealing the orange and black markings on the open wings.
But as I mentioned above, or I think I did, sometimes you have to take what you get. Nevertheless, the images you don’t get always bug you and you always wish you had. I guess you know the feeling too.
But what beats that all, is seeing a creature like this up close and personal. There is nothing like it. And capturing a subject that is too irresistible to capture is just the cherry on top if it all. It makes up for everything.