A Least Skipper Butterfly (Two Photographs)
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This is a Skipper butterfly, among the most docile and easy subjects in butterfly photography. They have a tendency to stick around and stare back at you. This was taken with a 200-500mm lens at F8, and then cropped substantially. There are several ways to get up close to anything, macro gear, reversing lenses, close-up filters and long telephoto lenses. There is nothing inherently wrong with using long lenses for close up photography. It has the major advantage of using natural light, a flash in the axis of the camera even with a soft box would not add much to the shot. Some considerations do come into play. The aperture still has an impact. A larger aperture can be used to get the same effect as with a macro lens, e.g. F8 as opposed to F14. As it’s hard to see the effect of the aperture on one of the smaller elements in the frame, its mostly guess work to choose an aperture that gives you a good background and still get detail in the subject. An out-of-focus background will require a larger aperture, than a smaller one that guarantees detail. The extent of the crop will depend on the sensor in the camera, at 20 megapixels or above you get greater latitude in cropping. A higher than normal shutter speed, in the 500 to 1000th of a second range also helps. Long lenses won’t work with all insects, but with butterflies and similar creatures they do.