(image 001) - Correct

Photo Info

CAMERA Canon EOS 5D Mark III

LENS Canon EF 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5A

ISO 100

FOCAL LENGTH 58.0 mm (126.2 mm in 35mm)

APERTURE f/11

EXPOSURE TIME 0.01667s (1/60)

EXPOSURE PROGRAM Shutter speed priority AE

(image 002) Cropped

(image 003) Incorrect

Photo Info

CAMERA Canon EOS 5D Mark III

LENS Canon EF 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5A

ISO 100

FOCAL LENGTH 58.0 mm (58.0 mm in 35mm)

APERTURE

f/4.5 EXPOSURE TIME 0.01667s (1/60)

EXPOSURE PROGRAM Shutter speed priority AE

(image 004) Cropped

Tips for taking photos of Butterflies and Moths in a Zoo


1) If you are going to take photos of butterflies in a zoo, my advice is to put your camera and lenses inside a plastic bag before entering the building. This is because there may be a 'heat change' from moving outdoors and stepping into a hot greenhouse. The bag will prevent moisture and condensation getting into your equipment, so wait at least 5-10 minutes before you unpack.


2) Take a tripod and use it as much as possible. Keep the head loose because butterflies move quickly from flower to flower. You won’t have time to lock in your tripod, but it will provide some stability. By keeping the head loose it will allow you to quickly move the camera.


3) Three things are almost always moving whilst photographing butterflies;

a) The camera

b) The butterfly

c) The flower it is settling upon


Butterflies Resting

To take photos while the subject is resting and settled on a leaf, then this is a good time to use a tripod. To get a 'noiseless' photo, set the ISO to 100 and focus on the head.

Make your camera as silent as possible and try to keep your shadow out of view (see images 001-4 at the top of the page).


Butterflies In Flight

To increase your chances of getting a sharp photo, use a fast shutter speed by increasing your ISO to a minimum of 400 but I do recommend to set it to no more than 640. This is because the higher the ISO, more noise levels will be added into the photograph.

However, 640 ISO may not capture butterflies 'fluttering' in flight. To 'freeze' the action, higher ISO levels will have to be used as faster shutter speeds are increased. A good way to do this is to set your rate to AUTO. Different shutter speed levels will then determine the ISO rate required but be prepared to accept more 'noise' in the photograph (see images 064B1145 & 064B1094-2 below).            

Set the camera dial to either 'M' (manual), or preferably 'S' or 'TV' (shutter priority) mode.

You will stand a better chance of getting a perfect picture by holding down the shutter release button so set the camera to 'burst' mode. 

Burst mode (also called  'continuous shooting mode') is a digital camera feature that captures a set number of photos in a short amount of time.

Note: JPEG or RAW format - YOU DECIDE!

You will get a higher 'frame rate' (photos per second) by shooting in JPEG mode than using RAW mode. This is because JPEG file sizes are much lower than RAW files. Therefore RAW files will slow down the camera's buffer. However the downside is that JPEG mode is what the camera's computer brain actually takes the photo of how it thinks it should look like. RAW mode is exactly what the photo actually is, providing every pixel of the picture.


4) Don’t chase the butterflies and be patient. Sometimes they are extra sensitive when you approach them, To overcome this problem, choose a nice flower and wait for the butterflies to land upon it. 


5) Butterflies often fly away when your shadow moves over them so try keep it out of the way and give them as much light as possible. 


6) Make sure all camera batteries (including spares) are fully charged before the photo shoot. They will soon become exhausted when taking photos in 'burst' mode.

      

7) Avoid using a flash. Use a video light in dark areas.

image 064B1145 - Correct

image 064B1094-2 - Incorrect

Photo Info

CAMERA Canon EOS 5D Mark III

LENS Sigma 50-500mm f/4.5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM

ISO 10000

FOCAL LENGTH 413.0 mm (618.7 mm in 35mm)

APERTURE f/6.3

EXPOSURE TIME 0.00125s (1/800)

Photo Info

CAMERA Canon EOS 5D Mark III

LENS Sigma 50-500mm f/4.5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM

ISO 12800

FOCAL LENGTH 167.0 mm (329.4 mm in 35mm)

APERTURE f/6.3

EXPOSURE TIME 0.00313s (1/320)

These photographs (below) were taken in 2010 and 2016 

O64B8683-003
O64B8704-003

Photo Info

CAMERA: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

LENS: Sigma 50-500mm f/4.5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM

ISO: 200

FOCAL LENGTH: 167.0 mm (162.0 mm in 35mm)

APERTURE: f/9

EXPOSURE TIME: 0.03333s (1/30)

NAME: O64B8683-003.jpg

DATE TAKEN: 2014-08-21 15:53:12

COPYRIGHT: www.cozmicdave.com

AUTHOR: Cozmic Dave

FLASH: Off, Did not fire

METERING: Multi-segment

EXPOSURE PROGRAM: Manual

EXPOSURE MODE: Manual

WHITE BALANCE: Manual

COLOR SPACE: sRGB

SCENE CAPTURE TYPE: Standard

CIRCLE OF CONFUSION: 0.031 mm

FIELD OF VIEW: 12.7 deg

HYPERFOCAL DISTANCE: 100.05 m

NORMALIZED LIGHT VALUE: 1

Photo Info

CAMERA: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

LENS: Sigma 50-500mm f/4.5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM

ISO: 12800

FOCAL LENGTH: 167.0 mm (162.1 mm in 35mm)

APERTURE: f/5.6

EXPOSURE TIME: 0.0004s (1/2500)

NAME: O64B8704-003.jpg

DATE TAKEN: 2014-08-21 16:04:47 

COPYRIGHT: www.cozmicdave.com

AUTHOR: Cozmic Dave

FLASH: Off, Did not fire

METERING: Multi-segment

EXPOSURE PROGRAM: Manual

EXPOSURE MODE: Manual

WHITE BALANCE: Manual

COLOR SPACE: sRGB

SCENE CAPTURE TYPE: Standard

CIRCLE OF CONFUSION: 0.031 mm

FIELD OF VIEW: 12.7 deg

HYPERFOCAL DISTANCE: 160.90 m

NORMALIZED LIGHT VALUE: 9.3

IMG_4210
IMG_3570BU

Photo Info

CAMERA: Canon EOS 50D

ISO: 1600

FOCAL LENGTH: 55.0 mm (87.2 mm in 35mm)

APERTURE: f/5.6

EXPOSURE TIME: 0.00313s (1/320)

NAME: IMG_4210.jpg

SIZE: 4752 x 3168

FILE SIZE: 1.09 MB

DATE TAKEN: 2010-11-21 14:07:22

DATE MODIFIED: 2016-04-22 12:35:46 

FLASH: Off, Did not fire

METERING: Multi-segment

EXPOSURE PROGRAM: Action (High speed)

EXPOSURE MODE: Auto

WHITE BALANCE: Auto

COLOR SPACE: sRGB

SCENE CAPTURE TYPE: Standard

CIRCLE OF CONFUSION: 0.019 mm

FIELD OF VIEW: 23.3 deg

HYPERFOCAL DISTANCE: 28.49 m

NORMALIZED LIGHT VALUE: 9.3

Photo Info

CAMERA: Canon EOS 50D

ISO: 100

FOCAL LENGTH: 345.0 mm (546.7 mm in 35mm)

APERTURE: f/6.3

EXPOSURE TIME: 0.005s (1/200)

NAME: IMG_3570BU.jpg

SIZE: 4752 x 3168

FILE SIZE: 641.22 KB

DATE TAKEN: 2011-07-17 13:28:39

DATE MODIFIED: 2016-04-22 12:35:52

RATING: 4

FLASH: Off, Did not fire

METERING: Center-weighted average

EXPOSURE PROGRAM: Program

AE EXPOSURE MODE: Auto

WHITE BALANCE: Manual

COLOR SPACE: sRGB

SCENE CAPTURE TYPE: Standard

CIRCLE OF CONFUSION: 0.019 mm

FIELD OF VIEW: 3.8 deg

HYPERFOCAL DISTANCE: 996.36 m

NORMALIZED LIGHT VALUE: 13

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