Chad Barry Aventure Photography » Nature, Wildlife and Landscape Photography

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Capturing Nature at Work [Photo Tips]

Polygonia interrogationis butterfly drinking nectar from thistle

Polygonia interrogationis butterfly drinking nectar from thistle

While on assignment recently photographing pollinators at work I had the opportunity to capture a variety of beautiful butterflies, bees, hummingbirds and other insects feeding on colourful flowers.

Butterflies are beautiful and the colours and patterns on their wings make attractive calendar shots, and I captured many on these on this assignment.  But, everyone sees that view and everyone with a camera or a phone gets that shot.  Finding a unique shot that tells a story means changing your whole perspective.

Getting low, underneath this butterfly was more interesting.  I carefully chose my composition and patiently waited while the butterfly bounced from flower to flower on the thistle and eventually came back again.  The colours on the wings are duller on the underside but backlighting them (backlight/sidelight in this shot) with the sun gave them a little more pop.  From this angle you can see the eyes, anttenae, legs and the tongue (proboscis). 

The tongue was important to me because it illustrates the butterfly drinking nectar.  This unquenched thirst drives the butterfly to drink from many flowers and with each visit their legs and underbelly can gather and deposit pollen from one flower to another.

Great photos don’t happen by accident.  Look for a unique perspective and tell a story.

Happy shooting! 🙂