Butterflies, and More Butterflies

One of the reasons photographers are willing to fork out big bucks for expensive lenses is that they produce amazingly sharp pictures, as I’ve discovered since I bought my first L-Series Canon Lens.

At their best they produce crisp photos like this:

Common Blue Morpho

However, if you you look at the photograph carefully you will notice that there is an extremely limited depth of field even with this lens, about the width of the butterfly’s body.

Thus, it becomes extremely challenging to produce a sharp picture when there are two subjects in the picture, as in this photo.

Pair of Butterflies

It helps if there’s a lot of light, which there wasn’t the day I took these pictures. Notice how only one wing of the butterfly on the right is in sharp focus. It’s an inevitable compromise.

I’ve always thought of butterflies as timid insects that managed to stay alive by avoiding conflict. That’s why I was fascinated by these two butterflies who seemed to actually be fighting over these small purple flowers. I ended up taking nearly fifteen shots in a 10 minute sequence, but it seemed impossible to get both of the butterflies in focus. This seemed the best shot in the sequence, but you’ll notice that parts of both of the butterflies is out of focus, while other parts seem quite sharp.

Pair of Butterflies on Purple Flowers

Luckily,it’s challenges like this that keep me photographing.