Category Archives: Macro Photographs

Photos of Butterflies and other insects.

Introduction

The photos on this site were taken in the butterfly garden in Sayn (ger.: Garten der Schmetterlinge Schloss Sayn). Many different butterfly species fly around freely in a walkable glas pavilion. While the insects can be observed here in all of their four life parts (egg, larva, pupa and adult), the last stage is without question the most fascinating one from an esthetics point of view.
Butterflies and moths have always been popular motifs in visual arts. For most of the photos I used a 100mm macro lens without a tripod and no flashlight. For many photos I had to raise the ISO value and use a wide open aperture to get reasonably short exposure times. The wide open aperture however results in a very narrow depth of field, as it can be observed in the photographs.

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Photo of butterfly: Siproeta stelenes / Malachite

This butterfly is commonly known as Malachite. It is one of the most common butterfly species in central and northern South America, it’s natural habitat. It is named after the mineral Malachite, which has a similar bright green color as part of the animal’s wings has.

Butterfly: Malachite (Siproeta stelenes, nice bokeh)

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Photo of orange Julia Butterfly on flower (Dryas iulia)

The Julia Butterfly, also known as Julia Heliconia, is a bright orange butterfly with black wing edges and is native to South and Central America. The photo shows this beautiful insect enjoying nectar from a yellow blossom. The Julia Butterfly is active throughout the day and has a long life-span, which makes it popular in live butterfly expositions such as the one in Sayn (ger.: Garten der Schmetterlinge Schloss Sayn) where this picture was taken.

Orange Julia Butterfly (Dryas iulia) on yellow flower

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Photo of butterfly: Idea leuconoe (CloseUp)

This species is also known as Paper Kite, Rice Raper or Large Tree Nymph. While originally of Southeast Asian origin, it is nowadays also very popular in butterfly expositions.
The Photo is an extreme CloseUp on the insect’s body. The depth of field is very tight, with the body being sharply in focus, but the head and the wings already being out of focus.

Butterfly: Idea leuconoe, extreme Close Up on red Background

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Photo of butterfly: Siproeta stelenes / Malachite (profile)

The Malachite’s wings are in the focal plane and perfectly parallel to the camera. The tips of the antenna, on the other hand, are already slightly out of focus. This extreme sharpness and very narrow depth of field are both typical characteristics of a macro lens. The wide open aperture further reduces the depth of field.

Butterfly: Malachite (Siproeta stelenes, profile shot)

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Photo of butterfly: Idea leuconoe on orchid

This species is also known as Paper Kite, Rice Raper or Large Tree Nymph. This exemplar has landed on a purple orchid and is drinking from it’s nectar.

Butterfly: Idea Leuconoe (Paper Kite) on purple Orchid

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Bee on purple lavender flower

This is one of the first shots I took with the Canon 7D. It shows a bee collecting nectar from a lavender flower.

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