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Butterfly Photography

Butterfly and Thistle IMG_4662, originally uploaded by macrogeek.

I went out on lunch yesterday in search of something to photograph. I often spend half my lunch hour looking for anything interesting to shoot so that I can keep my skills sharp. I wandered an field behind an empty parking lot and found the mother load of bugs. Turns out what looks like a huge field of grass and weeds is actually full of thistles. There were bees and butterflies galore out there. It was hot out and about noon. I'm not sure how that affects the insect activity. Every one of these big thistle plants I approached was covered with bugs that were eating. I just had to walk up close slowly, and wait. Most of the insects would circle once and land right back on it again and go back to collecting pollen. I stood there and snapped away. I got some good detail shots.

I was using the kit lens from my wife's old film Rebel on my Digital Rebel XTi. Since her lens is an EF mount, not an EF-S, it's built for a full sized sensor. The XTi is a half sized APS-C sensor, so due to the crop factor when I use an EF lens it means that I get better zoom out of it. In this case it was just enough to let me get really good bug details from 3-5 feet away.
I guess two lessons were learned yesterday.

1. Never write off a location for photos because it looks boring or empty.
2. Check out those old kit lenses before you put them in storage, they may come in handy.

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