Butterfly Mate, Midpen Open Space





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Behind The Lens

This photo was taken at one of my favorite open space preserves, Russian Ridge Preserve. Russian Ridge is part of the Midpen Regional Open Space system.
This photo was taken mid morning in Spring of May, this year.
It was a natural light source from the mid morning sun.
This was shot on my Canon EOS Rebel T6 with a EF 18-55mm lens at 49mm, 1/1000 sec at f/11 ISO 200. No other equipment was used.
I really want to capture this intimate moment of these two butterflies mating. This was the first time I every witnessed something like this out in nature and I wanted capture it. I was lucky and thankful that these two did not just flutter off upon my arrival and they allowed me to view this event. I remembered I lingered there for quite awhile observing. I want to get a close shot, but I also did not want to disturb the moment. The butterflies were mating on a plant that was relatively close to the ground, on a start of a hill. I remember defiantly getting in different awkward positions to get this shot(s) including crouching, half kneeling, and even getting on my belly! I had to get low. LOL. When I got home and went through my shots, I settled on the one above.
The original RAW image was a bit underexposed to my liking so I had to brighten the image and bring down the whites and highlights from the mid morning sun. I settled the white balance and I did want the image to be a bit softer, since it was an intimate moment, so I dropped down the texture some. I do find that most times the camera does not quite catch the vibrancy of nature so I did bring that out a bit in the image to allow the true color of the mating butterflies to pop.
In my camera bag
I only have one camera, my Cannon EOS Rebel T6, so I defiantly pack that. LOL. I have been trying to get better about not backing all my lenses, so I have been good at just bring the stock lens- EF18-55mm and E75-300mm lens. I am fairly new to photography so am hoping in due time I can upgrade these lenses.
Part timing, mixed with luck and a lot of patience. The timing for this image was good as there were a lot of butterflies fluttering around in the warm, mid morning sun. It was luck that I stumbled on this intimate scene. It was patience that got me the shot. I remember observing these two butterflies for well over 45 minutes! Even after I felt I got "the shot", I continued to linger and just appreciate the opportunity that nature allowed me to witness something that most people my just walk right past. Eventually the mating butterflies finished and fluttered off.

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