Photography News November 29, 2021
Quote: “…photographers are crepuscular creatures, most active around sunrise and sunset” – Michael Frye on visiting Mono Lake
Evenings at the Lake – Michael Frye
Johnston’s Lens Ramblings (1999) – and read the comments
Light your Model like a Hero or Villain – 8m 13s
Three Secrets To Perfect Skin Tones – Photoshop Tutorial, 10m 34s
Low Key Moody Landscape Photography – 11m 25s, Gary Gould
Underwater Shooting with Brooke Shaden – 8m 58s, older video
Thought for the day: Photographing Butterflies
This is based on the local (SF Bay Area and Monterey) Monarch Butterfly flights. Other locations, other types of flutters may vary, but this should give you a starting point.
Collective nouns for butterflies: flight, flutter, rabble
Monarch butterflies north of Big Sur typical congregate around eucalyptus(1) and juniper trees. If you can find a mixed grove all the better.
The best know (and maybe the best) places in Northern California are Pacific Grove!! (excellent this year), Natural Bridges State Park in Santa Cruz (3000+ according to a docent I talked to yesterday), Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont(3), Monarch Bay Golf Course and Marina San Leandro, Coyote Hills Park Nectar Garden in Fremont, and Point Pinole Regional Park. Further south there are some flights around Pismo Beach and Santa Barbara that reportedly are very good this year.
Monarchs typically won’t fly until it is 75F or more.
If it is too cold they sit with the dull side of their wings up.
Use Live mode (iPhone, some Micro 4/3 cameras) or use rapid fire mode to try and catch the peak of the action.
Try to use a shutter speed at least twice the length of the lens, i.e. for a 100mm lens try to use 1/200 or higher. Use a higher ISO if needed. This will help with wing movement (for humming birds use 1/2000 or more but their wings move faster)
Generally the best focal lengths I find are long to very long telephotos pictures of individual butterflies and wide angle for shots of flight flocks.
Try to have interesting backgrounds.
Blurred backgrounds are good. Backlit wings can be interesting. Butterflies doing something different is interesting.
Keep an eye out on the ground, there is sometimes something going on there.
Keep an eye on where you are, if there is anything you might trip on, if there are people in the area that might make you uncomfortable, is your car in a safe location, etc..
(1) If the eucalyptus acorns still have hair on them they sort of look like shrunken heads.
Useful pictures for Halloween. Not a joke
(2) Don’t bring cats with you when hunting butterflies. The cats know all too well that the baby butterflies, the caterikillars are the feared foe of little innocent cats. (joke this time).
(3) At Ardenwood sometimes the docents let you walk into the nesting/flying area. You can try to backlit butterflies.
I also convinced one little girl there that butterflies were better than butter on pancakes. She was delighted and ran off to find some. Her mom was in stitches from laughing..
The content of this blog post done in collaboration with one of our members, Greg Edwards: http://gregoryedwards.slickpic.site