4 Newbie Tips to Photograph Butterflies Close-Up

Photograph Butterflies

Ana  Margarita Olar | Fotograpiya.com

Nature photography is very challenging you can choose from landscapes, cascades, and forests. You can feature big and small creatures alike. Butterflies are fascinating creatures to be featured in a photograph.

If you are a newbie, here are some tips that you can try:



First, you must learn where the butterflies are in your community. They are usually found in meadows or any location where there are flowers such as gardens or your lawn. Try to shoot early morning when the air is cooler. It is a good time to photograph butterflies because they are cold-blooded.

The cool early morning temperature can cause them to be still. But, the warm air late in the morning causes them to start flying around.


TRIPOD/MONOPOD- Use a tripod or a monopod to stabilize your camera. You need to use slow shutter speeds if you photograph butterflies at rest. Being stable is essential to maintain sharpness with a magnified image.

MACROLENS- You will need this equipment so that you can focus very close to the butterflies.

EXTENSION TUBES- This is a tight light tube fitted between your camera and the lens. When you photograph butterflies, you will need to work at some distance. This equipment will help you to achieve different magnifications while you work at a distance.

PLAMP- You may also consider using a plamp the flower or the plant where the butterfly rests.


You shutter speed setting will depend on your ISO. When you photograph butterflies at rest set your ISO to 200 and your shutter speeds to slow. Your aperture should be F/16-F22. If your subject is flying, you need to increase your ISO and shutter speed settings.


USE A FLASH.  If possible, keep the flash off camera. You can hold it or use a stand. You need to trigger the flash through a remote. There are cameras that can trigger a remote flash with the pop-up flash. You need to test the ambient light by shooting first without a flash. Then use the flash. You can experiment with settings and the kind of flash that you are going to use. You can choose from a ring flash, of a twin flash.

WATCH YOUR BACKGROUND. Minimize distractions as much as possible. Keep the surroundings as blurred as possible.

To increase the depth of field, position your shot so that the butterfly’s body is parallel to the back of the camera.

For a newbie, those are the basic ideas that you must apply to photograph butterflies. You can also try this pro’s tricks to photograph insects.