Sunday, September 19, 2004

Fluttering bye in the rainforest

Yesterday, I only took one photo and that was just in jest, maybe I’m not an addict after all.

This photo was from last Sunday when I took a walk through the rainforest between the beach and cliffs in front of my place. In the late afternoon filtered light there were butterflies flying back and forth. I’m not sure if you have every tried to photography butterflies in the wild. The flutter around and won’t keep still. The delay on the camera in automatic mode , means you only get an empty and/or blurred shoot of where they were 2 second before. If they do stop on a nice juicy flower they close their wings and are nicely camouflaged.

So I had to resort to some digital camera magic to get this picture. My camera has a sequential shooting mode which takes a continuous set of photos at approximately 1.5 frames/sec. The number of photos that I can take seems to depend on the resolution (in HQ mode I seem to get around 8 shoots). The only tricky bit is that focus, exposure and white balance are locked at the first frame.

I had noticed that most bufferflys flap a couple of times before the take off. So I set the camera in sequential shooting mode (it is an icon with three overlapping boxes) and I did the macro focus and light metering as the were tasting the flower nectar, by half depressing the button, then as soon as the pre-flight flapping began I pressed and held the shutter button. I actually got 4-5 good photos with their colourful wings open from about 25 shoots.
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