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14th of April 2010 (Wed), 06:39
I have a wedding coming up in May where the couple are planning to release butterflies. This is a great photographic moment, but I'm struggling to come up with the right approach to capitalize on it.
At the moment, the thought is to stay back a little and shoot the couple with the 70-200 while I have an assistant get close and low to shoot with something very wide; maybe even a fisheye.
I've seen dove releases done very well with both of these approaches, but butterflies are so much smaller, I'm second guessing myself. Has anyone shot a butterfly release? Thoughts on what's worked or not?
14th of April 2010 (Wed), 07:10
I've done a Monarch butterfly release once...at a beach - with wind - and a splattering of rain to add to the mix. It can be quite a challenge because they move so sporadically, and you never know where they'll end up landing.
Butterflies, are refrigerated before they're released so they aren't stressed. And when they thaw-out they slowly take flight - so as soon as those containers are opened, get ready!
Expect to get awkward facial expressions, and no eye contact - cause everybody's attention will be on the butterflies...not the photographer
Sorry - not the most flattering images
14th of April 2010 (Wed), 08:28
That's an interesting and different view than I imagined. I knew about the refrigeration, but I don't yet know how many. I imagined something like them opening a box and a dozen butterflies fill the image in flight. But it looks like it's not so much like that and there actually ends up being more interaction between the people and the butterflies. Hmmm. Maybe more use out of that 70-200 than the fisheye.
14th of April 2010 (Wed), 08:31
I have never seen a butterfly release - sounds kind of cool. Is the appeal to get them when they are being released (like doves) or when the settle down and perch? (Or whatever it's called when these critters sit). Probably both.
I would think shooting at any fast SS, maybe high speed continuous should get a few keepers of them fluttering out of the box. Butterflies move slower than doves but of course they are smaller.
Spray and pray? :D
Not sure about the fisheye though. It does sound like a 2 shooter job though to do it right. One wide and one tight.
14th of April 2010 (Wed), 08:43
The poor things were still waking up when they were released so some of them didn't want to fly. Others couldn't fly cause they'd been woken up with a tablespoon of 'raindrops'...and the guests were so anxious I'm sure the little critters were yelling "let's get the hell out-a-here!"
After the ceremony and everything calmed down, I was able to capture a 'moment' where the Monarch landed on the bouquet.
14th of April 2010 (Wed), 08:49
14th of April 2010 (Wed), 16:27
Butterflies move way faster than you expect, especially on a hot day. Sometimes they come out of the box like they've been blown out, sometimes they don't come out at all on cooler days. Someone up close with a wide lens and someone further back with a standard or long lens should be ok.
14th of April 2010 (Wed), 16:37
What an excellent and fortuitous capture.
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