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“Attracting butterflies” – short photo lesson no 5

In this article I will show you how to attract butterflies in order to create interesting close-up frames. Sometimes you don’t have to do anything, because butterflies simply like salt. Mind that only some single European species like this purple emperor Apatura iris  in the picture below are wiling to sit on your hand without fear. After a morning photo session I was all covered with sweat and a butterfly just flew an sat on my finger.

In tropical forests or savanna I would suggest taking a sprinkler with salty water and spraying it on our hand during walk or near some puddle where we found butterflies. Choose sunny location since most species like feeding in warm places.

Purple emperor Apatura iris

You can have a go also with something sweet smeared on you fingers. But be careful, you can attract hornets or bees and all in all be stung badly, so better leave sweet drops on plants or trees. No matter what aperture value you set during photo session you will never get all the butterfly sharp from the frontal position. Only stacking will allow you to achieve both head and wings sharp, but it is extremely hard to do holding you camera in the air only with one hand. It would be better if we use a hand of other person lying on car’s hood or some trunk, so that we are able to make a series of shots with different sharpness points in stacking technique and put it together in PS.

Besides you can test different liquids that will attract not only butterflies.

Purple emperor Apatura iris feeding on salt on my Canon 5d Mark II

Keep practicing and see you at the lesson no 6.


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