I float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. I’m not talking about boxing. I’m talking about the beauty of nature, specifically, the butterfly and the bee.
When it comes to photography, these two creatures are in many of our backyards and are fascinating subjects to capture. The butterfly, this Monarch with its delicate wings, vibrant colors, and quick movements. The honey bee with its buzzing wings, tiny back leg saddlebags full of pollen, and tireless work ethic.
Now, let me tell you something, taking a great photograph of a butterfly or a bee is no easy feat. You have to be quick like a cat (my shutter's at 1/2000 and I’m taking 20 images per second), and agile like a monkey. I’m hand-holding, getting an angle of light and visualizing compositions as I move, and patient like a saint. But when you finally get that shot, it’s like landing a knockout punch.
Now, the bee is a different story. It’s always buzzing around, working hard to collect pollen. To capture a great shot of a bee, you have to move fast like lightning, but not too close so that it feels threatened. And you have to be quick because bees move fast. So I'm 10 feet away with an 840 mm view (100-400mm lens + TC 1.4 in DX mode).
But when you do see that perfect shot of a butterfly or a bee on your computer after a bit of post-process to get rid of some noise, to sharpen a little, to crop, to emphasize that light, it’s like winning a championship belt. You feel the rush of excitement and the satisfaction of knowing you captured something beautiful.
So, whether you're a photographer or just an admirer of nature, take a moment to appreciate the beauty of the butterfly and the bee. They may be small creatures, but they are full of wonder and inspiration. As Muhammad Ali once said, "Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth." And these two creatures, the butterfly and the bee, serve a mighty purpose in our ecosystem.
Captured in a unique location in Mandarin near where I live, filled with live oaks and breathtaking gardens with a Nikon Z9, a Nikon Teleconverter 1.4x, and a Nikkor 100-400 S lens.
I've compiled a collection of photos from this location in a separate gallery, which is accessible by clicking on this link - Mandarin's Garden.