Day 58 – 01/02/11 – Botanical Gardens

We made a trip to the Botanical Gardens this afternoon to catch the last day of the Ginger Bread House display, and to visit the butterflies.  We had a lot of fun, and I learned several things – photographically speaking.

1) When the venue says tripods aren’t allowed, prepare for frustration.  It is possible to shoot small subjects close up with a macro lens by hand, but very difficult.  Particularly when the small subjects are mobile.  The number of shots I had to toss was far higher than I like.

2) The 100mm macro lens is great for non-macro shots as well.  While it has less reach than my 70-300, it is far faster.  It proved a worthwhile trade off in the iffy light inside the glass house.

3) I should take better notes as to the subjects I’m shooting.  That way I can label my images something more intelligent than “brown butterfly” or “fidgety bird #3”. 😉

Speaking of Brown Butterfly, here’s the shot of the day:

This butterfly posed patiently on his leafy landing.

This butterfly posed patiently on his leafy landing.

As well as Brown Butterfly’s cousin, Black and Red Butterfly:

This butterfly enjoys a poinsettia flavored snack.

This butterfly enjoys a poinsettia flavored snack.

As I mentioned we were at the Botanical Gardens.  While the majority of my time was spent shooting the birds and butterflies, there were in fact a variety of flowers – also known as butterfly food.

A closeup of just what was attracting so many butterflies.

A closeup of just what was attracting so many butterflies.

While we went to the Gardens specifically for the butterflies, we were surprised by just how many birds there were.  I haven’t spent much time photographing birds, but I’m fairly happy with some of the shots I got.  While most of the birds were somewhat skittish, this little guy seemed just as curious about me as I was about him.

This bird didn't mind having his portrait taken.

This bird didn't mind having his portrait taken.

His friend wasn’t quite as patient, and took off mid shot.  While his rapid ascent caused him to be slightly blurred, the girls love the shot anyway because of his spreading wings.  I may have to spend some time working on bird shots and see if I can duplicate this without the loss of sharpness.

This skittish bird didn't feel like posing for a picture.

This skittish bird didn't feel like posing for a picture.

There are a few more shots up on Flickr in the Botanical Gardens set if you would like to see more.  I don’t have all of them posted yet, and will add some more in the next few days.

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4 Responses to Day 58 – 01/02/11 – Botanical Gardens

  1. LOL, I remember the first time I went through a butterfly garden with my 100mm macro hand held.

    Yup, more pictures got tossed than I kept. And that happened the second time and the third time…

    You have some beautiful keepers. :o)))

  2. I haven’t seen your blog in a while! It looks like you’ve been doing a great job! I love your photos! Your macro shots are great. I like the copyright thing too, how did you get that? I’m trying to figure out an easy way to put that on my photos..

    • Jim Reed says:

      Thanks Whitney! But, are you saying that Photos to 40 isn’t on your daily required reading list? For shame! 🙂

      The copyright thing isn’t hard, you picked up Lightroom if I recall, didn’t you? When you “Export” a photo, there is an option towards the bottom to add a watermark. These are just simple text ones, which you set up right through the option in Export. You can do graphical too, though I haven’t played with that. I don’t think I’m going to be watermarking all of my shots though, just some that I may use elsewhere. I’m still debating.

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