I've been keeping an eye out on my "birding" area in the backyard. While I haven't seen many birds at all this summer, it has turned into a bit of a butterfly hot spot.
Probably three months ago I planted several butterfly "attracting" plants. I started with a Butterfly Bush, added some Brown and Green Fennel, some Parsley and finally some Milkweed. The butterflies are attracted to the Butterfly Bush, Parsley and Milkweed because they enjoy eating it. The Fennel they use to lay eggs in. Eggs turn into caterpillars and another photo op. ;)
I was out taking care of some things in the area this past weekend and noticed a new batch of Black Swallowtail Caterpillars had hatched, then noticed all kinds of butterflies everywhere. The light was also cloudy and soft, so I grabbed my camera with Macro lens and went back out to spend some time with them.
I did something I rarely ever do when I am shooting macro...I shot handheld. These guys were OK with me getting very close to them, but they moved frequently and trying to chase them with a tripod was not going to work out well. I just kept an eye on my shutter speed and made sure I turned on the VC on my Tamron SP 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 VC USD Lens. Those two things in conjunction worked really well and allowed me to hand hold for these shots.
Aperture Priority, 1/100th second, F/8, ISO 200, Exposure Compensation +1/3
I believe this is a Gulf Fritillary Butterfly feeding on Milkweed.
There are a lot of "butterfly on flower" photographs, and some of them are really, really good, but I really wanted to see how close I could get to these guys with my macro lens. Not only did the Tamron lens allow that, but the VC helped my create this image, too....oh yeah, and the thing is sharp!
Image made with Canon 5D Mk III and Tamron 90mm Macro.