Epic failure

Another glorious day other than for the fact that the AQ index is back into the core of Very Dangerous and of course the PQ index remains at an all time high. I decided this morning that I would have a go at photographing Lamproptera curius, or the White Dragontail. I have seen this species quite often but never really tried to photograph it as it seems to jink like Phil Bennett or Barry John. Not unlike photographing a swallow in flight. There are some good images of this species taken whilst puddling and some flash shots too but I prefer natural light and that means fast shutter speeds can only be obtained with a higher ISO. But I wanted to try as I had seen the butterfly yesterday and it looked just a little more sluggish.


There were two spots at my local park where the butterfly seemed positively common. Not once however did I see it settle for more than a nano-second and in the first ninety minutes not even for that long. It is described as swift and agile. Well it was certainly making a fool out of me. When it came close it jinked and darted with no obvious flight pattern. When nectaring it went down under the top of the plants and was completely obscured. Autofocus relies heavily on contrast and there was insufficient most of the time. I tried manual focus but with the lens wide open anything fractionally off meant there was not enough DoF to cover it. I spent three hours in the same spot trying to get one decent shot. In the end I can submit two “artistic” shots – that means blurred. All the rest were trashed. So here is the output from my epic failure morning.



There were other butterflies around of course. I think people wandering past were somewhat bemused at my indifference to them but I was hell bent on getting my image.

I also saw more lantern bugs today than on any other visit to the reserve.

I don’t really like the twig in the background but the light was best from this angle. I spent about 30 minutes with just two of the dozens of the bugs.

Then I had a go at the Crimson Darter otherwise splendidly known as Crocothemis servilia servilia. Here are two shots. The first is with my 5D mk3 and the second and arguably better is with the SX50 HS.

And of course monochrome must. Today a simple shadow play on the tree trunk.

My imagination ran riot and I called it “Shadows” (no Cliff).

So another morning passed and sadly tomorrow is a chores day so no playing in the park, neither taking photos nor poisoning pigeons, Tom Lehrer style. Until next time.

PS. I don’t really poison pigeons. Honest.

7 thoughts on “Epic failure

  1. You mentioned the international news yesterday. I must say although , perhaps, a ‘head in the sand mentality’ I avoid news as much as possible now and would rather enjoy the many delights of the good things we have around us. Your photographs are on that list, keep ’em coming.
    Looking forward to the new ones from Korea..

  2. Beautiful red dragon fly or rather darter. I enjoyed your comments about trying to shoot the elusive butterfly. I supppose photographers will put themselves through fire and brimstone trying to get that one image. I agree with someone named Geoff. Just keep those great images coming.

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