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Buckfast Butterfly Farm

Discussion in 'Photographic Locations' started by OneTen, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. Steve52

    Steve52 Well-Known Member

    Hurrah. Forgot I had a TIL owing to me for working Xmas Day. Have let John know that I can make it via e-mail.
     
  2. Badgerman

    Badgerman Well-Known Member

    Great news Steve...more details when near the time.
     
  3. CLG

    CLG Well-Known Member

    It looks gorgeous ...

    Have fun :)
     
  4. OneTen

    OneTen 'Two Breakfasts'

    What's the lighting like for the butterflies John? Available light or flash required? If I need flash, I'll need to get some practise.
     
  5. John_Baker

    John_Baker Well-Known Member

    Depends on conditions last time I went there was quite a lot of light, so handholding was an option without having to push the ISO too far. I think I was using a monopod which really took the strain. They have butterflies emerging everyday and they don’t tend to do a lot as their wings inflate. There are no reptiles in the house as far as I can remember? I think I did two sessions, first one was with the straight lens, then I went out to the Otters at the back of the site, I then loaded up with some extension tubes and went back in!!!

    I found that I was very successful with flash as it tended to get both the speed up and allowed the lens to be stopped down, which really helped. Below is a picture of the kit I tend to use – happy to do a bit of master class on flash compensation, which I find makes all the difference and has improved my success rate... Picture taken at Stover by Colin at the meet last year.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. OneTen

    OneTen 'Two Breakfasts'

    Cheers John. Yeah I'd love to pick your brains on your use of flash. I have a Vivitar 283 with manual adapter so I'm going to experiment with different settings this afternoon. I've been looking at flash brackets for macro, is that the Manfrotto 233 you have there?
     
  7. John_Baker

    John_Baker Well-Known Member

    This bracket is something I picked up second-hand from a local shop – it is a Stroboframe Pro RL - http://tinyurl.com/y88t7v – it is really designed for weddings and portrait work, but I have found that it is great for macro as it gets the flash well out of the way, the Lightsphere II is a big diffuser which reduces the harshness nicely. The bit you need to get the flash off the camera is the Canon Off Camera Shoe Cord OC-E3 - you can get these SH for around £20, I think Jessies will also do you one! Of course the other way is with the wireless transmitter which is I think how Colin does his badgers?

    For macro work I normally dial in anything from -2 to -3 exposure compensation and it works for me every time. I have recently added a CP-E3 external battery pack which increases the recycle time considerably.

    I like the flash bracket concept and I am looking for something a bit smaller which can collapse for when I am travelling – there are a whole series of new Chinese clone versions on eBay which look good – the ‘frotto 233 is excellent, I was playing with one in London earlier in the week, I was tempted...

    Here is an example of the sort of thing you should be able to get
    [​IMG]
     
  8. OneTen

    OneTen 'Two Breakfasts'

    Thanks for the info John and that's certainly the kind of image I would like to achieve.

    I've been testing the flash using different settings and have found the optimum for closest focus on the 100mm macro. I can alter the flash from full power down to 1/32 power, so once I have a bracket at least the distance will become a constant. At the moment I have the camera in one hand and the flash in the other, not exactly ideal. One of this afternoon's tests:

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Badgerman

    Badgerman Well-Known Member

    Great Bumble shot John. :)
     
  10. John_Baker

    John_Baker Well-Known Member

    The 283 is a great gun I had one many years ago – a good picture, shows you are doing it right! Flash in one hand, camera in the other been there got that T Shirt!

    Of course the other way you can do it is stick the whole contraption on a monopod and let that take the strain… You can then even hold the flash properly!

    [​IMG]

    Just found this, may be worth trying some of these ideas -
    Homemade Bounce Flash Toys
     
  11. daft_biker

    daft_biker Action Man!

    Was down at Dobbies butterfly farm outside Edinburgh last weekend..... some pics here. I forgot how warm it can be in those places....take a towel to mop up the sweat :eek:
     
  12. OneTen

    OneTen 'Two Breakfasts'

    Some great shots there Andrew. :D
     
  13. John_Baker

    John_Baker Well-Known Member

    Andy some great work there, what were you using on the lens front? The problem I find with butterflies is they can be quite big, it is the one time I struggle with my 180mm as I need to move so far back to get the whole thing in!

    I have started a new post in the “Forthcoming Events” forum for this event – I thought it was possibly the proper place for it, see http://tinyurl.com/2babxl for details... Apologies to the Mods if that was not the right thing to do!!!
     
  14. daft_biker

    daft_biker Action Man!

    Cheers guys...hope you have a good day :) All those shots were from the 100mm with ringflash. No real problems distance wise with the butterflies that I photographed in the farm but have done out in the woods...up on my tiptoes trying to shoot them from above as they feed on flowers! I need to go back when I'm not trying to keep up with a 3 year old :D
     
  15. GDN

    GDN Well-Known Member

    Really nice butterfly shots there Andrew. Very, Very impressive. Put my butterfly shots in the dark somewhat..
     
  16. CLG

    CLG Well-Known Member

    I think your butterflys are gorgeous :)
     
  17. daft_biker

    daft_biker Action Man!

    Thanks Gary. Cracking shots of them on your Flickr site too...good job getting the feeding on flowers ones :cool: There wasn't many flowers in the place I was at so they were feeding on fruit in bowls...not quite so photogenic!
     
  18. GDN

    GDN Well-Known Member

    Oh I've got loads feeding from fruit in the bowls... as you say not very photogenic at all...
     

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