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Butterflies Are Blooming
Lens: Tamron 70-200 f2.8 Camera: K3 Photo Location: Grand Rapids, MI USA ISO: 400 
Posted By: Scorpio71GR, 03-05-2017, 05:05 PM

Every year Frederick Meijer Gardens And Sculpture Park holds its annual Butterfly exhibit from March 1st till April 30th. Lucky for me I only live a few miles away so the membership only makes sense. The first weekend of every month members are allowed in two hours before everyone else. This is the best time to go since it gets packed very fast. I packed up the K3, Tamron 70-200, 540FGZii flash, and few other essentials. Lighting inside is just terrible show I just use a flash mainly. The lighting also varies greatly from one spot to another which results in constantly readjusting your flash settings. I have 4 white balance settings that I use throughout the conservatory. This is one of the main events I look forward to every year. This event alone makes the membership worth it alone.

This was one of the first shots I tried without a flash. ISO was 2500 and the shutter speed was only 1/80s. Just too low for me so the flash came out of the bag.


All the rest are with the flash and at ISO 400 and the shutter speed was pretty much 1/400s. I had the flash in high sync mode.











I barely got this one. The downside of the flash is you usually only get two or three shots at best. This time I only got one and that butterfly never landed near me again.


Another quick shot. This one was resting on one of the tree trunks. I spotted it as I was walking by. I fired two shots and gone. The first one get it and the second one was just the post.


Shooting almost straight down.


I like to try and catch them with their wings open. Unfortunately they do not always cooperate. Too bad more of them were like this little one.


One other challenge it trying to get a pleasing background. Not too easy with all the people walking around. The flash does help some here with that as well.


Can not go to the gardens without a flower shot.



I just wish I could see this many butterflies the rest of the year.
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03-12-2017, 04:09 AM   #2
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Really nice bokeh, especially in the first two. Nice and clear details, too. Thanks for sharing this great series!

Adam
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03-12-2017, 01:50 PM   #3
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Hi Michael,
These are great images! really nice. I have this same gear set up as you..." K3, Tamron 70-200, 540FGZii flash, Curious on the flash set up if you would not mind sharing? .. How did you have it set up? off camera bracket and diffusers? camera on tripod and flash in hand ?

Thanks,
Al

03-12-2017, 06:42 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Really nice bokeh, especially in the first two. Nice and clear details, too. Thanks for sharing this great series!
Thank you for the kind words Adam.

03-12-2017, 06:54 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by brewmaster15 Quote
Hi Michael,
These are great images! really nice. I have this same gear set up as you..." K3, Tamron 70-200, 540FGZii flash, Curious on the flash set up if you would not mind sharing? .. How did you have it set up? off camera bracket and diffusers? camera on tripod and flash in hand ?

Thanks,
Al

Hi Al, thank you for commenting. I did not use a flash bracket since it is so crowded at times. I just mounted the flash on the K3 hotshoe. In the past I have used a flash bracket. I set the flash in PTL High Sync Mode. I used flash EV compensation on the flash to adjust the strength. It really is a lot of experimentation. I have a few softboxes but they just get in the way. The newer FGZII flash is much better than the original which I have two of. I set the K3 in TAv mode and set the ISO for 100-400. I will use EV compsation on the K3 to help quickly adjust for varying light conditions.

Sometimes the flash is just for fill. On this shot the sun was directly on the leaves. If I exposed for the butterfly the leaves would have blown out. I exposed for the leaves and filled with the flash. I'm no flash expert. I experiment and find what works for me.


03-12-2017, 07:11 PM   #6
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Michael,
Thank you for taking the time here to answer my questions!
Al
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