“Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory”

This is a couple attempts at butterfly photography, I have tried this in the wild with no luck, so I thought I would give it another try with some captive butterflies. I didn’t know what to expect when I got there but needless to say I was very impressed with this facility. Once again my timing was off and I arrived when the place was full of people wanting to get shots of their own, I didn’t have a choice so it was now or never.

First off the people who ran the place were extremely helpful and encouraged me to shoot as much as possible, the room was full of the most beautiful butterflies I have ever seen, and when I set my tripod up I thought I had hit the jackpot. But then the tour-ons moved in, everywhere I set up people would come and talk and ask questions, you know what I mean. After a while it got pretty old but I continued on hoping for some great shots.

The light was not real productive as well, the place was enclosed in some type of glass or plastic which led to some real contrasting light, so I finally went hand held and shot a lot of these shots at 2.8-8 and sacrificed a lot of detail on some of the images. The top image was 2.8 and the next one was 8. I didn’t have my sb-800 with me so I didn’t use anything but natural light, even after all that I was still happy with some of my results.

I talked with the staff and they kindly gave me some info on what time of the day to come to really work the place right and what type of equipment to use, like I said they didn’t have to be so helpful but they were and I was very appreciative of that. It is a wonderful place to visit and if ever in the Keys it is a must stop for anyone(even the tour-ons). BTW I have no idea what type of butterflies these were I was in to much of hurry to get any info, next time I will do better on my ID.




18 thoughts on ““Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory”

  1. davidlind

    Wow. That’s all I can say. It is very helpful to try doing this and then come here and see how it is done.

  2. Richard

    You might enjoy the Pacific Grove Monarch Reserve in California. I think they are there from October til March. They hang off the trees by the hundreds. There’s a few other places on the coast too.

  3. montucky

    Those are both really nice shots. That butterfly is really pretty and the background is superb. That’s a really classy shot!

  4. Brian

    I was able to take a few pictures of wild monarchs at the garden. Very tough to do as you said. I like how you posed the butterfly next to the berries. šŸ™‚

  5. BoydGreeneArt

    I love the up close encounter with the top one. The bottom one is just beautiful. Glad to see you dipping into shooting a few of these stealthy dudes. They can be a pain for sure!

  6. aullori

    I too have suffered the frustration of taking shots of butterflies. I’ve found they will sit on the flower – drinking nectar just long enough for your camera to come on – and then flutter off. Thus, I admire what must have been a great deal of persistence on your part. What lovely shots Bernie!

  7. rebphotog

    Great work down south. Have you seen the leaks about nikon announcing a new camera (d300/D3) tonight or tomorrow? I hope its true and let the races begin!

  8. lhollon

    It’s awfully difficult to get macro photos in the wild. At least form. But these shots are great. Keep it up.

  9. Photo Buffet

    Bernie, I have butterfly-on-the-brain, and searched your blog for butterfly shots. These are spectacular! Which lens did you use for the first one? You really captured his stance–amazingly sharp detail!


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