When to use flash, and when to not use flash

Butterfly photography requires a certain amount of stealth.  I use a single-focal length macro lens–105 mm, and slowly get as close to the butterfly as I can.  In bright sun, I use an aperture of f/16 and a shutter speed of 1/250 sec, at ASA 100.  Here is a photo I took of a pearl crescent with those settings.

8--22-140065

 

Ideally you have the sun to your back.  But when you are stalking the butterflies, that does not always happen.  It can help to use a little fill flash–keeping it simple, I use the pop-up flash on my camera.  That changes the aperture to f/22 and the shutter speed to 1/200.  I always use the manual settings so I have complete control.

If I used more flash, or if the background were farther away, the background would go dark.  With this photo, that is not really an issue.

8--22-140067

A little bit of flash really helps this photograph.

I found a pair of little yellows, mating while hanging upside-down under a leaf.  Here is what the photo looks like using the fill flash.

9-6-140021

The photo is clear, you can easily see details of the scales and the eyes, and even little hairs on the leaves.

9-6-140022

Without the flash you lose some of the sharpness and detail, but you get more of a sense that the butterflies are underneath the leaf.  In this instance, the natural light photo is much better.

At least, that is the way I see it.

 

Advertisements

About the roused bear

Nature photographer from central Iowa.
This entry was posted in butterflies, pearl crescent, Phyciodes tharos and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s