New gear! 🙂 Test shots!
I got another vintage lens: Pentacon 135 2.8. It’s a telephoto lens made in GDR (East Germany), I found one in mint condition and got it super cheap.
There are two versions of this lens, and I got the second version which is inferior to the first as it only has 6 blades and the diaphragm can close to f/22 (the first version has 15 blades and can close to f/32), but still a very nice and sharp lens which is fun to use. The minimum focusing distance is 170 cm, something that will take a bit getting used to for me, especially since I’ve mainly shot with a 60 mm macro lens the past year. Anyway, today I went for a little walk and took some first test shots with my new (although it’s older than me) lens. It can of course only be used in full manual mode, but the focus ring is smooth and easy to use so it’s not really a problem I think.
This pretty little butterfly is called Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) in English, “Small Fire butterfly” in Dutch, and “Small Goldwing” in Swedish. I’m not sure, but I think (guess) one reason why it’s “gold” in one place and “copper” in another is because the colours of this butterfly varies slightly depending on where it lives.
I was lucky to find one sitting in the warm sunlight (usually they’re very active in bright sun) and was able to shoot it (I mean photograph) slightly backlit which really brought out its beautiful colours. Notice that the orange at the tip of the antennae also matches its wings, very stylish!
Update: Last week, WordPress didn’t recognize my weekly post as a post, thus it didn’t show up in the Reader of those who subscribe to my blog. Luckily, this issue seems to be resolved now!
Week 32! No exotic or unusual butterflies today, but happy to see them just the same 🙂 Have a nice week!
Update 8/13: According to WordPress, this blog post from yesterday doesn’t exist and this site was last updated 8 days ago. Therefore, this post doesn’t show up in the WordPress Reader either 😦 …. If you read this, thank you for visiting my blog.
Here’s a picture of a Map (Araschnia levana), the butterfly best known for having two forms: levana (spring brood) and prorsa (summer brood). levana individuals are primarily orange in colour, and prorsa individuals are mainly black with some white markings. This here is a summer brood showing off its beautiful underside (a map like pattern which look the same in both broods)-
Here’s a picture I took during my vacation in Sicily, a beautiful Violet carpenter bee (Xylocopa violacea)! This bee is huge, about 3 times the size of the biggest bumble bee we have here in Holland. Unfortunately I only had an old iPhone at hand, in real life its dark blue-purple colour was much nicer.
Week 26 = we’re half way through 2018 already!
Today I want to share some pictures of a Comma butterfly (Polygonia c-album), I’m not entirely sure but I think it’s a summer generation of sub-species (f.hutchinsoni).
In most languages this butterfly is called something with a reference to the white mark it has on its side, e.g. in English it’s Comma, in Spanish it’s C. Although in French it’s called Robert-le-Diable (“Robert the Devil”) because of its jagged wings. The scientific name also refers to the mark: “c” + “album” (which means white).
This butterfly has very good camouflage, both as a larva (mimicking bird droppings) and as an adult (mimicking a dead leaf).
PS. I’m off to Sicily so there won’t be any updates the next coming weeks!
Two different takes on two different kinds of butterflies-
(1) Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), photographed today with Fuji 18-135 mm + Raynox 150. Goal was to get close to the butterfly and capture as much detail as possible. Picture not edited except it’s been slightly cropped.
(2) Green-veined white (Pieris napi), photographed with Pentacon 50 mm. Goal was to capture the moody light in the forest, not so much details in the butterfly (although enough to determine that it’s a female spring brood). Picture not edited or cropped.
Would you do me a favor and let me know which one you prefer? Not saying one is “better” than the other, but just curious to know your preference. You can use the voting buttons below! Thanks 🙂
Today I saw several Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) butterflies! They usually fly from the beginning of April until the end of October – in three overlapping generations! Because they are able to overwinter in two totally separated development stages (Note 1), they have a complicated pattern of several adult flights per year.
Note 1: They enter the caterpillar stage between half May and half September. The growth speed differs significantly between them and some caterpillars grow as much as 3 times faster than others! Those will overwinter as pupae. The ones that emerge from the egg stage and become caterpillars in mid-August will spend the winter as half-grown larvae.
These butterflies are very territorial, and most of those I saw today were males engaged in battles (Note 2). This happens when one male has claimed a nice spot of sunlight that pierces through the trees and another male flies through his sunspot. Note that this only happens if the other male is of the same species, if a male of another kind of butterfly enters the spot he’s totally ignored. If a female flies through the sunspot, the male flies after and tries to mate with her. But otherwise he’ll remain in the same sunspot until the evening (he’ll follow the sunspot as it moves across the forest floor) and then spend the night high up in the trees.
Note 2: If you’ve never seen one of these battles and are now trying to picture what it looks like: to be honest, it looks kind of lame. The “resident” male flies towards the intruder, and then the pair flies upwards in a spiral pattern (no body contact). The one that keeps at it the longest wins. It’s usually over in a few seconds, but the longest documented battle between two male Speckled Wood butterflies went on for 94 minutes.
PS. One of my photos has been published on Natuurfotografie, the #1 platform for nature photography in The Netherlands and Belgium. If you can read Dutch, please take a look here.
Yay, first butterflies of the year! The European Peacock butterfly (Aglais io) usually spend the winters in buildings or trees, and therefore often appear quite early in the spring. Before it goes into hibernation, it convert some of their blood sugar into glycerol which works as a kind of “anti-freeze” during the cold winter. Clever, eh! After hibernation (March or April), it will lay its eggs, often in batches of 500 (!) at a time and several layers deep to increase the chance that some will be protected from desiccation and birds. In the next coming weeks, the adults have lived for almost a year and they die of old age. Around the same time, the caterpillars of the next generation hatch and in July they form chrysalides, in August they emerge as adults, and in September they go into hibernation. And so the cycle goes on!
Note: It shouldn’t be confused with the American Peacock butterfly (Anartia), they’re not closely related.
More interesting information and pictures can be found on this excellent learning site here
I visited Hortus Botanicus the other day, it’s a botanic garden in Amsterdam and one of the oldest in the world (founded 1638). There are more than 4,000 plant species to see, but I spent most of my time there in a small butterfly greenhouse 🙂
(1) The Julia butterfly (Dryas iulia) originates from South and Central America but because of the bright orange color it’s often called “The flying Dutchman” as orange is the national color of the Netherlands.
(2) The Zebra longwing (Heliconius charithonia) can make a creaking sound by wiggling its body. They do this when disturbed but even though I would’ve liked to hear it, I didn’t want to alarm him so I still don’t know what it sounds like.
One of the best things about photographing bugs is that you can be lazy and lie down in the middle of a meadow and just point your camera to all the little critters around you! 🙂 Here are some shots of the guys that kept me company in the meadow-
(1) Small copper butterfly (Lycaena phlaeas), which in Dutch is called “Little fire butterfly”. The name phlaeas is said to be derived either from the Greek phlego, “to burn up” or from the Latin floreo, “to flourish”. (I shot this picture through the grass and didn’t get a chance to take another one.)
(2) Lesser marsh grasshopper (Chorthippus albomarginatus), with a sound like the winding of a mechanical clock.
(3) Speckled wood butterfly (Pararge aegeria), always cooperative and sit still long enough to have their portrait taken.
(4) Scorpion fly (Panorpa communis), this is a male as evidenced by the scorpion-like tail (females don’t have it). It’s in fact its genitalia, and it doesn’t sting! See close-up below.
A female Common blue butterfly (Polyommatus icarus), photographed in Amsterdamse Bos today. Living up to its name, this is perhaps the most widespread and common blue in Europe. Their lifespan as a butterfly is only 3 weeks, so it’s important to make the most of each day and really enjoy life to the full.. Like spending the day in a flower field in the sun! They’re so pretty and I’m always happy when I see one of these little guys 🙂
And apparently it’s been five years since I started blogging! Yay me 😉
Two pictures of a small tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae), a colourful Eurasian butterfly in the family Nymphalidae. I took these pictures today on the “PEN island” outside Amsterdam.
Week 34 already! Here’s a Speckled Wood butterfly (Pararge aegeria) basking in the sun, we’re enjoying sunny summer days here in Amsterdam this week 🙂
Its face look a bit comical seen from the front.. Little Muppet!
Two butterflies, photographed during a walk today. Unfortunately I didn’t have my Raynox lens with me so these were shot with PS SX60 only.
(1) Common Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni) and a bee
(2) Small white (Pieris rapae)
I’m just back from a short visit to Taipei, Taiwan. Here are some butterfly shots I took there, using Fujifilm X100S & Raynox DCR-150.
(1) Mangrove Tree Nymph (Idea leuconoe chersonesia), a.k.a. Paper Kite, Rice Paper, or Large Tree Nymph
(2) Blue Glassy Tiger (Ideopsis vulgaris)
(3) Plain Tiger (Danaus chrysippus), a.k.a. African or Asian Monarch
(1) Flesh Fly (Sarcophaga)
(2) Red Admiral butterfly (Vanessa atalanta)
First week of October, but I still found some small bugs to photograph- A crane fly, a dragonfly, a butterfly 🙂
I found a pretty little Geranium Argus (Eumedonia eumedon) in a park here in Amsterdam. Here are two pictures taken from different angles:
Geranium Bronze (Cacyreus marshalli) is native of South Africa but it has introduced (deliberately or accidentally) to Mediterranean Europe where it has spread as a pest of cultivated Pelargonium geraniums (which also originate in South Africa).
Anyway, a pretty little butterfly that I photographed in Sardinia.
Three butterflies – beautiful and fun to photograph 🙂
(1) European Peacock butterfly (Aglais io), completely dark seen from the side but with a fantastic pattern and fake eyes its dosal side. It’s often mentioned in research where the role of eye-spots as an anti-predator mechanism has been investigated. I wanted to get a shot from above, to show the whole pattern, but he didn’t want to cooperate so a shot from the side it is then. Note: This one shouldn’t be confused with the American Peacock (Anartia), they’re not closely related.
(2) Small White butterfly (Pieris rapae), a.k.a. Small Cabbage White because the caterpillar is a serious pest to cabbage and other mustard family crops. Of all the butterflies I’ve photographed so far, this is the most difficult one because it kept on moving around all the time. In the end I focused on an empty spot and just hoped it would land there; it did, I got one quick click and then it was gone again.
(3) Speckled Wood butterfly (Pararge aegeria), same species as in my previous post. It’s often seen perched on a leaf in pools of sunlight, as they feed on aphid honeydew they’re rarely seen on flowers. Perhaps not the most spectacular looking of butterflies, but easy to find and often cooperative with the photographer (plus points for that!).
PS. I’ll be traveling in Corsica (France) and Sardinia (Italy) the next coming weeks, so no posts here in a while. Arrivederci!
Some close up shots taken with a Raynox conversion lens attached to the SX60
Some photos I took this afternoon 🙂 I was especially thrilled to find the beautiful moth!
And: caleephotography is 3 years old! 😀
Not 100% sure but I think this is a female Common Eggfly butterfly
f/2.8 – 1/100s – ISO 200 – 60mm
Here are two more speckled wood butterflies. This time I’m sure they’re male, because I saw them in an aerial combat where they rose in a typical spiral manner. I can’t say who won though, afterwards they both just sat down in two different parts of the field we were in. Lucky for me they stayed that way so I had time to photograph both of them!
Top: f/5.6 – 1/200 – ISO 200 – 60
Bottom: f/4.5 – 1/160 – ISO 200 – 60