The Butterfly Place in Westford, MA
In recent months I have renewed an old interest in photography. This happened after having developed my friend Adrian Hlynka’s new photography website, Images By Adrian, a self-hosted WordPress site. You could say that having immersed myself for several months showcasing his passionate interest, it has reawakened my own.
I purchased a new Interchangeable Lens Camera from Amazon, the Olympus PEN E-PL1. The camera was quite discounted because there have already been 2 iterations of redesigns since it was originally released in 2010, namely the E-PL2 and E-PL3. The camera is an upgrade from my 10 year old Olympus point-and-shoot,which I have since sold on Craigslist. The camera is a Micro Four Thirds model with a decently large sized image sensor, and a well-reviewed JPG engine.
Since buying the camera in the Spring I have taken many, MANY pictures of lovely local flowers, and some neat images from a July 4th excursion into Independence Day festivities in Boston.
On July 21 my friend Adrian and I visited The Butterfly Place in Westford, MA. For me this was an exercise in large insect macro photography. Since the Butterfly Place is an enclosed space, the lovely “flying candies” (description courtesy of Helene Cahen of Hélène’s Stables of Groton, MA) were captive subjects. However, they do like to fly off when you move suddenly towards them.
Especially elusive are the gorgeous Blue Morpho butterflies whose wings are iridescent blue on top and multi-patterned underneath. They sort of dive bomb all about the people visiting the Place, flashing their fantastic blue wings, and rarely lighting more than a instant.
I think we visited there for about an hour and a half. Inside is heated to about 85 degrees Fahrenheit for the comfort of the butterflies, a temperature boosted more by the body heat of what must have been at least 50 people in the smallish enclosed space. I tried pretty earnestly to capture as many in my camera as possible, all in the camera’s Nature Macro mode, usually using built-in flash, and I think I succeeded, limited only by my own lack of experience and the capabilities of my camera and its kit lens.
Post-processing the images in Picasa and/or PhotoImpression was rather a blast. The camera’s JPG engine was so good that usually all that needed to be done was cropping and the occasional sharpening.
All the images from that day are in my Flickr account in the Set called Butterfly Place.
For my next major photographic excursion, I believe an autumn leaf-peeping trip to the White Mountains, NH is in order!
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