Sunday 5 July 2009

Alpine butterflies

This is the first instalment of some butterfly images taken in the Italian Alps last week. All were taken with the 300mm lens and 1.7x teleconverter.
Although some of these species can be found at lower altitudes, these shots were all taken at approx 3,500 to 4,500 ft above sea level, mainly in the Mottarone area.

The three images above are Swallowtail, with regrettably one tail missing.

Several fritillary species were seen but this one above and below was the only obliging one! The images above and below are that of a Queen of Spain Fritillary (Thanks Dave Parker). This species was quite common with about 20 seen in the local area.

The images below are Clouded Yellow. They were fairly common at this altitude and the shortage of oxygen did not seem to make any difference to their strength of flight. This individual was quite obliging though and allowed close approach to about six feet.

All three images are the same individual in slightly different angles.

Brimstone -quite common and all were particularly tame.

All the images were taken in strong light, at ISO 100, aperture F/8, WB Cloudy, exposure stopped down to minus 0.7 or even -1.0EV. All but the Swallowtail shots were tripod mounted. On the first day I left my tripod behind thinking that the cable car was too cramped for all the gear. I realised by the end of the day that a tripod is essential for best focus!


  1. Great set of pics Steve, Just goes to show you don't always need a Macro Lens to take great insect shots.

  2. Stunning photography steve

  3. Superb shots steve, your butterfly shots are sharper than mine.

  4. Nice to see the master at work.