Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Butterfly House

The day before my operation, I went down with 5 other Photographic Society members to the Thames Butterfly House on the Coromandel Peninsula. It's a small affair - one small barn full of butterflies, situated within the local caravan park. However it's miles better than the one in Auckland for several reasons. Firstly, the Auckland one is big, so big that you just simply can't get close up to the butterflies to take good macro shots. Secondly - every photographers nightmare is at the Auckland one - wild kids that aren't checked by their parents, left to run in and out between the tripods. You always feel that the camera gear is going to go flying.

The Thames one, is not only smaller, there were very few kids, and there were literally hundreds more butterflies. Unfortunately he can't breed them there, as many of them need specific plants to eat. New Zealands border control will not allow plants to come in, no matter how carefully everything is controlled, so the owners have to import the butterflies in twice a week. They do a fabulous job though including a lovely morning tea with homemade muffins!

We headed down fairly early, leaving Auckland at 9, and arriving at Thames just after 10. We placed all our camera gear in the corner of the butterfly house to 'warm up' then went and had morning tea while we waiting for the cameras to stop condensating. It worked really well to do this - for once I wasn't waiting for up to an hour with misty lenses.

The results? I was actually really pleased with the results as the last few times I've been doing macro shops, not many have been turning out. But this time I got some great ones!

Here they are....

I have no idea what kind of butterfly this is or where it comes from, so if anybody out there does know, I would love it if you could let me know!

Thought the eyes looked great on this one!

Owl Butterfly. These ones are great models as they tend to be still for a bit longer than the others.

Owl Butterflies didn't seem to mind landing on hairy arms either!

I changed the background in this one as it made it look a bit more simple. I'm quite pleased with the result as it has brought out the butterfly a bit more. I'm wondering whether the background should be a darker green or not. What do you think?

Here's that Owl Butterfly on the arm again - hunkered down even closer to the hairy beasts. I really like it for some reason, which is why I've put two very similar images up. I can't decide which is best. What do you think?

It was a fun day and well worth going down. In all - we spent about 2 hours photographing in the tropical heat of the barn!


Anonymous said...

Knowing that it's a hairy arm kind of grosses me out, to tell you the truth! I much prefer the others.

Anonymous said...

Hi Robyn, as for the background color... I think the lighter color is the better choice as it would bring out the black and white of the butterfly's wings. Also it might affect the color of greenery on the plant... I say that from a printer's perspective if I was developing prints. Other than that, I enjoying seeing fantastic colors and imagery you come up with. Hugs PapaBear

Paul said...


As always, what gorgeous pics (and Anoymous just needs more exposure to the "real (aka gross)" world) :). And also as always, great descriptive text.

Can't wait to go on a photo shoot. ;)

Paul S (AKA LifeWrecked)

Abbie said...

My absolute favorite is the first one ! There is just something about the red flower and the butterfly.