Butterflies are fun to shoot, but it can be tough to get really nice shots. That is especially true in Texas where it gets warm early in the mornings and the wind is constant, so butterflies wake up warm and frisky and flit around all day doing butterfly things. That is a lovely thing to sit back and watch, but challenging if you are a photographer.
So when you do get one that lands somewhere you like, you had better be fast, because it probably won’t hold its pose for long.
Here my background was relatively far away and I was using a 180mm macro lens, so I knew that the background would still render softly even at a stopped down aperture. So I pushed my exposure to get as much depth of field as I could, focused on the eyeball, and fired away. I added a bit of fill flash to lighten up the shadows. It would have been nice to have the wings entirely sharp, but hey, sometimes you take what you can get.
American lady butterfly on cactus flower, La Ramireña Ranch on Rio Grande Plain between San Antonio and the Gulf Coast, Texas, USA. Canon 1Ds Mark III. 180mm. ISO 800. f/13 @ 1/50 second. Fill flash (probably -1).