Autofocus on good cameras work well, but not well enough to focus on a monarch in flight! So what do you do when they are moving through your frame so fast you can barely even see them?
I just pick a manual focus point and fire away, either in long bursts or looking through the viewfinder and clicking away when one flies in and looks reasonably sharp. I use a high ISO to get both a fast shutter speed and more depth of field.
I shot hundreds of images to just get a few that “work”, but one is all you need, right? (And no, I have no desire to clone in what I want in Photoshop – I want to get it in the camera). This image was shot with a wide angle lens with the monarchs probably between 3 and 10 feet away and moving quickly past me.
Monarch butterflies in flight against blue sky and clouds, El Rosario, Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, Mexico. Canon 1Dx. 35mm. ISO 3200 f/16 @ 1/800 second. EV + 1 ⅔.