Thursday, 22 August 2019

Silver Studds at Prees Heath june 2019

Today I have driven to Prees Heath in Shropshire to photograph the Silver Studded Blue butterflies, one of my favourite species.   The weather has been alternating warm and cold with no settled warm spells so the butterflies may be late this year. Walking from the car park there are plenty of thistles in flower among other small flowers,  but no sign of any Silver Studds!   they would be very easy to see if a big emergence had occurred.

After walking almost the entire length of the main runway stretch I have only found one newly emerged male .    Its not looking good today.

I have now found a small patch of Bell Heather with a couple more males perched.  The light is quite nice this morning but its getting increasingly breezy now which is going to make it quite difficult to get good sharp images.

                                                              5dmk2   f5.6  iso 250

                                                                          A closer view.

The runway which has been seeded with Bell Heather a few years ago to hopefully increase the butterfly's  population.

I have found a newly emerged male and placed it on a nice flower which is held in a clamp on the ground where I can get a nice clean background.

                                                                 f5.6  iso 100  1/125 th

I have found another and moved it onto another flower to shoot with back lighting, this is a handheld focus stack of 6 frames     f5.6  iso 250    1/10th

Now I have put the mpe-65 macro lens on to shoot a couple of high magnification images ,  both are focus stacked 8 frames.
This one you can still see debris on the eye from where the butterfly has emerged from its chrysalis.

These are shot lying on the ground with the butterfly placed on a suitable stem with a pale leaf placed directly behind to give background colour, without that the flash falloff would give a black background with is not very natural.  The lens barrel is resting on my left hand to keep steady while taking the multiple frames each with a slightly different focus point to combine in Zerene stacker software which increases the depth of field in the finished images.

Back to the flowers near the entrance  now and looking to see if I can find a female,  after half hour I have managed to find one, perched deep down in the Heather.

                                                     This is the best image I could get.

                    A male, clearly showing the colour difference to the female in above image .

               One last image with the beautiful heather flowers surrounding this male silver studd.

Its been a hard morning shooting , but have managed some nice images...………….

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