Butterfly effect

photo: Quinta de Rana, borboletário Parede
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Not the largest place in the country for watching butterflies, O Borboletário, at the Parque Urbano da Quinta de Rana, is a quiet oasis to wind down. Watching a beautiful butterfly, trying to see patterns in its behaviour, the way of lifting off. Patterns in their flying. It provides a perfect way to practice a steady hand while keeping the muscles relaxed. It is so difficult to recognize the moment right before a butterfly leaves a leaf. Some show that they are going to, by putting tension on their legs and spreading their wings – only to move half an inch to pick up some more of whatever it is that the animal is picking up. Others stay for minutes in the same location.

A private sunbath on a leaf, out in the open or hidden away between green leaves, wings folded together. Fact is, predicting when they’ll take flight is difficult, but with some it is possible. Capturing that magic moment is something completely different. Not only because I´m trying to frame moving creatures against a moving background and trying to preview what the background will look like. Too bright a flower in the background takes away the focus of a butterfly in the foreground. Too early, too late and out of focus. Those were the results, whenever I tried to capture them in flight or takeoff. They simply move to fast and erratic that following them while only looking at them through the viewfinder is challenging to say the least. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the ones that stayed around long enough for me to get close enough.