18 May 2011

Butterfly Portraits - Grass Demon

Butterfly Portraits
The Grass Demon (Udaspes folus)

Canon EOS 500D; flash (built in); Tamron 180mm f3.5; ISO 250; f5.6; 1/160s in AV mode; handheld.

It was another typical Saturday morning. The day started with me hoping the weather would be decent for butterfly photography and that I could head out for an outing after a tiring week at school. I completed my homework in the morning and I wanted to go for a butterfly outing after lunch. There wasn’t a rain cloud in sight so after a last-minute discussion with my parents, we decided on the Dairy Farm Nature Park. My sister reluctantly agreed and off we went.

After an hour or so in the forested areas of the reserve looking for butterflies, but to no avail, my mother and I trudged up the slope that led to a flower patch. I was hoping to encounter the Ultra Snow Flat amongst the Pagoda Flowers when the heat became unbearable. We took cover from the scorching sun in a shaded spot. Then, I saw a black and white butterfly darting around the Spider Lily patch. Curious, I got up to see what it was. The butterfly landed on a leaf and I immediately recognised it as the Grass Demon. I did not have a decent shot of it so far. I slowly got down and kneeled to the butterfly's eye-level. Focusing on the butterfly, I almost pressed the shutter when the skipper zoomed off. I chased it for quite some time until I finally lost sight of it.

Disappointed, my mother and I were about to call it a day, when I noticed the same Grass Demon perched on a Spider Lily leaf. I approached it very slowly this time, taking extra care not to spook it off. Lowering my body into an awkward angle, I knelt on one leg and used the other leg to support my body. It was very uncomfortable for there were leaves in my face. I got as parallel as I could to the butterfly, focused, and after the whole insect appeared sharp I took a few shots. Right after that, the butterfly flew off. When I checked the shots most of them were blurred due to motion but this one stood out. Lovely! I had finally gotten my decent record of this beautiful skipper.

ButterflyCircle Photographer : Jonathan Soong, a very talented 12-year old and ButterflyCircle's youngest member, studying at Nanyang Primary School