I’m Kunito Imai, a nature photographer in Tokyo. Today, I’ll show you some tips to capture flying butterflies.


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1 The shutter speed must be 1/1250 or higher, 1/1000 at least to stop the butterfly.

Of course, it depends on the situation, but 1/1250 or higher is recommended. You set your camera at “Shutter Priority”(Tv or S). Set ISO at 800-3200 to keep the depth of field.

2 Use a telephoto zoom like 100-400mm or 75-300mm.

In my experience, a 100mm Macro is not long enough to reach butterflies. Sometimes it’s possible but use a telephoto zoom is a better and more successful option.

3 It’s not easy to follow a flying butterfly. Instead, find a butterfly on the flower and wait for it to fly.

Sometimes I try to capture a flying butterfly but it is really difficult! It’s much easier to find a sitting butterfly and wait for it to leave. Many of my photos are taken this way.

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