Brown Argus Butterfly
Date: 11th May 2007
Location: Rendlesham, Suffolk
Camera: Nikon D2xs
Lens Nikon 105mm AFS VR Macro
Exposure: 1/160 F11 ISO200
Flash: SB600 with diffuser Flash compensation: -1.7 stops
This butterfly is part of a colony of Brown Argus that live less than 10 minutes walk from my home. The site could hardly be less impressive, just a rough, roadside verge next to a layby.
In 2005, in an effort prevent fly tipping, the owners had completely destroyed the wildlife value of the area, removing all vegetation and re-profiling the site with a bulldozer to prevent access and make the place 'tidier'. I feared for the butterflies but my concern was unwarranted, the colony appeared to be thriving again the following year, when this picture was taken. Indeed the work had the effect of triggering an explosion of arable 'weeds' and, for a few short weeks in spring and early summer, the verge attracted several butterfly species.
Because of their small size, it's necessary to get in very close to photograph brown Argus effectively. This limits depth of field severely, so camera position and focusing are absolutely critical if the butterfly is to appear completely sharp.