Photo by: Kirk Howard Copyright© 2007
The butterfly species Danaus plexippus is commonly known as the Monarch butterfly. The western population of the Monarch butterfly overwinters in various sites in central coastal California, United States, notably in Pacific Grove and Santa Cruz. In San Leandro they have set up tours to view the Monarch butterfly.

In San Simeon I took a few images of the Monarch butterfly while I was waiting at the entrance of the Hearst Castle visitors’ center. The butterflies really like this yellow daisy looking flower.

The images I took were not the greatest. I was hurried and didn’t have the proper equipment. Typically I would have a tripod, cable release and my macro lens to capture the best “Tack Sharp” images I could. However, I had to work with the tools I had at hand. I had my 80~200 mm f2.8 Zoom attached. I had the ISO set to 400 with a circular polarizer attached to the lens.

The zoom lens was perfect for this type of image. It allowed me to shoot closer to the subject without physically being close to the subject and disturbing the butterfly. The focal length and the large aperture allowed me to create a very shallow (DOF) depth of field. This allows the subject to stay in focus and the distracting background to be slightly out of focus.

A macro zoom lens would bring out more detail.

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