Brookside Gardens: Wings Of Fancy Exhibit

I led a very small group of great people to Brookside Gardens in Silver Spring, MD yesterday. It was just as great as I remembered it having not been there for a few years. Hundreds of loose butterflies in a glass conservatory just waiting to be photographed! I wore my bright orange shirt and at one point I had at least three big butterflies on me including the beautiful Blue Morpho.

Zebra Longwing at Brookside Gardens
Zebra Longwing

Unidentified Butterfly at Brookside Gardens
Unidentified Butterfly
Blue Morpho at Brookside Gardens
Blue Morpho
Giant Swallowtail at Brookside Gardens
Giant Swallowtail

I used my Nikon D800 and the Nikon 200-500mm lens. I found this combo to be nice though the minimum focusing distance of the heavy 200-500mm is somewhere around 86 inches. That made things a bit tight as I backed up a 7 feet away from the butterflies. When you are that far back people tend to walk in front of you. Optically I am very happy with the pictures with this combo. I found the stabilization of this lens was fabulous and even on this cloudy day I was able to get sharp images at 1/160s at 500mm. Techincally I should have been able to go even slower but why push things. I kept the ISO between 800 and 1600 on the full frame D800.

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