A native American Indian legend states thus:
If anyone desires a wish to come true they must first capture a butterfly and whisper that wish to it. Since a butterfly can make no sound, the butterfly can not reveal the wish to anyone but the Great Spirit who hears and sees all. In gratitude for giving the beautiful butterfly its freedom, the Great Spirit always grants the wish. So, according to legend, by making a wish and giving the butterfly its freedom, the wish will be taken to the heavens and be granted.
I didn’t visit the Penang Butterfly Farm this morning because of this. I went because it had been ages since I visited the place and I also wanted to test my new baby, the Canon 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS zoom lens. And you know what? It turned out to be such a nice morning. Yes, the Canon lens was superb but more than that I found myself de-stressing almost immediately after entering the farm. It’s as if looking at the thousands of butterflies in the farm bestowed a therapeutic effect on me. I spent two hours and clicked through 180 shots on my Canon EOS 550D. More than anything else my Canon Speedlite 320EX saved the day again, because butterflies fly and move fast. Oftentimes the only way to freeze their motion is by using flash. So on to the gems in my collection.
(Above) A pin-sharp shot of a Tree Nymph butterfly, courtesy of my wonderful 55-250mm IS zoom lens and Speedlite 320EX set to Auto-TTL.
(Below) Not quite sure about this, but I think this is a Lime butterfly, captured at a zoom setting of 214mm, with fill-in flash.
(Above) This Yellow Birdwing butterfly (an endangered species) was fluttering its wings like crazy but I persisted in shooting it. Flash from my Speedlite 320EX stopped some of the movement but what amazes me is the 55-250mm IS zoom lens delivers such bright and punchy colors. I never do any post-processing on my pictures.
(Below) This Lacewing butterfly was kind enough to pose for me. This shot simply begged for a portrait format.
(Above) One of my favorite shots—everything just seemed to come together for this picture of a Tree Nymph butterfly. Its stark black and white wings contrast sharply with the colorful miniature flowers.
(Below) I was amazed at the IS capabilities of the Canon 55-250mm zoom lens. This picture of the waterfall was shot handheld, without flash, at a shutter speed of 1/15s. I could feel myself wobbling around but the picture still turned out extremely sharp
(Above) Vibrant colors of a group of butterflies fluttering among flaming red hibiscus flowers, also in the shape of a butterfly.
(Below) I took several shots of this Mandarin duck but this one turned out to be the best of all. What can I say about the colors and the sharpness; it’s just perfect!
(Above) A beautiful large white orchid shot with flash—1/200s at f/16.
(Below) Not only reds but greens turn out really nice with this 55-250mm zoom lens. Click on the photo and look at the detail.
It was a very fruitful morning for me…I’ve learned what I can get from this “cheap” lens. Yes, it’s plastic (mostly) and can’t compete with Canon’s top of the range L lenses. But for a photographer like me, the 55-250mm IS zoom lens is a godsend, and it complements my 18-135mm lens nicely.