Thursday, April 8, 2010


Last weekend I traveled to The Butterfly Place ( in Westford, MA with a group of friends to photograph butterflies indoors, something I had never done. Photographers are allowed in an hour before the opening time on the first Saturday of every month, and my friends and I basically had the place to ourselves for part of that time. It was wonderful to see the butterflies flying about, and challenging to shoot them as well. Most of them didn't stay still for long!

The Butterfly Place had just opened for the season, so the plants were quite small, making attractive backgrounds somewhat difficult. I shot with my 180mm lens in the beginning, making some documentary style images.

I knew that blurring the background was essential, as some of it was distracting and not very attractive, so it didn't take long before the 180mm went back in my bag, and out came my Lensbaby Muse with the Soft Focus optic and +4 macro diopter. It wasn't easy to get as close to the butterflies as I needed to be, but I was patient, moved slowly, and came home with quite a few images that better represented what I was trying to capture. Here are some samples:

Happy Shooting!


  1. Beautiful images, Kathleen! I used to use a 2x Teleconverter with my lensbaby Original and lensbaby 2.0, I'm sure it'd work with the muse as well. With my Canon camera though, you couldn't click the TC all the way home, because it caused errors. The best thing about the TC and lensbaby was the bokeh, it was even more beautiful than normal. Might help get you closer in this sort of situation!

  2. Heavenly, Kathleen! I love the effect you got with the Muse and Soft Focus optic! So, the Composer won't get this effect? (Even with the Soft focus optic?) I love each one - gorgeous color and so dreamy!

  3. Hi Barbara,

    Thank you!

    Oh yes, you could get the same effect with the Composer and Soft Focus optic. I simply prefer the Muse, it's just easier for me to use, probably because I learned how to use a Lensbaby with a bellows model.

  4. Yes, I remember those bellows models! Your colors here are so vivid - a pleasure to view! Thanks.

  5. it's funny to hear of the LB "bellows" models as almost a thing of the past. :) i still use my 2.0 and LBO on a regular basis.
    these are just stunning, kathleen! absolutley breathtaking; and you are so right about the background - one needs to be conscious of that to truly get the best shot.
    we have a butterfly pavilion in north denver i've always wanted to visit. i will someday! we did tour the california academy of sciences in san francisco last year - basically an indoor rainforest. that was pretty cool.

  6. Hi Cindi,

    Thanks! I love the Muse and Soft Focus optic combo!

  7. woo hoo... I dragged my mom there 2 years ago and the butterflies were landing all over her. (she wore a brightly flowered shirt) and the kids there were calling her the butterfly lady.. great shots of some beautiful specimens..