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Photo Information
Copyright: Alan Turvey (liquidsunshine) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 186 W: 29 N: 315] (1708)
Genre: Places
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-07-03
Categories: Nature
Camera: Canon 20D, Sigma 20-40 f2.8 EX DG Aspherical, Hoya Skylight (1B)
Exposure: f/4, 1/1600 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2010-07-21 11:56
Viewed: 1937
Points: 4
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This is a small skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris). Taken a couple of weeks ago on a Saturday stroll around the new College Lake trails.
I noticed this Small Skipper just off the trail. Without chancing a lens change to a more suitable macro lens, I had to make do with a 20-40mm which I had on for a few landscape shots I had planned (I have a good capture of a rainbowed Mare's Tail to post in a few days). I wanted a low POV so was pretty much on my belly shooting up toward the Skipper. Thankfully the ground was dry and the breeze was barely noticeable which helped with the sharpness, showing the long tongue feeding on the flower. Also the clear and light sky which allowed me to up the shutter speed to 1/1600 without loosing much detail from the overall image.

The following notes are from www.butterfly-conservation.org

Thymelicus sylvestris

Small Skippers are insects of high summer. Although they spend much of their time basking or resting among vegetation, they are marvellous flyers, manoeuvring expertly through tall grass stems. It is these darting flights, wings glinting golden-brown in the sunlight, that normally alert an observer to their presence. Closer examination will reveal many more individuals nectaring or basking with their wings held in the half-open posture distinctive of skipper butterflies.

The butterfly is widespread in southern Britain and its range has expanded northwards in recent years.

European/world range
Much of Europe, as far north as the Baltic States and Denmark and east to the Urals. Also in North Africa and the Middle East. Its distribution in Europe is generally stable with some northward expansion.

The Small Skipper almost exclusively uses Yorkshire-fog (Holcus lanatus), although several other grasses have been recorded as foodplants, for example Timothy (Phleum pratense), Creeping Soft-grass (H. mollis), False Brome (Brachypodium sylvaticum), Meadow Foxtail (Alopecurus pratensis), and Cock's-foot (Dactylis glomerata).

Small Skipper colonies are found where grasses are allowed to grow tall. Typical habitats are unimproved rough grassland, downs, verges, sunny rides, and woodland clearings. Colonies can occur on small patches of suitable habitat such as roadside verges and field margins.

Exposure Time: 1/1600
F-Stop: f/4.0
ISO Speed Ratings: 100
Focal Length: 24/1 mm
Date Taken: 2010-07-03 12:44
Metering Mode: Pattern
Flash: No
Support: Handheld

Thanks for looking, enjoy the rest of the week.

daisydaisy, riverfriends, cunejo200 has marked this note useful
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Hi Alan,

Skippers are so abundant and easier to capture in photos that I wish they were prettier or with more ornate wing design. This is skillfully captured, the skipper is well metered and its extended proboscis is sharp and a highlight, the diagonal thistle is well positioned in the frame, and the b/g is smooth. On the other hand, the b/g contains an outline of white looking asters to which I am ambivalent as it can be distracting. Cheers and tfs.


  • Great 
  • Juliet Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1250 W: 106 N: 2911] (22323)
  • [2010-07-21 12:24]

Hi Alan
A very beautiful summer photo. Excellent lighting, nice details and good control of your settings. Nice job Julie

Alan, the mark of a true professional. Do whatever necessary to capture the image! By using your immediate resources and equipment you produced an immaculate image under the circumstances. Thank goodness the ground wasn't muddy!

Cheers, JoeGoff, Louisville, KY

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