Written by Marjorie Dawson

Snapping Bugs and Butterflies

Snapping Bugs and Butterflies

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Happy New Year and welcome to some street art and a stunning close-up.

Today I am looking at pictures of crazy bugs and butterflies taken with my new DSLR. 2019 is going to be a new direction for the blog with more instructional tips and posts as you join me in learning about cameras and photography.

Learning about Camera Settings

I hope to share my discoveries with Pet Parade visitors as I learn about the settings on my DSLR camera dial. There is a lot to learn so I will be haunting YouTube a lot this year for helpful videos.


  • Automatic (very easy)
  • Manual (very hard)
  • P mode – the 3 ‘modes’ HELP you to learn about settings.
  • AV mode
  • Tv mode
The NEW Pet Parade Banner Aug 2018
Celebrate 2019 by joining the Pet Parade

Finding Bugs to Photograph

On a visit to the Wairarapa farming and wine growing area just north of the city of Wellington, New Zealand we stopped in Carterton. The town is the home of one of New Zealand’s most helpful bookshops. Almo’s as well as this photo opportunity – a crazy bug for kids.

Cartoon Bug on Pet Parade 281

This a fun piece of street art opposite the council’s offices. It catches the eye, first as a bright smudge on the ground, then as you walk closer as a painted bug squished under a bright blue spade.

From Bugs to Butterflies


The crazy creature and this Monarch butterfly are an experiment with P mode. One of the things it does seem to do is help you give a close-up item sharper focus against a diffuse background. The butterfly is resting on a cluster of Valerian blossom. Yes, the same Valerian that drives cats crazier than ‘nip.

This looks better than my last butterfly I think.

What is P mode on a Camera?

When you set the Program (Pmode on your dial ….. you hand over control of both shutter speed and aperture to the camera. This can be good. It lets you concentrate on the subject. But shutter speed and aperture are the creative forces behind photography.

Shooting modes – CPN

So this means that I will need to explore shutter speed and aperture controls. With more hunting on YouTube for helpful videos.

Join us for 2019 and the most fun blog hop!

Help us to launch 2019 with an explosion of social media fun and colour with Pet Parade co-hosts Bionic Basil and the B Team and new Texans Barking from the Bayou.

Marjorie Dawson

Marjorie is a motorbike riding blogger and award winning cat photographer who believes that everyone can shoot and edit wonderful pictures they love regardless of the camera they use.

She is a Professional member of the Cat Writers Association, Kuykendall Image Award winner and published photographer at the Guardian newspaper.

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28 thoughts on “Snapping Bugs and Butterflies”

  1. This is some helpful information. Maybe I should try out the P mode on my camera to try and get some better photos with my expensive camera!

    • Realising there are steps along the way which make learning expensive cameras easier is encouraging. I am going to explore and report more. My readers and I will grow together!

  2. Now that’s a bug even I like! Great pics – such wonderful clarity and detail! I know your great tips are going to be so helpful to budding and novice shutterbugs! I can’t wait to see more of your beautiful photos!

  3. What a beautiful photo of the butterfly. I am still using my iPhone camera and it has served me well (so far) as I edit in photoshop. I sure know where to come to one fine day when I do get that fancy camera! And then by that time, you will have another ebook out with that I can consult! 🙂

    • I agree that smartphone cameras are top quality and it is the one thing I always carry so perfect for capturing epic shots without ‘big camera’ fuss.

  4. That is a lovely butterfly. And the bug is super cute. I’m following along. I want to learn to be a better photographer for my readers sake but techie stuff just makes my eyes glaze over. I’m more a writer than a visual storyteller too.

  5. Thanks for the blog hop, really appreciated. I am still struggling with my camera and feel I will never get it LOL. Love the street art of the bug and love photographs of nature in general and your photographs are always amazing.

    Happy 2019

    • Ruth, don’t give up. Sometimes a tutorial video can help, or sitting down in a quiet corner to read the manual a few times. It can take a while for instructions to hit home with me.

  6. Great shot! My camera is so fancy it can be very overwhelming. Just this week I had to set it to factory reset because I have no idea what I did! LOL Thanks for these tips.

  7. I love the picture of the butterfly! I was always a terrible photographer, actually it would be more accurate to say I never cared about taking pictures. The proof is in every blurry picture I’ve taken, which is many. About a year and a half ago I decided to take it very seriously and bought a Nikon bridge camera. I took the most incredible picture of the inside of a flower in macro and I was so proud. I know I really need to learn the various settings, but can’t get motivated plus it’s very technical and don’t like following manuals!

    • Hindy you sound like me with crochet. I would love to do it to make cat toys and I have tried and tried but it and I just do not click!

  8. This monarch photo is truly beautiful! It’s just so sharp – really lovely. I also love the detail in the tiny flowers. I tend to focus on aperture and leave shudder speed alone. Not sure why but aperture is easier for me.

    Happy 2019!

  9. Fabulous captures! We love the street art and the butterfly. I like that you’re exploring all the settings on your camera. So cool!

  10. I love that street art. People are so clever! Your butterfly is gorgeous too. Happy 2019 Pet Parade and Happy New Year!!!

  11. Our mom needs to read this in detail because the camera settings always confuse her! She may ask you a few questions.

  12. That really is a beautiful photo and we’re looking at our camera more closely now, thanks! Happy New Year from all of us!

  13. Lovely photo! We shoot in manual and once you understand how aperture, shutter speed and ISO work together, it’s easy.

  14. Oooh, that bug sure did get swatted! MOL Love the butterfly this week, and you sure seem to be doing well with the camera controls, too.

  15. My human usually is in the manual function when she takes photos, but she would often save time by just using one of the P’s!

  16. We hope you have a wonderful New Year – full with love, peace, and happiness.
    I’m looking forward to your videos and posts about your camera. I haven’t really explored mine in depth yet – but your recommendation of Sport mode was so very appreciated! I wish I’d known about that before!


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