In Hot Pursuit

Swallowtail-Mating-Behavior
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"In Hot Pursuit" was a fun but challenging shot to make. I had observed the interesting behavior before, but had not been set up for it. The physical aspect demanded that I move about, tracking the two subjects as they performed their mating dance. To get at their level I had to quickly move about and go to one knee using monopod for support. Filling the frame required that I constantly adjust my distance to subject, which is just inside my minimum focusing range. No easy task. I also had to use flash, so shooting was in single shot mode, rather than the 10 frames per second available. I remember the whole episode lasting about three minutes, as the two moved from flower to flower. At the end, the female shot straight up high into the sky, with the male spiraling around her. You had to be there 🙂
This image has been published in a two page lead in spread for National Wildlife Magazine, and winner in two major contests this year alone. Also won Editor's Pick Award at Nature Photographers Network for 2009.
I used a Canon 1D Mark III body, with a 300mm f/2.8 lens + 1.4x extender and 580EX flash to make this image.
Howard Cheek
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cheek@starband.net

One Response to “In Hot Pursuit”

  1. Sandra Calderbank says:

    Beautiful image, I appreciate how difficult that was to capture!