Then there were butterflies everywhere

Queen - f/7.1, 1/640 sec., ISO 800 @ 300mm

Queen - f/7.1, 1/800sec., ISO1250 @210mm

Southern Broken Dash - f/7.1, 1/2000sec., ISO800 @210mm

Black swallowtail - f/7.1, 1/400sec., ISO800 @300mm

Black swallowtail - f/7.1, 1/400sec., ISO 800 @210mm

Much to my dismay, this past summer we had next to no spiders, grasshoppers, snails, frogs . . .or butterflies! Then for some reason, yesterday we had a swarm of butterflies. The ones I could ID included; Western Tiger Swallowtail, Sulphurs, Queen, Black Swallowtail and Southern Broken Dash moth. This series of photo doesn’t even come close to the wonderful images I’ve seen others post this summer, however, at least for me, the series is more about the moment of enjoying the show.
I cropped all of them, did basic highlight/shadow and cloning in ACR. In PS added freehand vignette and some adjustment in channel mixer.
Since I am not experienced in photographing butterflies and was out of my element, I am interested if the backgrounds are too busy? Do the settings seem reasonable for this type of photography? Since I did not do any noise reduction, can you detect any? Any other thoughts and/or suggestion?

Nikon Z6ii, polarizer and handheld.

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Linda, what a great series of shots of butterflies! I know what you mean though, very few here this summer, and when/if they were, I didn’t have the camera out there with me. It was just so hot. Now everything is dying off. It looks like you had fun capturing all of these though. I am so glad for you.

Very nice phots of these butterflies Linda. Not being experienced as you stated, I think you did awesome. I see no noise in the background and it amazes me that he flowers and background look exactly like the area I have been going even though I am in AZ.

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Thanks, Dean. Yes, I was thinking the same thing about the background. I planted the native milkweed a couple of years ago and it is just now really flourishing. The butterflies love it!

Arizona desert museum plants milkweed for the same reason. This time of year there’s tons of butterflies. The monarchs should be coming through this month as well

Awesome shots, Linda. I think you did exceptionally well. Glad you finally got some butterflies. They have been scarce here, too this year. Way too hot and dry. I enjoyed this series very much.

Lovely shots, Linda. I’d suggest a faster ss for swallowtails normally as they flutter a lot, but your second swallowtail shot proves me wrong. The Dash is a skipper (butterfly), beautifully perched on the milkweed. We’re getting many late bfs. in Korea too. A few species “estivate”, going into dormancy through the hot summer, and perhaps that has happened to some of yours too. Congrats on the EP!

I am not either a butterfly photographer but IMO these are a set of great images. I think you have managed to reasonable isolate the butterflies and at the same time show the surroundings.

Linda, what a treat, you probably were having a hard time deciding who to chase… The whole set looks very good, with the first and last ones my favorites. Both show excellent details in the butterflies and capture their environment well. (The thing about including enviroment in insects photos strikes me as very much like human portraits. Some folks just show the head and shoulders for great detail in the subject, while others always add something extra as a way to indicate things like personality, status and character. )

@Shirley_Freeman, @Dean_Salman, @terryb, @Mike_Friel , @Ola_Jovall, and @Mark_Seaver, thank you for your comments and suggestions. I apologize for just now getting to see these comments as I have been literally off the grid for two weeks helping my sister move from the east coast to Texas. Now I am looking forward to getting back to my photo journey with zest! Thanks again for your kind thoughts and the EP designation.

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I have a little experience attempting to get butterfly images and I have to say they are not easy to get. Well done. Great collection.

Thanks so much, @Dave_Douglass, I appreciate your kind words.