It's a hot July, one of the hottest in decades and the garden is receiving guests. I've noticed the milkweed plants seem to be prolific this year and I've spotted the odd Monarch Butterfly fluttering about. When our kids were younger, we use to raise a couple of monarchs every summer. Butterflies and other insects are a great opportunity to practice using our cameras on faster shutter speeds, capturing a nano second of life. I often use a macro lens but any lens you have will get the job done. Macro's tend to give a fairly shallow depth of field, meaning much of your photo will be out of focus. That's ok as it makes our subject stand out. Photographing insects requires patience. If you have a garden or are lucky enough to find yourself wandering in alpine meadows, take a moment to stand still long enough to spot some activity. I find it easier to use automatic focus. The nice thing about shooting insects on a bright sunny day is you can get your shutter up to some pretty fast speeds, The bee flying away from the white daisy was shot at 1/3200 with the ISO up to 400. Bees in particular are very quick, it may look like they're just hanging around but their wings are not stagnant. Sometimes I like to add my own texture to a photo. The photo with a bee hive as background is two photos stacked. The photo of just the dragonfly wings are taken from a dead dragonfly that my daughter kindly brought home thinking I might like to photograph it. Pretty much all the photos here have been cropped to show off the insect. It's a fine line between cropping in to show your subject and cropping in too much to the point where your insect looks obviously photoshopped and not realistic. Everyone's camera settings are going to be different, try setting the camera on shutter priority starting with a really high shutter like 1/2000, if it's too dark, adjust your ISO to a higher number. Happy hunting and bee creative.