BVP Logo


Mary Louise Ravese 
Bella Vista Photography 
(571) 594-2390 
Join My Mailing List


Saturday June 11, 2016 : 12:00 PM  - 5:30PM
Sunday June 12, 2016 at 8:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Add to Calendar 


Bella Vista Photography Studio
15750 Brookhill Court
Waterford, VA 20197

Driving Directions 

Brookside Gardens South Conservatory
1500 Glenallan Avenue
Wheaton, MD 20902
1500 Glenallan Ave.
Driving Directions


Butterfly Photography Workshop 

The two day workshop runs Saturday June 11th from 12 - 5:30 pm
and Sunday June 12th
from 8am - 11am.

"Tropical Blues" by Mary Louise RaveseOn Saturday June 11th we meet at the Bella Vista Photography Studio in Waterford, VA where I'll teach you about close-up photography equipment and techniques in our classroom.  This workshop goes beyond my other flower photography workshops, in that in this session I will also teach specific techniques and strategies for photographing butterflies including software-aided techniques like focus stacking for expanded depth of field.  We will then put those techniques into practice by photographing a collection of butterfly specimens.  High magnification shots of butterfly wings are possible during Saturday's session.
 "Wings of Fancy" by Mary Louise Ravese
The next day, Sunday June 12th we will meet at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD. From 8 am - 10 am we will have exclusive access to photograph with our tripods in their indoor butterfly conservatory before it is open to the general public. The workshop takes place while Brookside Gardens' "WIngs of Fancy" exhibit is in full swing, offering us the opportunity to photograph a variety of North American, Costa Rican, Asian and African butterflies flying freely among the flowers and plants. The greenhouse conditions serve to diffuse the light and the butterflies will be more still before 10am, making it easier to get nice closeups. Then, from 10 am - 11 am we will photograph in their outdoor gardens which includes fountains, a beautiful rose garden and floral displays that vary from year to year.
With it's emphasis on hands-on photography, this workshop offers you a great opportunity to practice your butterfly and flower photography in a relatively small group setting.  I will be close at hand to offer you guidance and answer your questions.

Camera Equipment:Blue Clipper Butterfly by Mary Louise Ravese

A variety of lenses can be used for butterfly and flower photography, but if you are after closeups like the ones shown on this page, you'll want a telephoto lens with a effective focal length of 100 - 200 mm.  My favorite lens for the job is a 180mm macro lens.  However, if you have a non-macro lens in that focal length range, that can also work well when combined with a simple extension tube accessory to allow that lens to focus at closer distances.  I find that 50 or 60mm macro lenses are less useful for butterfly photography because to fill the frame with the butterfly, the camera needs to be too close to the subject - in this case a sometimes skittish butterfly.  With the longer lens, you can be at a more comfortable working distance away from the subject and still have a frame filling shot.

If you are interested in renting equipment to try it out for the workshop we recommend the online rental company which rents equipment for 4 days or longer.

Interested participants can use the LenProToGo coupon code bellavista at checkout
to receive 10% off any rental for any length of time.

A handout on different close up photography equipment options as well as directions to the locations for both days will be emailed to registered participants. 


$150 per person (includes butterfly exhibit special access fee for photography with tripod) 
Early Bird Special: Register byJune 4th for the discounted price of $135
Previous Bella Vista Photography students who have taken this class or one of my flower photography sessions before have the option to join the class on Day 2 only for $65 if registered by June 4th (includes exhibit special access fee). Be aware that Day 2 only slots are limited, and are available on a first come first serve basis.
Registration limited to 4 students.
If registration is full, please email me if you would like to be put on the waiting list.
Please click on the "register now" button below and fill in the online form to register.


Register Now!