My name is Kasia Bukowska and I’m a macro photographer specialising in butterflies. I have always had a great curiosity of the outside world and in particular find the vast array of different species we share the planet with particularly fascinating. Photography has allowed me to appreciate the real beauty and diversity in those species that we live alongside but only see fleetingly. Capturing an image in the moment allows you a lifetime to continue enjoying, studying and discovering the more intricate details of the subject.
My first venture into photography was when I purchased a DSLR camera with a kit lens, I was immediately hooked and a couple months later I was buying my first macro lens. In the early days my focus was on capturing good images of the butterflies themselves, not wanting anything in the backdrop to become a distraction. This approach gave me a great opportunity to learn more about the butterflies and at the same time get to appreciate the abilities of the camera and macro photography which led me to discover the SIGMA APO MACRO 180mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM . I carried out some research, read many reviews and eventually decided to take the plunge and add this to my ever-growing list of photographic equipment. I was not disappointed; in fact, I was blown away by the lens and how it opened up a new approach to photography and the discovery of how to use the power of natural light to my advantage.
Butterflies are very responsive to light and temperature, they will lean towards light, as soon as they get enough warmth, they will fly off immediately. Butterflies live in varying habitats and their flight periods can vary depending on a number of factors, resulting in the settling in locations with differing vegetations which can limit your photographic opportunities. In order to capture the best images, it is best to have a very early start as the lower temperatures limit the butterfly’s activity levels. This also brings challenges because morning light only allows a low shutter speed to be used which when in shallow depth fields can be problematic as any
breeze can result in a blurred image. This is why the APO MACRO 180mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM is so good; it is accurate and takes very sharp images in low morning light.
Recently I have been experimenting with different apertures to achieve different effects in the background whilst maintaining a sharp image of the butterfly itself, with this lens it has not been a problem at all. It is not limited to early morning use; it is also the best lens to shoot handheld in the day time when butterflies are active. Its minimum focus distance allows you to take shots without disturbing the butterflies, which is an improvement on the 100mm macro lens. Image stabilisation is another great feature which adds to the overall quality of images.
I share my passion with my partner Nigel. We spend the majority of our spare time photographing and reading about butterflies. We are constantly researching and looking for new locations to see butterflies in their natural habitat both in the UK and Europe.
Nigel also uses the APO MACRO 180mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM and has recently paired it with his Canon 5dmIII which has given him the perfect combination which satisfies his requirements in terms of attention to detail.
I work with Nikon D810 paired with the SIGMA APO MACRO 180mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM and take a more artistic approach to my photography. But we are on the same page when it comes to the performance of this lens. We love to compare our different styles, inspiring each other in the search for ever better and more interesting photographs.