My grandfather the late Basil Yates-Smith was a very well-known butterfly photographer and lots of his pictures have been used in many publications such as ‘Butterflies of Britain and Europe’ ISBN: 0-00-220059-7 and ‘Complete British Insects’ ISBN: 0-00-717966-9. But there has never been a butterfly book published that has solely used his pictures. Which is why I opted to produce a book using nothing by my grandfather’s works and after many months of hard work, my publication ‘Butterflies of Europe’ which is a full colour photographic recognition field guide, with over two hundred species found in Britain and Europe, listed by their colloquial name, genus and spices, is now available for purchase today!
Basil used a Nikon F2 camera with a Nikon 200mm lens suitably strapped to ensure fixed focus and hence the constant scale of 0.315 x life. To ensure maximum depth of field a Multiblitz professional flash with twin heads was used. These were modified by moving the flash tubes further back in the parabolic reflectors to increase light intensity at the close working distance involved 2 feet lens. The photographs taken were then transformed into slides and carefully documented. The slides have been scanned in using a Nikon Super Coolscan 5000 ED slide scanner.
Convinced in the mid 1960’s that butterflies could largely disappear from Western Europe in Basil’s lifetime, he resolved to collect for posterity as many pictures of them as time and resources permitted.
For this purpose the images had to be of high quality, in colour and to a fixed scale, if they were to truly inform about the relative size and appearance of the various species, choice of nectar source and other habitat information also made it imperative that each picture should be completely natural and that nets, dark boxes, fridges, sedatives and other forms of control would by definition be completely ruled out.
Practically every image taken has been retained in the collection regardless of its artistic merit. Thereby fulfilling the aim to collect as many pictures as circumstances permitted. The collection has often been used for slide shows and book illustrations.
My publication my book ‘Butterflies of Europe’ ISBN: 978-0-244-97192-2 is currently available to purchase via Lulu. Later on it shall be available on Amazon UK, Amazon US and Amazon EU.
Take it easy,
Arctic Tundra Fox
The photographs in this blog are owned by ©Arctic Tundra Fox unless otherwise stated, and not for public domain use, thank you.