Wildlife photographer’s stunning butterfly images revealed in latest book

A swallowtail flight sequence
A swallowtail flight sequence

Former children’s author Andrew Fusek Peters from Lydbury North has launched a new career by capturing incredible wildlife images – and now his latest book ‘Butterly Safari’ is out.

It contains 250 images of butterflies from across the UK, with the photographer explaining that he took around half a million photos over five years to get the shots he wanted for the book.

Andrew Fusek-Peters

The effort involved traveling miles to every part of the UK and waiting patiently for hours to capture the perfect picture.

The images include incredible flight sequences that show the grace of some of the country’s rarest and most endangered species in their natural habitats.

It features butterflies in early spring, like the Orange Tip, and hibernating and hibernating butterflies like the Peacock, all year round down to the last, late butterfly – the Blues and Skipper.

Mr. Fusek Peters, 57, tells how he got the idea for the pictures – and eventually the book – while he was being treated for cancer.

He said: “I had cancer about four years ago and I had surgery and chemotherapy and it was a horrible time but while I was being treated that’s what happened.

“I was in the garden thinking I’ll see if I can figure out how to photograph butterflies in flight,” and I did.”

The book is available now in bookstores and from March 14th on Amazon.

Andrew’s image of a pearl bordered on fritillary

He said: “People are just reacting to these beautiful pictures and what I really want to say is all these beautiful butterflies that we have to fight to save because these butterflies are in trouble and numbers are going down.

“It’s not just about ‘Look at those beautiful butterflies,’ it’s about people doing their part to save them.”

The new book Butterfly Safari by Andrew Fusek-Peters

Mr. Fusek Peters has already commissioned two more books from the publisher, one about butterflies and another about garden animals.

He explained that capturing the images that make up the book – learning how the creatures fly to get the perfect shots – was an incredibly lengthy process.

He said: “Catching butterflies in flight is a challenging process and I have spent years studying butterfly behavior and trying to predict how they will take off when nectarizing and in which direction they will fly. As they are named for their flight, exploring their grace in midair has felt like a long, tiring but ultimately noble quest.”

Speaking of the technical process behind the photos, Andrew said: “At between 60 and 120 frames per second in raw format, that speed is fast enough to show the flight of the butterfly across the frame, if I’m focusing infrequently then I can overlay some of those frames, to show movement through space and time in a single final shot.”


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