My passion for nature has been strong from a young age. Stroll through the fields and sail on the lakes in the lake area in Southwest Friesland. Free nature in optima forma. The butterfly has left a special impression. There are various colours and shapes, especially the transformation from caterpillar via pupa to a unique, precious, and tender life form. Over the years, I have photographed many different species at home and abroad. It was time to share this with others to initiate or expand that passion for this colourful phenomenon to others. All the butterflies I mention here have been spotted in the wild, so no butterflies and moths whirling around in domesticated gardens. Each butterfly is indicated by the year in which I spotted the butterfly or moth for the first time and, in brackets, the country where the sighting took place. In addition to the butterflies and moths described, I have added, for your information, some more specific information about their build and taxonomy. I have also worked out the family tree with a direct link to the subfamilies in my collection.

I mainly use a Canon 600D, which I purchased in 2020, and I also have a Canon 1000D. As you gain more experience, you will also better understand which lenses are suitable for macro photography. I once started with an 18-55mm lens and, in 2014, switched to a Sigma 18-250mm Macro HSM lens with which I could capture most butterflies reasonably well. This was not enough for the micro-moths because it is not a macro lens. That is why I expanded this lens with a conversion lens, Achromat Macro-200(+5) 62mm. Purchasing such a conversion lens is much cheaper than a new macro lens. In 2020, I bought a Tamron SP 24-70 mm F/2.8 since I was not very satisfied with the Sigma 18-250 mm with a conversion lens given photographing micro-moths. The sharpness/depth was so narrow and inefficient when you had to focus on a location with the wind influencing movement. In the end, I bought a real macro lens in 2023. The Sigma 105 mm with F/2.8 is really the best purchase for me in terms of lenses for macro photography. This lens greatly improves the photos, can be used to take nice sharp photos without a tripod, and will be used to improve the quality of the published photos.

Since 2017, the focus has also been on moths. This can really be an exciting activity. Especially the tension of which species will be attracted to the special light. With a stretched white sheet, I lure the moths with a special lamp, mini-lynx blacklight 20W, which scatters UVA light. For photography, I switch to the Sigma 18-55mm lens to avoid the shadow of the larger 18-250mm lens when using flash or to the Tamron SP 24-70mm. Sometimes, I use a 160W lamp with 2735 luminous flux.

In December 2018, it was, in my opinion, necessary to create a contemporary logo that could be used as a watermark for my photos. With the idea to form a butterfly with my initials, the following logo was made (updated in 2023):

(c) 2023 – E.H. Schakel

From 2019 this logo will be used as a watermark for recognition.

The most recent count of the number of species I have spotted is always in the right column. The distribution of spotted species per family up to and including December 31, 2023 is shown in the graph below (click to enlarge).