Day One Hundred and Twenty Two - Butterfly


  1. Sarah said she thought this was your best yet and I agree! Totally beautiful.

  2. A lepidopterist would never take a shot from this angle? it does not show either the full plane of the fore or hindwing in focus clearly, or the body, head or eye construction. Given that, it has a great deapth of field and the lack of background detail helps the subject although by coincidence the background is the same colou as the wings and makes them look translucent which they are not. (I know I am critical of insect pics and yet don't wish to discourage the posting of them)hope you understand . Win

  3. I saw this photo before Win had posted his comment. Looking at it again having read Win's comment, I see it in a different light, which is fascinating. It just shows how information can change your perspective.
    And yes, I had thought that the wings were translucent...

  4. OK – My turn to join the debate! Here are some thoughts on the picture…

    I’m not sure that the aim of the picture is to aid identification. The same comment could be made of the fish on day 117 – is it a worse picture because the head is not intact, or even better, the boy on day 102 racing the rain home. If he was on a stolen bike and I took the picture to the police, they would probably grumble that the photo didn’t make identification very easy!

    I think that the background and wing combination is the strongest ‘if artistic’ element of the picture. Whilst it may mislead, it is a butterfly in its natural habitat and I haven’t done any photoshop manipulation to equalize these colours.

    I do, however, agree about the wing plane. Not for identification, but just to make a better picture. I’m happy that the butterfly is facing away from the camera, but if the left wing was open slightly more to give a better profile of that wing, in the same plane as the lens, then that would be a great improvement. The only problem with that, I guess, would be that the two wings move together (is that right Win?) so the right wing would become less visable, or block the view of the head.

    My major criticism of the picture is that the depth of field is not quite enough on the main subject – in fact, I suspect that the depth of field starts before the subject, and then runs out before it gets to the head and antenna. I think there are two issues here – one is that the autofocus has chosen the obvious edge of the left wing as being a good edge of strong contrast to focus on, which is of course at the back of the butterfly, so the range of depth of field is slightly wasted. The other issue is that the aperture is at f/16 on 300mm of zoom, which gives a pretty small DofF, especially at such close focus. If I’d used a higher ISO then I could have increased depth of field to get the whole subject in focus, without losing the background effect. My only worry would be the introduction of grain, and in particular digital noise, into the image. I tend to find this a great problem on anything over about ISO200. The other option would be to manual focus mid-way through the subject – but I’m not sure if either I or my lens is up to this! As auto-focus becomes better and better, lenses have smaller focus rings and cameras have less dedicated focus area indication in the viewing screen, and I guess photographers become less practiced at quickly manual focusing.

    However, the best thing about this image is the debate! Many thanks for great, honest comment Win. Sometime in the next couple of weeks I’ll have a butterfly day and try for the perfect image!!!

  5. I was going to comment on this in August and then my computer clapped out. What I was going to say was also 'best yet' - i'm pretty ignorant about photography, but the subject is just gorgeous - such a delicate combination of cinnamon and cream!