The Painted Lady

My friend Pete Hillman, nature photographer, identified this butterfly for me as “The Painted Lady”. Thanks Pete. But I’m showing this image because I not only appreciated another portrait of this lovely creature but the mosaic of natural colors and the way the light highlighted the central subject is what I wanted to talk about. This was a hand held shot, 1/2000 sec., f7.1, 280 mm, ISO 400, RAW, 24 MP. This is the full frame with only minor brightness and shadow adjustment. The tip of the wing is a little soft so a f9 or a slightly lower focal length mm would have been marginally better for DOF. But what I wanted to achieve was a very narrow DOF where the out of focus matrix of natural flower colors in the background go soft and deep color to increase the tonal separation of light subject to darker background. Her wings naturally reflect light so they tend to be a brighter than the plants under these conditions. Direct harsh afternoon sun was to my back. Just thought you might be interested in a little shot details. 

the print as magic

Images can be made into practically anything depending on one’s skill. If I was to judge my skill level I’d have to quality my self-criticism in that I’m better, more accomplished, at some aspects than others. The only important aspect of my print that really matters is that it does something magical for me, then I know I’ve accomplished my task. This quality goes beyond skill, it is my apperception, fully conscious perception, and choice that pushes it along the path. It is subjective but I also need a level of know-how and access to the tools to coax the magic into being.