Another Butterfly Outing

Joel_W

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Earlier this week I made another trip to the Butterfly Vivarium at Sweetbriar Nature Preserve. Unfortunately, the weather and lighting conditions were less then favorable when the Vivarium opened at 10 am. Air temps were almost in the 90s, & the humidity was close behind. Bright blue skies made for some very strong contrasty lighting. There wasn't much I could do about the conditions as the paths were narrow. At times I had to use my tripod folded up as monopod due to other people and kids making for some cramped conditions in the Vivarium. There just wasn't any way I could hope to use my umbrella as a diffuser.

In any event, I managed to capture a few decent images.


SweetBriar63012 363 by joelwillstein, on Flickr


SweetBriar63012 195 by joelwillstein, on Flickr


SweetBriar63012 312 by joelwillstein, on Flickr


SweetBriar63012 241 by joelwillstein, on Flickr


SweetBriar63012 234 by joelwillstein, on Flickr
 
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Joel_W

Joel_W

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Hard to believe so view visits and not one comment.
 

PinkDoor

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Considering the conditions, the set is nice. They seem a bit flat though. I would love a little more color pop. Not sure about photo 4.
 

PixelRabbit

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Totally missed this one Joel, it must have been one of those threads that dropped fast in the current threads :(

I love the first one! The colours compliment each other nicely and the detail on the butterfly stand out nicely, the last is a neat capture also :)

I can see where Pink is going with the lack of "pop" on the middle ones, multiple monarchs on the orange center of the cone flower makes for a very busy shot and makes my eye hunt, same with the two on the busy purple flower.

Butterflies are so detailed and vibrant, when they compete with each other or a vibrant background they often get lost in the image. Bokeh is your friend when shooting them, find ways for them to be the center of attention! Your exposures are gorgeous, I love the vibrant colours you are capturing but I think some bokeh and simpler compositions will take your butterflies to the next level :)
 
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Joel_W

Joel_W

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Judi, thanks so much for your comments. You know how much I value them. The vast majority of my Butterfly images are single Butterflies, and they were just starting to blend together while processing. When I got to that multiple Monarch picture, it just kind of jumped out at me. I do try for a max Bokeh effect, but DOF using a 55-200mm lens and a 27mm extension tube, doesn't leave a lot of latitude. The Bokeh effect has been relegated to whatever it is, it is. My new approach next time out is to drop down to a 12mm tube and see it that lets me have greater control over both DOF and the background Bokeh effect, yet get close enough for the compositions I'm after.

Here's 2 more images that have good Bokeh, and are single Butterflies


SweetBriar63012 352 by joelwillstein, on Flickr



SweetBriar63012 170 by joelwillstein, on Flickr
 

PixelRabbit

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Ah that first one is nice! Symmetry is your friend with butterflies :) The second is close but I think a tighter crop would make the butterfly pop more, it is about the same size as the flowers so they compete for my attention. Thinking aobut 2/3 off the bottom and about the same off the right might work?
 

cgipson1

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Look really good, Joel! I often shoot shots like this with a macro lens as it affords me the option of getting in really close, if the oppurtunity presents. I am assuming you are also shooting all ambient light also? You might try flash on shots like these also (more fill than anything).. it really makes the colors pop, and and help with any movement issues on the subjects part)
 
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Joel_W

Joel_W

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Look really good, Joel! I often shoot shots like this with a macro lens as it affords me the option of getting in really close, if the oppurtunity presents. I am assuming you are also shooting all ambient light also? You might try flash on shots like these also (more fill than anything).. it really makes the colors pop, and and help with any movement issues on the subjects part)

Charlie, thanks so much for your suggestions and CC. One day I'll get a real Macro lens, as switching and working with tubes, does have their downsides. I never thought about fill flash in those bright conditions. I can see how using a flash would have helped to alleviate some of the slightly out of focus Butterflies I ended up with. Will have to check if flash is allowed at both Vivariums.

All told, still a great day that I much enjoyed.
 
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Joel_W

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And PinkDoor, sorry that I missed thanking you yesterday. All CC's are more then welcome.
 

ClearBlueDaze

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I'm a newbie...okay now that that is out of the way, I like them. I like the second one best in your first post. I like the wing detail.
CBD
 
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Joel_W

Joel_W

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Thank you ClearBlueHaze Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad that you enjoyed them. As for your "pick of the litter" the 2nd one is also my favorite. It's a little confusing until you enlarge it full screen, and then it really POPs. it's actually my current desktop wallpaper.
 

ClearBlueDaze

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You're welcome Joel. I recently tool a bunch of photos of a butterfly moth. Not sure how good they are, I captured them with wing movement, I thought it would add to it. Much easier to photograph the moth than the bird. No luck there yet. I'll start a thread later. Would love feedback. I can only wish to be half as good as so many of you.

Beth :)
 
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Joel_W

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Beth, Looking forward to seeing your Butterfly images. I can tell you this much, that they're a lot harder to photograph correctly then my 1st love, which is florals. Of course not only don't flower move on their own, but they're around all year. Here, both Vivariums are only opened from June till sometime in Oct.
 

ClearBlueDaze

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I just posted a few flowers....I took some pics of bleeding heart too, but I have to find them...somewhere on my hard drive....
Beth
 

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