View Full Version : Black butterfly

Diane Miller
05-13-2015, 03:32 PM
I don't know what this is, but I'm amazed I got a halfway decent picture of it. I was slogging through a dusty vineyard on the long walk back to my car after several unproductive hours watching an osprey nest, when I say this guy (gal?) flitting around some wild radish. It wasn't sitting still and kept moving well ahead of me, but still had the camera on a shoulder strap so it was a no-brainer to just point it and see what I might get. It slowed down on this patch of flowers and I managed to get close enough to try. Of course, the camera was still on M mode, and the light here was lower than the ambient light on the osprey, and the focus limiter set on distance, and I didn't think to change anything. (I hate how hidden the exposure meter scale is on the 7D2.) But I shot several bursts, slightly repositioning myself after each one. After about 3 bursts I got too close to focus and only then realized the limiter switch was set for distance. As I reached for it to change it, the butterfly left. Not the perfect macro, but I was pleased to get it under the circumstances. I've had very little luck with butterflies.

Canon 7D2, 100-400 II at 400, ISO 1000, 1/2500, f/5.6. Slight adjustments in LR and into PS for a small dose of NR and Detail Extractor (neither enough to really be noticeable here) and some color tweaking. Some dead blossoms cloned off and a little cleanup of OOF edges on the flowers. Cropped to 60% of the original frame.

John Robinson
05-13-2015, 04:21 PM
Hi Diane
You did well underthe circumstances whatever ! Cracking looking specimen it is too.Would the body stand a little usm ? Maybe not. The bland backdrop certainly sets him/it/her off!!

Hazel Grant
05-13-2015, 05:21 PM
One of those amazing serendipitous moments. Nice

Diane Miller
05-13-2015, 06:03 PM
Thanks! The body is just too far out of the plane of focus for any sharpening. F/5.6 at almost close focus distance -- what was I thinking?? Another frame has it a little sharper -- I might try a composite but the position is a little different. I'm happy if it's just a good learning experience.

John Robinson
05-13-2015, 06:29 PM
Good Attitude Diane !!

Ron Conlon
05-13-2015, 08:16 PM
The background is perfect and it is nicely captured. Really sweet.

Ákos Lumnitzer
05-13-2015, 09:58 PM
We learn all the time with this photography stuff don't we?
I tend to not bother with trying butterflies if they're too busy moving around. That's just me though, as I have little patience. :)
Nice image considering your constraints.
Well done.

Randy Stout
05-14-2015, 08:19 AM

I like the composition, colors and the lines in the image.

Yes, a little soft re: focus, but almost a dreamy quality to it, which is pleasant to look at.

Sometimes me thinks sharpness is over rated.



Jonathan Ashton
05-14-2015, 10:48 AM
Pretty good Diane, the flower and the laft lower wing are in good focus the rest just a tad soft. Very pleasing composition and colours.

Diane Miller
05-14-2015, 08:23 PM
Thanks, everyone! Without the quick-draw hand holding capability of that lens, I wouldn't have had a chance. Makes the 600, or even the 300, feel a little like a view camera in terms of spontaneity.

Allen Sparks
05-14-2015, 10:57 PM
Hi Diane,
My best guess is that this is a Pipevine Swallowtail. They rarely sit still for me either so I understand the challenge of getting one consistently sharp. Nice specimen and I like the BG and contrasting flowers.