View Full Version : New Monarch

Robert O'Toole
01-16-2008, 09:55 PM
Newly emerged Monarch in the wild drying its wings before taking flight for the first time. This is really a basic image but it means a lot to me since I spend hours and hours photographing this single butterly near my home base in Florida.

NIKON D300+Sigma 150/2.8 EX Macro (225mm crop factor) with Nikon SB-R200 speedlite in manual mode.

1/100 sec at 7.1
Exposure mode: Manual
ISO: 320

Image copyright 2008 Robert OToole

Alfred Forns
01-16-2008, 10:08 PM
Your time was well spent Robert A real beauty !!! Love it !!!

Fabs Forns
01-16-2008, 10:09 PM
I need you to tell me about the flash in SAN, don't have on yet :(

Great profile, I guess the get darker when they age? Beautiful!

Jim Caldwell
01-16-2008, 11:24 PM
Beautiful colors, Robert, I agree with Al - time well spent!

John Cooper
01-16-2008, 11:36 PM
The time you spent on this one Robert was well worth the effort. Very clean image, lovely BG and pleasing pastel colours.

Robert O'Toole
01-17-2008, 12:04 AM
I need you to tell me about the flash in SAN, don't have on yet :(

Great profile, I guess the get darker when they age? Beautiful!

I am bringing my gear will show you, remind me okay :)

The tops of the wings are much darker, the bottom is like peach color, and also she is only 2 or so hours out of the chrysillis.


Matthew Pugh
01-17-2008, 01:58 PM
A beautiful butterfly and a beautiful image
Being highly critical I do feel this image is slightly soft in appearance. Perhaps just my tied eyes, or perhaps a little more USM?
All the best

Mike Moats
01-17-2008, 08:17 PM
Hey Robert, awesome work on this one. Excellent details, color and BG. Well done.

Robert O'Toole
01-17-2008, 10:05 PM
Could be, sometimes I tend to under sharpen rather than over.
Butterflys are hard, I always think after the fact that I should shoot a few with a flash off Axis more to "Skim" the wing scales and make them stand out more to give them really good sharpness, John Shaw was a master at this. This image was made with a single flash on low power mounted right above the lens at a angle with a diffuser so the light is soft. I usually go for the "did you use flash or not?" look.

Thanks for the comments.


Nicole Brooker
01-18-2008, 07:27 AM
I like the vibrant colours and the pose. Great background too. Lovely photo.

Matthew Pugh
01-18-2008, 11:25 AM
Hi Again
I guess sharpening is mostly subjective depending how you wish to display the image.
When using flash I would mostly agree that a more natural look is more to my tastes. One aspect that I often find hard to get right with flash upon butterflies in general is keeping some good details in the whites. I tend to find even a little flash often has the effect of nuking these areas - it can upon the other hand often help bring out the colours.
Given a cooperative subject I would suggest trying to flash from a more frontal sidewise aspect (going with the scales), this can as you indicate really bring out some excellent details. If you have the chance even try directing the flash via a reflector, this again can work well IMO
All the best

Susanne v. Schroeder
01-18-2008, 11:29 AM
Wonderful image! I've spent a lot of time last summer/fall capturing Monarchs just about at every stage. The only moment I missed was when the chrysalis opened... often I was just seconds too late. It's an amazing process to watch!! I'll post some of my shots soon.

Gus Cobos
03-18-2008, 08:14 PM
Hey Robert, Love the detail and colors...


Tod Witt
03-22-2008, 09:49 PM
I like that it is anchored in the upper right corner and flows with pattern/color downward. Also with the bacground going dark to light as you go down. I agree with natural looking flash or the lack of knowing flash was used at all. That being said maybe the flash being place above and to the right would have helped with depth in wings. Great moment captured nicely.