Piers Blackett  

Gulf Fritillary butterfly by Piers Blackett

October 2021 - Gulf Fritillary butterfly

October 2021 - Piers Blackett


About the Image(s)

A Gulf Fritillary butterfly settled on a yellow flower with a dark background shaded by a pine tree. The photo was shot at 1/1600, f 6.3, 349 mm ISO 800. In post I denoised, and made minimal Lightroom adjustments, then rotated the image to a horizontal aspect with a slight diagonal slant to the nearest wing. The rotation required a content aware fill to maintain the eye on the one third intersection. The yellow petals came out flat and I failed to bring out texture with a CR brush and changes in contrast/exposure, so I cloned some lines in from another flower.

10 comments posted

Karen Botvin   Karen Botvin
Hey, that fellow was in my yard yesterday! Lol! Very cool rotation technique. To my eye, the light on the flower is a bit too bright. Looks like it was shot at mid-day. A reflector or just your shadow over the flower would have helped soften the light and given more even lighting. Butterflies, generally, tolerate me moving all around and over them. Nice capture, Piers!   Posted: 10/04/2021 05:29:29
Piers Blackett   Piers Blackett
Thanks for your suggestions Karen! In retrospect I used a matrix exposure mode causing the sensor to compensate towards overexposure, so spot-metering on the butterfly might have been better.   Posted: 10/04/2021 10:43:02

Jim Wulpi   Jim Wulpi
I love the crop and rotate to produce this final view. It worked well.
I, too, have recently begun to use spot metering more often to tame the highlights. Sounds like that would be a good option.
Well done.   Posted: 10/04/2021 15:12:26
Piers Blackett   Piers Blackett
Thanks. Yes, if the day looks like small foci of interest will predominate it could help to have spot metering preset within a custom option. Also I wonder if seeing the image with EVF in a mirrorless format would help - probably, but I'm not ready to go there yet.   Posted: 10/04/2021 18:40:40

Martin Newland   Martin Newland
A great shot Piers and I like your post production treatment. Well done!   Posted: 10/04/2021 20:13:52

Shirley Pohlman   Shirley Pohlman
Very impressed with your editing, especially with denoise. I think it really made the image pop by rotating it. As mentioned by the others, I do feel the yellow is a bit bright. Wonder if you could use the radial filter or graduated filter in Lightroom to tone in down.   Posted: 10/06/2021 20:00:25
Piers Blackett   Piers Blackett
Thanks Shirley, I agree. The radial filter with some feather fitted well with a tilt and some fine tuning.   Posted: 10/07/2021 16:23:14
Comment Image

Piers Blackett   Piers Blackett
Oops - perhaps I overdid it - but will try some more.   Posted: 10/07/2021 16:24:20

Jaqueline Whalen   Jaqueline Whalen
This is terrific! I love the butterfly and am very unfamiliar with this one. I admire your abilities in post processing. the tilt was a brilliant idea. It really makes the image much more dramatic. I actually like the yellow of the flower full force. It is almost as if the yellow in the wing is reflecting the flowers strong coloring. That makes movement within the image which I like a great deal.   Posted: 10/09/2021 14:27:24
Piers Blackett   Piers Blackett
Thanks for the observation - still struggling with exposure but the first one is as close as I can get it.   Posted: 10/09/2021 16:55:16


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