Kieu-Hanh Vu  

Butterfly and Red Lily by Kieu-Hanh Vu

August 2022 - Butterfly and Red Lily

About the Image(s)

This image was taken a few years ago at Brookside Gardens in MD. Minor color adjustment using Photoshop. I plan to submit it for a nature competition. I appreciate all of your comments.

Exif data: Canon 7D Mark II, Canon lens 70-300 mm, ISO 100, F/5.0, Speed 1/320

4 comments posted

Michael Hrankowski   Michael Hrankowski
Hi Kieu-Hanh. I must say this is one of my favorite images I've seen you create. It is as if the butterfly and flower are having an intimate conversation. You've captured the color of the lily beautifully and it is set off by the lovely, soft bokeh. I also like how you've positioned the flower's stem to come in on a diagonal which forms a nice leading line. I have an observation and a suggestion: On my iPad, the very top of the petals appear overly bright and I'm wondering if you might be able to bring that down a bit. Also, parts of the image seem a little soft…but I never know whether that is an in-camera issue, or if it is simply because the image size requirements make it appear so. In any event, I'm curious if you've had an opportunity to try Topaz Sharpen AI? The app is really quite amazing and I have resurrected images that were way softer than yours. Softness aside, it is a lovely image.   Posted: 08/05/2022 10:34:53

Bev Caine   Bev Caine
(Groups 24 & 48)
Not only is this a lucky shot, but it is a very beautiful image. Very well done.   Posted: 08/12/2022 12:31:15

Mary Ann Carrasco   Mary Ann Carrasco
Hi Kieu-Hanh, Very lovely image of this butterfly and beautiful lily. I agree with Michael's comments. The bokeh is very nice and the diagonal of the stem is a great leading line. I also agree that it seems a bit soft and I have used the Topaz Sharpen and have been happy with it. I also use the unmask sharpen in the filter menu of Photoshop sometimes. Beautiful image and composition.   Posted: 08/12/2022 18:20:06

LuAnn Thatcher   LuAnn Thatcher
Hello Kieu-Hanh,

You have a lovely image this month with a butterfly and lily. This variety is one of the most fragrant lilies in a garden; the Star Gazer, also known as the Oriental Hybrid Lily. You have a nice diagonal with the flower bowing to the butterfly. The butterfly has nice color on its wings, and the lily is a lovely shade of pink. The soft green background is a nice neutral compliment to the subject.

You noted that you were planning to submit the photo to a nature competition, so I have some thoughts for you to consider. The PSA definition for the Nature category says Photographs of human-created hybrid plants are not allowed in competition. When I look this variety of lily up online, it states that it is a hybrid. I would recommend asking someone in your club about this concern. There is always the open category to enter your image into if nature doesn't work.

The other challenge I see in the photo for the competition is the butterfly is not in sharp focus, and the whites on the top petals of the flower are overexposed and void of color or texture. These are two things a judge will be most critical about in competition. I recommend using a small flexible defuser (or piece of white paper) when photographing flowers and butterflies. The diffuser doesn't have to be close to the subject; holding it overhead to break the harsh light from reaching your subject is all you need to achieve.

I hope this is helpful. Good luck in the competition!

LT   Posted: 08/13/2022 16:31:25


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