Mike Patterson  

Monarch Butterfly by Mike Patterson

September 2021 - Monarch Butterfly

September 2021 - Mike Patterson


About the Image(s)

Each September, monarch butterflies flutter through Texas on the way from Canada to their winter home in Mexico. Dozens of them stop at a “butterfly garden” at our church in the Texas Hill Country. We’re fortunate to see so many since the monarch population has declined about 90% since the 1990s. I grabbed this image on Sept. 5, using a Canon 7D with a 70-300mm lens, handheld at 1/800 second, f/10 with an ISO of 800. Although I was about 15 feet from the butterfly, I had to use the full 300mm range on the lens due to its small size. Using a tripod would be impossible as the butterflies are constantly in motion and it’s virtually impossible to guess ahead which flower they will land on. I processed in Lightroom using basic adjustments. The biggest adjustment was cropping down to the monarch and cropping out the extraneous foliage.

4 comments posted

Al Swanson   Al Swanson
I thought you did a very nice job of isolating the butterfly in the neutral background. However, I thought that the image was a bit soft and the details of the butterfly were very muted. I hope you don't mind if I pulled it out and try to highlight some of the detailed features and enhance the brightness and coloration of the image.   Posted: 09/09/2021 16:50:20
Comment Image
Marti Buckely   Marti Buckely
I feel that while this does make the butterfly "pop", there is a halo around the edges and stem which indicates over sharpening to me.   Posted: 09/09/2021 18:26:09

Joseph J Zaia   Joseph J Zaia
Very nice capture of this butterfly and I like what Al did with it. As we know, photography requires a lot of patience, but especially with butterflies. It does not pay to chase a butterfly hand held. Expert butterfly photographers fix a camera on a tripod on a special flower and wait. The butterfly will go from flower to flower and will return to the same flower more than once.   Posted: 09/13/2021 10:01:11

Jerry Biddlecom   Jerry Biddlecom
I wonder perhaps if the flowers should have been included, and in a vertical orientation. There's a nice rhythm in the placement of the plants and that might add to an otherwise static picture. Maybe move in the plants on the right a little and the butterfly might appear to have been "launched" upward.   Posted: 09/15/2021 16:19:37


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