Sharon Prislipsky, PPSA  

Butterfly Face-Off by Sharon Prislipsky, PPSA

July 2021 - Butterfly Face-Off

July 2021 - Sharon Prislipsky, PPSA


About the Image(s)

My goal was to capture some images of the Diana Fritillary, the Arkansas State Butterfly. The Diana is the one on the left and this is a male. A Red Spotted Purple was hanging out on the same Button Bush and apparently the Diana wasn't happy to share. I was burst shooting so got a series of shots of this encounter, but chose this one because the faces of both butterflies looked sharp.
I was shooting from the car with my gear balanced on a beanbog. Canon R5 and Canon 100-400 mm lens with 1.4 teleconverter. Settings were ISO 1250; F/8.0 and 1/2000 sec.
After making my initial global adjustments in LR I used Viveza to make selective adjustments. I finished in Color Efex Pro. I applied Polarization, Skylight and Darken/Lighten Center.

13 comments posted

Jamie Federick   Jamie Federick
(Group 48)
This is a very neat capture. The title is perfect. As usual, your focus is perfect and the colors are great.   Posted: 07/06/2021 10:51:47

Mike Cohen   Mike Cohen
I find it very difficult to shoot butterflies as they don't allow much time between movements and often aren't parallel to the plane of focus. I like the interaction, and am attracted to the faceoff being shown. I am bothered a bit by the leaf in front of the Red Spotted Purple and it's wings are not as tack sharp as the other butterfly. I also liked the dark background in the original and wanted to tone down the green leaves behind the subject. For fun, I did an aggressive crop and used content aware to remove the leaves as shown. I used Topaz sharpen selectively on the upport portion of the dark wing and also darked the background, desaturation the green a bit as well.   Posted: 07/09/2021 14:11:52
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Sharon Prislipsky   Sharon Prislipsky
OK, Mike...I have thought about this quite a bit - how to preserved the image for NAture competition and still address some of the issues you pinted out? I still do not want to amputate the back portion of the wing of the one on the right - to me it looks like the photographer made a mistake while shooting. I took the image into Viveza and tried to sharpen up the wing edge and the leaf but that added a great deal of noise. So back in LR I just brushed in contrast and sharpness. Pushing it any further just degrades the quality of the image. I also cropped closer hoping that would focus the viewer on the story. Here is my second try. In Nature they say the story outweighs the technical, so the question is whether I have a strong enough story to compensate for the flaws. Let me know what you think. And oh yes - you are correct that butterflies tend to have erratic flight patterns but what I like is that they keep returning to the same flower or leaf.   Posted: 07/11/2021 10:21:28
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Mike Cohen   Mike Cohen
I like it better and understand the conundrum. Of course, if your goal is competition you are constrained in what you can do. Some competitions allow very little and none allow removal or addition of elements unless it is in a special creative category. I'll keep those constraints in mind in future comments.   Posted: 07/11/2021 12:08:21

Sharon Prislipsky   Sharon Prislipsky
Thanks for taking the time to try to work with this image, Mike. As you know the removal of the leaves will disqualify this image from Nature competitions, which I regularly compete in through Gulf States Camera Clubs Council, so that is not something that works for me. I do understand that you did not like the leaf overlapping the wing of the Red Spotted Purple, but this crop does not improve the image in my view. I believe that for such a severe crop to work at all it would have to be cropped to just the heads and torsos of both butterflies, so it owuld look like an untra close up. I may go back and try that if I still have enough pixels.   Posted: 07/09/2021 14:29:01

Lisa Auerbach   Lisa Auerbach
I like the pair. They are sharp, especially the bodies. The leaf over the butterfly doesn't bother me because the main one is sharp. The one thing that I notice is the bottom right leaf which is not sharp. I would suggest toning it down a bit so it is not so noticeable.   Posted: 07/09/2021 17:44:53
Sharon Prislipsky   Sharon Prislipsky
Thanks for the suggestions Lisa. I did a re-edit based on feedback from you and the others who have commented so far. Let me know what you think.   Posted: 07/11/2021 10:22:40
Lisa Auerbach   Lisa Auerbach
I think your edit works. It is natural and takes attention away from the leaf.   Posted: 07/11/2021 17:41:03

Judith Lesnaw   Judith Lesnaw
Amazing image of a fascinating moment in nature. Your crop highlights a strong diagonal, a leafy illuminated path, from the leaves in the lower right into the upper left. The background bokeh provides depth and mystery. The numerous triangles further strengthen the composition. The simplicity of the complementary color pallet is most pleasing and overlays the rich pattern with a sense of minimalism. The Dark One could as well be bowing in homage.   Posted: 07/11/2021 09:53:36
Sharon Prislipsky   Sharon Prislipsky
Thanks, Judith...I just love the interpretation you provided! I am glad you are in our group because you think outside the box. That is a valuable asset.   Posted: 07/11/2021 10:23:39

Pamela Hoaglund   Pamela Hoaglund
This is a nice interaction of the two different types of butterflies. I am a bit surprised that the butterfly wings on the right are not sharp as your f stop was f/8 and the butterflies look to be on a fairly close plane. I think I would tone down the bright green in the background just a bit, it is nice bokeh. The out of focus leaves really don't bother me as the focus is on the butterflies. Adding a vignette will help to soften the edges and take more attention off of the leaves.   Posted: 07/13/2021 16:49:47

Ally Green   Ally Green
That is a great capture of the interaction between the butterflies. They appear sharp (although the wing of the Red spotted one appears soft not that it detracts) and in nice light showing off their features. The leaves on the right appear too green for me so i would have toned them down slightly. I like the re-edit.   Posted: 07/14/2021 16:20:20

LC Boros   LC Boros
I like the capture: the adjustments are well done and while the bit of green on the lef does hide some of the wing its not a big issue to me.

You might want to play with the story a bit: one option would be to flip the image so the viewer's eye might surmise the Diana might get pushed off.   Posted: 07/16/2021 00:46:04
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