Alane Shoemaker  

Graceful Monarch Butterfly by Alane Shoemaker

November 2023 - Graceful Monarch Butterfly

About the Image(s)

Not only did I take a plethora of photos of bees pollinating the lovely flowers in the striking garden on Lake Leelanau, Michigan, of my sister-in-law and brother, but also I was able to take several of the fleeting monarch butterflies. I edited this image in Photoshop, Topaz Studio, and Lightroom and did my best to highlight the butterfly by choosing to lighten the background of the blue water.

Here I used my Nikon Z 50 camera with a NIKKOR Z DX 18-140mm f/3.5-6.3 VR lens (f/7.1, 1/1600 sec, ISO 400)

This round’s discussion is now closed!
6 comments posted

Neal R. Thompson, M.D.   Neal R. Thompson, M.D.
This is very attractive. The sharpness, color and contrast are well handled. Another way of looking at the image might be to cut out the lower third. It would accentuate the butterfly better but it might not be a better image.   Posted: 11/11/2023 10:11:43
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Murphy Hektner   Murphy Hektner
Hi Alane: A very well done picture in all aspects of the flower and butterfly, The two lower down flowers and surrounding leaves fit in perfectly to complete the nature story. The soft lighting on the plant with the lightened out of focus water background certainly works well. Great Work!   Posted: 11/16/2023 00:17:57

Charles Ginsburgh   Charles Ginsburgh
Let me echo the comments made earlier. A very attractive and effective image. I do like the choices you made in regard to the background. As I look at the image though, I get a sense of a softness or of a slight blur and/or halo around the entire plant. In looking closely, I see that surrounding the entire plant stems and blooms there are a lot of pixels the bleed over into the background. I think that these pixels are contributing to the effect I see. I am wondering if when you selected the background in your processing, these are left over from that effort. When these pixels are removed, the image this effect disappears, and the image appears much cleaner. I might also suggest sharpening the image slightly and perhaps adding a sling vignette to pull our viewing eyes into the center of this great image. I have attached a version which illustrates my thoughts. Can you tell that a vignette has been added? It is very subtle here, but if I were to turn it off and on, you would notice the effect it has.   Posted: 11/16/2023 12:52:17
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Alane Shoemaker   Alane Shoemaker
Charlie, thank you so much for the recommendations and the illustrated version. The subtle vignette and your other changes improve the image.   Posted: 11/30/2023 20:42:14

Priscilla Farrell   Priscilla Farrell
Hi Alane, Very nice floral image just as seen in nature. The butterfly is a bonus addition. I like the background blue of the water. To my eye everything is sharp and in focus. I do see a spot of brightness on the right side of the frame near the long stem of the flower underneath the butterfly. Good work. Refreshing!   Posted: 11/19/2023 12:37:01
Alane Shoemaker   Alane Shoemaker
Priscilla, I see the spot to which you are referring. Thanks!   Posted: 11/30/2023 20:43:25