Butterfly on Aster



Last night Typhoon Henry ripped through our garden in the south of Korea. Taller plants were damaged, but the low-growing asters were unharmed. This was good, because now is the time of year when butterflies come to feed on them. This Limenitis doerriesi seldom visits, preferring the wild areas, but it couldn’t resist the nectar on offer.

Specific Feedback Requested

This was my first shoot with a second-hand Helios 44-2 58mm f2 manual focus lens,mounted on the D500 with an adapter. Does the foreground flower upstage the butterfly a bit, or does it help to frame it?

Technical Details

D500 + Helios 44-2 58mm 1/8000 f2 ISO 500

Toned down the Highlights in PS. Curves and a little Sharpen.


Well I’m glad there is still something left for them. I don’t miss hurricanes even though they weren’t that strong by the time they got to New Hampshire.

I’d cut a bit off the leading edge at the bottom. Especially the curl of petals in the lower right. I think you could crop up to about 1/2 of the yellow part of the biggest OOF flower. The stem on the side is also a bit of an eye-magnet, but I don’t know if you could crop it successfully.

Hi. Nice shot and glad you made it through the hurricane.

As for photo critique, I think is a nice and sharp shot, but I agree with Kristen. The sharp(er) part in the lower right corner is a bit distracting. The yellow center of the flowers forms a rather strong diagonal line with the stalk/bud in the background making the eye wander past the very nice butterfly a bit rather than stopping.

Maybe crop out the lower right corner as suggested and if that type of “manipulation” is OK with you try inpainting on the stalk in the background. It’s surrounded by blur so should not be too hard to get rid of. That would make the line end at the butterfly and not move on to the background stalk. Reducing the saturation on the yellow parts might also help in making the butterfly the star of the show.

That being said it’s a nice shot and I really like the little easter egg bug on the left side of the middle aster.

Mike, so glad to hear that you are safe from the storm.

You captured a nice shot with good detail in the BF. I agree with the others about the distractions and wonder if maybe you could even go vertical with this? You might would have to clone or darken down the green stem/leaf that would then be feeding in at the top, but I think it might show off the beautiful BF with that composition. Just a thought. Otherwise, if it were mine I might would try a vegnette and darken/blur the bud and stem at top left a bit to keep it from drawing attention. I don’t think I have ever seen this butterfly before, it is a real beauty and works well with the flowers it is on.

Mike, I like what you’re trying to do here, with the diagonal elements soft, sharp, and soft. I do think that both the foreground soft parts and the background soft part need to be toned down to let the bf be visually dominant. I’d suggest, desaturation of the yellows and some additional burning-in of the oof areas. It would also be good to clone out the bright stem bit in the llc. The butterfly is a beauty with its nice clean orange and white lines.

Many thanks @Kris_Smith @Mark_Seaver @Shirley_Freeman and @Ingemar_Holmkvist . I’ve acted on your comments; the crop seemed to fall naturally into another square. I prefer the rework, especially as it reduces the number of bright colours. (The butterfly should be sharper - put that down to my unfamiliarity with this super lens!).

I had to look this one up. Looks interesting and I’m sure you’ll gain proficiency with practice. Manual lenses take some getting used to if you’ve only used autofocus. After a few years I could put my camera down in front of something with my old Olympus 90mm macro and get it pretty close to dead on focus. It was because I knew the lens, the working distance and how big or small the subject would be in the frame. Anyway…I really like the new version - superb!

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Mike, I like what you did here. Nice improvement.

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