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Showing posts 1 - 11 of 11, (reverse)
03/20/2006 06:53:07 PM · #1
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I never thought this picture was perfect (far from it), but I'm just curious why it did so averagely. Focus is fairly sharp around the body, but yes, the wing tips are missing due to the DoF.

Was quite pleased with this, and especially with the colours from PP with the purple richness in there, but with only 4 comments I'm not really sure where I went wrong? I fully take on the focus comment, but is there anything else wrong with it?

Help me take better butterfly photos please!

03/20/2006 07:07:41 PM · #2
Hi Jamie
Apart from the obvious with the wing tips I think it's a nice shot, maybe the blown out areas on the leaf and the background may detract a little and the fact that it is a butterfly.....they don't seem to do well unless it's in a macro or insect challenge. In this particular shot i feel the background stands out as much as the butterfly - macro shots really need to "pop" and DOF is critical. I entered one in the mother challenge but totally missed the point according to the voters. I was depicting mother nature but they didn't look outside that circle. I have a couple in my portfolio you may want to check out. Keep at it !
03/21/2006 05:03:42 AM · #3
Thanks for that Lisa, you've got some great shots in your portfolio by the way!
03/21/2006 05:25:53 AM · #4
hi - I can tell you this, I have no recognition of the book you reference. You'll notice that two of the three ribbon winners used very well known, popular culture references. Using a butterfly for a book titled "butterfly" seems too easy and kind of like a shoe-in. You might have lost points for that.
03/21/2006 06:20:28 AM · #5
I think, despite this being a perfectly good and well executed picture, it lacks the extra little edge to it that the winners have. I think also you're in the same boat as me with the pictures - often I come out feeling very satisfied with me entry but it never gets very far up the ratings, which can be a blow to the ol' confidence. My advice, and this is something I need to do too, is to look carefully at recent challenge winners and see what they do to get there. Read the comments and take in their comments as advice for your own photography. Most of all, enjoy it, and good luck!

[edit- typo]

Message edited by author 2006-03-21 06:20:59.
03/29/2006 03:01:52 PM · #6
You met the challenge, that's why.

03/29/2006 03:27:40 PM · #7
My $.02

I donít think itís very sharp, it actually looks pretty soft to me for this type of shot. Also, the angle you used is pretty vanilla and the background is distracting, not to mention the white hot spots.

Yes itís a pretty photo that meets the challenge, but compared to other butterfly photos Iíve seen here I consider this one pretty average. I would have scored it a 5, maybe a 6 if I was in a really good mood. Thus, I think the 5.5 is a good score for this photo.

03/29/2006 03:34:33 PM · #8
It's a nice photo. Decent technicals. Looking at the scoring breakdown, MOST votes were 5's and 6's.

Now why is that? Because, it's a good photo, so it can't be counted down on technicals, it did meet the challenge, so not many DNMC votes. Also, nothing offensive, so no kill it votes..

BUT, it lacked pop to get a high number of high votes. It doesn't stick out. If you look through ribbon shots, they have a LOT in common - a wow factor.

It's usually something that just makes the voter stop and stare.

03/29/2006 03:38:19 PM · #9
What megryan said. Also, the image could be even sharper especially around the inner parts of the wing that you do have in focus. I think some selective smart sharpening (CS2) would help as well as a slight boost in saturation in the wings or a desaturation of the background. As megryan said the background due to the bright color really does take a lot of the focus away from this nice photo you took of the butterfly.
03/29/2006 03:46:56 PM · #10
Here is a very quick touchup of your photo (hope you don't mind) that tries to reduce the effects of the background.


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Using selective color on just the background I brought down it's bright color so to make the butterfly stand out more. I also applied some smart sharpening and a slight color boost to the wings to make it pop more. Anyway, thought I show for illustration.

Message edited by author 2006-03-29 15:47:57.
03/29/2006 04:25:14 PM · #11
Originally posted by Jamester:

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Considering that the site defines "10" as just "good", I understand how you are disappointed in that score. Voters, who in general seem to take other things so literally, have never grasped that concept... myself included. But I am working on an attitude readjustment. :)

Not to worry, yours is a good picture.

Except for the score, I agree with what Louddog says. Your picture reminds me a lot of an image I entered in a challenge. Both have lighter colored soft focused backgrounds.

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It managed a 6.5. Here are some differences I think that got mine a higher score. First, the butterfly is bigger. Always highlight an image's best features. For example, through cropping I was able to turn a shallow DOF defect into a compositional asset by removing most of the excess fuzz and using the remaing DOF to direct attention to the centered and focused butterfly "face". Also notice the face is sharp as a tack and a good profile. Another technical thing I did was to carefully removed all the haloing around the face and antennae.

I particualarly liked how the lighter colored soft background contrasted with the butterfly "face" giving it further definition. That is a lot like yours only I emphasized it more through cropping. A huge difference is that I'm much closer. In fact, I was less than 1 inch from the butterfly when I took the macro shot. The key to butterfly photography, I believe, is patience and taking hundreds of pictures trying to get as close as you can. My entry came from a batch of about 300. Getting the eyes in sharp focus is a must and pictures from beneath opened wings look really good.

Here are some on my butterfly pictures: Steve's PBase butterfly gallery

Good luck with your butterfly photography

Message edited by author 2006-03-29 16:32:23.
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