Both Sides Now

Critique Style Requested: Standard

The photographer is looking for generalized feedback about the aesthetic and technical qualities of their image.


Every year I like to see Parnassius bremeri in Korea. This May I found a newly-emerged male that I thought could be shown in close-up, with its splendid red spots on display. It gripped a reed which I held, while I shot it with the other hand.

Specific Feedback

I used both “sides” of the aperture, the first very small to get depth for all those hairs, the second pretty large to blur the BG more. Any preferences?

Technical Details

1: 1/60 f22 ISO 1600 diffused flash
2: 1/500 f8 ISO 1600 diffused flash

Minor cropping/canvas adding - Denoise and tonalities adjusted in PS

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Another gorgeous butterfly to drool over. You guys are making me jealous. And two views, nice. Was he still drying out so was staying so still for you? What an opportunity. Is this from the butterfly guy? Do I recall you babysitting them at some point?

Anyway…I prefer the one with more DOF so that I can see more of the butterfly itself - what a fuzzy little guy. Is it still chilly at night when these guys emerge? Maybe that’s why the fur coat. Whatever the purpose, I really like the contrast with the smooth, satiny wings. And what wings they are. They almost look transparent in places. When they are so young and pristine it’s hard to imagine the beating they take over the course of their lives. Hardy little souls.

Oh what a beauty, Mike. And love that you got both sides of him. The red spots show up nicely in both views. I love the hairy body that really shows up in the first one. Never saw a butterfly like this one that I can recall. So glad that you were able to capture these shots. On the first one, did you crop it? Just wondering if you have more space at the top to give him a bit more room. Not a big deal, but I was thinking if you could crop a little off the bottom and add some at the top that it might improve this already excellent shot. Very nice. We haven’t gotten much in the way of butterlies yet. Hopefully soon.

Wow!! Wonderful views, and you were holding the stick while holding the camera? With a flash on it? Heroic!! I like the more diffused BG in the second one, but certainly can’t fault it in the first one. I love the details and poses you captured!

An idle thought – I wonder if you could slightly increase exposure in the second and reduce the luminance of the greens to more closely match the lighting on the first?

No @_Kris , that was someone else. This species was in a very wild part of Korea, beside a scree where its Sedum larval foodplant grows. It had newly eclosed, and so was very approachable,and I had to move it with great care. The thoracic hairs are used to feel and sense their surroundings, rather than to keep warm.

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Thanks @Shirley_Freeman and @Diane_Miller for your comments. I’ve altered both photos a bit following your suggestions.

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