Eastern Giant Swallowtail

I posted another image of this butterfly some time ago, and was asked if I caught an image without a leaf crossing her lower wing. I’m ust now getting around to looking, and discovered this one. Giant Swallowtail on Swamp Milkweed.

What technical feedback would you like if any? Any

What artistic feedback would you like if any? Any

Pertinent technical details or techniques: Canon 60D, Canon 70-300mm IS USM @ 10mm, f/8, 1/750 sec., ISO 2000, Shot in Av mode, Hand Held. Processed in Canon DPP and PSE 2020 for exposure, color, and cropping.

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That is one beautiful butterfly, Terry, and so glad you did get a shot without a leaf covering part of his wing. I really love the back lighting shining through the wings. I hate to be picky, but I wish the tiny bright spot on at the edge on the bottom, the leaf coming into the frame on the bottom right, and the stem coming into the frame near the bottom on the right are a bit of a distraction. I’m not sure if cropping a bit from the bottom and right enough to remove those distractions would be cutting the frame in too close to the flower, especially the bottom. Maybe even a square frame? I would try to do it myself (and may get to later) but my husband (whom I am caregiver of, is in need of some assistance from me). Another thought would be to vignette. It is a fine image, even as presented, but was thinking that maybe removing those distractions, in my opinion, would improve it even more. Excellent shot.

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Please, be picky! I can probably clone those out of the photo, Shirley. I neglected to mention I did clone one small leaf out at the bottom. I’ll work on it and see what I can do. I’m sorry to hear about your husband. That is one tough job for you. I wish you both well.

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Beautiful colors and composition on this Terry.

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Thank you, Dean! I truly appreciate it!

Hi Terry, beautiful image. A species I rarely see much less photograph. Nice pose and I like the composition including the full flower head. Agree that removing the leaf blade in LRC would be a slight improvement. The butterfly seems a bit soft to me - was this a large crop or NR run over the butterfly?

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Thanks, Allen. The crop wasn’t particularly large, so I’m guessing NR removal is to blame.

Terry: Great capture of this beauty. A little clean up on that LRC would make an A+ image A+++ but this is terrific as is. Well done. >=))>

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Thanks, Bill. I’m going to continue to work on it as I learn more about Photoshop.

Terry, this is a great look at both the Swamp Milkweed and the Giant Swallowtail. The colors show very well, as they remain subtle and true to life. The variety of colors in the background add even more.

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Thanks, Mark. I was fortunate to have decent lighting and equally fortunate this butterfly sat still for so long a time. Thanks for your comments.

What a gorgeous capture! I’m late to the party, and before reading the comments my first thought was to subdue the two bright leaves on the right, and the tiny tip poking in from the right. It sounds like you’re new to PS so I would suggest that cloning would be best for the bottom one, as it has soft edges that would be tricky to select. The top one could be selected with the Quick Selection tool. Then hit the “Q” key to see the selection as a red overlay and use a small brush to clean it up – “black” to paint in red, “white” to erase the red. Feather the edges to match the softness of the leaf. Then hit Q to go back to the selection. Or feather the edges at this stage with the menu items Select > Modify > Feather and go back and forth with the Q key to see if it looks right. Then with the selection in place make a new adjustment layer to subdue the leaf – probably Brightness and Contrast is easiest. Then if needed go back and click on the mask on the adjustment layer and tweak it further with the brushes.

An alternative, if this is too daunting, would be to crop from the right. Since the flower is soft and the butterfly is such a strong subject, I wouldn’t mind having a half flower.

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Thanks! Better late than…blah, blah. You know the rest! Wow! Great detailed instructions. I’ll give it a shot!