Grizzled Veteran

I indulged myself with a trip to the Mercer Arboretum last week to shoot water lilies but also chased around some butterflies. This old timer was working over a zinnia so I was able to set up with my tripod. He has a decent size notch out of his right wing but was kind enough to hide it behind a petal. All comments welcome. >=))>

Specific Feedback Requested


Technical Details

Sony A77II
Sony 70-400 GII @ 280mm
ISO 400, 1/160 @ f9


I’m so glad that you were able to enjoy a trip to this garden last week. I would love to get to our botanical gardens, but not sure when that will happen. Wonderful capture of this beautiful butterfly on a zinnia. That BG is so nice. The lighter portion is almost like an echo of the BF. That was kind of him to hide his scare! Great shot.

Wonderful subject with a perfect pose and perch. That light on the zinnia is what @Kris_Smith calls lickable!! I’m amazed anything is alive down there with what I’ve seen on the weather reports.

Bill, this is an excellent look at this very worn butterfly. The wing mimicry in the oof green adds a good sense of movement.

Bill, what a great capture! I like the background and the thin light strikes surrounding the butterfly. The BG also provides great contrast with the zinnia color. As for the butterfly itself, the DOF and level of detail are amazing. Not only did you capture the portion of the missing wing section, but we can also see the details on the other wing with those white lines. I especially like the fact you showed us the angle the butterfly is sitting on the zinnia as evidenced by the end of the right wing being soft and out of the focus range. This is one of those images that keeps on giving the more we look at it. Nicely done!


Nothing wrong with taking a photo of a veteran butterfly, especially an orange one perched on a dark purple zinnia. I like this one as presented because it contrasts age against youth. And sometimes old things are just as good or better than new things…Jim