Life Stages

I was pleased to capture this photo of an adult Monarch sitting on swamp milkweed that appears to be checking on the status of a well-developed caterpillar. The circle of life.

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 Zoom @ 210mm, f/8, 1/500 sec., ISO 1600, Hand Held. Processed in Canon DPP and PSE 2020 for exposure, color, and shake reduction. I also applied haze removal to the overall photo.

If you would like your image to be eligible for a feature on the NPN Instagram (@NaturePhotoNet), add the tag ‘ig’ and leave your Instagram username below.

Wow, Terry, what a nice “circle of life” capture. Really nice find and capture. To me, the greens are a bit over saturated, at least on my screen. They are both a bit close to the edge, but not that bad. A great find and capture.

1 Like

Thanks, Shirley. I totally agree with your assessment of the greens. You wouldn’t believe how many ways I tried to tone those down. Perhaps a luminosity mask would work, but I’m not proficient with masks, yet!

Terry, I’m not proficient with mask either, so don’t know if that is the direction to go. I also use different software than you, so not able to advise on editing in them either. This may help on future shots, I don’t know, but I leave my cameras on “Cloudy” for WB most of the time, and I shoot everything in RAW. When I bring the images into LR, the colors are almost good enough before editing. I add a bit of contrast, and sometimes I have to tweak selectively on, say the butterfly, to give it a bit of contrast and not the rest of the image. I think Adobe Camera RAW is a free downloadable program, and it works like LR in many ways, from what I have heard. I wish you the best, because this shot is well worth saving. Maybe someone else has some advice for editing this one.

1 Like

Terry, this is a fine look at how all stages of the Monarch love Swamp Milkweed, although the adult is just resting. (I just don’t like it when the caterpillars eat the flowers… :laughing:) On my monitor (uncalibrated, unfortunitely), the greens don’t look bad, maybe a bit dark. When the greens start to glow, the first step is to reduce the yellow, but that cat. is not overly yellow.

1 Like

Thanks, Mark. I’m willing to sacrifice all aspects of my milkweed to watch these beautiful and fascinating creatures. :grin: I agree that the greens don’t necessarily look bad as far as tint is concerned, but they ARE dark. That’s because there were many bright spots on the bottom of the photo and I tried to tone them down by using a gradient to make the background darker. It isn’t bad, but it could probably be better. Anyway, thanks, again for your comments and observations.

Hi Terry, this is a very nice “in the garden” image which tells a wonderful story. Well seen and captured!

Yes, indeed. A perfect picture of the life cycle of the butterfly. Wonderfully captured. The bright green in the background seems a little strong to me. Sort of detracts from the focus on the butterfly. I also wonder if the caterpillar could be highlighted some to make it stand out more. Super image, though.

1 Like

Thanks, Allen. I appreciate your comments.

Hi, Chris. Thank you for your comments. The greens could definitely be better, and I tried to make them so but never could get exactly what I wanted. I did selectively work on the caterpillar and brighten it some, but didn’t want to overdo it. However, I could easily go back and brighten it more.

Terry, This picture tells a the story of the butterfly. It is hard to get all the colors even when the background is not lighted evenly. Agree with Chris on highlighting the caterpillar to make it stand out. There is one bright area yellowish green under the butterfly that can put the attention back on the butterfly. Agree with you and others in lightening the dark greens. This worth keeping, as I have never come across bot the butterfly and the caterpillar in the same plant, let alone having them in the same frame.

Terry: A great “before and after” shot. Color issues aside this is a great find and a fine comp and capture. Nicely done. >=))>

Thanks much, @ravi and @Bill_Fach. I’m still trying to tweak that background to see if I can make it more pleasing.