Folks I spend most of my waking hours peering through my loupe at tiny, priceless gemstones, cutting the facets with the utmost care and precision and polishing the dazzling stones to a rare lustre so that they may be displayed to the world on NPN.

But sometimes, just sometimes, I chuck the stone on a dirty chair, bash it with a hammer till it’s well-chipped, scratch it up with a wire brush and toss it into my segment which is … Meanwhile…
(apologies Stephen Colbert)

Specific Feedback Requested

I wanted to emphasize this male Parnassius bremeri. I also liked the rock with the butterfly’s shadow. And I wanted to really downplay the BG while still showing the environment.

Technical Details

D500 + 105mm macro 1/4000 f8 ISO 2000 + diffused flash

Selected BG in PS for a B and W adjustment


Great treatment of this, Mike. Is the butterfly landed on something above the rock so that the shadow is separate from the butterfly?

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Mike, I am guessing from your comments that you were attracted to the rock as well, from your background with working with stones and gems. The butterfly is certainly a nice “gem”, and catching his shadow on the rock was a really nice bonus. Normally I would like to see more room for the butterfly to fly, but in this case, to get in close, include all the rock and have his shadow, and get details of the butterfly, it pretty much needed to be this composition. Making everything else monochrome certainly draws attention where it needs to be.

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It was in flight, @David_Bostock - so I felt I had to use the fast ss and high ISO. It has quite graceful and slow wing movements, which helps.

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Compared to butterflies in flight, birds in flight are kindergarten material! This is wonderful, and the shadow is an amazing touch! The processing is suitably unique and fitting for the image. Superbly done!

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Mike: I like everything about this and your thought processes as well. I would also like to see a much tighter crop with the butterfly and shadow and less of the rock . Just a superbly crafted image. >=))>