Jan 3, 2011

Monarch Butterfly Macro Photograph

During a recent photography trip down to South-West Florida and a stroll through the streets of Naples my daughter discovered a beautiful monarch butterfly feeding on the nectar of some milkweed flowers. The Danaus Plexippus was very patient and a willing photographic object. At one short moment the butterfly turned towards the camera and looked straight into it. Unfortunately I was not quite ready to release the shutter and missed that shot. I am still wondering though why the monarch did not take off when I moved in closer and closer ... was he sick, lost or exhausted from a long migration? I wish I had spent more time but two ladies were already waiting in line to take their pics. Nonetheless I was able to secure three hand-held macro photography frames. For this close-up photograph I choose a f/5.6 aperture that provided sufficient depth of field. The polarizer saturated colors and eliminated distracting reflections in the image. While reducing the incoming light it made it more difficult to hand-hold the camera. As a solution I adjusted the ISO50 to an ISO100 setting which enhanced the exposure time to 1/100 second. In the post-processing I removed dust spots, applied minor lighting and color saturation settings. I also selected a tighter frame by cropping the image before sharpening.