Another gatekeeper

By CaroleS
Yes I was in the brambles for this one and have the scratches to show for it (serves me right for wearing cropped jeans).

Any hints and suggestions on how I can improve butterfly shots gratefully received.

Best wishes

Tags: General Close-up and macro Gatekeeper Wildlife and nature

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Tibetan 4 3 England
1 Aug 2012 8:35AM
Nice detail good shot like it, regards Leon.GrinGrinGrinGrinGrin

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Richsr Plus
9 91 223 England
1 Aug 2012 8:40AM
Like the good details and colours in this Carole, prehaps worth looking at a crop in from the top of about an inch, will focus you more on the subject.
Regards Richard
fentiger Plus
15 916 23 England
1 Aug 2012 8:50AM
The only suggestion I would make is try (not always easy) to get down to the same level as the butterfly.
This is however a fine detailed and attractive image.

CarolG Plus
9 196 18 Greece
1 Aug 2012 9:01AM
Well captured, Carole, I know just what it's like scrambling through brambles for a photo Smile Carol
Trev_B 9 151 68 England
1 Aug 2012 9:15AM
Lovely detail Carole, I like Richards suggestion re the crop. Try using the grid and applying the rule of thirds to get it eye on or near a thirds intersection. Although it's only a rule and they can be broken if it does not fit the image.

RonnieAG Plus
6 153 116 Scotland
1 Aug 2012 9:51AM
Good strong side lighting helping to show off all the detail.
SUE118 Plus
8 8 1 United Kingdom
1 Aug 2012 10:00AM
6 5.1k 125 United Kingdom
1 Aug 2012 10:02AM
A really beautiful photograph depicting this gorgeous Gatekeeper, so wonderfully filled with natural colours and great detail.

Regards Nathan
Irishkate Plus
6 38 100 United Kingdom
1 Aug 2012 10:13AM
Lovely light on the butterfly and a good diagonal
which would be even better with that suggested crop.
I haven't captured one insect this summer so you're one up!
1 Aug 2012 10:22AM
ohdear ..... scratches for this beauty .... well worth them
1 Aug 2012 10:27AM
The things we do Carole to get the perfect shot Smile Well worth it though Smile Nice capture

7 10 10 England
1 Aug 2012 10:50AM
Think the scratches were worth it Carole - at least it kept still for you to get this beauty.
ringyneck 9 315 18 United Kingdom
1 Aug 2012 10:51AM
Harsh light and brambles........and still you get the shot...nice one.

I used to wear shorts ALL THE TIME....but even in the summer (???) I now keep covered up after something nibbled away at my leg and it swelled right up and was really painful. But I remember getting the shot while it was biting

moiral 6 12 Scotland
1 Aug 2012 11:52AM
Looking at this shot must make the scratches worth it Carole. Beautiful shot. Moira
1 Aug 2012 11:57AM
fine detail light and shadow worth the scratches mefinks!!

achieverswales 6 8 101 Wales
1 Aug 2012 12:53PM
This is excellent Carole, we should be asking you for tips! Several tips above are excellent! Might be good to upload a second image after following advice, one thing to be aware of when scrambling through undergrowth and laying on grass! There are things there like ticks that can cause serious problems, when I go for macro images at Llanelli Wetlands and getting into all sorts of places I wear Stealth Gear Leggings, these can be worn just up to the calf or up to the knee, they protect from stings bites and other nasty things you encounter, they also keep the bottom of your trousers dry, so worth considering.


1 Aug 2012 1:29PM
A great macro.
mikbee 9 3 8 Scotland
1 Aug 2012 1:59PM
You must adopt a more sensible dress code when out shooting butterflies Carole.
To cover the bare flesh showing with your cropped jeans,I suggest a pair of knee length riding boots.
Off course I can understand with you being a woman,you must have the matching accesories too.
I suggest light tan riding britches,frilly white blouse and a red jacket with a black velvet collar.
No need for that silly hat they wear as you will not be taking butterfly shots on horseback.
(But if you do feel like doing that,then by all means do so !!)
taggart Plus
12 47 13 United States
1 Aug 2012 2:28PM
I would love to captureone of these-- brambles aside, do watch out for insects and other nasties!
danbrann Plus
12 624 17
1 Aug 2012 2:44PM
This shot is certainly upto scratch Carole.A superb image.
TrevBatWCC Plus
8 12 10 England
1 Aug 2012 3:08PM
I can't offer any tips, Carole, and if I'd captured a shot as good as this, I'd be really chuffed! Wink
Trev Smile
franken Plus
14 4.0k 4 Wales
1 Aug 2012 3:35PM
Very nice Carole.

I can't help re improving butterfly shots. My entire archives consists of about three usable images of them, they see my coming and flutter away! Sad

andylea 8 37 1 United Kingdom
1 Aug 2012 5:45PM
wonderful comp carole brilliant detail and tones a beauty nice one Wink
canonfan 6 7 United Kingdom
1 Aug 2012 6:21PM
Superb composition Carole and lovely light
1 Aug 2012 6:48PM
Nice light and shade on this one Carole.

John Smile
Lillian Plus
7 22 17 United Kingdom
1 Aug 2012 7:23PM
Beautifully captured Carol
michaelo Plus
10 11 1 United Kingdom
1 Aug 2012 7:51PM
great detail,excellent focus,brilliant colours!!!
1 Aug 2012 8:09PM
Lovely detailed Macro Carole.
pluckyfilly Plus
10 351 33 United Kingdom
1 Aug 2012 8:26PM
WELL! anytime I am poised for a shot and ready to press the shutter the blighter has flown so IMHO you did well - very well indeedSmile
pdcche 6 4 United Kingdom
1 Aug 2012 8:35PM
Nice capture and such detail Carole, Peter..
Maiwand Plus
9 3 72 England
1 Aug 2012 8:44PM
The quality of focus and exposure on the butterfly is superb Carole and it would certainly be worth considering a closer crop there by giving much more emphasis to the 'Keeper which is after all the main subject of the composition. Not much else needed I feel.
pamelajean Plus
10 969 1832 United Kingdom
1 Aug 2012 8:53PM
Some good advice above, Carole.
Since this one was taken under difficult conditions, I wouldn't want to be critical. You have managed to get the head sharply in focus, and that's the important bit. How much depth of field you choose is up to you, whether you want all of the wings in focus or not. With the aperture used here, you have the whole thing in focus, which I like. How much of your background gets diffused will depend on its distance from your subject, but this one looks good.
Continuous shooting is a good option, at least you get something, even if you delete most of them. I have combined this with, firstly, a long shot, creeping closer and closer, shooting all the time, in case the butterfly flies off. Nine times out of ten, I get close enough for the desired shot.
Just a few pointers:-
Try to avoid harsh shadows over your subject and avoid strong light if the butterfly is a light colour.
Position your subject in the frame so that it has room in front of it to "fly into".
Always be aware of your background, which is often forgotten in a panic to get the shot.
Butterflies tend to move around less during the morning and evening.
Try to approach them so your shadow doesn't cover them as they'll tend to fly off in search of a sunnier spot.
Here is an EPZ tutorial you might find useful, and I laughed when I read the first line, "You may end up chasing around after your chosen subject endlessly, getting stung by nettles and covered in all manner of bugs and ruining your clothes with grass stains in the process." Also, I got the last two pointers above from this one, which is very useful. I've just discovered another one here on insects in general, which I also hope you find gives you some hints.
Brian65 7 2 United Kingdom
1 Aug 2012 9:24PM
Lovely shot Carole, sorry no tips, i was going to ask you when you get shots like this.SmileSmileTongueTongueWink
AnnChown Plus
6 199 1 United Kingdom
2 Aug 2012 2:18PM
I certainly can't offer any advice but I'd love to have taken this myself! (I tried yesterday at Wisley with the one (white) butterfly I saw and failed miserably!). Looks as if you have enough advice above - so good luck and I look forward to seeing more! Smile
2 Aug 2012 6:42PM
A beautiful photograph
Glostopcat 10 255 2 England
5 Aug 2012 5:43PM
Terrific detail and colours in this close up Carole, it's always easier to approach butterflies when there is a hint of cloud cover, when it is bright sunshine they are at their most active and most difficult to approach

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