Back Modifications (2)
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Small tortoiseshell butterfly

By landscapepics  
This was my first serious attempt to photograph butterflies. I had noticed a lot of butterflies at this location and returned a week later with a macro lens.

Tags: Close-up and macro Wildlife and nature Butterfly tortoiseshell

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


CathR 11 151 564 United Kingdom
11 Aug 2010 10:22AM
The butterfly has come out well here. Lovely colours. It could bear a bit more sharpening though to really bring it to life - see mod. I have applied usm at about 70%, radius 0.8 and threshold 3.

The background is a bit bright and busy though and tends to compete for attention with the butterfly. In my mod I have appplied the sponge tool in desaturation mode just to damp down the background colours a bit.

You have done very well with the butterfly, particularly as this is your first attempt. It's now a question of getting the right background and I am sure you will have some stunning shots.

Best wishes


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landscapepics 7 15 3 United Kingdom
11 Aug 2010 10:55AM
Thanks Cath for that really helpful feedback. I need to learn more about sharpening so will give it a try.
Jestertheclown 9 7.7k 252 England
11 Aug 2010 11:51PM
As Cath has said, the butterfly looks good.
I've taken a totally different approach to the background though. I wasn't so concerned with keeping things looking real, although I've got one somewhere that really did come out like this.
I've lassoed the butterfly and sharpened it, usm @100% radius 0.5 threshold 2 (or until it looked about right!).
Then inverted the lasso and darkened the background using levels and contrast.
Reduced the saturation a bit and added gaussian blur @ 2px., I think.
The butterfly's antennae got blurred etc. along with the background. Given more time, I'd make sure that didn't happen, or at least, rescue them!


paulbroad 10 123 1249 United Kingdom
12 Aug 2010 2:35PM
A Small Tourtoishell and very well shown. Nice composition and your version is very natural. I find the background sufficiently unsharp to be quite acceptable.

I think the point here is, is this pictorial, or natural history record. For me, if it is the first, mods are good, if the latter, leave it alone.

Jestertheclown 9 7.7k 252 England
12 Aug 2010 2:48PM

Quote:I think the point here is, is this pictorial, or natural history record. For me, if it is the first, mods are good, if the latter, leave it alone.

A very valid point Paul.

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