Butterfly Photo, posted 2012-08-23

Why Did I Post This Image? – In posting this image and explaining why, I am probably going to show my ignorance when it comes to the world of butterflies, and insects and amphibians and many other areas.  I probably won’t be using terms that are technically correct and I definitely won’t be moving into the world of genus and species or even common names for either the butterfly or the plant where it has lit.

Instead, I’m going to spend a few seconds thinking about why I like this photo.  This is one of many images I have taken this summer at the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House.  Many of those photos are probably more technically correct with better focus throughout or the rule of thirds applied, or with no stray objects to catch the viewers attention.  Others include more details about the butterfly with the wings open, or the butterfly filling the full frame, of something closer to macro within the limitations of equipment that I have.

Still, I really like this photo.  I don’t know that there is any one thing that makes me like it but I think is is a combination of several things.  I like the color contrasts – the green background, the bright purple flowers (I had the eight crayon box, so they are purple to me), the almost solid black butterfly with just a teasing hint of orange and white.  I like the fact that I can see the butterfly’s face fairly clearly.  I can see his tongue (definitely not the correct technical term) extended into the flower.  I can see his eyes and his legs are clear and in focus.  If I look at the end of one of his antennae (another non-technical term), I can see what appears to be a trace of color there.

Do I wish his wings were open? Of course, but there might be trade offs.  What if his wings are damaged or not symmetrical?  What if the colors were more subdued than this photo leads me to suspect?  Part of what the partially open wings do is allow my imagination to paint the full spread the way it should be, not necessarily the way it is.  Do I wish the flowers took up more of the photo, perhaps just the butterfly on the purple flowers with the only green around the edges?  I don’t think I would like that as well, but others might.

A few days ago on my Facebook site, I posted a photo of a whitetail deer that appeared to be sticking his tongue out at me when I took the shot.  I explained that from a technical perspective it was a really bad photo – slightly blurry, bad background, distracting foreground, etc. – and that I posted it only because of the humorous expression.  The photo ended up getting more positive comments than negative and several people really liked the photo – much better than some of my more technically correct images of deer in the same area.  The same could probably be said for this photo – I really like it, even with any technical limitations, but others may find it less to their liking.  To me, that’s okay.  I enjoy reading honest feedback and recognize that not everyone shares the same taste in photos, cars, where we live, and almost everything else.

So why did I post this photo?  Really it is pretty simple — I like it.  At least, I like it today.

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