Photo of the Week 96 - Cramer Imaging - Quality Fine Art Photography
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Cramer Imaging

Photo of the Week 96

Photo of the Week 96
Fridays in the summertime mean that we get to show you something special.  It means we can show you some of our favorite wildlife photos as our featured "Photo of the Week."  This week, we have chosen to display this photograph of a butterfly on a wildflower for your viewing pleasure.

The story behind this photo starts with a Boy Scout camp-out we did with our 11 year old scouts.  We went up the Mink Creek area for the camp.  There was a lot of scenery there which I had not seen before.  I planned to return with my camera and without a bunch of early adolescent boys to keep track of.

When the day came, it was terribly bright and direct sunlight.  I was disappointed when it came to most of my photos for that reason.  However, I decided to try and make the best of it and stretch some of my photographer's creative muscles in the process.

I noticed lots of insects were out.  There were some particularly nice butterflies out which I tried getting photos of.  Thanks to their size, these butterflies can fly for long distances and periods of time.  They are also downright fast.  I didn't get that shot.

I also noticed some smaller butterflies which were landing much more frequently.  I decided that they were my best bet for the insect photography I was trying for.  I went to work with my macro lens.  This was not a time for a tripod as the insects kept moving a lot.  I tried shot after shot to get the butterflies in focus on the flowers.  Many times it was in futility.  But this shot was not.

I was almost done with trying for a decent portfolio-worthy shot when I decided to try this last group of butterflies.  They were staying on the flowers long enough to try for a photo or two.  It was hot so I didn't want to try much longer and my water supply was getting low.

I crouched down and adjusted my distance from the flowers so that everything would be in focus.  I considered trying a deep depth of field to get more of the butterflies in focus since they kept crawling out of focus.  However, I wanted to create that isolation from the background which can only come from a shallow depth of field.  Besides, the shutter speed necessary for that deep depth of field would have resulted in motion blur thanks to my hand-holding the camera.

I snapped a series of photos with the butterflies, both single butterfly shots and in groups, and then called it a day.  I was hot and tired of the sun.  I also hoped to avoid a sunburn.

When I got back home and started processing my photos, I was delighted to see that I had nailed this shot.  Most of the rest of the butterflies suffered from focus issues.  However, the back side of this butterfly is in crisp focus along with parts of the flower.  It was just as I was hoping for with this shot.

Cramer Imaging's professional quality nature insect photograph of small orange and black butterfly on wildflower in Caribou National Forest, Bannock, Idaho