Saturday, August 15, 2009

Butterfly in a depth of field - Critters

How to capture this image

Critters



Can anyone identify this butterfly? Not a clue this end. As you can see by it's wings the poor thing is a little worse for wear, quite small and flat, dull brown throughout. Can't tell you what the underside of the wing looked like as the little blighter never flipped or fluttered for me. Also at quite a distance so this isn't a macro image. That though leads me onto what kind of image we would call this, and that would be use of depth of field, or as you may often see it abbreviated to dof.

It sounds far more scary and technical than it actually is. Not at all. If you were viewing this image with your own eyes rather than through my lens then your eyes and brain would adjust the sharpness and clarity of everything you see in the frame, so all would be in focus. With depth of field all you are doing is concentrating focus onto one point. In this case the butterfly. As the eyes move back through the image and around it you will notice the softening or blurring(usually referred to as soft focus) of the leaves, giving a 3D effect to the photo. Easily done. As I was at a distance I just adjusted the lens until I got the desired focal point for the butterfly. Needless to say this was on a manual setting. You can do this on any part of the image, but one thing you must get right is the sharp focus on the subject. If you don't get that right then the image will just be flat and blurry throughout. Easier to demonstrate and more dramatic on two opposing colours, but chose a nature image with muted colours as it's a shot often used in nature photography.


A while since we've had photography tips on the blog, but this is a question I get asked a lot, so there you go. Quite a sensible post for me too. Now go and practice and remember people I want results or you could just go and click Misty to see more cute critters.

44 comments:

Gaelyn said...

Nice capture. Good tip. Not sure I even know how to do that with my P&S, if it's possible. Yet always like suggestions.

Teena in Toronto said...

Great camouflage!

I played too :)

Anonymous said...

Not gone yet then? No I don't know what it is.

magiceye said...

thank you so much for the excellent tip!

storyteller said...

I don't know what it's called, but I did enjoy your 'capture' here. Thanks for the tip ;--)
Hugs and blessings,

Cezar and Léia said...

Fabulous picture!
Happy camera Critters
purrs and love
Luna

Faye Pekas said...

I don't know the names of butterflies but this one sure blends in.

Hootin' Anni said...

I only know two kinds when I see them...the monarch and the swallowtail. Sorry I can't be of any help...photo is marvelous, tho.

My Critter is a bit buggy this week. Come see. Happy Saturday.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Beautiful, well-camouflaged butterfly!

It looks a little like a cabbage butterfly to me.

Reader Wil said...

Your butterfly is lovely. Even if it's not macro or close-up, but you can call it a real far-up! I shall try and remember your tips on photography!

Rambling Woods said...

Thank you for the visit and this information, It is greatly appreciated. Have you checked out this site for your butterfly? UK Butterflies. I can't help on this one...Michelle

Snap said...

Thanks for the tip. I have no idea what kind of butterfly this is.

mannanan said...

I love this image of a "RINGLET" butterfly which is widespread in Britain, Ireland and as far as South Scotland, and can be found in grassy places. It has smoky-brown wings, darker on males than females, with variable numbers of small eyespots. Caterpillars feed on various grasses. Thanks for the tip Babooshka. Hope you and Gary have a brill holiday.

April said...

Pretty butterfly. Not one that I know however.

Your photography tutorials are very helpful with very interesting tips.

Sylvia K said...

What a lovely shot, Babooshka! I don't know which one it is, but it is well camouflaged! Always appreciate your photo tips, as new at this as I am, I can use all the help available.

Enjoy!

Sylvia

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Babooshka: What a neat shot of the butterfly and so glad you got an ID.

i beati said...

a bit of camouflage there sandy

wildcatwoodscats said...

Great tip and photo.

Cheri (of WNC Mountains)

JD and Max said...

Hi - nice photo! We have a lot of butterflies in the UK this year and we like to chase them! They're fun to play with - but we've been very good and haven't eaten any yet! (Our humans watch us to make sure....he he!) Schnauzer snuggles - JD and Max.

Brad, Boston said...

Maybe you could help us guys out when you go away. Photography tips posts? What do say.

jay said...

Nice shot, even though you couldn't get close!

I learned about depth of field in my photography classes when doing the C&G. It's a long time ago now, but I still use that info, more than anything else, I think.

On a point and shoot, you can sometime use the Macro setting for a short DOF, it often works at longer range too, depending on your camera. Or, you can zoom in, because that will 'telescope' things for you.

I was thinking perhaps a male Meadow Brown, but Ringlet could well be right, too!

Pam said...

Thanks for sharing your photography secrets. I am learning so much through reading tips on other's blogs.
Not sure what kind of butterfly it is though.

JM said...

The LinkWithin is also showing some amazing butterflies too!

marley said...

No idea on the butterfly (a grubby flapper?!)

Anyway, great photo great tips.

Pam said...

Thanks for the tips. Always enjoy your critter photos.

Tammy said...

I almost didn't see it at first. Very cool and thanks for the tips! :o)

Jacob said...

Nicely done, Babooshka. I have no clue as to what kind of butterfly that is, but I've seen a number of different kinds in our yard and some of them are literally "moth-eaten." Like this one, their wings seem to have been in a fight and lost!

Samantha ~ Holly and Zac ~ said...

Lovely shot, nice looking butterfly, whatever it is.
Thanks for the tip. :-)

Thank you for your comments on my blog. :-)

Anna said...

I don't know what kind of butterfly it is, but I enjoy looking at it.

Ladynred said...

It's beautiful catch! I don't what kind of butterfly is that!

Tranquility said...

Wow - he is really blending well into his surroundings! Clever little guy!

Greyscale Territory said...

Love the graduated tint in this butterfly's wings! For me, quite different from the sharp contrast of colour I would normally see (like bright orange and black)!

January said...

Hi! nice photos here.. I love your site and I even added you as one of the blogs i followed. I'm new in photography, and I hope you can drop by my site and post some comments on my shots.. thanks.. http://faeriejan.blogspot.com/

chicamom85 said...

Beautiful. Please come and play a game with Sasha

Anne and Sasha
http://chicamom85-sassysasha.blogspot.com/

mimi said...

gorgeous brown butterfly.

Minie said...

fantastic shot.

BarkerBitesBack said...

I'm pretty sure it's a Meadow Brown that has lost almost all it colour plates, which is sadly what happens with they're about to drop off the twig.

Babooshka said...

Drop off the twig. Oh dear. Looks like you have got it again.

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Thanks for the tips. The butterfly is so well camouflaged it makes me wonder how you spotted it. Well done!

Rocky Mountain Retreat said...

I could barely see it at first when it popped onto the screen but then that's just me but yeh, there it was. It's really nice and perhaps with your tip, I can be more confident with photographing insects cause normally I don't...
Take care...
~Michele~

Joy said...

Butterfly looks almost exactly like the leaves it's perching in!

Oskar said...

That butterfly has a wonderful camoflage!

Bim said...

I love this green chap on the green foliage.

Mojo said...

Just a couple of additions (if I may). Autofocus isn't out of the question here, depending on the lens you're using (aperture and focal length play a role here too after all). But in this case -- with such subtle differences in contrast -- manual is a better bet. Autofocus works best on high contrast scenes, so it would be hunting all over the place trying to figure out what the hell you're trying to shoot. And in the process trying to balance everything and probably getting nothing. Likewise, you'll probably want to set the aperture manually using either the full-manual or Av mode.

Cool shot however you got it!

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