Wednesday, August 18, 2010

BUTTERFLY X 3

First off, here's my double disclaimer: I admit not a single one of these three shots is any great shakes as a butterfly photo. Also, I'll again confess (sigh!) I don't even know exactly which species of butterfly I've photographed—simply that it's an obviously common swallowtail.
But with that said, I'd like to state firmly that in the top photo, I simply love the spattering of palest blue covering the rearward half of the wings. Why? I have no idea. I just like it. I know, too, it's likely a result of light scattering off individual wing scales. Moreover, I also like the orange splotches and especially the yellow half-moon markings along the wings' outer edges. And I'm rather pleased by the way the bright light rakes across the top of the wings, revealing both wear and their velvety charcoal coloring.
Photo two, of the same butterfly on the same field thistle bloom, is more of a butterfly-as-stained-glass shot—somewhat backlit, and showing the translucence of the delicate wings.
The third shot (same butterfly, same thistle flower) is again backlit, but from a different angle, and reveals the folds and interior structure of the wing, along with their sheerness and delicacy.
I again beseech anyone who is better at identifying butterflies than I—which is doubtless every reader not living on foreign soil—to set me straight on what I've photographed. And in the way of personal news…I'm going to the optometrist again tomorrow, with high hopes that he can use the results of this deplorable fitting—and a possible threat or two from a riverbank hulk—to make one final attempt at a viable prescription.
Wish me luck…
———————

19 comments:

Penny said...

I am wishing you loads of luck.
I too love those photos and the way the light shimmers and skitters across and the back lit ones showing the properties of the veins.
These are a textile workers delight.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Penny…

Sometimes I find the technically better photos aren't my favorites—though I waver between composition, lighting, and overall technical quality. I tend to be really critical, as you might guess. But I like these shots—especially the first one. Glad you do, too.

And thank you for the well wishes tomorrow.

giggles said...

Good luck!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Giggles…

Thank you…God knows I need it!

Bernie said...

Gosh Grizz you are too hard on yourself, these shots are beautiful. I for one think you have done very well to be able to get the angles and colors as you have. I know I do not know anything about photography but I do know when I like something, and I like these photos very much.
......:-)Hugs

Bernie said...

Wishing you much luck tomorrow, xo

Jayne said...

I'm thinking Spicebush Swallowtail...Very pretty indeed!

George said...

Lovely photos, Grizz, and don't worry about the proper name of this particular butterfly; believe me, your beautiful description of the species is more than adequate to command my admiration of this little creature. Best of luck on your visit with the optometrist today!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bernie & Bernie…

You're not the first person who's told me that—and you're probably right. I'm a perfectionist when it comes to anything I care about. One of the hardest lessons for me to learn was to "let go" of an article or other piece of writing—I always want to keep honing and sharpening, tweaking a word or sentence, making it better. A bit of this is a good thing; too much is just useless fiddling.

I find myself up against the same urge in photography…always trying for a better shot. In looking at these butterfly pix on the post page, they do look good; better than I'd expected.

Maybe this comes from the "always wanting more/better" culture of our modern life. I hope I'm not that way. I'm so thankful for all the blessings I have, and I don't want to fail to enjoy those gifts because I'm never satisfied.

I don't think it's wrong to keep trying to do better, to improve…to continue following the path. But I also believe we can find contentment and satisfaction in things along the way. The two ideals aren't mutually exclusive.

Thank you for saying this. I need to have my chain yanked every so often. And thank you for your well wishes re. this afternoon's eye doc visit. I'm hoping one more fitting round will do the trick.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Jayne…

Spicebush swallowtail…hummmm?

You know when I was trying to figure this out before posting the shots, that was the one I kept coming back to—but I couldn't quite convince myself it was the right call. It just doesn't look like the photo in my copy of the Audubon Society's Field Guide to North American Butterflies, which is the only book I have. I DID NOT look at spicebush swallowtail pix on the internet.

Whatever they are, there are hundreds of them in the prairie fields just up the road from the cottage—all feeding on thistle.

BTW, do you have a favorite butterfly guide, or do you just use the internet? Anyway, thanks for the assist.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

George…

Thank you for the comment and well wishes. And you're right—a name is unnecessary to enjoying the photo. (Didn't some old British scribbler once muse something about "a rose by any other name"…?)

I just feel like I'm not quite doing a proper job of things when I can't furnish the name. Plus, I want to know myself. I am conscious, however, of the risk that too much knowledge can take away the magic of a thing or event.

Gail said...

HI GRIZZ_
I sure hope the doc gets it right. Good Lord!! You certainly have been patient, sorta. :-)

I love your butterfly pictures. And what you love about them as well.

I started PT - time will tell.

Love to you my friend
Gail
peace and hope.....

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gail…

Re. eye doc: Me, too! I'm really, really tired and discouraged and frustrated with all this. Tired of seeing double all the time; tired of not being able to read without making print huge; tired of having the ground appear to move under my feet as I'm walking; tired of not being able to focus my camera. Tired, tired, tired.

If I'm lucky, we'll get the next pair right. That will take a week, maybe two, to get them back from the lab. If they're not right, after another week's trial, the notion of progressives gets scrapped and single-vision lenses will be ordered. That will take another week. So a month from now, I may actually be able to see…and maybe sooner. Seems like forever.

I'm pleased you like the butterfly pix. And really glad you've begun your PT. I believe it will help you more than you think, given time. You're just in an emotional valley right now—but there are mountaintops ahead! I know I whine a lot, but life is really what we make of it—and I expect that in spite of our respective issues, we both know we're truly blessed.

Thank you, as always, for all your nice words…and take care of yourself.

Tramp said...

Griz
I share your frustration at problems with eyesight, my optician has booked me in for a cataract operation next month.
I also share your wonder at these lovely creatures. Your descriptions and being able to blow up your shots gives a much better view than when chasing them around the garden or across a meadow. It's just that after I see your shots I want to chase butterflies around the garden or across a meadow even more.
All the best.
...Tramp

Bonnie said...

These may not be shots for a 'butterfly book', but they are certainly ones to display proudly on a wall. I, too, love the spattering of blue dots on the wings in the first shot.

Apart from the subjects and fine composition of your photography, I always am thrilled by your ability to capture light. For me, light is all and I know I will find it in your work.

My goodness, this eye problem has gone on way too long. Time to do as you suggest and flex some muscle with this person. Seems outrageous what he has had you endure. Fingers crossed ...

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Tramp…

I may have to have one of those myself—a cataract surgery, I mean—in the (I hope) distant future. Time will, as they say, tell. But vision woes are a real drag, no matter what the cause, and I'm getting worn down by mine, as I'm sure you are with your.

Maybe we'll both be seeing lots better by October!

I'll happily share my butterflies any time, even if I can't tell you what species, exactly, I'm sharing. I do need to learn more about them, however, get myself a better field guide—or at least learn how to key them down better from the one I have. They are so beautiful flitting about a sunny meadow or prairie field spattered with wildflowers.

You may chase them vicariously here…but the real this is always going to be better. Best, my friend.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bonnie…

I'm so very pleased by your comment on how I capture light. Light is at the very heart of all photography—or at least all good photography.

In many ways, my photos are often more about the capturing of light than they are about subject matter or composition. That's one reason why I like to photograph water.

I'm always conscious of light—it's direction, angle, intensity, color, just as I always try to remain aware of background and how it might affect the overall shot—i.e., does it add a bit of blurred color, enhance contrast, compliment or clash with the composition? Too much background light, including a highlight spot, usually detracts.

Anyway, I'm overjoyed that you like the quality of light in some of my shots; that's a compliment of the first order—thank you!

And FYI, one way or the other (and in the middle of this comment reply, I've spent fifteen minutes talking with the optometrist, after a 90 minute visit to his office this afternoon) my vision issues will get resolved in the next few weeks. We're trying one final progressives fitting, and if that's a no-go, the single-visions will be ordered. (I did tell all the gals at the optometrist's office, after making near-weekly visits there since the last week in May, that we've all become so well acquainted with one another over the months that—at the very least—we ought to start exchanging Christmas cards.)

Bonnie said...

Sorry Grizz - I have to correct you. I do not like the light on 'some' of your shots - I hesitate to use the word 'all' - but if not all, certainly far and away most of your shots. I have really enjoyed your photographs of the 'riverlight'.

Not sure I could be as patient as you have been with your opthamologist. You've dealt with this most of the summer it seems.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bonnie…

Far be it from me to differ with a dear reader giving me a compliment. In all honesty, I know there are a few posted shots (at the very least!) with mediocre light—and I'm being generous.

All the photographers I admire seem to have a distinctive style about their work—an individual "look" if you will, and it has to do with the way they frame, compose, isolate, etc.…but mostly about how they capture light. No two of these sort of photographers will photograph subjects alike. You can tell this fellow's work from that one's at a glance. I want my own "voice," my way of seeing and my personal palette to infiltrate my images, too. So I do truly pay attention to light, and have a certain ideal I favor and strive to incorporate in a good quality image. I'd like to believe the majority of my post shots reflect this standard.

BTW, not so sure it's patience at this point (I made my first visit to the eye doc about the end of May!) so much as bullish Irish determination. Or maybe just hardheaded stupidity? I know I initially violated one of Murphy's First Laws: If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Which is sort of a version of: Dance with who brung ya. But now that I've gotten myself into this mess, I'll try and see it through (probably not the best verb, given the circumstances) to the end, seeing as how I gave my word. But…I didn't say I wouldn't whine!

Again, thank you for your nice words.