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Chasing Butterflies/Scotch Argus

Chasing Butterflies/Scotch Argus
Photo Information
Copyright: Emma Taylor (Aramok) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 896 W: 101 N: 1501] (5166)
Genre: Landscapes
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-07-27
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon EOS 350D, Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 II USM, Digital ISO 200, Canon 58mm Skylight 1x
Exposure: f/7.1, 1/200 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: Cape Wrath, Outer & Inner Hebridies
Date Submitted: 2006-08-30 3:15
Viewed: 3999
Points: 28
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I have to say that this was one of the most difficult of butterflies to photo that I have ever tried. It just never stays still even when it was cloudy or raining!
It took nearly 2 weeks to find a specimen that would stay still long enough to even be able to identify it. I ended up restoring to catching one in my hands to be able to get close enough to look at one closely. (Don't worry it wasn't harmed and the moment I opened even a slightest crack to peep into my hands, it escaped.)

This photo was taken on the afternoon of my very last day and was a close as I managed to get. Its an odd angle, but it was the best I could do. That said, I am reasonably pleased with it.

Its a Scotch Argus (Erebia aethiops). I was everywhere in the Highlands and Islands where I went and walking through the heathland, you would send whole clouds of them up in front of you and they would settle again once you had walked through.

It is very much a moorland/damp grassland butterfly and feeds mainly on Purple Moor-grass (Molinia caerulea). For more info on it please see here. The problem with it being a damp moorland butterfly is that when you stop, you get eaten alive by midge and clegs and after this photo I was covered in midge/clegs and had to walk non-stop for nearly 30 mins to get away from them... They swarm around your head and are about the size of a pinhead, with the bite of a tiger. Midge are more annoying than anything else and wet areas and sweaty foreheads are their favourite areas and targets...

Taken in RAW, converetd to Jpeg and cropped slightly. Nothing else.

I only found out that the DOF was not quite large enough when I got home from holiday, but you will notice that for once I remembered to change the ISO!

clnaef, coasties, jmp, carper, liquidsunshine, Christopher_PL has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Jolie prise de vue dans un décor parfait.
Bonne journée.

  • Great 
  • Hil Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 696 W: 13 N: 1407] (5035)
  • [2006-08-30 4:19]

Hi Emma

Lovely shot and well worth all your hard work, I like the angle you have captured and the detail is excellent, the colours are lovely too.

TFS Hilary :)

Hi Emma

Great shot. Lovely colours, good POV showing the wing pattern. TFS.

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2006-08-30 5:36]

Hi Emma,
Interesting to read your notes about butterflies that never stay still. Here in the South of Spain -with sunny and hot weather- butterflies flies as birds!
I find it a good capture, with very good colors, details, sharpness and background.
José M.

Hi Emma,
It is a beauty! It looks like youd did very well with this shot. Beautiful color saturation and nice sharp detail. And at 200 ISO the noise is still very low with a higher shutter speed. ;-} Sounds like the shooting conditions were pretty miserable.

Hello Emma, what an excellent butterfly, perfect detail,s excllent colures, BG is perfect POF and framing, Nice work, TFS Kyle

Hi Emma,
I agree - your efforts were definitely worthwhile, a lovely shot and the slight lack of DOF is very minor and very excusable considering you were being harrassed by hungry midges...! Lovely detail and composition. TFS (getting into this lingo now)

  • Great 
  • batu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1079 W: 293 N: 4497] (16383)
  • [2006-08-30 13:52]

Hallo Emma,
thank you for posting this northern Erebia aethiops which, I think, is not often shown. The species is common in many parts of the European mainland, but obviously not at its northern distribution limits. An excellent and sharp presentation.
Best wishes, Peter

Hi Emma,
Great determination in getting the photo. I would have given up. The result is beautiful with excellent details in the b'fly. I like the softness of the BG created by the lighting, it brings out the colors of the grass beautifully. Great composition and framing.

Well captured Emma,
The details are nice, clear and sharp.
superb colours, lighting and exposure. Well composed, excellent notes and well framed.
Thanks for posting, have a great week.

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2006-08-30 22:10]

Hello Emma

What a beautiful butterfly.The colours are lovely.You managed a very nice composition,I really like the diagonal blade of grass.TFS


it's a beauty Emma,
the chasing is with a good result, the shot is nice, the point of view is great, andd the composition is vey good, well done.
gr. jaap

  • Great 
  • osse Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 955 W: 0 N: 89] (7805)
  • [2006-08-31 12:29]

Hi Emma
Beautiful shot. Great colours,, sharpnes, details, DOF and POV.
Well done


Great shot with excellent colours. But the composition is not perfect in my opinion. I would like to see the main object more in the picture center ;-D


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