I was going through some pictures from Butterfly World I’d taken a couple of months ago when I came across this one. At the time I shot it I had high hopes it would be a great image. The butterfly resting on top of a mass of red flowers would be full of color and life.
I didn’t publish it because I felt the top of the wings of the butterfly were too soft. I like everything to be as in focus and sharp as possible in my insect images. So I passed on this one and processed other shots that looked more promising.
When I looked at this the other night, I decided it was too good of an image to simply pass up. I took it from Lightroom into Photoshop CS5 and ran it through Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro. It’s a great plug-in with 55 filters that give a wide variety of effects. After playing around a bit I decided to add some soft fine film grain to the image. This seemed to add some contrast and made the background stand out more.
To sharpen the butterfly itself I used Nik’s Sharpener 3.0. What’s great about this program is that I can selectively sharpen the parts I want. In this case, I wanted the wings to be sharper but not touch the background. It really helped in this case to give it the look I wanted.
The image wound on Explore (the top 500 images) on Flickr. And to think I almost passed it up…