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Red-bordered Pixie


Posted by Craig Lipski on Fri Dec 14, 2018 3:42 pm

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Image
Red-bordered Pixie
Melanis pixie

National Butterfly Center
Mission, (Hidalgo Co,) TX

5D IV
100-400 4.5-5.6 II @148mm, 36mm extension
1/100, f/8
iso 800
Eval -.67
Natural light, hand held

Comments and suggestions always welcome.

TL/DR commentary:
I find these guys tough to shoot.  They're small.  They're ephemeral - in the first month I was down here I saw NONE, then a few, then 2 dozen the day I shot this.  Fewer the next day, but lots of cat's and chrysalids in various stages of development on their ONE food plant.  They move around a lot when nectaring, never leaving their wings in one position.  The black scuffs easily.  After a recent frost, there are a lot of ratty blossoms and chewed up leaves.  They often rest on the underside of leaves, and when on top, prefer the shady side of the plant, resulting in a backlit situation for a black bug with bright highlights, and a busy background; fill flash would probably be a smarter way to go.  After about 300 attempts, this is my favorite; not the most beautiful setting or creative comp, but I'm happy nonetheless. 
Good light,
Craig


Last edited by Craig Lipski on Fri Dec 14, 2018 6:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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by Bruce Sherman on Fri Dec 14, 2018 6:20 pm
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Great pic, Craig. I have only seen these once and still am waiting to get a pic of one.

Where did you get this pic?
 

by Craig Lipski on Fri Dec 14, 2018 6:54 pm
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Bruce Sherman wrote:
Great pic, Craig. I have only seen these once and still am waiting to get a pic of one.

Where did you get this pic?


At the National Butterfly Center in Mission.  (I edited my OP to add this - you didn’t miss it). They have one host tree (monkeypod / guamuchil?) in their sunken garden and two down by the bird feeding area.  All of them have caterpillars and chrysalids on them, so I’d imagine there should be adults around for a while.  And thanks!
Good light,
Craig


Last edited by Craig Lipski on Sat Dec 15, 2018 9:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
 

by Tom Whelan on Fri Dec 14, 2018 8:31 pm
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The butterfly looks super in this image - what a beautiful species. I'm sure you wanted a different angle in the frame, but it's very fine nonetheless.
Tom

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by rhighercat on Fri Dec 14, 2018 9:57 pm
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Beautiful image of a beautiful butterfly. This compositions works, give the stretched out wings.
 

by Ed Cordes on Fri Dec 14, 2018 10:47 pm
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I really like the wing spread and detail. The BG on the left is nice and smooth. Wish there were a bit more frame on the right, but from what you said this is the best opportunity presented to you. Really nice image.
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by ChrisRoss on Sun Dec 16, 2018 8:06 am
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Great looking butterfly, done well lining it all up sounds pretty challenging.
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by Matthew Pugh on Wed Dec 19, 2018 5:37 am
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Hi

A nice engaging shot - the composition works, and it is a little different so that's nice too!


Have a great Xmas

All the best
Matthew
 

by Cynthia Crawford on Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:26 am
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Congratulations on this lovely capture- I rather like the composition-it is refreshingly different. Beautiful capture of this elusive species.
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