A Perfect Blue


Eyeball to eyeball we faced off, me silently begging for a show, but he, a perfect specimen of a Red Spotted Purple, was coy and not about to let me see his full majesty on our first date.


He toyed with me, playing my anticipation like a fine violin. Teasing me with glimpses of blue perfection hidden between his upright wings.


He flashed a gorgeous side view and then flew off. Not yet comfortable with full exposure of his beauty.


Hours later he returned. Years in his short life. Years in mine as I feared I would never catch a second glimpse of his perfection.

This time, he graced me with a spectacular display. Posing in all his finery, willing to share his gifts.






Travel Theme: Simplify


This is one of my favorite poses, second only to that moment when a butterfly peeks at me over the top of a flower.


Butterflies are complex beauties, such as this Eastern Tiger Swallowtail,  with many design elements competing with the surroundings. One of the tricks I have found when photographing them is to simplify the background as much as possible.


Sometimes simplification takes the route of minimizing color and background complexity.


When the background is busy, try to use a low depth of field.


Ok, so that sounds all intentional and designerly; in reality, sometimes you only get a fleeting moment in which to point and start shooting, hoping for the best. But then, wow is it fun when you realize you have a winner!IMG_1098

I was getting all wrapped up in the technicalities of butterfly chasing today when suddenly I realized I needed to lower the lens and simply enjoy them fluttering about my head. That is the true beauty of butterflies.

My childhood summers came flooding back. In that moment I experienced the simplification many of us long for.

So, stop and enjoy what you are photographing. Simplify and enjoy the impressions of life.

This post is a part of a weekly travel theme (Simplify) challenge by Where’s My Backpack.


Beauty in the Broken

IMG_0306A sudden flash of shimmery blue caught my eye. Grabbing the camera, I cautiously moved in closer, attempting to focus. Blues are among the hardest for me to photograph. The beautiful shimmer makes focusing difficult and I see very few of them around the area. I was hoping he would not fly away before I captured his illusive beauty.

Then he turned and showed me the battle scar. What a trooper.IMG_0328

He posed so proudly, but would not let me get too close before gracefully flitting away once again.

IMG_0323I felt the awe and wonder of having seen something quite magnificent in so delicate a form. IMG_0329

This may be a new one for my camera to capture. I am thinking he is a blue spotted purple.IMG_0317