The easy photo is of a Cabbage White Butterfly who was visiting a Delphinium in our flower garden at home.
The hard photo is this one of some unusual pink Penstemons, the only satisfactory result of an exhausting hike into the high country in search of an old trail leading to Marmot Peak from the Fishtrap area.
There are many species of Penstemons and they grow at nearly all elevations although there are a few that seem to prefer it up high on the peaks. This is one that I’ve not seen before and I don’t know if it is a separate species or a variation in color.
That’s a rich blue….and very nice pink, too, out in the wild. I stumbled across a whole mess of Colorado Columbine the other day…usually find them in only single or maybe double blooms out in the mountains, but happened to find them growing in near profusion up in one canyon…was a very nice reward….
I have to agree with the commenter above, life is like that – sometimes easy, sometimes hard – but always worth the trip! The first photo is stunning with the white butterfly popping off the background of color. The second one reminds me that beauty can arise from difficult and rough surroundings and isn’t that a good thought to hold on to?
I love these pictures. They’re beautiful and very detailed. I’m also jealous. When film disappeared, I lost the use of my good camera and since then have been stuck with a cheap digital camera that gives me no control over depth of field. When I try close-ups like this, either the whole thing is blurry or the camera decides to focus on the background leaving everything I wanted in a blurred mess. What kind of camera are you using?
I usually shoot with a Nikon D80 and use the AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8D lens for wildflowers and that is what was used on the butterfly. It gives you complete control over depth of field and also provides the ability to spot meter and the option of using a very small focus area. The other photo was taken with my old Kodak 712IS. It has problems and I replaced it with the Nikon, but I sometimes take it because it weighs only a pound compared to the 5 pounds of the Nikon and second lens. I’m now of an age where that much weight difference is significant for longer or more difficult hikes.
Focus is always a problem, getting the camera to focus on what you want and not what auto-focus wants. The D80 has a very poor view finder and so manual focus is usually not nearly as good as auto, if you can get auto to focus where you want. On close-ups I usually re-focus a half dozen times before I see it zero in on my target, most difficult on light colors and delicate things with no sharp contrasting edges. The ability to increase the depth of field really helps.
I just ordered an inexpensive point and shoot to take on those strenuous hikes to cut out those 4 pounds (which I can replace with sleeping gear). I’ll keep you posted on the results.
I’m eager to see your p&s results. Have you read about the Sony rx1 (and rx1r)? They’re supposed to be phenomenal, get glowing reviews, but it’s almost $3K for a point and shoot with a fixed lens! I would never in a million years buy that but I find it fascinating and would love to see what the photos are like, firsthand.
Some of the prices for cameras now are way beyond ridiculous. I wouldn’t spend that kind of money for a P & S even if I had it to spend! I don’t have very high expectations for the little one I’ve ordered, but I’ll soon find out and if it gives me relatively good landscapes I’ll be content.
A decent photo is worth a lot of effort as far as I’m concerned. Ironically, my photos are a side benefit to my hiking and exploring but they have become an important one. I will go to a lot of effort to photograph something that really catches my eye.
I had a dress once that was precisely that color blue, and I didn’t know how to describe it. Now I know – delphinium! I do think the flowers made a wonderful setting for the butterfly. Also, I see that you were around Marmot Peak – do you have marmots in your area? I know they’re native to the Rockies. They’re wonderful creatures.
We have two species of marmots, the Hoary Marmot and the Yellow Bellied Marmot. They have been pretty much pushed into the back country now by “civilization” and are seldom seen in or near the valleys.
Well, they’re both beautiful but I’m a little partial to the easy shot. The white b-fly against that sumptuous deep blue/purple background is really eye-catching. I bought some penstemons recently that were supposed to be heat-tolerant, they didn’t even last a week. I guess there’s heat and heat.
I’ve never tried to grow penstemons. There are 28 species of them that are native to the northwest but I can’t identify this one for sure. It may be a variant of the Penstemon humilis or Lowly Penstemon, but a very rare color for one in my experience.
your pink Penstemons are lovely ~
and the white butterfly on the dark purple delphiniums is so gorgeous
the light colored delphiniums i saw were on a trail in GNP, i have never seen them before and there was only one plant that color. fun.