Red Admiral at Shellman Bluff Challenges Jeff

Red Admiral butterfly on log, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Shellman Bluff, GA

It’s another of our challenges, not often discussed. This image sets the challenge out nicely. Right place: Shellman Bluff, Georgia. Right time: Summer 2016. Right butterfly: Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta). The Challenge, then?

When I began photographing butterflies, and I remember this with a smile at the corners my mouth, I chased and shot almost all that flew. Know what though? I soon figured out that . . . most of y’all don’t, really, want to see worn butterflies. No more heavy wing scale loss, no more bird-struck wings, no more faded color. I disciplined myself, to only pursue and expose fresh, shmeksy! butterflies. Good strategy that, and wingedbeauty’s traffic climbed.

The challenge? again. it’s shown here. Jeff spotted a Red admiral in an off-road spot, and sought after it. When it stopped it stopped on a downed tree trunk. The red admiral, once seen up close was worn, but featured great antennae, fine body and sweet blue dots at the trailing end of the hindwings. It was perky and alert. The log it was on introduced positive geometric to the view, with butterfly and log and an inviting angle. The log’s color was many variations of tan to brown, much of it rich browns, and the botany just beyond the log would not be focused in this Macro- look, but brought good eye-tantalizing rich green to the fore.

So the challenge is: Butterfly worn but comely, and all around it, promising, very promising.

I shot away, satisfied. Yes film is expen$ive, but I sought the look, the appeal.

What would you have done?

Jeff