The light falling on this Silver-spotted Skipper butterfly (Epargyreus clarus) yesterday was beautiful and dramatic at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, Maryland. I was focusing on the butterfly with my camera set for spot metering and I think that setting was largely responsible for creating the dark, underexposed background.
I was going to crop the image, but decided that I like the composition as it came out of the camera. My normal impulse is to zoom in or crop the shot so that my subject fills a larger part of the frame, but in this case I really like the large amount of negative space.
This shot reminds me a bit of a studio shot, the kind that would have required a number of carefully placed lights to create the same dramatic effect, not to mention a cooperative butterfly. Taking advantage of the natural lighting required a whole lot less effort. “More drama and less effort”—I like the sound of that as an approach to photography, which often seems so complicated.
© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.