This year the Christmas tree came from the backyard and on the evening that we put it up I noticed a gigantic spider or rather a gigantic shadow from a tiny spider as it walked over the tree lights. But with so many lights trying to find the actual spider became an exercise in futility. And I went to bed knowing that at least the spider was tiny. The next morning I heard some rustling towards the top of the tree and my mind immediately drifted to those urban myths of cactuses exploding with thousands of spiders. So I was somewhat surprised to see a butterfly, who apparently found it warm enough to emerge and thus our Christmas butterfly was born or maybe more accurately had arisen.
My internet detective work led me to believe that the butterfly is an Eastern Comma, on account of the comma like slit in the wings and the coloration. He or she, as I am not in the business of distinguishing the gender of butterflies, was quite cooperative as a subject landing on the finger of my fiance and exposing the innards of it's wings. The butterfly has taken a liking to the bedroom window in the afternoons and the outside of the window curtain in the evenings. She has been with us for four weeks now and seems quite content, especially when some birds unsuccessfully attempted to eat her through the window. But I digress, on the first day of our acquaintance, I was compelled to photograph my new friend. And of the 120 or so images I shot, came a collage, a portrait and an abstract of the butterfly in the tree.
All images were taken with the Tamron SP 60mm F/2.0 macro lens. The collage images were taken at 1/100-125th of a second at 1600 ISO f3.3. The images themselves are not manipulated other then erasing the edges to soften them and laying them out together. Because of the depth of field and the movement of the butterfly with respect to the shutter speed, some blur occurred, resulting in an image that resembles painting. The portrait was 1/125 ISO 800 f3.3 and is two images combined together to increase the depth of field and create more planes of sharpness. Butters in the tree was 1/80th ISO 8000 f4.0. I focused the lens to its closest focus point to get the tree lights to blur into nice round circles and then moved around to get the butterfly silhouette in the foreground.
Sometimes the unexpected guest can become the center of attention, especially when it is a butterfly in your living room in mid December in the northeast of America.