One Four Challenge – March Week 1

It is a pleasure to participate again in the One Four Challenge in March.  This wonderful photo editing project hosted by Robyn Gosby at Captivate Me is in its fifth month!  It involves editing a photo in four different ways over four weeks.  It is such a great challenge!  You interact with a talented group of people, you learn from each other, you get feedback, and it all results in improved post processing skills and a lot of fun.

This month, I am resisting the temptation to use another bird, but as you can see my subject still has wings! 🙂  I am turning my attention to a mix of fauna and flora: a cabbage butterfly enjoying the nectar from the blossoms of a rosemary bush in the garden.   I took this photo with my new macro lens last month.  Here is the original photo:

Butterfly - Original

Butterfly in rosemary bush – Original

Week 1 process

For the start of the month, I have kept things simple.  As the image was taken in the middle of a hot sunny day, it looked a little washed out. This is what I set out to do:

  • I needed to soften the light so it would not be as harsh
  • I also wanted to emphasise the powdery effect and veins on the butterfly’s wings revealed by the macro
  • Finally, I wanted the brown twig in the right hand corner to be less obvious.

So I cropped the image to focus on the cabbage butterfly and just a few of the rosemary blossoms, tweaked the shadows and highlights and applied a “lighting effect” filter. I like the filter because it allows me to manipulate the light and shadows.  It also had the effect of putting the distracting brown twig in the shadows, which I am happy about.  Here is the result:

Butterfly in rosemary - Week 1

Butterfly in rosemary – Week 1

As usual, your comments on this edit are welcome.

Be sure to check out what other participants to the Challenge are doing, by clicking on the One Four Challenge tag.

48 thoughts on “One Four Challenge – March Week 1

  1. Excellent job, the crop and the lighting effect have made all the difference. Probably the single most important thing was removing the distraction of the twigs. 😃

      • Hey, Sue, me again… I did not realise I had forgotten to change the original edit and put up the lighting effect image as the featured image… I’ve just changed this!

  2. The crop is nice, Chris. I get the desire to show off the butterfly wings they are special. Happy you found a solution to your “sticks” getting in the way, that is always frustrating 🙂

  3. Its a good tight crop, its funny how you mentioned the annoying twig because I didnt see THAT one, I saw the one thats coming out behind his wing!

      • backgrounds can be so annoying that way, one tip I learned the hard way was look for those things BEFORE you take the shot, and do a little “gardening” to tidy the image up – very useful for messy foreground grasses too 🙂

      • Yup, been there 🙂 I learned the hard way with foreground grasses, ruined some nice mushroom shots that would have otherwise been keepers. If its just grass then I dont care about hauling it out but there are actually special clamps called PLAMPS that are very fine and delicate and you can use to hold an annoying branch out of frame while you take the shot 🙂 I dont have any LOL

  4. I love it Chris – the subject, softness and detail are all so lovely. Makes me feel like I’m right there.
    Thanks for your fab description of our challenge – and it is our 5th month! Wahoo!!

  5. I really like the crop you did. It makes the butterfly pop! I’m still working on my crop technique. The lighting is lovely too.

  6. Oh wow, what a great start! At first I thought the image wasn’t very strong – a cluttered composition – but cropped and lit nicely, it is enchanting! Looking forward to more…

  7. Oh really nice. This edit does an excellent job of focussing attention on the butterfly as well as softening overall. I like it! Excellent crop. Good work. I look forward to seeing more.

  8. I likes the variation on the winged theme. The butterfly loos good against the background of the flowers
    Sue

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