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Posts Tagged ‘Cabbage White’

Cabbage White butterflies (Pieris rapae) are so small and plain that many people mistakenly believe they are moths. I find real elegance in their simplicity, especially when I am able to see their striking speckled green eyes. I spotted this little beauty during a brief visit yesterday to Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, Virginia with my friend and photography mentor Cindy Dyer.

Cabbage Whites are always hyperactive, in constant motion as they flit about from flower to flower, stopping only momentarily for a short sip. Consequently they are hard to track and you have to be quick on the trigger to have a chance of getting a shot. In the first photo I was lucky enough to capture a “bonus bug,” a hoverfly that was in action below the much larger butterfly. Cindy coined the term “bonus bug” to refer to insects that are in the frame that you never even noticed when you were taking the shot.

Be sure to double-click on each image to get a more detailed view of this beautiful butterfly, including its mesmerizing eyes.

Cabbage White

Cabbage White

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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Cabbage White butterflies (Pieris rapae) are small, plain, and common, yet I find a real beauty in their elegant simplicity, especially when I get a view of their speckled green eyes. I spotted this Cabbage White last weekend when I was exploring Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. As always, my biggest challenge was getting into a shooting position in which the butterfly’s body was on a single plane in order to get most of it in focus—in this case I more or less succeeded in doing so.

Cabbage White

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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A butterfly in December? I was shocked and thrilled to see this tattered Cabbage White butterfly (Pieris rapae) flying around yesterday at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

I photographed this little butterfly with my telephoto zoom lens fully extended to 600mm. I contemplated cropping the image, but decided that I really like the look and feel of all of the fallen leaves and left it uncropped. I also like the way that the veining in the leaves seems to mirror the veining in the butterfly’s white wings.

Cabbage White

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Today I decided to feature two butterflies that I have seen over the past week. I saw them at different times and at different places, so normally I would not put them together in a posting.

I was struck, however, by the contrast between the two of them. One of them, a Viceroy butterfly (Limenitis archippus), is brightly colored and hard to miss. The other, a Cabbage White (Pieris rapae) is so pale and nondescript that many people don’t notice it at all or dismiss it as being “only” a moth.

Beauty speaks to people in individual deeply personal ways. I find these two butterflies to be equally beautiful.

What do you think? Instinctively do you find one of these two to be more beautiful than the other?

Of course, there is no “right” answer. It seems to me that beauty is almost always subjective rather than universal. Our assessments of beauty tend to be influenced by a whole host of internal factors including our mood, personality, and background as much as by the external characteristics of the subject being considered.

Viceroy butterfly

Cabbage White butterfly

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

 

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In a moment of calm amidst the storms this past Monday, I captured this shot of a beautiful little Cabbage White butterfly (Pieris rapae) in the garden of my neighbor and fellow photographer Cindy Dyer. The shot is a little grainy, because there was not a great deal of light, but somehow the image fills me with an overwhelming sense of serenity.

Cabbage White

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Cabbage White butterflies (Pieris rapae) are small and skittish and you probably don’t pay much attention to them—you might even think that they are merely moths. If you look closely, though, you’ll discover that they have beautiful, speckled green eyes.

I love the way that a macro lens reveals amazing details that are there, but that we never see or simply take for granted. I took these photos yesterday during a brief trip to Green Spring Gardens, a wonderful, county-run historic garden not far from where I live.

Cabbage White

 

Cabbage White

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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Cabbage White butterflies (Pieris rapae) are quite common, but many people ignore them, assuming they are “only” moths. I find real beauty in their simple elegance, like this one I spotted last weekend in the garden of my friend Cindy Dyer.

The butterfly was already white and black, so I decided to play around and remove color from the rest of the image too. I like the look of the black-and-white image, but decided to include the color version so that you can decide for yourself which one you prefer.

Cabbage White

Cabbage White

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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How far do you usually travel when you want to take some photos? I capture a lot of my wildlife/nature images in my local area, but generally I get into my car and travel at least a few miles before I begin shooting.

Sometimes, though, I feel the urge to shoot, but don’t really want to travel far. In those moments I will usually walk over to the townhouse of my neighbor, fellow photographer Cindy Dyer, who always seems to have an assortment of photogenic flowers in bloom.

Last week I chased a Cabbage White butterfly (Pieris rapae) that I spotted fluttering about the flowers in garden. It passed by the globe thistles and the cone flowers and finally perched for a moment on a lavender plant. The sun was shining brightly, which I knew would create problems in getting a proper exposure of the dazzling white wings of the butterfly. I switched my metering to spot metering and the wings retained their details, but the background became really dark, creating a dramatic lighting effect that I really like. As always, I was thrilled to be able to see the beautiful green eye of this common butterfly that is often ignored or simply taken for granted.

Cabbage White

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Cabbage White butterflies (Pieris rapae) are very active and their blindingly white wings often cause images to be overexposed. When the light is right, though, you can see their enchanting speckled green eyes, like those of this butterfly that I spotted during a recent trip to Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, Maryland.

Cabbage White

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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There is perhaps nothing more ordinary than this, a simple Cabbage White butterfly (Pieris rapae) on a small white flower (which is possibly a weed), but the ordinary can be extraordinarily beautiful.

Cabbage White butterfly

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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When the weather turns hot and humid, even the insects seem to enjoy the shade, like this Cabbage White butterfly (Pieris rapae) that I encountered recently while searching for dragonflies. I never fail to be amazed at the speckled green exotic eyes of this common butterfly.

The Cabbage White’s almost pure white body, though, is often a real challenge for me, because it seems to confuse my camera’s metering system and images are often severely overexposed. In this image. I think I used spot metering to try to get the correct exposure, which seemed to help. However, there was a greenish color cast in the initial shot, probably caused by the light filtering through the leaves, that I had to fix in post-processing.

The Cabbage White does not have the spectacular colors of many other butterflies, but nonetheless possesses an understated elegance that I find really attractive.

cabbage_eye_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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As I waited outside my neighbors’ townhouse so that we could travel to an indoor butterfly exhibit, I tried out my new macro lens in their garden and ended up with of my best butterfly shots of the day.

Cabbage White butterflies (Pieris rapae) are very common, but they are elusive when you try to photograph them. I managed to squeeze off only two shots before the butterfly flew away, but this shot illustrates why I love my 180mm macro so much. The small butterfly filled up much of the frame without me having to get right on top of it. The lens also captured a pretty good amount of detail too. If you click on the image, you can see some of the details of the butterfly’s green eye, for example.

Almost exactly a year ago, my photography mentor and muse,  Cindy Dyer, in whose garden I photographed this butterfly, challenged me to get a good image of a Cabbage White butterfly. A year later, I feel pretty confident in saying that I have met that particular challenge.

cabbage_yellow_blog© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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During my trip last weekend to Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, I used a Nikon D7000 with a Tamron 180mm macro lens to take some shots while my fellow photographer, Cindy Dyer, relaxed in the shade on a hot, steamy day.

I use a Canon, so it was not immediately obvious to me where the controls were for various functions on the Nikon.  I didn’t really have much time to poke around in the menus, so I just shot. I knew that the camera was set for aperture priority, but I didn’t realize until later that it was set at f/20.  What that meant was that the two shots that I am posting here were shot at 1/100 and 1/80 of a second respectively. I am a little surprised that they came out relatively sharp, because the Tamron lens is pretty heavy and is not a VR lens.

The subject matter is pretty familiar for folks who follow my blog—a Cabbage White butterfly (Pieris rapae) and a Blue Dasher dragonfly (Pachydiplax longipennis). I like the way that both images turned out, with beautiful backgrounds.

Did the Nikon set-up make a difference? It was nice shooting with a camera with a bigger and brighter viewfinder than my Canon Rebel XT, but that is more a function of shooting with a much newer camera. What was especially nice, though, was shooting with a 180mm macro lens. The lens felt comfortable and gave sharp results, even if focusing was a bit slow when it had to move through the full range in autofocus mode.

I probably am not ready to go over to the dark side and embrace a Nikon—in my experience it seemed that the Nikon was different from my Canon, but not necessarily better. I may consider, however, the Tamron 180mm macro lens. I love my Canon 100mm macro lens, but sometimes it would be nice to have that little extra reach and still be able to get true macro results.

Cabbage White lorezBlue Dasher lorez

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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Cabbage White butterflies (Pieris rapae) may look very ordinary at first glance, but when you look more closely, you find that they have amazingly beautiful, green speckled eyes.

cabbage_A_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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One of my neighbors, fellow blogger Cindy Dyer, now has lavender blooming in her garden. It smells wonderful and this Cabbage White butterfly (Pieris rapae) seemed to be really enjoying it earlier this afternoon.

cabbage1_blog

Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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