Transparent Butterfly

Transparent Butterfly

I first observed this beautiful butterfly two days ago, and even managed to grab a couple of reasonable photos, I believe. This is probably the best one. Note that the wings are somewhat transparent - you can actually see the yellow flower through the wing!

Butterflies never cease to amaze me. The color combinations are close to endless, and they're so delicate yet able to withstand the strongest winds. True wonders of nature.

What do I like about this photo? The amazing subject, of course! Apart from that, the pose is interesting, and shows the transparency of the wing. I used an open aperture (f/6.3 - the most open my lens supports at a focal length of 400mm) to create a shallow depth of field, so the butterfly and the leaf it stands on are sharp, but the rest is blurred out. The color contrast also adds to this photo - the background is mostly vivid green, and the butterfly is yellow-red-black-shiny, making it stand out nicely.

What would I want to improve? I would have liked to be able to get closer, to get more details. Being able to photograph the butterfly from a lower, frontal angle would have been huge. The depth of field is an issue here: on the one hand, the left wing is not totally in focus, so a deeper depth of field might have helped. On the other hand, the background could be blurred even more, so a shallower depth of field might have been useful. I'm not totally sure I struck the optimal balance, but I think I wasn't too far.