Too often I’ve focused my camera on some wonderful setting of nature and clicked a photo that is exactly what I saw in that sunlit moment: flat with one “eye- draw” in the center; i.e., the center of focus. The photo of this butterfly that I took yesterday was a product of trying to get close before it flitted away—how fortunate that I am able to shoot butterflies in these times of economic uncertainty, political discord and global hatred (more on this in another post). DSC_0202 - CopyThe muted colors on the edges and the elongated shadow on the flower take the eye from the lower right to the upper left with a very small focus–the antenna–in the center. Had the entire butterfly been in very sharp focus, the ride from lower right to upper left may have been interrupted, in fact, it may not have happened other than as an afterthought.

Now, this is a lot of explanation for a simple photo. Here is a shortcut. When doing close-ups I find it best to shoot when the sun is low on the horizon (October is a great photography time on the West Coast). I like to use natural light shadows as a mode of transportation for the eye.

Or, you can skip the methodology and take tons of pictures and hope than one of them is winner.

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