Imperfect Subjects

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Registered: May 02, 2010
Total Posts: 29320
Country: United States

I'm wondering how you feel about subjects that might be a bit worn, torn and past their prime. ( Hey, I've just described myself )
I have read that some feel that you should not present a less than stellar subject .

Here is to the less than perfect.

Interested to hear your thoughts and as always your suggestions are much appreciated.

Hope you enjoy,


Registered: Sep 13, 2008
Total Posts: 11204
Country: United States

As beautiful as nature is, as you have captured so wonderfully here Birdie... it is not perfect.
You're right of course that when we capture something less than perfect we cringe at first and wish it was "better." I'm guilty of always looking for the perfect.
Like Karl, you see beauty in everything, even in the imperfect... and for that I applaud you.

Looks like you have a backlit theme going in the first three and it works well... I actually really like the Dragonfly and how the light illuminates it's delicate body parts.
Great detail and beautiful color in the last... and as always I think your compositions are very well done.

Beautifully done.


Registered: Jul 08, 2008
Total Posts: 19883
Country: United States

You did a great job with these. I look for the best when I shoot
I'm guilty of that, but certain flowers or other things can tell a story or
add a little something extra to the image. The dragonfly and the flower
are my picks, for some reason I always want to see butterflies with perfect wings.


Howard Kearley
Registered: Jul 16, 2008
Total Posts: 8614
Country: United Kingdom

they are how they are, post away.
Beautiful shots


Registered: Dec 17, 2004
Total Posts: 38192
Country: United States

I also have a desire to capture perfect subjects, but that doesn't mean I won't shoot less than perfect subjects. Great job on these Birdie ~ Ron

Registered: Oct 29, 2005
Total Posts: 23203
Country: United States

I prefer to refer to those subjects as having character or experience. It tells a story and not every story is beautiful....emotion is part of what we try to achieve in photography and if we photographed and posted only the perfect there would be so much we missed out on by doing so. These are lovely and tell of a life lived.

Desert Drake
Registered: Nov 05, 2008
Total Posts: 5447
Country: United States

I sure did enjoy seeing what your mind's eye saw, Birdie. Well done.

Registered: Mar 10, 2010
Total Posts: 12467
Country: United States

Well done Birdie. I think it is a trait that is naturally found in a lot of us to look away from the ugly truth.

Herb Houghton
Registered: Feb 15, 2007
Total Posts: 25767
Country: United States

Nice set Roberta. As much as we all love perfect wing subjects, the fact remains that many out there are with broken or missing wing parts.

Registered: Jul 02, 2010
Total Posts: 25495
Country: Canada

A good shot is a good shot. Perfect specimens may be required for most advert work, but think about all the awesome images from street and conflict photographers. Hard to say their subjects reflect perfection.

Registered: Oct 14, 2012
Total Posts: 1735
Country: N/A

I'm wondering how you feel about subjects that might be a bit worn, torn and past their prime. ...
I have read that some feel that you should not present a less than stellar subject .

IMO, it depends upon what you intend to do with the photograph. If your intention is to print it large, frame it, and hang it on your wall, then the only person you need to satisfy is yourself. Your photograph, your wall, your vision. If you are happy, it doesn't matter what others think.

If your intention is to document something and print small to put it into an album never to be opened again, have it sit on a hard drive never to be seen again, or posted fleetingly on the web, then does it matter?

The only opinion that truly matters is your own. Your vision, your photographs, your opinion. That is what matters.

Registered: Mar 27, 2006
Total Posts: 1508
Country: United States

Nice theme, Birdie. You could also title it "The Survivors." The dragon fly has made it through adversity to the end of the season. The 2nd two insects look like they both escaped the same bifurcated bite of a bird? lizard? frog? And the flower is on its way to setting seed.

To me, these kinds of images carry a lot deeper meaning than some superficially "perfect" subjects.

Registered: Feb 02, 2010
Total Posts: 32719
Country: Canada

lovely job on them all Roberta

Registered: Jul 04, 2004
Total Posts: 3874
Country: United States

There is still a lot beauty in your gorgeous captures Birdie

Registered: May 23, 2008
Total Posts: 2857
Country: United States

Roberta -- great subject to bring up, and nice photos to frame the discussion. I agree with Eric's comment above: if you can see the character and experience that accompanies the wear and tear you can capture something important. We're used to doing that with people and old barns, but it's not as obvious how to do it with other critters. Food for thought here...

Registered: Aug 24, 2005
Total Posts: 32920
Country: United States

Birdie, there is no perfect subject, however there is no doubt that torn wings take away from a butterfly if you are trying to capture its beauty. I usually delete pictures of butterflies with torn wings. Different story if are trying to capture the drama of time or how hard nature can be on animals (and people).
What makes a great picture is not what you shoot but how you shoot it.
Having said that, I believe you did a very good job with these, especially with the first one

Registered: Apr 18, 2012
Total Posts: 316
Country: United States


I do it all the time.

acjd said it best...I shoot what I like and hope others like it, if not, you can't please everyone. I just want to shoot and be around people who like to shoot and have fun with it. You can always learn something new no matter how past your prime you are, like me

As I told you in the Macro forum, there are plenty of things that look great past their prime, just like these.


Registered: May 22, 2002
Total Posts: 44114
Country: United States

This is a super set of battered living things Roberta. I think its fine when you do a beautiful job like this.


Tim Kuhn
Registered: Nov 29, 2006
Total Posts: 46104
Country: United States

It's all in where you find beauty Birdie. I have my share of battered bugs and flowers past their prime

This is a wonderful set. The delicateness of the first makes that one classy I like the comp of 2 and 4 is just plain beautiful.

Great work


Registered: Jul 19, 2011
Total Posts: 11444
Country: Netherlands

Well Birdie, 1 3 4 look more than fine to me.
Guess I'm also guilty to wanna see perfect wings in butterflies.
But I do think flowers past their prime are a great subject.

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