Noisy Butterflies

by Kimberly J Tilley

We all know that butterflies are actually quite quiet. The only time you hear a butterfly is when it is trying to land on your head or ear, nose or shoulder. Which is what happened to us when we went to The Butterfly Place, located in Westford Massachusetts, a couple of days ago. Butterfly kisses were going around with the butterflies landing on heads, elbows, feet, ears. The kids had a great time.

Noisy Butterflies is actually in reference to the graininess of a picture. I came across some articles and discussions on noise and the digital camera. It is interesting how grainy film prints are accepted, but noisy digital photographs are not. However, there are people who don’t care, and I am one of them. In an artistic form, even for the sake of remembering film prints, I think when used appropriately noise can make a photograph interesting. However I do not think noise should be over done, and definitely no illumination noise. A lot of miss-matched colored dots is probably not going to make a good picture.

I think given the right subject some noise in the photograph could give a nice artistic texture to look a bit like an illustration or painting. These are my butterfly photographs where noise is abundant in the background of the images. When I photographed the butterflies I used my highest ISO setting for my DSLR camera, which is 1600.

And in-case you are wondering, why did I not just photograph correctly and work the effects in after. My answer is, I do not use digital filters and I really do not like playing in software with my pictures. I like to experiment and work with my camera to get my photographs. The only time I would play in software is to create a digital painting or photo-manipulation. Adding noise or textures and passing it off as a photo is not something I am really interested in doing.