Several weeks ago, just before the heather was supposed to come into bloom, I was a bit undecided about where to go and what to shoot on my day off. I made a last minute decision to check out a very small nature reserve at a side of town that I had never visited before. It mainly consists of a lowland stream with moist grasslands on both sides. These grasslands are said to be perfect habitat for all kinds of insects, like butterflies, grasshoppers, spiders, damselflies and dragonflies. Upon arrival, I walked into the first meadow and was greeted by dozens of dozing Common Blues (Polyommatus icarus; Icarusblauwtje). So I looked no further, mounted the macrolens and tried to get something nice. A daunting task for sure. Most photos I took of the little butterflies were mere registrational images, with the butterfly perfectly lit and a solid composition of butterfly and grass stem. Boring. I struggled to come away with something different, which was not easy with a lacking sunrise and thus no special light to play with. Only when I found two Common Blues resting on the same stem, my creative juices started to flow. Somehow, it was easier to get a decent composition with more than one butterfly in the frame. I photographed the couple against the bland sky and exposed to the right, knowing I would not bring back the exposure to normal in post processing but keep the image bright instead. Now they really look like Daedalus and Icarus from the Greek myth: flying high, close to a bright lightsource. One of the butterflies even suffered from damage to an upperwing. Must have been Icarus who flew too close to the sun, got burnt and fell down.
Common Blues; Canon 5D mark III w. 150/2.8 macro; 1/640s at F2.8 and ISO400; handheld