It’s Monday and that means it’s time for you to meet another KelbyOne member—meet Karen Michul. Karen is a macro photographer based out of Kentucky. Keep reading to get the scoop on her photo, “Hackberry Emperor.”
1.) Can you tell us a little bit about your photo, Hackberry Emperor?
Location: Raven Run Nature Sanctuary, Lexington, KY
I am a macro photographer at heart. I started with an iPhone with a macro lens attached and that led to bigger and more expensive tools! My photography focus has drifted its way into the butterfly world. As soon as the temperatures begin to rise in Central KY, you will find me anywhere you can find butterflies. Raven Run Nature Sanctuary is one of my favorite places to visit. It has a beautiful Monarch Waystation in front of the Visitor’s Center and miles and miles of trails to find other very cool subjects. On this particular August day, I was out shooting anything that came along my path. August is one of the busiest times for butterfly photographers! How fortunate was I to find some Hackberry Emperor butterflies in the Waystation. These particular butterflies are very social and are mainly found in the Eastern US (but can be found as far south as Mexico). They don’t need a lot of food from flowers, although you will see them there. They like rotting fruits, tree sap (from the Hackberry Tree or bush or other fruit trees), dung, etc. One of the other things they love is to land on people. It’s the sweet nectar from our perspiration that attracts them. They will stick around for quite some time. My little friend was no exception. He brought along a Tawny Emperor and I also have another photo like this one of that butterfly resting on my finger. It’s tricky to keep the butterfly happy on one hand while trying to capture the shot with the other. But it all worked out beautifully!
2.) What gear/software did you use to create this image?
I used a Canon EOS Rebel T5i camera with a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM lens. And as a side note, I was using my Black Rapid Street Breathe strap. I always have it on! Specs are: f/11, 1/125, ISO 125, focal length 100mm. Shot in Aperture Priority. I edited this image using Adobe Photoshop. I try to do minimal editing, however, I do believe I added a vignette on this particular photo to bring the focus to the center.
3.) What do you like to photograph?
Almost anything to do with nature, but my primary focus is on butterflies, caterpillars, other insects, flowers, mushrooms, anything small and interesting, and the occasional landscape photo. But since photography is still quite new to me, I will keep my subject area broad so that I am always learning and always being challenged. I have a deep love and appreciation for the Monarch butterfly and you will see that a lot of my photos are of the Monarch.
4.) Were you inspired by a KelbyOne class or instructor to create this image? If so, which class or instructor inspired you?
I’ve only recently became a KelbyOne Pro member, so I am just now diving into the classes offered. I follow many photographers and am always inspired by the work of others. I can’t wait to learn more now that I have the Pro membership!
5.) What’s your favorite class on KelbyOne and why?
Well, since I am new to the Pro Member dashboard, I’ve just started to explore the learning opportunities. But I have watched videos from Bill Fortney and really appreciate his thorough teaching technique with macro photography. I have also watched videos by Rick Sammon and was thrilled to have this at my fingertips to watch. Both gentleman provide wonderful information on being a better Macro photographer.