The main subject is well focused but the background behind it is oddly distorted and unnatural. Is this a focus stack? I've seen these kinds of anomalies on uncorrected stacks.
Thank you for your input; I appreciate your opinion. I did not do anything to the background; I have no knowledge of focus stacks nor have I ever used that sort of technique. My lens (Nikkor 500mm) has produced that sort of bokeh as long as I have used it which is over a decade now. Thanks again for your response to my question.
Examine your image at 100-200% magnification.
The background is too soft as are some parts of the butterfly.
A nice image, though. 🙂
Thank you for your response, Nancy; I appreciate your input. I will definitely be resorting more and more to the 100-200% magnification in the future before submitting a file.
Thank you, Ralph, for your insights and for the time you took to point out problems with my image; it's very good to have teaching points one can resort to in the future.
I do not agree with some of my colleagues that the background is too soft. But I agree that the butterfly has a focus problem. In addition, you have chromatic aberration:
I think also the colours are too soft. A vibrancy punch would help. And you could add a small white balance correction.
If you apply sharpening to the butterfly, don't sharpen the background. In the contrary, do soft noise reduction.
With little luck, and at least some corrections as suggested applied, the picture may pass.
Thank you very much for your informative and educational post; you went above and beyond the call of duty to examine this image and to clarify the ways it can be improved. When I process raw files I am always sure to address noise, exposure, white balance (when it is really evident), and I usually apply unsharp mask as the final touch. Unfortunately, I forget to look for chromatic aberration so your point is well taken, a good reminder to me! Thank you, too, for suggesting that I sharpen parts of the image; I don't usually think of doing that. Your insights have proved very valuable and I thank you again.
White balance without a proper reference is nearly always a little trial and error. I love to switch between the camera and LrC suggestions, and very often stay with my camera. But from time to time and especially after a rejection, that I can't explain, I slightly adjust wb.