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Hey, Mind Where You Tread!!!

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I took this at Howletts, capturing a 'close up' of a young elephants foot. When I uploaded on my screen I saw there was a spider very close with one of it's legs up in the air.... as if to say "Hey, mind where you tread!" I am entering it into a competition and would appreciate any critique. One thing I was wondering was whether to take out of leave in, the out of focus part of the elephant to the right? Many thanks

Brand:Canon
Camera:Canon EOS-1DS Mark III
Lens:Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS
Recording media:JPEG (digital)
Date Taken:10 Aug 2011 - 11:21 AM
Focal Length:340mm
Lens Max Aperture:f/7.1
Aperture:f/7.1
Shutter Speed:1/1250sec
Exposure Comp:-1/3
ISO:400
Exposure Mode:Aperture-priority AE
Metering Mode:Multi-segment
Flash:No Flash
Title:Hey, Mind Where You Tread!!!
Username:wildatheart wildatheart
Uploaded:3 Mar 2012 - 8:03 PM
Tags:Black & white, Close-up / macro, Humour / fun, Wildlife / nature
VS Mode Rating 101 (60% won)
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Comments

This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
senn
senn e2 Member 3senn vcard Belgium1 Constructive Critique Points
3 Mar 2012 - 8:30 PM

great, .. in both acceptation of term, ..

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BarbaraR
BarbaraR  8 England1 Constructive Critique Points
3 Mar 2012 - 9:10 PM

Super capture, such good luck too with the spider !
I tend to think keep the shot as it is. I wonder if the leg looks
rather disembodied without.
All the very best for the competition.

B.

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Philip_H
Philip_H  2 United Kingdom
3 Mar 2012 - 10:23 PM

Super image.

P.

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Jestertheclown
3 Mar 2012 - 10:51 PM

Hi Alison,

I think that the image of the elephant's foot is excellent, both in terms of composition and execution.
I have my doubts though about the spider as on here at least, it just looks like a black spot, so personally, I'd get rid of it as it appears to me, to have no significance.
As for the part of the elephant on the RHS., I'd prefer the image without it but bear in mind that cloning it could be tricky as there are hairs on the underside of the leg which will need to be left there.
The obvious alternative, of course, is to crop it but I think that you'll need to crop more than one side to retain the compositional aspect.
I've posted a mod. in which I've made a crop and got rid of the spider.
I'm not suggesting that it's any better, only you can decide that; it's just an alternative.
Hope this helps and please let us know how you get on in the competition.

Good luck!

Bren.

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wildatheart
3 Mar 2012 - 11:13 PM

Many thanks for the comments and critiques so far... the competition is regional, and unfortunately I wont get the results for some time.

Alison

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mhfore
mhfore  7 England176 Constructive Critique Points
4 Mar 2012 - 12:11 AM

Hi Alison,

Yea, take out the leaf, for me it doesn't add anything. Alison l love the spider, what a great size comparison that works well in mono. A good image that should be entitled sizes and let the uncouth work things out for theirselves. In the mod i removed the leaf and added slight tonal adjustments.

Take care

Martin

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mhfore
mhfore  7 England176 Constructive Critique Points
4 Mar 2012 - 4:00 PM

Leaf ! what leaf? you know Alison when I removed that leg I kept thinking to myself, this in not a leaf. I even re-read the discription and still got leaf and not LEAVE. DOH!

Martin

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jacksloan
jacksloan  5 United Kingdom
4 Mar 2012 - 9:16 PM

Great composition! I love the idea of the spider too, but it is too small in comparison to see on my screen. I would have been tempted to either enlarge it or get rid.

I think the high-contrast processing is effective in showing up the wrinkles and bringing the leg out from the wall, but I think it is slightly over the top. A little less contrast might expose some more variation in tone.

I really like the sliver of the elephant's body on the extreme right of the shot - it makes me imagine the rest of the animal plodding into shot.

Lovely capture!

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pamelajean
pamelajean Critique Team 8806 forum postspamelajean vcard United Kingdom1636 Constructive Critique Points
5 Mar 2012 - 9:44 PM

I love it, Alison. So different. Wonderful detail, and it's obvious what it is, so I would crop off that bit of the body on the right.
As for the spider, I had to zoom in extremely close in order to see its antics, it's just not obvious enough, and what a shame. If it were mine, I would be loathe to remove it because it's such fun, but am not sure what competition judges would think, so I'm not much help there, am I? If you remove the spider, you have the problem of choosing a different title.
I've done 2 simple crops in my mods, one leaving a bit more space on the left than the other.
I feel your upload is a tad oversharpened, but you probably did that for the small size required.
Pamela.

Last Modified By pamelajean at 5 Mar 2012 - 9:48 PM

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DRicherby
DRicherby  6269 forum posts United Kingdom725 Constructive Critique Points
6 Mar 2012 - 9:09 AM

Unfortunately, the spider's legs aren't visible at this resolution so the spider just looks like a little black blob. You have 20MP to play with so a tighter crop may be an option -- you can come in much tighter than this and it'll still be obvious that it's an elephant's foot.

I'd also dial down the contrast, which I think it excessive and looks to the naked eye as if you've blown out a whole bunch of things that are more mid-tones than highlights. That may also be contributing to the spider's leg-loss, in a similar way to telephone wires disappearing when the setting sun crosses them.

Dave.

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wildatheart
6 Mar 2012 - 9:19 AM

Thank you so much for the critique, it has helped me see things clearer to make my final alterations.

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