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this is my new stick insect called big-momma but i think i could improve on the background as well
These are modifications uploaded by other members of the photo above. Download the photo by right clicking Download Photo and clicking Save As.
Hi James, great to see you uploading again!
This is a gorgeous image to come back with, what an amazing creature! A clearer, less cluttered surrounding would show her off at her best. I shall look forward to seeing a lot more of her!
Because you've clicked the 'Critique' button we are not allowed to vote, but I would have if I could!
Very interesting critter you have there!
Good focus and detail captured on the head of the stick insect. As you have said a clearer background will improve future attempts, i have never photographed stick insects before but with thin bodied insects a sideways view often brings out more detail overall (though head shots work brilliantly too!). Taking your shots early in the day when the insect is still sluggish will allow for a longer exposure with a tripod for support without needing flash (unless of course you think its needed).
With a 50mm macro range you are working quite close so the distance between the subject and the background should be as far away as you can (3 feet min if possible), this will help isolate the subject and get a nicely blurred background without distractions (Another tip is to get low as this often makes the background further away from the subject). If possible use a natural looking background that nicely contrasts with the insect you are photographing (try to avoid plain/single coloured backgrounds as they look too set up in appearance).
On a final note if using a tripod and you have a distant background try using an F16 aperture to max out the level of detail in you image. However try to avoid f22 as this often results in loss of sharpness and detail on a macro lens.
Anyway these are a few things I've picked up when photographing insects and i hope they are useful to you or at least give you some ideas of your own
Great looking photo from you well done
yep, - better background can make this look better.
A good effort, and it can benefit with a touch more sharpening, and a little curves adjustment, and cropping to place the head on a third.
Loaded a mod.
heres some information you might find useful:
Resize image: Image>Image size> set pixels per inch to 72; then set the longest side to what the site allows; then during the save as process, you will adjust the quality slider to get the right file size, then save.
Next: Open the new image. Check for sharpness at 100%. It will very likely need to be sharpened. You can use whatever method you prefer; here is a reliable method you can use:
Filter>sharpen>unsharp mask; set Radius = 0.8; set threshold = 3; now slide the Amount slider all the way to the right, which oversharpens the shot; then slide it slowly back to the left until it doesnt look soft, and doesnt look too sharp. You can view your image and turn Preview on and off to see how youre doing. When your happy, press OK, then SAVE. Now upload.
Is this a macro lens or a standard 50mm - doesn't actually say. Background OK for me - a bit of detail without distraction. Not enough sharp for me, which is why I wonder about macro. Would expect more and a true macro lens is computed to work well at tiny apertures, so f22 of f28 would work and produce more depth with the added exposure problems - more ISO or less shutter speed.
Don't think stick insects move much, so slow shutter speed, small aperture and a tripod.
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