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Southern Rock Agama

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This skittish little fellow was shot on a rocky outcrop of the Robberg Peninsula near Plettenberg Bay in South Africa in early January. I wanted to be sure that I had sufficient depth of field to keep his whole body and the rock he was sitting on in focus and chose an aperture of f/11. The background was quite far away and was fairly well blurred but there were distracting brown patches. These were cloned out and a fair bit of gaussian blur was then applied.
Comments welcome!

Brand:Canon
Lens:EF24-105mm F/4L IS USM
Recording media:RAW (digital)
Date Taken:5 Jan 2013 - 12:10 PM
Focal Length:105mm
Lens Max Aperture:f/4.0
Aperture:f/11.0
Shutter Speed:1/350sec
Exposure Comp:0.0
ISO:200
Exposure Mode:Aperture-priority AE
Metering Mode:Multi-segment
Flash:Off, Did not fire
White Balance:Auto
Title:Southern Rock Agama
Username:RobLouw RobLouw
Uploaded:13 Mar 2013 - 9:14 AM
Tags:Close-up / macro, Wildlife / nature
VS Mode Rating 102 (71.43% won)
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Comments

This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
ErictheViking
ErictheViking e2 Member 1124 forum postsErictheViking vcard Scotland102 Constructive Critique Points
13 Mar 2013 - 10:32 AM

I think you've done a great job on this Rob, as you've cropped to a letter box type image I think it could crop a bit tighter to help see some of the amazing detail on the lizard.

Maybe also consider a further crop to concentrate on the lizard head again to show off the detail against your blur background.

To demonstrate I've loaded 2 mods.

Tell me what you think.

Erik Grin

ps tried the second crop and didn't like the results so just 1 mod loaded.

Last Modified By ErictheViking at 13 Mar 2013 - 10:36 AM

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Hermanus
Hermanus  1 South Africa
13 Mar 2013 - 10:35 AM

This is a lovely photo !!

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cats_123
cats_123 e2 Member 103956 forum postscats_123 vcard Northern Ireland24 Constructive Critique Points
13 Mar 2013 - 11:57 AM

great detail..agree about the crop Smile

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pamelajean
pamelajean Critique Team 8685 forum postspamelajean vcard United Kingdom1531 Constructive Critique Points
13 Mar 2013 - 4:38 PM

I think you admirably achieved your goal, Rob, of getting the whole of the lizard in focus, and have done some nice work on the background.
The tones immediately suggest a hot barren landscape, and I like the lizard's strong shadow too.
I like the way he is holding his feet away from the rock, probably because it's very hotTongue.
I think the image is excellent, and there is only one small thing that I felt might improve it. There is a part of the rock on the left which is quite dark, and which runs along the top of the lizard's tail, and I feel this spoils its outline. I have therefore done a modification where I cloned it out. I also tried cropping a little off either side, bringing the edge of the rock into the bottom right corner, being careful not to crop too close to its tail, and still leaving space in front of it. I did a bit more cloning on the top right corner just to clean it up a bit. I find that when cloning a background like this, it's best to use a very large brush and take large chunks from elsewhere. I also removed a few small black spots from the rock.
Pamela.

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paulbroad
paulbroad  681 forum posts United Kingdom825 Constructive Critique Points
13 Mar 2013 - 4:52 PM

Yes, nice job. A first class record of the critter. My first thought was the background looks very neutral and I now see what you have done. However, it looks pretty good and sets him off well. May be the background could have been a bit darker?

Paul

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