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Walk on water!

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I was taking a morning hike on the El Piertro/Brown Mtn Trail in Altadena and made a few stops to take some great shots. This was one of them. Water minnows - I think...or "squeeters!" LOL!

Brand:NIKON
Camera:Nikon Coolpix P510 Check out Nikon Nation!
Recording media:JPEG (digital)
Date Taken:17 May 2013 - 7:05 AM
Focal Length:180mm
Lens Max Aperture:f/3.0
Aperture:f/5.9
Shutter Speed:1/80sec
Exposure Comp:0.0
ISO:800
Exposure Mode:Program AE
Metering Mode:Multi-segment
Flash:Off, Did not fire
White Balance:Auto1
Title:Walk on water!
Username:libr8r libr8r
Uploaded:18 May 2013 - 2:28 AM
Tags:Biology, Hike, Insects, Nature, Water, Wildlife / nature
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Comments

This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
prabhusinha
prabhusinha e2 Member 6prabhusinha vcard India3 Constructive Critique Points
18 May 2013 - 5:51 AM

Great catch.

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libr8r
libr8r  1 United States
18 May 2013 - 7:00 AM

Thank you Prabhushinha. I'm trying to figure out how I could have captured more detail. I"m still learning to shoot macro...I'm not sure if I accomplished that with this photo. I am proud of it though!

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paulbroad
paulbroad  681 forum posts United Kingdom825 Constructive Critique Points
19 May 2013 - 7:20 AM

Water Boatmen, or Pond skaters I think. A very good effort. Compacts can be very good at macro and you have done extremely well. To finish off, just burn in the stone at the bottom a bit and. with care, use the dodge tool on the darker parts of the bodies to lift detail.

Paul

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libr8r
libr8r  1 United States
19 May 2013 - 7:38 AM

@paulbroad: great! Uhm, pardon my ignorance is this "dodge tool" in the editing software I use (mac)? Sorry, I want to understand if you don't mind elaborating for me okay? Thank you so much for your input. I really appreciate your knowledge!

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pamelajean
pamelajean Critique Team 8683 forum postspamelajean vcard United Kingdom1529 Constructive Critique Points
19 May 2013 - 6:42 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

You are right to be proud of this image, Libby, it has good detail, a subtle watery background to set off the water boatmen, and all the overlapping legs and reflections give added interest to the shot.
Your choice of aperture has given you good detail on the three on the left, but the focus tails off slightly on the one on the right, which I would suggest you crop away. It's a good idea to focus on what can be removed in order to strengthen the composition, using the concept of less is more.
There is a guideline called the Rule Of Odds, according to which the most popular odd number is 3, but any odd number of objects (generally speaking) is better than even numbers. There are many ways to create balance in a design and using odd numbers of elements is an easy way.
It's a good close picture showing a lot of detail on the insects' bodies.
Compositionally, those long legs introduce difficulty. How many legs to you keep within the frame? Well, obviously, the largest one deserves to have all of its legs inside the frame, and so I'd like to see a bit more water at the top, so that the big one is well inside. As with pictures of people, it's best not to cut off hands, feet, etc if possible.
They don't move about a lot, and so your exposure mode was ok, and I'm glad you didn't use flash on the water.
It's always good to fill your frame with your subject, and you've done that. I think you also did right to shoot these from above.
In case Paul doesn't come back, the Dodge Tool lightens selective parts of an image, whereas the Burn Tool does the opposite, and darkens selective parts of an image.
In my modification I did use the Dodge Tool to lighten the darker parts of the insects, and the Burn Tool to darken the bright areas at the bottom, to demonstrate their uses to you.
I cropped away the insect on the right, leaving three. I think that if you had decided on just those three at the time of shooting, you may have been able to include the smaller ones' legs as well. I then added canvas at the top, giving the top leg some space, and ended up with a square format. I cloned out a few dark spots on the water, just to tidy it up, then selectively sharpened the larger water boatman.
Pamela.

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libr8r
libr8r  1 United States
20 May 2013 - 1:26 AM

@Pamelajean: Whoa! I see the difference with the modification...amazing. I have to reread all you've said again because I really want to get this and I enjoy soaking up this valuable information! I'm going to go attempt your suggestions for myself now. However, i would like to come back to you again with questions once I've reviewed and edited your suggestions if I may. Amazing input, Pamela. I'll be back okay?

@everyone: this is awesome, thank you all!

Last Modified By libr8r at 20 May 2013 - 1:33 AM

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