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The Claw

By gross
A crab claw I found on the beach. HDR'd and played with levels to give it some kick

Tags: Beach Crab Close-up and macro Claw

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gross 8
10 May 2011 12:16AM
This is my first post by the way so be gentle Smile

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banehawi Plus
15 2.2k 4093 Canada
10 May 2011 1:01AM
Welcome to Ephotozine Gordon.

Were usually not too difficult to deal with!

Its a nice idea, - but I have to wonder why you went for a pseudo HDR look? I say pseudo since actual HDR involves taking multiple exposures and combining, then extracting tones using something like Photomatix. So Im assuming this is a one shot effort.

The effect has left the shot looking a tad dull, and slightly blue overall. Better to remove that blown area of sky too, - easy to do with some cloning.

The original exposure is good, - the perspective works well with the subject, so a good effort.

I have loaded a mod where I have cropped a little from the left to move the claw off centre; adjusted curves and tone to make white = white and black = black, which also results in a brighter overall claw, and cloned over the blown sky.

I hope you find this helpful, and look forward to more of these clever shots,


pamelajean Plus
14 1.3k 2116 United Kingdom
10 May 2011 3:06PM
Hello, Gordon, and welcome to EPZ. I have been experimenting with my shells with shots like this, so am interested in what you have achieved here, and the shape and texture of the claw are very interesting. Since you found the crab claw on the beach, you could literally place it wherever you want to and, although I like the rock you chose, I think you might have been able to find a background that only included sea and sky or, if taken from a higher angle, just sea. I once waited several minutes for a distant yacht to come into my frame at the exact point that I wanted it, just to the right of my shell, mainly because there was no detail in the sea or sky, so the background was just blue. What you want is as few distractions as possible from your subject, and even the brightness of the lichen on the rock could be deemed a distraction, my eye keeps wandering down to it. I would also like to see the claw completely in focus, so a smaller aperture would be needed for that. Trial and error is the order of the day, trying different apertures until you get it all in focus. Try to have your subject offset in the frame, rather than being central. I hope I was gentle enough.
gross 8
11 May 2011 1:10AM
thanks guys. all advice greatly received! Smile
paulbroad 12 131 1288 United Kingdom
12 May 2011 7:26AM
The idea is excellent - really effective. Unfortunately the result is very dull indeed. You will know, after a while here, what I think to HDR. It is rarely a success in my opinion, and only when it is not immediately identifiable as HDR - this screamsit. HDR works by compressing the tonl range, and that is why this is so flat.

In the old mono darkroom days there was a rule. You must show a white and a black, then a full range of tones between in grey. This give an image with punch and brightness. Your result does not have kick. Go for saturated colours, a full range of tones and a bright image, then you have something quite special.

gross 8
14 May 2011 12:29PM
Hi Paul, Thanks for your comment.

While I cant really say that I fully understand the in's and out's of HDR I Still think that in a lot of cases it makes a more pleasing image. I think I remember reading somewhere that The sensor in a digital camera is not good enough to capture the the whole range of tones - Thats where HDR comes in. Granted I may have over cooked it a little here


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