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23/07/2009 - 10:02 PM

'Messin a boat'

'Messin a boat'Excellent layers of colour... you could crop even tighter here... try the more abstract composition... also adjust the levels to give a little more contrast and balance the colours...

Well spotted!

10/06/2009 - 8:25 PM


SwallowtailA magnificent shot... I love the dynamic feel to it and totally agree with your crop... if those wing tips were both in focus this would be 100% for me... still a visually stunning capture!

Well done!

08/06/2009 - 10:14 PM

garden bug

garden bugIn my opinion this is a fine attempt, but I would try to improve your technique rather than trying to correct this shot.

Once you have enough of the subject out of focus it becomes pointless trying to repair the image... in this case your focus worked only on the extreme far right upper wing...

What you need is a smaller aperture at least around f16 for a shot like this... make sure the speed is enough to avoid any camera shake

You could also try taking the dragonfly from directly behind between the shoulders rather than from this angle which is very difficult to get right especially without an SLR and a dedicated macro lens.

You did well to get this close and the background shows it, nothing too distracting behind the subject... but you need to practise moving around the dragonfly to get the best angle before moving in for the shot.

Keep them coming!

Well done!

24/07/2008 - 6:36 PM

Common Blue (II)

Common Blue (II)Excellent composition if a little soft on the focus... you would do so much better with a dedicated macro lens e.g. Sigma 150mm... you certainly have the eye!

Well done!

13/07/2008 - 9:17 PM


CommaLovely pose you caught here! I really like the spread of the wings and you succeeded in sneaking up from behind and getting in close...

On a technical note: there's quite a lot of noise in the shot and it is a little out of focus around the wing tips. I'm guessing you had to crop the original quite a bit to get this composition.

Perhaps it was too dark to use a lower ISO setting. In general this would need to be taken with a monopod to get a little more stability in the shot and to use a smaller aperture which would give you more depth of field.

Anyway, this shows you have a great eye, now just a little more technique will take you up to the next level! Smile

Well done!

10/07/2008 - 10:08 PM

Male Silver Studded Blue

Male Silver Studded BlueBrilliantly shot! I'm not sure if it was possible, but a vertical crop might work better with this kind of shot... a little more space above the wings always looks good.

The colours here are simply stunning!

Well done!

28/06/2008 - 7:06 PM

Spanish Marbled White

Spanish Marbled WhiteThis is a great idea Malcolm and well composed... I like the backlighting and the spread of the wings...

... however to get picky... it really is not at all in focus! the attempt to darken the wings is a little too obvious and looks unnatural... I would suggest that you feather the selection more in PS before trying to change the lighting... in order to create a more natural effect... after you have darkened the wings use the Replace colour tool to return the background light around the wings to it's original tone.

This is very close to being an exceptional shot, but on this occasion it didn't quite come through. Your doing better than me lately... I can't get anywhere near these at the moment... they're really very difficult to approach so I admire you attempt more than most!

Well done!

25/06/2008 - 10:48 AM

Spanish Marbled White

Spanish Marbled WhiteOk I see this is another inferior Spanish Marbled White Wink the ones in Provence are much prettier... as is everything up this way! Smile

Some technical tips: this kind of shot would probably look better with the vertical crop and a lot more space above the wings... a little more contrast and try to lighten up the background in PS.

Glad to see you got some light through the wings here... although the shadow on the flower is very large...

The shot might have been more focused if you had the chance to get the wings closed more... would have cast less shadow and let more light through... if the wings are completely closed though the translucence is reduced again.

Well you are pushing the envelope with this lens and doing as well as anyone could really... but I think I might have to send you my 180mm soon... it's getting frustrating to see so much macro talent watered down!


25/05/2008 - 12:06 AM


UnexpectedEye contact is very important in macro photography and you've go that here, if not 100% perfect, it's close!

The leg is a little sharper than the eye, yes, but there's nothing wrong with the rest of the wing being out of focus, it's more the way you have chosen to keep the whole insect instead of going for more of a study of the head and forelegs.

As you said it's often impossible to get into a position where you're lined up with the plane of the wings and head, so in this case you probably could have approached even closer and changed the presentation.

In the circumstances I think it's an admirable effort!

Keep them coming!

Well done!

19/05/2008 - 8:37 PM

common blue

common blueIt looks stunning the way you've presented it.

A shame about the stain on the wing though... actually the PS work is quite visible around the grass stem... perhaps you could have fixed up the wing instead?

DOF is almost there, very difficult from this angle to get it all in focus.

It's certainly eye-catching that blue! and very sharp in the centre.

Well done!

30/04/2008 - 10:24 PM

Moroccan Orange Tip II

Moroccan Orange Tip IIVery fine detail as always John!

The yellow seems to have been a little over-exposed in places, maybe the camera couldn't handle the saturation?

The highlights are a little overblown... perhaps in the RAW file you can recover more detail there?

But overall... still the spectacular butterfly shooting we have come to expect from you!