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A Giant shares its food

By Overread  
f13, ISO 200, 1/200sec
580M2 and lumiquest softbox used for additional lighting.

Taken in Wisley gardens - I wanted to get one of the smaller bugs to face me, but alass had to make do with the backend of one - still I think it does show just how big a butterfly is in the macro world!

Any advice regarding the photo is welcome - idealy I would have liked to stacked the shot for greater depth of field, but the place was way to crowded for a tripod (and I didn't have it with me anyway). Aside from that do the colors seem a bit off?

Any comments/crits* welcome - thank you

*come on seriously hack the shot apart! I can't get any better unless I know all that is wrong Wink

Tags: Macro Micro Butterfly Insect Close-up and macro Wisley Wildlife and nature

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


Carabosse 15 41.1k 270 England
19 Feb 2009 5:42PM

Quote:come on seriously hack the shot apart!

Not actually a great deal to criticise here. You have got close in and timed things pretty well. The bright foreground is what tends to catch the eye, but this can be cropped a bit and the shadows/highlights tool used to pull back some of the details and to lighten, slightly, the shadow areas. I have done this in the mod I've uploaded for you - as well as adding a bit of selective sharpening on the small bug. Hope that helps.

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Overread 9 4.1k 19 England
19 Feb 2009 6:16PM
Thanks CB!
I agree with what you have suggested in your edit - the selective sharpening actually makes a much more noticable change than I thought it would when I read it in your comments.
Its odd, but yellow appears to be a very strange colour with plants - on flowers I find that it soaks up saturation and had to be tone down quite a bit when compared to the rest of a shot - whilst the banana yellow appears very reflective to my flashlighting.
furnarif 9 2 1 United States
19 Feb 2009 11:23PM
Ahhhh, so that's a banana....I was afraid to ask Smile
Jokes aside, I liked this shot a lot, it's amazing the amount of detail you got, and to have that other bug in the shot as well was a good timing. Now, on my opinion (and please, take note that I am only a beginner), it does look like it has a yellowish cast all over which could be correctd by fiddling with the White Balance. I think you were torn between getting a lot of detail in the frame vs putting more of the subject in, but maybe having only the rest of the antennas from butterfly would have been a nice touch, without compromising the details? What do you think?

it's a great shot, it really cought my attention.
Overread 9 4.1k 19 England
20 Feb 2009 1:03AM
You are certianly right about the details vs amount of creature inframe part - I do like getting in close for the details, and that does tend to mess up either my compostion of coverage of the bug. I find antennas to be a right pain though - especially on butterflies since they are so long. I think if I want these sorts of details and closeness the antennae are going to end up (like the wings) lost to the edges - getting them in could be possible if I were do to do a portrate fronton shot probably, but then we have to deal with them moving out of the plane of focus.
Its a tricky choice and I don't really know where I stand on the matter as yet.

thanks for the yellow point - this is one of those shots where I am not always happy with the colours, but didn't know if that was just me or if there was something that might have been off (the insect itself has quite a bit of yellow and different colors - so I didn't want to lose its colours just because I was thinking it looked wrong)

oh and as for banana you wait till the next shot goes up - then you will see some really risky and different banana (at least I think its banana)
strawman 14 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
20 Feb 2009 7:09PM
OK I did a mod as I sort of agree with the other posts, so a crop down a burn in of the banana that is burnt out, and a reduction in saturation and reduction in the yellow colours to try and make it look more like banna.

But it is an interesting view and the butterfly looks very large compared to the small bug. And the eyes as ever look good.
Overread 9 4.1k 19 England
20 Feb 2009 7:27PM
Thanks John - it does look better with the yellows reduced - a big difference! I don't know about a full saturation reduction though ( cut me some slack I think I am still in high contrast/saturation shooting mode -got HDR to try next! Wink) but certainly a bit more limiting won't hurt the shot
ketch 10 770 50 Turks And Caicos Islands
20 Feb 2009 9:20PM
Please forgive me - but I loved the interaction in this image. It is not simply about good timing but really is set apart from the usual bug shot because of the little guy - so I have uploaded a closer crop to really get into the action - that's what makes the image IMO.

I think all the above comments have most of the bases covered - an excelent image but think about what makes it really special and maximise maybe?

Best wishes

Overread 9 4.1k 19 England
21 Feb 2009 6:47PM
ketch - I do agree the interaction is the special part of the shot - and if I had moremagnification in the fied I would pushed to get closer still Smile
I think though = for this shot - having the back end of the second insect is less than what I Idealy wanted from the interaction - I wanted the face of the other bug, but as I said above, location, positioning and the lack of something to rest the lens on limited my shooting, though I am still very pleased to get both in focus (or near enough) even if one is mooning the camera Wink Smile

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