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Thread: Bugs, bugs, bugs.

  1. #1

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    Bugs, bugs, bugs.

    Some bugs - live or otherwise.

    Have been trying to improve my post-processing and learn new techniques. These have been processed a bit differently from my usual ways.

    Please tell me what you think - overdone, just right, bad, etc ??

    Thanks.

    1.
    Bugs, bugs, bugs.

    2.
    Bugs, bugs, bugs.

    3.
    Bugs, bugs, bugs.

    4.
    Bugs, bugs, bugs.

    5.
    Bugs, bugs, bugs.

    6.
    Bugs, bugs, bugs.

  2. #2
    Egyptian Face's Avatar
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    Re: Bugs, bugs, bugs.

    The butterflies are amazing really ... u think u r so lucky

  3. #3

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    Re: Bugs, bugs, bugs.

    Thank you Sara.

  4. #4
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Bugs, bugs, bugs.

    I think the processing on these is just right. Sharpening seems good. Colours feel natural. Exposure looks good, across the board.

  5. #5

    Re: Bugs, bugs, bugs.

    I haven't seen a purple dragonfly and now I saw one! Thank you Bobo, I enjoyed the colors.

  6. #6

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    Re: Bugs, bugs, bugs.

    Thanks Donald - getting there, getting there. Now to make sure to not move back the usual 10 steps!

    Thanks Al - glad to hear that.

  7. #7

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    Re: Bugs, bugs, bugs.

    The basic photography works fine, Bobo, but you are clearly trying to work closely to the rule of thirds; which just doesn't work for me unless you have something which balances the whole scene, as with the last shot.

    But other people insist on this method.

  8. #8

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    Re: Bugs, bugs, bugs.

    Thanks Geoff. Sometimes not much option to balance. These were all at 300mm with the subjects at most between 5-6 feet away. The last one had more distance so could take in more of the surroundings. The crops could have been much tighter but did try to keep space around the subjects as best as possible though most of it was just messy vegetation and distracting.

    The additional problem is the subject is not always co-operative from a composition POV. So we are forced to take the shot as is and worry about presentation later. It is hard enough getting them in the kind of light we want.

    Will certainly try to break the rules but so far rule-breaking has not been all that great.

  9. #9

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    Re: Bugs, bugs, bugs.

    They all look crisp, clear and beautiful on my screen. That dragonfly is so pretty!

  10. #10

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    Re: Bugs, bugs, bugs.

    Thanks Myra.

    Apologies for the late response.

  11. #11
    Letrow's Avatar
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    Re: Bugs, bugs, bugs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobobird View Post
    Some bugs - live or otherwise.

    Have been trying to improve my post-processing and learn new techniques. These have been processed a bit differently from my usual ways.

    Please tell me what you think - overdone, just right, bad, etc ??

    Thanks.

    1.
    Bugs, bugs, bugs.

    2.
    Bugs, bugs, bugs.

    3.
    Bugs, bugs, bugs.
    I think the last three look fine and number 5 is the best I think. Nice colors and composition. The first three are ok, but they distract me a bit. Number 1 looks well composed, but is a bit on the dark side. That flower should jump out a bit more. You might have a look at the white balance. In number 2 my eye is drawn to the plant all the time, not to the bug, too much going on. The same happens in number 3, my eye wanders too much.

  12. #12

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    Re: Bugs, bugs, bugs.

    First of all let me say I love the wasp, I wish I had taken it and although I think it needs work I believe it has the potential to be a really lovely pic. I am going to pay you the respect of commenting on each pic. Please accept that I am not being negative, I am only offering my opinion on ways in which I believe you pics could be even better. If you disagree fine they are your pics and you have to make your own decisions but I am trying to be honest in the hope that what I say may be of help.
    1) There are three interest points in this pic, the two insects and the centre yellow of the flower. These are either on the centreline or to the right. The petals are pointing up and to the right with the consequence that the eye is taken up and right out of the pic, we don't see the left area which contributes little. If the centre of the flower had been placed on the thirds intersection on the bottom left, or even better the GR intersection and the larger dark area was on the right then a better balance would have been achieved. Unfortunately however, both spider and insect are facing left so there is a tension against the way the eye wants to go which is difficult to overcome. Hard to tell with small pic as to sharpness but the insects which I feel should be the subjects are too small. Nice DOF and green background lines work well but large black area to the left is an issue.
    2) There are two points in this pic to which the eye is drawn. The white dot of the grasshopper's eye (I presume it is a grasshopper, forgive me if I am wrong) and the dark centre of the leaf clump on the right. Both are connected by the diagonal which is nicely anchored in the bottom left corner. Problem is my eye moves along the diagonal past the grasshopper eye to the dark centre but it should settle on the grasshopper itself as I believe the grasshopper is meant to be the subject of the pic. The grasshopper eye is pretty close to centre and the leafy clump is also pretty much on the horizontal central line. This creates an imbalance and a tension between the clump and the grasshopper eye, the viewer's eye does not know where to settle. The highlights of the grasshopper on the side are blown and the contrast is harsh. I know the grasshopper blends in with the background in order to survive but from a photographic point of view it needs to be the focus, after all it is the subject of the pic. Again noise reduction software would help clean up the image.
    3) There are balance problems with too much uninteresting green particularly on the right. Seems reasonably sharp for the white moth but am not sure what the lower right brown straw thing is. For a shot like this to work the main subject, the moth I presume, needs to pop. It needs to be sharpened and selectively brightened. If you have a look at the histogram of this pic you will see that it is very dark overall. Big problem with noise again which is probably a result of low light available for the shot. Noise reduction software will help.

    4) Much better but the focal point of the moth is , in my opinion wrongly placed, it is quite central, there needs to be a crop of bottom and right. Again it doesn't pop out at you, over- sharpened and problems with contrast, brightness and noise.

    5) Nice detail on the area of the wing on top of the back of the body but not sharp and off balance, too much blue. Again noise problems.

    6) Now this is a different story altogether. Beautiful focus on the wasp. Good DOF ie got most in focus apart from right antannae and back left leg but certainly within acceptable limits. Would suggest a crop on the right and the bottom to move the head away from dead centre so that the top left leaf and wasp will be in balance. But there is the problem of brightness and contrast. If you move right away from the screen you will find that wasp disappears and the most dominant part is the bright lily pad on the bottom right. Selective adjustments to contrast, brightness and saturation and just a little touch of unsharp mask could convert this from a good pic to an amazing pic.

    I hope this all helps but in the end they are your pics, you are the artist you have to decide.

    Peter

  13. #13

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    Re: Bugs, bugs, bugs.

    Thanks Peter and Peter

    You both have no idea how much your detailed explanations mean to me. You have not only provided a basis to fix the pics but also something to work on for the future.

    If I could send beer your way, it would be on its way.

    Will get cracking on a complete redo and incorporate your suggestions as much as my limited pp skills allow.

    Love this place for one reason alone - the knowledge and willingness to help newbies improve.

    One other thing learned via the Strands post - never pp right after the shoot. The "emotional" attachment just gets in the way.

  14. #14
    Nass's Avatar
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    Re: Bugs, bugs, bugs.

    I would suggest that a common element across all shots that could lead to an improvement would be less background. In macro, background is often a distraction causing clutter etc. Simple is gooooooood =)

  15. #15

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    Re: Bugs, bugs, bugs.

    Thanks Johan.

    Problem here is that these are just closeups and not macros. 1-6 are already pretty tight crops and going in any further will start to destroy detail. So the next best option was to place the insect within its environment as presented in the first post. That presents certain compositional problems as mentioned in subsequent posts.

    Have spent the last 2-3 hours reviewing each RAW image in detail.

    Regarding the individual pics.

    1 - there is leeway to go in tighter but parts of the flower will have to go to retain balance or one or the other of the insects need to go.

    2 - can be fixed as suggested with a 100% crop.

    3 - can be fixed somewhat with a 100% crop but the moth will not have anything for balance.

    4 - can take a 100% crop but like 3 the butterfly will have nothing to balance with.

    5 - nothing much needs to be done with the dragon and can be fixed.

    6 - Only way to isolate is a 100% crop which will leave the wasp in the center and nothing else for balance. With a smaller crop the surroundings will become distracting. Have tried all sorts of crop options and none work. The leaf in top left can be cloned out but then wasp will be looking into emptiness. So I am stuck on this one.

    That said, who knows tomorrow may see things differently.

  16. #16

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    Re: Bugs, bugs, bugs.

    Re-do.

    1a.
    Bugs, bugs, bugs.

    2a.
    Bugs, bugs, bugs.

    3a.
    Bugs, bugs, bugs.

    4a.
    Bugs, bugs, bugs.

    5a.
    Bugs, bugs, bugs.

    6a.
    Bugs, bugs, bugs.

  17. #17
    Nass's Avatar
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    Re: Bugs, bugs, bugs.

    This is one of the challenges with closeups/macro because it's unusual to be able to fix it in pp (distracting backgrounds). The way to do it is to do it when you're shooting, iE beforehand, as you compose not after. Walk round the subject until you get a clutter free background, then shoot. Also, one of the things towork on is the shooting angle, my most successful shots are where I have their face at the cam's level or even slightly above.
    Last edited by Nass; 17th November 2011 at 09:36 AM.

  18. #18

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    Re: Bugs, bugs, bugs.

    Totally agree with Nass but I think your reworks are a clear improvement.

    Well done

    Peter

  19. #19

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    Re: Bugs, bugs, bugs.

    Whew! A big relief. Thought it was messed up again.
    Thanks Peter.

    Thanks Johan. Wish it was that easy!

    1, 2, 5 and 6 were all in a pond that was lower then ground level with close mesh iron railings. Lot of kids visit this place so the fences are a bit higher then normal. Only position was down or leaning over the fence..

    #3 is a dead moth that was sandwiched between 2 leaves. Had to tip-toe to lift away the top leaf. Could have detached the leaf with the moth but dead or alive did not wish to disturb the place. Shot was at slightly higher then eye level. Not easy with a zoom fully extended. No option to go around as the plant was flush against a rock wall.

    #4 was in a bush on a steep'ish incline next to the narrow pond path. Only way to shoot was from below all the while trying not to obstruct people on the path. Straddled some small rocks to get a front shot but due to my awkward position these were not too good. Butterfly flew off a few seconds later.

    But .... whatever the terrain issues it is my fault. Should have composed better and not have let "get the shot! get the shot!" take over.

    I so need a macro lens...

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