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Thread: Damselflies

  1. #1

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    Damselflies

    Hi everyone, I took this photograph of a pair of damselflies mating, but I can't decide whether the busy background gives a nice composition and sense of depth and distance, or whether it ruins the picture... any comments or opinions?

    Damselflies

    Thanks,
    Dan

  2. #2

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    Re: Damselflies

    I would definitely crop tighter, Dan. Show all of the flower on which they are sitting but lose some of the distant background.

  3. #3
    Ken Curtis's Avatar
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    Re: Damselflies

    Dan, I agree with Geoff.

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    Re: Damselflies

    I agree, a tighter crop would help to focus the eye on the bugs. I think the size of the flowers in the crop will give enough perspective.

    Lucky shot!

    Gretchen

  5. #5

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    Re: Damselflies

    Thanks for the comments Geoff, Ken and Gretchen! I must admit I originally tried for a tighter crop when I started processing this photo, but I couldn't get the rotation and cropping to work without leaving something distracting on the edge. So I gave up and went for the larger crop, but probably I should have just persevered a bit longer! Here's a new version, do you think this works better?

    Damselflies

    Thanks so much for all your help.
    Dan

  6. #6

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    Re: Damselflies

    Last crop looks good to me. Although one slight problem remains.

    From that angle I can't be absolutely certain of the identification.

    Most likely Azure Damselflies (Coenagrion puella) I think.

  7. #7

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    Re: Damselflies

    Ha! Thanks Geoff

    Does this one help?

    Damselflies

    I was walking along a disused canal towpath, and there were quite a few of these at one point. This one landed on the path right in front of me, and stayed still long enough for me to creep up and get a picture.

    Dan

  8. #8
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Damselflies

    Hi Dan,

    Quote Originally Posted by dkw View Post
    ~ but I couldn't get the rotation and cropping to work without leaving something distracting on the edge.
    That's when you start cloning

    Like the second crop.

    Stating the obvious; if you can, try to position yourself and the subject so they don't merge due to similar colour and tone, may be you did - I note that putting the second body over the pale background would have lost the wings, so perhaps these words are superfluous

    Cheers,

  9. #9

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    Re: Damselflies

    Unless you get some odd species there, Dan. I would say definitely Common Blue (Enallagma cyathigerum) male.

    The Antehumeral Stripe is quite wide. The top blue stripe on the thorax.

    There isn't a Coenagrion Spur. A short black line on the thorax below the full length black line. If you compare against a definite Azure Damselfly, and a few others, these variations will become obvious.

    Also, on the second abdomen segment there is a 'black sphere on a short stalk. Each species has a slightly different mark here.

    And there are a few lesser differences.

    The dark wing tip marks are also obvious with that shot.

  10. #10

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    Re: Damselflies

    Yes, Dan, I like this crop much better!

    Good job!

    ggt

  11. #11

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    Re: Damselflies

    Thanks everyone, and thanks for the identification Geoff. Nice to know what it is I saw!

    Dave, thanks for the tips I tried to think about positioning a little bit, but to be honest these creatures were flitting about so much (even while attached together!) that my main concern was just getting the shot! Hopefully once I've had a bit more practice I'll be quicker, and can better arrange the composition even when I don't have long to do it.

    I've not done any cloning work yet, and actually I'm not sure I feel 100% comfortable with it yet - it still seems a bit like cheating! To me changing white balance, crop, exposure etc are all changing properties of the observer, whereas cloning is changing a property of the subject... I fully accept it can make better pictures, and that it's not really any more immoral than other photo processing, it's just that something in my head makes me feel guilty contemplating it. Probably I just haven't got frustrated enough about some aspect of a photo to learn cloning yet

  12. #12

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    Re: Damselflies

    Quite often, Dan, I do a bit of pruning before taking a photo; particularly with wild flower shots.

    Removing a few stray leaves is just the same as cloning, but I do it before shooting instead of afterwards.

    Changing a sky etc may be more controversial, but it is exactly the same as a painter would do to create a variation of a scene.

    Adding or removing people from a group shot etc may be more of a concern. But much of editing is acceptable unless the resulting changes are claimed to be 'as shot'.

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