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Thread: Not Your Usual Portrait

  1. #1

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    Not Your Usual Portrait

    I thought I would post something a little different than the usual fare. Not a pretty girl or a weathered old man, but a rather compelling visage nevertheless, no?


    Not Your Usual Portrait

    (Maybe I should have put this one into the "pets" category. )

  2. #2
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Not Your Usual Portrait

    Compelling, indeed! Stunning image... and my favourite portrait

  3. #3

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    Re: Not Your Usual Portrait

    Now that's what I call impact. Great image.

  4. #4

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    Re: Not Your Usual Portrait

    Quote Originally Posted by John 2 View Post
    Now that's what I call impact. Great image.
    Absolutely!

  5. #5
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Not Your Usual Portrait

    Very nice, very different.

  6. #6

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    Re: Not Your Usual Portrait

    Impressive and a real attention grabber.

  7. #7

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    Re: Not Your Usual Portrait

    Arlen, that's a great shot, and I love the black and white. Very well done!!

  8. #8
    FlyingSquirrel's Avatar
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    Re: Not Your Usual Portrait

    Well done, really great image!

  9. #9
    teokf's Avatar
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    Re: Not Your Usual Portrait

    WOW! great image.

  10. #10
    Stagecoach's Avatar
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    Re: Not Your Usual Portrait

    Very nice Arlen,

    Care to share the shooting info for this closeup.

  11. #11

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    Re: Not Your Usual Portrait

    Stunning, Arlen.

    (It reminds me of someone... can't think who ... probably a politician.)

  12. #12
    Kaye Leggett's Avatar
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    Re: Not Your Usual Portrait

    He has real character - well captured.

  13. #13
    Suzan J's Avatar
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    Re: Not Your Usual Portrait

    Yikes! First the slug and now this... Great shot

  14. #14

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    Re: Not Your Usual Portrait

    Thanks to each of you for the very kind words. It's never clear how any particular group of people will react to bug pictures, as some (like me) are fascinated by them and others recoil in revulsion. Except fly fishers, who usually can be counted on to welcome detailed pictures of the insects their flies imitate.

    For those who don't recognize this menacing-looking beast, it is the Baldfaced Hornet, found all across North America. It has a bad reputation, and indeed they can be aggressive and deliver painful stings if they think their nest is being threatened. But in other circumstances they are usually much more mellow, dare I say friendly.

    Grahame, the technical details for this shot are not particularly exotic, being similar to what many here (including you, I think) employ. Canon 5D, Canon 100mm macro lens with extension tubes, nominal f/16 at 1/200, flash on an off-camera bracket, and a piece of black velvet that I carry around placed in the background. RAW optimization in Lightroom; converted to B&W and tonal control accomplished with NIK Silver Efex Pro and Viveza in Photoshop. Much more important was the interaction with the subject. I found it drinking from the most soil along the bank of a local river here in Oregon, and it seemed in no hurry to leave the scene. Lots of patience, gentle persuasion, and years of practice developing a rapport with insects (strange as that may seem) did the rest.

  15. #15
    FlyingSquirrel's Avatar
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    Re: Not Your Usual Portrait

    Quote Originally Posted by Arlen View Post
    Lots of patience, gentle persuasion, and years of practice developing a rapport with insects (strange as that may seem) did the rest.
    Does not sound strange to me at all. A lot of people don't realize what it takes to get wildlife shots (bugs are wildlife IMO). Only someone that works a lot with various animals can understand...over time you just pick up on subtle signals from the animal, know their behavior, get the sensitivity and body language built into yourself second nature, and...well, the patience is just something only the passionate can get.

  16. #16
    Stagecoach's Avatar
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    Re: Not Your Usual Portrait

    Quote Originally Posted by Arlen View Post
    Grahame, the technical details for this shot are not particularly exotic, being similar to what many here (including you, I think) employ. Canon 5D, Canon 100mm macro lens with extension tubes, nominal f/16 at 1/200, flash on an off-camera bracket, and a piece of black velvet that I carry around placed in the background. RAW optimization in Lightroom; converted to B&W and tonal control accomplished with NIK Silver Efex Pro and Viveza in Photoshop. Much more important was the interaction with the subject. I found it drinking from the most soil along the bank of a local river here in Oregon, and it seemed in no hurry to leave the scene. Lots of patience, gentle persuasion, and years of practice developing a rapport with insects (strange as that may seem) did the rest.
    Arlen, thanks for sharing this.

    The reason I asked is that I was wondering if you had either the image quality to allow enlarging, or, were using tubes. I have a few close ups of hornets we have here but all taken when they are guarding their nest and you can see them watching your every move.

    As you say the work that goes into getting a shot like this is not simple but the results are worth it when you can portray their character as in this image for others to appreciate.

  17. #17

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    Re: Not Your Usual Portrait

    It's good to have folks with a similar mind to commune with. Judging from the top notch macro photos I've seen on this site, including by some who have posted on this thread, there are a number of "bug whisperers" among us.

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