We saw one of these flowers in its vibrancy not too long ago here with a bee bonus. All good things must end so that they can begin again.
The gnat shown here is a rather nondescript creature as far as bugs go, but I was tickled when I more or less nailed the head or face shot above. Getting the focus on such tiny target is always good for a boost of confidence and energy. Ironically, however, the seemingly easier lateral shot (below) did not come out as nicely. At the time I had an overwhelming obsession with high magnification and face shots (now I’d say it is just whelming), and my personal focus, perhaps not coincidentally, matched up well with these images.
Not a lot to say about this one. I didn’t have to do a lot with it from the beginning. Well-exposed for the most part, typical contrast and sharpening adjustments, slight crop of dead space. I did do a previous treatment that I posted on Flickr a while back, but I like this rendition better.
There are a lot of curious creatures out there, but they do not always appear so at first blush. They come into my purview and obviously would like to leave it just as quickly, and some like this shining fungus beetle (tentative ID) are easy to let go. Tiny, fast-moving and black and shiny is not the easiest combination for the macro photographer typically. But when you are there to shoot bugs, it’s good to discriminate but not too much. To appreciate something new, one must give it a chance to begin with.
And so I gave this little, odd beetle a chance and was pleasantly surprised with the results. I really love that faint hint of red which was not evident to the naked eye. It suggests something beautiful yet sinister to me.
I tried to do something about the glare on the elytra (which are the hard covers on a beetle’s wings), but the highlights were completely blown out. The beetle didn’t stick around too long, but I was glad to get this shot. The nice thing for next time is, when I see one of these, its possibilities are already apparent and I won’t hesitate to shoot.
Note: You might have seen this one earlier than planned. I tried using the WordPress iOS app to schedule this post and it didn’t work too well. Not a big fan of the app.
My posts are becoming a running series of post-processing diary entries, which is actually a pretty good thing for me, as I tend to not make notes and forget how I do things. Hopefully it is helpful and interesting to others.
This photo is the front end of an “adventure” in the grass; the processing took a little detail out of the eye but you can probably see the light reflections of the grass leaves in the pupil. One place you hopefully cannot detect grass is at the sides of the images, especially the right side. Because I was peering through the grass, it obfuscated the frog somewhat resulting in a blurry-fringed opening, as well as a greenish color cast. I couldn’t do much about the blurriness, but I was able to eliminate most of the green haze by desaturating the yellow color channel. I started with the green channel which seemed like the obvious place, but it had no ostensible effect. I thought the yellow would drain the rest of the image of some vibrancy, but a little adjustment of the “Lightness” setting (which is in the Hue-Saturation dialog window as well) gave me a result I liked.
I have more frog eyes. I’m tempted to go back and try my developing post-processing skills on some of those.
When I visited north Texas a few years ago, I found a decent number of bugs even though it was early November. Unfortunately, I didn’t have much time and was rushing about; not a lot of good shots came of it. I found the smallest butterfly I have ever seen — my memory is fuzzy, but it couldn’t have been bigger than a US dime. They were numerous but flitted away at the first sign of approach. I didn’t fire a single shot on them, and I will probably rue it until the day I do photograph one.
The butterflies were the best find, but there was also a huge orbweaver I couldn’t fit into my reverse lens and a perfectly situated, if only for a moment, crab spider that I botched. It was one of those days, which leads me to the beetle shot above. I was excited to find anything, and even though it wasn’t a particularly standout subject, it was a welcome one. And I botched this one, too. Except this botch worked in my favor, or at least I hope you agree with me.
The beetle had taken up a very convenient pose with the vegetation nicely situated around it, but I accidentally and severely underexposed the shot. My opportunity was gone, but my result left something salvageable. The twigs and beetle were largely dark with the background showing faint color. Adjusting the exposure, contrast, and saturation in post-processing retained the silhouette and brought out the orange of the background. Because of the dark solid areas inherent to the silhouette, I could also do more denoising than typical which helped out the background a lot. I wish the antenna was more distinguished from the background twigs, but I really like how the shot came out overall. This photo was one of those where I could see the potential, and it ended up being very rewarding to realize some of that through post-processing.
I like a good crowd. There’s a sort of inherent or at least potential madness in a large number of people densely occupying a given space. Right about now, that would be the phenomenon at your average shopping center in the United States. The naked materialism is off-putting and even disheartening, but the Black Friday and whatever they call today’s Saturday and tomorrow’s Sunday shopping pilgrimage is a cultural phenomenon. I kind of like to be in it as far as I have little to nothing to do with the actual shopping. As a bonus, I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of photo opportunities, too. It’s not my milieu, but I’m tempted. As of this writing, I’m going with avoiding the madness however.
Regarding the photo, oven fan switches are the kind of things that creep into my photo archive when the fall and winter push out more appealing subjects. The corroded dial was a bit blown out, which you can still see, especially in comparison to the reflection, but on the plus side the pitch black background made it easy to tone that down some. The solid black meant I didn’t have to worry about mismatched fringes. By selecting only the small area the dial was in, I created a second layer from that selection and used the “Multiply” mode to enhance the color and repair the highlights that weren’t fully blown out. The layer opacity allows an adjustment for the amount with this technique. I used around 50% in this case.