And Much Work Yet to Come (Ladybird Beetle, Coccinellidae)

Ladybird beetle (Coccinellidae) on parsley.

Ladybird beetle (Coccinellidae) on parsley.

This photo took a lot of work in a little area. (It involved a long process to remove the glare from the ladybug with GIMP.) I’m not sure it came out great, but most people probably wouldn’t have noticed, especially at this resolution, without me mentioning it. And I guess I only mention it, because I’ve been thinking about “hard work” lately. Work is probably always harder when thinking about it (as opposed to doing it), but it’s funny how a person’s sense of hard work changes over time or even in a certain moment. Maybe I’m just older (and less energetic); maybe I’m just wiser. There seems like so much work yet to finish. I’d say, “Of course, there’s so little time,” but that might be untrue. Not infrequently, there’s plenty of time; only time. And maybe that’s a way of repeating myself without using the same words.

The weekend is upon us, so here’s to leaving thoughts about work behind us. (They’ll be back again.)

(Black and white version below.)

Ladybird beetle (Coccinellidae) on parsley in black and white

Ladybird beetle (Coccinellidae) on parsley. (Black and white version)

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4 thoughts on “And Much Work Yet to Come (Ladybird Beetle, Coccinellidae)

  1. Nice capture and it works well in B&W also. I’ve had glare on ladybugs before and Japanese beetles and carpenter bees but never to the point I really had to do anything other than a slight burn or slight paint over. But who knows, it may be a big problem for me some day so I’m curious how you handled it. Not attempting to burden you with a tutorial, just a top line sentence or two of what you did.

    1. Sure, David, my pleasure. I didn’t save the .xcf file (GIMP format), so I can’t remember exactly what I did, but it involved multiple layers, using hue, curves, and (probably) dodge/burning, as well as painting tools like Heal and Clone. It was really a small area in the image that I actually did the dirty editing on, but some parts were blown out completely (or almost) so filling those in and making smooth transition between different colors took some creative touch.

      I can be a perfectionist with some of these things, so I probably worked on it with diminishing returns, but looking at it now, I still feel like the black of the pronotum looks a little “too smooth”.

      (Also (since you have me going), the completely hidden subtext of this post, is me struggling to get a writing project going.)

      1. I kind of thought your process would be involved, but had no idea it would be that much. There was a time when I would go to great lengths to save a photo but as I’ve mentioned before I’ve developed a strong propensity toward inactivity (I’m growing lazy). Maybe laziness is not exactly correct, it’s more of a new awareness of where I want to allocate my time and effort. Also I think I’ve come to realize that spending all that time on a single photo was not so much an effort to save something but maybe more of a compulsion to fix something that would make more sense to just delete since I probably have multiple better photos of the same subject.

        Didn’t know what a pronotum was but could guess from the context. I looked it up just to be sure. My guess was correct but the look up provided much more detail. Also it introduced me to an insect with quite an elaborate pronotum that I don’t recall having ever seen before and I’m sure I would have remember. The insect is a Brazilian leafhopper. I’m guessing you might already be familiar with it but, if not, do a web search. It is very, very interesting and strange.

    2. It definitely took a long time, although I don’t want to oversell my effort. GIMP tends to require longer processes than Photoshop too. Most of this though was tedious detail work. I really liked this shot though so I went for it. I definitely agree about being aware of time and effort allocation; it is becoming clearer and clearer to me that I have a finite amount of energy at my disposal. Such a shame. :)

      You know, I think I have seen the Brazilian leafhopper in my flickr feed, but didn’t realize that was its name. Pretty unique coloration and pattern.

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