View Full Version : Blue Dasher Dragonfly

Allen Sparks
06-12-2010, 09:12 PM
Canon 40D, Canon 300mm f/4 plus Tamron 1.4x SP Pro Teleconverter
ISO 400, f13, 1/160, hand held in natural light, Exposure Comp -2/3

Julie Kenward
06-13-2010, 12:50 AM
Well, you don't get better eye contact then that! Wow! Perfect focus right on the upper half of the body, Allen. Might consider sharpening the eyes just a tiny bit more. I like the cobweb on the front of the perch but might suggest cloning the stuff on the edge of the right wing - certainly no biggie but it does catch my eye more at that point.

The BG seems a little blotchy - did you try a gaussian or surface blur to smooth that out a bit? Does it look like that on the full size print or is that just part of small resolution compression?

Allen Sparks
06-13-2010, 04:32 AM
Thanks for the comments Julie, most of the blotchiness of the background is from compressing the image for the web. I have Elements 8 and tried the blur tool for some of the background but it did not seem to make a difference which may be that I just don't know how to use the tool properly for this.

I am often uncertain how much to sharpen a dragonfly's eyes as they seem naturally blurry unless you get one very up close.

Ken Childs
06-13-2010, 09:08 AM
Allen, I selected the right side of the eye and lightened it up so it more closely matched the brightness of the left side. Then I selected the eyes and lightened them up slightly and used smart sharpen at 50% with a radius of 1 pixel and remove lens blur. I don't know if Elements has the same basic features as CS3 but it must have something similar.

I would also lighten up the BG a bit to help show off the veins in the wings but when I did, the blotchiness really showed up and I don't have the time right now to do a proper job of smoothing that out. Those light areas where the branches have broken off could be cloned away or at least darkened to keep them from being distracting.

Allen Sparks
06-13-2010, 12:02 PM
Thanks Ken, I think lightening the eye really helps. Elements does not have Smart Sharpen but it has other sharpening tools that I use. I wish I knew how to eliminate some of the blotchiness using Elements 8 but the blur tool on Normal did not work for me. I may have to get CS5 someday but I get sticker shock at the price. Thanks for reworking the image. -- Allen

Paul Lagasi
06-13-2010, 04:44 PM
Front end detail unreal, colors, comp work for me..well done

Roman Kurywczak
06-14-2010, 01:10 PM
Hey Allen,
Comp works very nicely and you were pushing the limits with the DOF and HH'ing! I feel it is an effetive trade off you made and Ken's repost just takes it up another notch. Very nicely done overall!

Vida van der Walt
06-16-2010, 01:22 PM
Great shot Ken. Love the colours of the DF's eyes and head on angle. The blur tool won't get rid of the blotches. The easiest way to fix it will be to use the colour picking tool and select one of the hues in the bg. Then use the brush tool to paint over the bg at +- 35% opacity. The gaussian blur tool will also work but it will be a lot of work.:)