View Full Version : Hanging on a Hosta

Julie Kenward
06-26-2010, 06:59 AM
I was outside working the hostas when this little guy showed up in the frame. I thought about smoothing out the colors of the BG a bit more but liked them "streaky" like this. Your thoughts?

Canon 40D, EF 100mm f/2.8 macro & extension tubes
f3.5 @ 1/80th, ISO 400
Manual mode, pattern metering, handheld, natural light
Small crop, noise reduction, adjusted green saturation and hue.

Thomas Herou
06-26-2010, 07:33 AM
I like it!
Nice diagonal and green tones.
The eye is in perfect focus.
Maybe I would've toned down the light edges under the leaf but that's not a big issue.

Paul Lagasi
06-26-2010, 08:10 AM
i've really never tried to smooth out the background of my images, would like to see what yours would look like smoothed...love the little hopper? Bug eyed sharp, seems like he's staring right at you...nice capture

Jonathan Ashton
06-26-2010, 10:00 AM
Hey Jules maybe you are beginning to think a bit like us on this side of the pond!! Lovely shot, super subject and a great background. I think the background is great - sometimes I think there is a tendency for them to be made a little too perfect, this one is believable:) if you get my drift..

Julie Kenward
06-26-2010, 10:15 AM
Thomas, I didn't think to tone down the whites but I did cut them in a bit with a little extra green, leaving them about half as wide as they were originally. I'll take a look at adding a soft green at 20% and see what I think.

Paul, when I "smooth" the BG I usually grab one of the middle tones that's already in the BG, set the opacity to about 25-40%, and then lightly brush over the BG so the lightest and darkest areas are more "blended" to the middle tone. It still leaves them there - they just aren't quite as blatant as they are here.

Jonathon, I agree - I love a smooth, clean BG but a little tonage or texture is also very nice as long as it doestn't overwhelm the main subject.

It's funny that you all liked the eye. The center was so small and so muted so I blew the image up to 200% and added a tiny dot of black right over the eye. It gave it the tiniest bit more "punch" and was just what it needed to give it some pizazz. ;)

Roman Kurywczak
06-26-2010, 03:06 PM
Hey Jules,
You aren't converting me to the f3.5 side yet.....but you are starting to make a dent! This is focused where it needs to be. What I find most interesting is that the antenna acts as a compositional element! I happen to like the streaks but do agree with darkening the whites slightly. Very effective shallow DOF.

Ken Childs
06-26-2010, 03:43 PM
I guess I'm going against the crowd but this one doesn't work for me. Maybe there's too much bug geek in me and I want to see more of the 'hopper in focus but I feel like something is missing.

I'll come back to it later to take another look. Maybe I'll have an "AH HA" moment. :)

Julie Kenward
06-26-2010, 05:23 PM
Ken, I actually expected that response from you. I wish there had been more hopper in the image, too but this one was so teeny tiny! I decided to show the scale instead of zeroing in on a giant crop. No worries!

Roman, my friend, I made it all the way down to f11 the other day...if I can get that low surely you can open up to f8 once in awhile! ;):D;)

Bob Miller
06-26-2010, 07:34 PM
Hi Julie.....I like this image alot! The Bg is perfect! I have been using your smoothing technique alot and love it! Thanks!

Allen Sparks
06-26-2010, 07:56 PM
wow - that is one loooooooong antennae! I am not very artsy but I like the perspective of this photo. Of course I would have used f16 but that is a different matter. I agree with toning down the whites but overall I like the image.