Doug Wolters  


Soot Gremlins in a Banana Stem by Doug Wolters

January 2020 - Soot Gremlins in a Banana Stem

About the Image(s)

Shot with a Canon 5D Mark III. Lens: Sigma 50mm F1.4 FF, with a Canon 500 D diopter. Edited in Lightroom “ among other adjustments, masked picture, masked out eyes, & brightened everything but the eyes a little. (Eyes wanted to blow out during shooting.) Focus stacked “ 20 shots (turning lens, not on a rail). In Photoshop, only spotted the background. 1.0 sec. at f / 8.0. Purpose: a cute picture of soot gremlins. Does it work? Was it worth it? What is the effect if you know nothing about soot gremlins?


This round’s discussion is now closed!
5 comments posted




Carol Sheppard   Carol Sheppard
(Groups 80 & 95)
How charming! I can see you have a great sense of humour! Your image is very creative and well-composed. I think it definitely works for me as a viewer. Everything leads my eye to the gremlins then out again to take in the entire image. I might suggest you raise the shadows on the gremlin and the plant only. And reduce the shadows or the color luminance on the maroon velvet so that it can still be seen but is less apparent of what it is. Wonderful image! And welcome to our Group!   Posted: 01/07/2020 14:33:08



Denise McKay   Denise McKay
(Group 77)
This definitely brought a smile to my face! I know nothing about soot gremlins, so I need an education.

I like the composition and you managed the white of the eyes really well. I HATE how tedious focus stacking is (and I don't do it well) and commend you on taking 20 shots! You definitely nailed the focus.

I agree with Carol that the maroon velvet would probably look better if it was less in focus, and/or toned down in some way so that your gremlins are the definite center of attention.

Very creative!   Posted: 01/07/2020 19:23:32



Lou Karcher   Lou Karcher
(Group 63)
Hi Doug,
This is a "delicious" composition. It's one of those images that is so unique and so visually appealing that you do a double and triple take, not for technical analysis, but simply for enjoyment.

Don't know squat about soot gremlins. This looks like two harmless creatures, jumping from their home in fright of something going on outside. Good thoughts for 2020!   Posted: 01/07/2020 20:30:24



Bob Crocker   Bob Crocker
(Group 57)
Cool shot Doug. Even though I don't know anything about soot gremlins, the viewer knows there is a story here, and interest is generated. Exposure is well balanced; the white of the eyes and black of soot look perfect. Congrats again on the focus stack, I agree with Denise, the tediousness of stacking frustrates me. I'm encouraged by your success. The maroon background doesn't really bother me but maybe a soft vignette would accomplish what Carol is looking for. Very creative and fun.   Posted: 01/10/2020 12:07:12



Bill Foy   Bill Foy
(Groups 29 & 74 & 80 & 95)
OK, I'll make it unanimous, I know as much about soot gremlins as I know about constructing nuclear reactors. What I do know is that this is one cool image! My first reaction was, "what the hell is that?".
I'm with Carol on toning down the background and keep the viewer's eyes on the gremlins and banana leftovers. Really nice stacking job.
Welcome to Group 60 World!   Posted: 01/13/2020 13:10:18