Marcela Stegemueller  

Basil Bloom by Marcela Stegemueller

June 2021 - Basil Bloom

June 2021 - Marcela Stegemueller


About the Image(s)

I am growing basil and saw this cute bug on one of the blossoms. I did not have time to set up my tripod so tried to handhold it at 1/250 sec and f/10. I had to move the ISO to 2500. I realized when taking the picture that the plane of the image was not parallel to the lens and my depth of field could not be deeper, but I thought I could take other images and try to do a little focus stacking or try to do a little compositing. I did not have a chance to take another image. The bug hopped away.

First of all, I used Topaz to decrease the digital noise. I then cropped it somewhat; I later refined my crop. After the rough crop, I used the basic adjustments in Lightroom, setting the black and white points and h the shadow and highlight sliders. Next, I used Photoshop to remove some of the greenery that was not the main part of the picture. Finally, I took it to NIK Color Efex and increased the dynamic contrast and- used the bi-color filter that was similar to the original colors in the first image. I am sending the final cropped image as well as the original image. Sorry, I could not get the full bug tack sharp. I did not have time to take more shots.

4 comments posted

Jessica Manelis   Jessica Manelis
I love the fact that you went for it. I can never get the bugs to stand still for me either. I know you did a lot of cropping, but I would consider cropping some of the background off from the right. The halo effect on the white petal and the background around are throwing me off a little.   Posted: 06/09/2021 08:19:30
Comment Image

Bob Crocker   Bob Crocker
I agree with Jessica that you went for it and got good results. These never stand still for me either. It's amazing what Topaz AI and other noise reduction apps can do now. Wasn't that long ago that shooting at ISO 2500 would have given an image you might not wanted share. It may not be 'tack sharp' but it's pretty darn good and shows nice detail. Yeah that white flower on the right can be distracting but a tight crop still gives a white distraction that may pull a viewers eye off the page and away from your main subject. Sounds like you may have other Topaz products, or NIK might do it, to try adding texture to the background using blend modes, that might tone down the whites.   Posted: 06/10/2021 15:17:34

Cindy Lynch   Cindy Lynch
What an interesting nature shot! You have excellent details on both the bug and the green petals. I love the white hair that outlines the green. Excellent job, especially given that your camera was hand held. I like Jessica's crop very much. I agree that you don't need all the extra space around your focal point.   Posted: 06/11/2021 14:27:01

Mary Hinsen   Mary Hinsen
Hi Marcela - great job capturing this, well done :)
I do like Jessica's crop, it hones in more on the insect.   Posted: 06/16/2021 17:13:08


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