Damon Williams  

Ladybird by Damon Williams

January 2022 - Ladybird

About the Image(s)

Nikon D5100 Micro Nikkor 55 prime. My metadata says ss 1/320, but I used manual flash here and my sync speed is 1/200, and there's no banding. So, I'm guessing the actual ss is 1/200. ISO 400. f/8...as I recall (not recorded in the metadata). Diffused, flash on a movable arm, over the subject, and mounted on a Small Rig cage. Shot in jpg.

I was out with my camera club at a local park with a stream meandering through it. Salmon do in fact make it in there, but it's really best for birds and bugs.I spent a fair amount of time there last year shooting dragonflies, but they didn't really show up this year. I'll hunt'em down in 2022 I suppose.

You folks probably know I like macro-in-the-field stuff. I used diffused, manual flash, and the lens I was using was 100% manual too. I'm kind of partial to this image because of the complementary colors, and the sharp focus on the head. That's tough to get when your DoF is about 1-2mm. Basic exposure edits, a radial gradient over the bug to knock down specular highlights, and I put it through Topaz DeNoise AI.

2 comments posted

Jane Pittenger   Jane Pittenger
I love the contrasting colors and how nicely they pop. The focus on the front leg and little hairs of grass is exquisite. To my eye the face is just the tiniest bit soft but I sure know how tiny the dof is with macro shots. ANd focus stacking doesn't work with creepy crawlies! I am totally impressed with your use of flash. My only suggestion is re the radial gradient. To me the whites just by his eyes and behind are a bit gray and the blacks just the tiniest bit towards gray. I know, I am being really picky but I can't find anything else to suggest! So, re the gradient filter, one way I might think to do it is to do it in PS with layers so that you could bring down the speculative highlights on the shiny black but leave the whites white and bring the blacks down a bit   Posted: 01/13/2022 10:32:26

Damon Williams   Damon Williams
Thanks for the suggestions Jane. I'll check those out.   Posted: 01/13/2022 14:23:48


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