A lonely husk

Image Description

I had just added a 105mm macro lens for my Z6 and was looking for a subject while walking in the woods. I was studying some details in a log when I saw this acorn husk laying on top. I did a focus stack and through out some of the front and back images.

Type of Critique Requested

  • Aesthetic: Feedback on the overall visual appeal of the image, including its color, lighting, cropping, and composition.

  • Conceptual: Feedback on the message and story conveyed by the image.

  • Emotional: Feedback on the emotional impact and artistic value of the image.

  • Technical: Feedback on the technical aspects of the image, such as exposure, color, focus and reproduction of colors and details, post-processing, and print quality.

Specific Feedback and Self-Critique

I don’t think it is a great image but it does make me keep looking at it in its simplicity.

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Garry, congratulations on your new macro lens. I shoot Canon, so not familiar with that lens and camera, but it sounds good. Macro is a whole different universe, and I am sure you will enjoy looking for and finding subjects to photograph. I could see removing or darkening/blurring the limb that is hanging in the top part of the image as it calls attention to my eye. B&W is perfect for this subject with all the texture and tones. If it was mine I might would lift the shadows a bit so we can see more of the front of the acorn hull. Nice find and well captured.

Hi Garry, nice composition with the husk positioned on the left and interesting textures all around. I agree with Shirley about the twig at the top being a distraction. I think removing it would help the image. Well seen and taken black and white.

Great texture on display here. A macro lens is such a great way to find the tiny windows into nature. I’m sure you’ll have a lot of fun with it.

Not sure how you’re doing the stack; in-camera or with a dedicated stacking software like Zerene, but it looks ok at this size. I think the fall-off to the OOF far side of the acorn cap looks natural. What doesn’t is the highlights on the left side of the subject. Those look blown and featureless. Dappled sunlight on the forest floor is gorgeous, but a real challenge to shoot in as I know from many failed attempts. In this case a lower exposure would probably have worked. Alternately you could try a hand-held, collapsable diffuser to make some shade.

A scroll crop to eliminate the stick at the top works to strengthen this already nice composition. As Vincent Hanna said in Heat “watch your backgrounds”. They are a killer and sometimes distractions only become evident when you see them on a screen since your visual cortex works in three dimensions. If you don’t want to crop, you could try Content Aware Fill in Photoshop to see how that works.

A very strong image worth taking trouble over I think.

Thanks everyone for your comments. I took this in haste and it shows. I will rework it some but may even try to recreate it and do a better job. Kristen, it was stacked in Affinity which I find does a very good job but occasionally some strange artifacts do show up.

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Happy to help, Garry.

If you haven’t already seen this discussion on Stacking, here’s the link -

Lots of good info there from many folks here on NPN.

Sorry for the late reply. I agree with the comments regarding the limb at the top and the highlights but I also really like how you’ve dynamically balanced this photo with the sense of directionality of the seed head projecting into the larger part of the frame. The drop focus looks really nice also and it was a good decision to go black and white as it accentuates the textures. You should be happy with this as with a bit of work it will make a lovely print.