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Thought I would take a break from the river images and head back to my favorite rock wall. I was set up to photograph this little section of the wall. There were a few stalks of dried grass intruding and went up to the wall to move some grasses out of the way. I started brushing what I thought was loose grasses… and then nearly jumped out of my skin. Holy cr*p, that’s a bug - a stick bug! I have no idea what it is, but it moved! Of course I backed off and let this little guy go on his merry way, hoping he would crawl on out of my frame… but alas he stayed pretty still.

What the heck, he’s part of the story too. As to the rock, I was attracted to the seismic-style crack in the wall, along with the various colors and geometry. I suppose this could also be the data of a falling graph - like the stock market or something? (flip the image horizontally and you have rising graph!)

Thanks for looking (and reading!)

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

As always, any/all comments, suggestions, etc. regarding processing

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

I like this with or without the bug. More fun with it, but what do you think?

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

(If this is a composite, etc. please be honest with your techniques to help others learn)

Single frame. Nikon D800E, 28-300mm @300mm f/20 .4s iso 100

What a great score! And against the impulse to move in close for a “better” view, I’m lots happier with the insect in the larger setting.

I bet I know within 100 yards where you were shooting. Love that spot, but I’ve never been happy with my shots. You’ve given me ample reason to return!


I love a good juxtaposition and I think you have achieved that successfully here with the crack and the bug. I also like how the crack leads to the bug and it is positioned on a very interesting part of the stone face.

Wonderful capture here, Lon. Everything fits rather nicely into the square format from the diagonal placement of the crack and the earthy tones of the rock face. I also think the insect adds a wonderful little treat to the viewer as they explore the scene. Great eye to spot and isolate this section of the wall.

I think the stick bug adds a lot of interest to an already interesting scene Lon. The rusty, gold, and steel colors, textures, and lines work well together.

Lon I’m going to be the outlier and say I don’t know how I feel about the bug but I absolutely love everything else about this image. The colors and textures are amazing. Including the depressing stock market crack for me really accentuates this picture and makes it great.

Lon, that Walking Stick makes the scene. The rock wall is a great graphic, with a fine spectrum of colors, shapes and cracks. Having a “stark” insect amble across (or freeze in the middle, :wink:) adds a fun bit of life even as it looks lifeless. Now if you could just get it to turn around so it’s looking into the frame…:laughing:

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Lon, like the walking stick bug, the shape of its legs sort of echo the cracks in the rock, which is pretty neat. The jagged crack in the rock is really intriguing, and brings this image to life beyond just the array of rust colors. White balance looks great to me, I really like the wide variety of yellow and orange colors achieved via your processing, it creates a lot visual interest. Love this as presented, it looks great.

select area around bug, then go / Edit / Transform / Flip Horizontal, clean up with cloning/healing
PS can make bugs turn on a dime :grinning:

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I really like the rock, with its fascinating colors, shapes and textures. The stick bug is not really working for me, though. I am with John on this one. Everyone else is on board, though, so it must work.

Thanks everyone for the comments!

Mark, you had me chuckling pretty good with that comment! :rofl:

@Harley_Goldman, @John_Moses, Yeah, the stick bug. I think it mostly is just a reminder to me of a memorable moment of nature. It’s really not close enough to be macro or to show fine details of the creature - like for some entomology book… Funny though, I do NOT have a frame with the bug! Guess a great example of the Content-Aware clone tool!