Hanging in there . . + re-post

I found this wasp in amongst a pot of ivy yesterday and thought he was hiding from the wind. Sadly, I discovered, like the season, he apparently is just fading away.

The challenge for me was not only the wind, but also the fact that he was hiding amongst the ivy leaves. This required a bit of pruning on my part. I experimented with using auto ISO, which set at 1000. I felt that was too high and reduced to 800, plus using an external flash seemed to have stopped some of the movement. He was watching me as much as I was watching him, so I mainly focused on his eyes - leaving the rest of his body OOF and also, because of the wind, I was not confident enough to stack.

I did burned (luminosity mask) the lighter portions of the background as opposed to content aware because I like the somewhat abstract feel and colors. Cropped 1:1, tripod, Nikon D7200, f/10, 1/160sec., iso 800, 100mm.

Does the 1:1 crop work for you? Does he need more environment? Does the background look noisy/or not? Any and all other thoughts and comments are welcome. Thanks.

Marvelous and unique capture! Compelling detail on the face and great colors. My only nit is the top and right edge of the pinkish area in the BG, which draws my eye. (It may actually be the bottom edge of a leaf lobe.) I wonder if diffusing it a little, with something like partial opacity cloning, or some other blurring approach, would make it less distracting.

Linda, I think you did really well with this, especially on a windy day. I think the selective focus works very well. I like the curve in the stem he is on. Nicely done.

Hi Linda,

I like the background and the wasp’s head is nice and sharp. I also like the plane of focus that includes the perch. This is a worker wasp and she is not a he. Well done…Jim

Linda: I have to confess that my relationships with wasps have been overwhelmingly adversarial, to the point that I rarely make them image subjects. I think you did well here and your DOF/POF choice works for me. The pink BG does pull my eye a bit. I might be tempted to just paint over it with some green from the lower part of the leaf. Nice find and a fine capture. >=))>

Thanks @Diane_Miller, @Shirley_Freeman, @Jim_Zablotny and @Bill_Fach for your wonderful comments and great suggestions. @Jim_Zablotny, I’m definitely not attuned to the sexes of wasps, I’m more long the lines of @Bill_Fach in the adversarial position. But thanks for pointing this out. Good to know when I come upon them again. @Bill_Fach and @Diane_Miller, yes, I felt the pink BG was too bright and did a luminosity mask to burn down the brightness but clearly and little more (or perhaps painting over) would help. Thanks again.

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Linda, I’d say you made good choices in dealing with the conditions. (I’ll also say that there are times when I just enjoy being out and skip the photos.) The square crop looks good, although I might slide the wasp a bit left (depending on what’s to the right…). The details in the wasp’s face and eyes stand out nicely. You can try more burning in of that leaf behind and possibly a bit of dodging of the wasp and it’s perch for more separation. In photoshop, burning in can add saturation, which doesn’t help making a part less conspicuous. If that happens I’ll add a saturation layer and desaturate along with a mask that only applies the desat to areas that “need” it.

revised wasp

Thanks Mark! All good points, great exercise and good example of how “just being out is good enough.”
I did re-crop - leaving a bit more room on the right side. Also re-did the luminosity mask, making the background darker still. . . and I lighten the wasp and then added a saturation mask to “de-saturate” just a bit. All in all I do like this better but am definitely weighing the pro and cons of how much time I want to spend at my computer vs just being outside and wandering. Thanks again for all of your great suggestions.