Jewelwing Laying Eggs

Critique Style Requested: Standard

The photographer is looking for generalized feedback about the aesthetic and technical qualities of their image.


Lying a bit wet and uncomfortable beside a small stream near our town today, I was busy snapping a very friendly male damselfly. Suddenly his mate appeared about a foot away from my lens and I tried to get as much of the action in focus as possible. She was ovipositing in various places just beneath the water surface, while the male kept one or two other males at bay. When I had enough shots, I left them in peace to continue their regeneration.

Specific Feedback

I tried to sharpen her head with the Adjustment Brush in Lightroom but it could be better. What about the crop? I thought of a crop much closer to the end of her body along the bottom edge, but in the end decided to keep the complete wing reflections. Any thoughts?

Technical Details

OM-1 + 60mm macro 1/80 f11 ISO 200

Cropped in around the subject and reflections. In Lightroom, lowered Highlights caused by a bright day and water reflection. Small tonal adjustments in Photoshop. (With this camera, Denoise and sensor dust are things of the past, at least so far).

Critique Template

Use of the template is optional, but it can help spark ideas.

  • Vision and Purpose:
  • Conceptual:
  • Emotional Impact and Mood:
  • Composition:
  • Balance and Visual Weight:
  • Depth and Dimension:
  • Color:
  • Lighting:
  • Processing:
  • Technical:

Mike, it sounds like a fun except for the getting a bit wet. What we will do to get the shot! I actually like the crop. I know the usual is to try to give the critter a bit more room in the shot to move, and going with this crop that you chose may make it feel she doesn’t have as much, but I like the wing reflections included. The eyes do start to look oversharp to me in the larger view. I think you managed the light very well, and getting down low made this shot even nicer.

1 Like

This is gorgeous, Mike. I like your crop as looking at the thumbnail there’s a bit of a sense of mystery about what’s going on and when I open the larger image, the detail is just amazing. I don’t see any serious focus issue with the eyes, in fact I’m amazed at how much depth you got at f/11.

1 Like

This is great Mike! I love the reflection of the wing that gives a better peak into the world under the water. The detail in the wings and depth, as @Dennis_Plank has noted with f11 is exceptional. I really like the striations in the little piece of wood in the water. :+1:

Congrats on the WP Mike.

1 Like

Wonderful!! A fine reward for your trouble! Considering the difficulty of working these tiny subjects, all the detail and DOF looks excellent to me!

I think the crop is quite OK, but another version cropped from the bottom is also good – I don’t think I would favor one over the other. The wing reflection here does grab attention, which is good. If you have the canvas, I think I could like just a tiny bit more top and sides, but not a big deal.

1 Like

Mike: Luck favors the well prepared and it looks like you took full advantage of the situation. I pretty much like everything as is and can’t see any obvious areas of improvement. Most excellent. >=))>

Thank you for the EP.

Mike, this is a great catch on the female ovipositing. I especially like being able to see through the water and how you’ve caught the distortion in the water where her pokes through the surface. Those are just excellent extras, well worth the dampness… :grin:

You posted this before I re-joined, but I have to pipe up and say - now - that this is another exceptional image.
The areas visible under the water add a lot, and the vibrant 'fly is beautiful.
Not the tiniest nit from me.
A fine EP!

Thanks Sandy! Am traveling inThailand at the moment, but will get back to this site in a few days.