Tiny denizen

Accidentally on purpose high-key treatment of this bit of lichen. I took it with some concrete as a backdrop (my front porch) and then cranked the exposure a bit. Should have used the LED panel on the backside, but that was part of the accident not the purpose. You can now see what I think is a very young cricket on the upper right part of the branch. It’s only 3-4mm in size.

Specific Feedback Requested

Should I take this further? I have a lightbox I use for jewelry photos and several backdrops that I can use outside for more natural light as well as an LCD panel for balancing shadows, so while these won’t be like Paul’s amazing flowers, I wonder if the high-key approach is worth pursuing for lichen and other small things. Or does a more natural setting serve better?

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Lumix G9
Lumix DG 45mm f2/8 macro
f/5 | 1/30 sec | ISO 200
35-image PMax stack

Lr for initial adjustments that led to upping the whites and shadows. Zerene for stacking. Lr for tonal adjustment of the resulting TIFF, color adjustment & sharpening - nr. A little crop and a flip to put the insect in the top of the picture facing up.

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Beautiful! You did a splendid job with the processing, especially cranking up the exposure to make the background white, but just enough so that the edge details didn’t get halos. My only suggestion would be to pull up the bottom edge of the frame, so it intersects the lower left of the twig and mimics the upper right.

Yes, yes, yes; give it a go with the LCD. I’m anxious to see the results.

Kris, I am liking this high-key treatment. I haven’t worked with high-key, so I probably won’t be much help on trying anything with the OED panel, or backdrops. I think @Paul_Breitkreuz suggestion of cropping a bit off the bottom so the limb goes diagonally through to be the same on both corners is good.

What a nice twig! I like the subject a lot and your focus stacking looks great. But I have a little bit of doubt regarding a bright background. For me it become to dominating with two empty bright triangles. Maybe a dark or blurred natural BG could be tried?
Agree with the crop proposal made by @paul_g_wiegman.

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Kristen, I like the high key aspect of this image. The varied colors of the lichens are mesmerizing. Looks like art. Very well done.