What Am I?

Critique Style Requested: Initial Reaction

Please share your immediate response to the image before reading the photographer’s intent (obscured text below) or other comments. The photographer seeks a genuinely unbiased first impression.

Questions to guide your feedback

I was just playing with this one and had some cool results. What does it make you think of at first glance?

Other Information

Please leave your feedback before viewing the blurred information below, once you have replied, click to reveal the text and see if your assessment aligns with the photographer. Remember, this if for their benefit to learn what your unbiased reaction is.

Image Description

This stared out as an experiment in backlit flowers. I used an old tablet as a light table with a piece of paper over it and a blanket flower blossom on top. Surprisingly to me, the backlighting changed the colors a lot, so the first thing I did was try to get those reasonable. Then I wanted to bring the center of the flower up and I thought a good way might be a darks luminosity mask. A darks 3 produced the beginning of this. I saved the mask as a pixel layer, brightened the center even more, then spherized just the center. As a final touch, I accented the bright spots in the center. To me it looks like a sea creature.

Technical Details

Sony A7Riv, FE 70-200 f/4 macro on tripod. See above for more details.

Specific Feedback

Does this grab you aesthetically?


First and second glances: jellyfish, perhaps in infrared. Suspect a sunflower but cannot be sure. Nice work. How about playing around with some more subjects?

Good work Dennis. First impression was this a single cell organism, then a jellyfish. What gave away the true subject was the center area. I like the black and white tones in this one. Thank you.

I also saw a jellyfish at first glance! All in all, this is a very cool and beautiful image and I love everything about it. Nice work!

Jellyfish, for certain, Dennis! until we look into the center. Then sunflower -type. Well done in capturing the varying tones in this and how it fades into the darkness. Would love to see more work like this with different subjects. what fun!

It makes me think of some elegant sea creature from very far below. Something that floats in the water. However, on second look, the middle part looks more like a flower. I really like this photo, because it is understated and elegant.

Amazing and wonderful!!! I meant to comment earlier and got busy and didn’t get back to it till now. It grabbed me right away and wouldn’t let go! I absolutely love the inversion, and the way the ends of the petals fade away to leave the streaming rays!

For me, it is evocative of some sort of tidepool inhabitant, or a rendering of a supernova explosion – or the solar corona, which I’m so hoping to be able to photograph for the third time in April. The last two were due to bizarre luck with the weather – can that happen again??

Jellyfish was the first reaction. Love the processing. Beautifully done, Dennis.


Very, very cool image! Count me out on jelly fish impression, did not see that, but after the fact, I can see the possibility.

I’m just too literal sometimes and I see the flower. I haven’t read yet to discover, but I see a beautifully modified flower - For sure, the b&w treatment, the pitch-black bg really makes a strong case for something else… but my imagination is stuck on flower.

Absolutely! This is beautifully crafted. I’m missing the imagination part, but love the result!

Dennis, Wonderful abstract flower that has black and white all over it. You did a superb job of seeing and editing. I like the softness of the outer soft petals contrasted with the more textured center. As I look at the image repeatedly, I can see the definition of the leaves. Most creative.

Dennis, I missed seeing this one, according to the date, I was out of town, but I should have seen it since. Anyway, glad I noticed it just now. What a shot. It reminds me of the sun, with visible rays. B&W really works for this. A worthy EP too! Congrats!

Compelling image, Dennis! I see two things right away (once I let go of the likelihood it’s a flower): a sea creature and a neural network. Also. thought of something one might see in space, like a star exploding. Very nice processing that lends itself to lots of possibilities!

I just saw this and WOW !!! just really beautiful !!! I am a huge fan of black and white and You Nailed It !!!

I just saw this and thought for sure it was some kind of jellyfish or sea creature. What a surprise to learn what it is and how you did it. Well done! Lovely image and great work!

I’m another one who just saw this. I like it a lot. I saw a flower.

Looks like a flower, but i love that you cant really tell. Very nice image. I like the intense contrast.

First glance for me is a delicate sea anemone. Dee-lightful! I also see the possibility of a flower. But what grabs me so hard about this, is its pristine delicacy. Doesn’t even matter what it really is. So perfect, so alive. Love this Dennis. Can’t wait to read your thoughts on how you got it to this point,