White-tailed Skimmer

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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Description

The last couple of years have been disappointing at the local dragonfly ponds but I got out yesterday for the first time this year and found a lot of activity and a variety of species (although I think we are somewhat limited in varieties and have somewhat drab variations).

Specific Feedback

All comments welcome! The reed looks a little desaturated but it looks the same in the unadjusted raw file. I could tweak up green-yellow saturation a bit.

Technical Details

Screenshot 2024-06-11 at 9.01.52 AM

Only shadows and highlights in LR. In PS the far wing looked too soft but an adjacent file in burst mode was sharper on it (inadvertent focus stacking) so I layered it on and masked. Topaz Denoise, but hardly needed at this size. Cropped to 41% of original pixels.


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1 Like

Comp is very nice and wish that more of the eyes were visible. A tough angle to get everything, but the DOF is perfect. I like the sharpness of the wing veins at the wing tips. I was amazed at the number of blue dashers at Magee. 100’s visible at a time. Maybe this will be a good year for dragonflies…Jim

I don’t think the reed needs more saturation as then it might pull the eye away. You could possibly brighten the brown panels on the wings as they look attractive (I’d use the adjustment brush in Lightroom but I’m sure you know a better way). These panels would then match the appealing brightness of the abdomen, though maybe you like the contrast between the two.

Thanks, @Jim_Zablotny and @Mike_Friel! It would be easy to lighten the dark areas on the wings with the Shadows slider in LR. Just using it globally would bring up a little more detail in the eyes (what there is of them) and the shadow of the abdomen. I did that a little, but in real life they look very black with little transparency. And the abdomen looks bright white with no detail, so I’ve brought out what the camera can record beyond what I (at least) see.

Hi Diane, I like the realistic look of this dragonfly along with the rest of the image too. Nice to get the head and body sharp at this angle. Agree the white abdomen often appears to outshine any detail but you did a great job showing us what is really there.

Very nice, Diane. It’s interesting that dragonfly bodies always look like something that would come out of a robotics kit, but the wings are so completely different. The inadvertent stack worked beautifully for the wings. I think the processing is just fine.

Thanks, @Allen_Sparks and @Dennis_Plank! I’ve found a few more worth posting and hope to get back out there tomorrow.