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| p.1 #9 · Anther critique wanted |
The way everything new we learn is validated is by comparison with how we did things before. So along those lines when you have a question about composing a shot and want C&C try several different crops, post them, then solicit opinions on which resonate the most with others.
Read my tutorial on composition and try the "Inside-Out" cropping method I suggest there: http://photo.nova.org/Cropping/
Start with the cropping guides in tight as possible on what you want the focal point to be in the photo...
... then slowly expand the crop to add context and balance...
The problem I see immediately when I do that is that the ass end of the bug contrasts more that the head which should be the focal point. That's not a problem you can easily fix in PP.
But what you will find if you try the "inside-out" method when working with images you have already taken is that it will make you more aware to same factors when shooting. If you mentally frame the shot the same way when shooting it, looking first at the head, then expanding your focus to the rest of its body and the background you'll think — "Gee that head isn't contrasting very well... " and be able to remedy the situation by either waiting for the bug to crawl into better light, or in some situations picking it up and posing it in better light so the head contrasts more than the ass-end.
In that respect the "inside-out" method is just a tool to help you become more objectively self-critical. It starts with knowing what to look for — i.e. a focal point that contrasts strongly with the background — then either waiting for that to occur or manipulating the situation so it will occur as envisioned.
I learned that in mid-70s when I worked in the photo labs at National Geographic. Another guy in the labs, Harry Yen, who made color prints there did nature macros as a hobby and did it so well the editors gave him a 12 page photo spread in the Dec 1970 issue seen below...
The inch worm shot was one of his more well known to the point you would go to art fairs and see painted version of it. He shot it in his basement with studio lights. What Harry would do when he found an interesting bug in the back yard was the bring it and the branch it was on into the house where he could better control the lighting and composition. When I asked him how long it took to take the shot of the inch-worm perfectly aligned with the leaf he smiled and said, "Too long...." and he was a guy with infinite patience.
Pre-visualize the message of the shot — bug defies gravity — what that focal points are — head and feet clinging to the leaf — then find ways during capture and PP to make them contrast so the viewer notices...