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Thread: Lizards Convention

  1. #1
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    Default Lizards Convention

    This shot was taken several months back. Reason why i posted this in CC is to seek some opinions on the composition and processing, if it works for you and why it works / doesn't work. How would you improve on the photo?

    Its the most 'interesting' and popular photo on my flickr site, so i would really like to understand what is it that contibutes to its appeal.

    Shot at Lower Peirce Reservoir Park on a sunday morning, the lizard was basking in the sun and was very cooperative. The colours of its surroundings was really vibrant and i wanted to really have a surreal vibrancy to show off the colours.

    150mm (300mm in 135 format) with 25mm extension tube. f4.5, 1/200 sec, ISO200.
    Processing: layer, overlay and adjusted the opacity.


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    Default Re: Lizards Convention

    btw, the title is named after a local band in the '90s. they had a song called 'give me time to see the flowers' which came to my mind after i uploaded the photo.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Lizards Convention

    I am not an expert, just to share what I feel.

    This photo doesn't work for me. Too many distracting areas, especially the orange 'thing' in the foreground.

    This is a very beautiful lizard (especially its head area) I wish I have the chance to take its photo one of this day. This is what I will do. Zoom in to the lizard head, this lizard is too long to has it whole body in focus. Use fill flash to add a little bit of catch light in its eye.

    Just my opinion.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Lizards Convention

    i have to agree with the above said.. the orange thing is really rather distracting.. if only it weren't there. however, that said... i have to say... i like the rich vibrant colours in this picture...

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    Default Re: Lizards Convention

    On the contrary, I don't have the orange as an issue. The subject is striking enough that it stands out as the 1st and only thing I see as the bokeh creams the scene around it. If anything, what the orangy does is to provide a brilliant contrast to the green and helps the mind to isolate what's the subject and what's the frame.

    Normally we would frown upon distracting highlights on the foreground/background. Mainly because we can't tell what it is; it doesn't add to the subject; it's a eye-sore; the subject is messy enough as it is, etc. But here it's interesting because it's repeated at the background, so our mind can tell us: There's red, orange, yellow amongst a field of green... Well it could very well be flowers. The interest isn't in the flowers but the finely focused lizard, so we can easily disregard everything else and just gaze at the subject.

    And a lovely subject it is. Rim-lighting separates the head from the background. We can easily count the number of scales along its neck etc. Probably the few complaints I have is the abrupt cropping of its right hind leg. And for the left hind leg being at a perfect 90degree right angle just looks weird, since so far the lizard has been curvy. Here the bokeh works against you because we can't really tell that it's a leg, we can assume for logical reasons but it can't be exactly be seen. Not a fault of yours that nature poses lizards as such but I think the effect can be lessened/strengthen with practise.

    I would like to see more DOF to show more of the body as well, use the body line to bring our eyes to its head. Composition is rigidly central, bring some compositional elements in 'cos everything else is pretty much accomplished here. Pretty good work, see you in here more often!

    ps. The highlight at the foreground is right at the bottom of the frame anyway, so even if it seems distracting, the eye doesn't focus that far down really. If it were hind leg level then it won't be acceptable. So there are limits. Hmm.. very interesting point that your picture brings up. It's challenging to C&C. Heh.
    Last edited by foxtwo; 18th June 2008 at 10:42 PM.

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    Default Re: Lizards Convention

    maybe you can just crop off the bottem
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Lizards Convention

    Quote Originally Posted by tanhb View Post
    I am not an expert, just to share what I feel.

    This photo doesn't work for me. Too many distracting areas, especially the orange 'thing' in the foreground.
    Quote Originally Posted by foxtwo View Post
    On the contrary, I don't have the orange as an issue. The subject is striking enough that it stands out as the 1st and only thing I see as the bokeh creams the scene around it.
    i see the differences here. sometimes when people say a photo has distracting background, i wonder, how come I always only see the foreground upon first glance.. is it because of my quick wit or a personal trait of not complaint-prone?

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    Default Re: Lizards Convention

    hmm....imho I think the composition is really good. Very vibrant and vivid along foreground and background, but its all OOF. So when i looked at the photo, my eye was immediately drawn to the centre, which is also vivid but very sharply focused

    I think its a great shot


    Quote Originally Posted by tanhb View Post
    This is what I will do. Zoom in to the lizard head, this lizard is too long to has it whole body in focus. Use fill flash to add a little bit of catch light in its eye.
    Well, that would produce a nice photo....but the thing is... how many times have we seen these tightly-cropped head shots of wildlife? seems really Clichéd if you ask me

    As for how to improve it? I think it works out well as it is already. not much point in fixing something that isn't broken, eh? xD

    just my $0.01*2
    Last edited by Daedalus Trent; 19th June 2008 at 08:37 AM.

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    Default Re: Lizards Convention

    I love the picture too.

    My focus was drawn straight to the scales on the lizard's neck (as it is not frequent i can see such detail in sharp focus) and then following them all the way to the front of the lizard's head. very sharp details in the main subject so the other colours all round are not a big issue. The blend of colors proclaim a summer season fashion collection to me, like something you see of the prints on skirts. very bright and cheery, which might be why it is a popular picture.
    Slow...yeah, steady... not really
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    Default Re: Lizards Convention

    Quote Originally Posted by tanhb View Post
    I am not an expert, just to share what I feel.

    This photo doesn't work for me. Too many distracting areas, especially the orange 'thing' in the foreground.

    This is a very beautiful lizard (especially its head area) I wish I have the chance to take its photo one of this day. This is what I will do. Zoom in to the lizard head, this lizard is too long to has it whole body in focus. Use fill flash to add a little bit of catch light in its eye.

    Just my opinion.
    Quote Originally Posted by jyang View Post
    i have to agree with the above said.. the orange thing is really rather distracting.. if only it weren't there. however, that said... i have to say... i like the rich vibrant colours in this picture...
    thanks for sharing your opnion guys. unfortunately i didn't have a external flash with me at the time and the built-in flash of my camera body would cast a shadow with the lens setup. i have a series of shots of this lizard framed differently, but this strikes out for me mainly due to the colours and eye contact of the lizard.

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    Default Re: Lizards Convention

    Quote Originally Posted by foxtwo View Post
    On the contrary, I don't have the orange as an issue. The subject is striking enough that it stands out as the 1st and only thing I see as the bokeh creams the scene around it. If anything, what the orangy does is to provide a brilliant contrast to the green and helps the mind to isolate what's the subject and what's the frame.

    Normally we would frown upon distracting highlights on the foreground/background. Mainly because we can't tell what it is; it doesn't add to the subject; it's a eye-sore; the subject is messy enough as it is, etc. But here it's interesting because it's repeated at the background, so our mind can tell us: There's red, orange, yellow amongst a field of green... Well it could very well be flowers. The interest isn't in the flowers but the finely focused lizard, so we can easily disregard everything else and just gaze at the subject.

    And a lovely subject it is. Rim-lighting separates the head from the background. We can easily count the number of scales along its neck etc. Probably the few complaints I have is the abrupt cropping of its right hind leg. And for the left hind leg being at a perfect 90degree right angle just looks weird, since so far the lizard has been curvy. Here the bokeh works against you because we can't really tell that it's a leg, we can assume for logical reasons but it can't be exactly be seen. Not a fault of yours that nature poses lizards as such but I think the effect can be lessened/strengthen with practise.

    I would like to see more DOF to show more of the body as well, use the body line to bring our eyes to its head. Composition is rigidly central, bring some compositional elements in 'cos everything else is pretty much accomplished here. Pretty good work, see you in here more often!

    ps. The highlight at the foreground is right at the bottom of the frame anyway, so even if it seems distracting, the eye doesn't focus that far down really. If it were hind leg level then it won't be acceptable. So there are limits. Hmm.. very interesting point that your picture brings up. It's challenging to C&C. Heh.
    thanks foxtwo, i agree with your points on the hind leg being cropped off. i had paid more attention to composing the shot with the lizard's eye to be in the upper / left 3rd of the frame and overlooked the positioning of the leg. also, i should have factored in the actual frame size as my VF has only 93% coverage. thanks for the structured critique!

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    Default Re: Lizards Convention

    Quote Originally Posted by Daedalus Trent View Post
    hmm....imho I think the composition is really good. Very vibrant and vivid along foreground and background, but its all OOF. So when i looked at the photo, my eye was immediately drawn to the centre, which is also vivid but very sharply focused

    I think its a great shot



    Well, that would produce a nice photo....but the thing is... how many times have we seen these tightly-cropped head shots of wildlife? seems really Clichéd if you ask me

    As for how to improve it? I think it works out well as it is already. not much point in fixing something that isn't broken, eh? xD

    just my $0.01*2
    Quote Originally Posted by tortise View Post
    I love the picture too.

    My focus was drawn straight to the scales on the lizard's neck (as it is not frequent i can see such detail in sharp focus) and then following them all the way to the front of the lizard's head. very sharp details in the main subject so the other colours all round are not a big issue. The blend of colors proclaim a summer season fashion collection to me, like something you see of the prints on skirts. very bright and cheery, which might be why it is a popular picture.
    thanks for sharing ! great to understand why it works for you and how the same things doesn't work for others.

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    Default Re: Lizards Convention

    Quote Originally Posted by dRebelXT View Post
    i see the differences here. sometimes when people say a photo has distracting background, i wonder, how come I always only see the foreground upon first glance.. is it because of my quick wit or a personal trait of not complaint-prone?
    huh? sorry, i really don't get what you are trying to say.

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    Default Re: Lizards Convention

    Quote Originally Posted by dRebelXT View Post
    i see the differences here. sometimes when people say a photo has distracting background, i wonder, how come I always only see the foreground upon first glance.. is it because of my quick wit or a personal trait of not complaint-prone?
    I think it just shows the different levels of C&C: how much information each person takes in before committing to an answer.

    Do you have a C&C of this photograph to share?

  15. #15

    Default Re: Lizards Convention

    Beautiful portrait of a lizard. I do agree about the orange bokeh at the bottom being a little distracting though. Nonetheless, it is truely a charming lizard you have captured; handsome even, only I don't know if it is male or female. If it is male, it will definitely turn many female lizards' heads... well done. Love it!!!

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