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Challenge: Rule of Thirds VI (Advanced Editing VII)
Collection: Portfolio
Date: Jun 30, 2015
Date Uploaded: Jun 30, 2015

[Jul. 7th, 2015 10:33:53 PM]

I've been going back and forth on whether I should put notes on this one, because I know I'll irritate some by doing it. I'm not sure if I'm irritated myself.

When I first started on DPC, I was annoyed at any setup shot. I thought photography was about "catching" the shot. Seeing it and getting at the right time.

Challenges irritated me, because it was extremely difficult two great catches in a week. And challenges like SPAM, still life, etc., couldn't really be finds. Well, maybe you can find still lifes, but where do you happen to find SPAM other than the grocery store. I mean seriously, does anyone really eat the stuff? It stinks! (and really collects flies). My husband made me go outside to shoot that one!

Oops, sorry, I digress.

Anyway, I started learning how to setup shots. I still preferred the nature shots and the "finds". In the meantime, I watched with interest the discussions on Doc's photo:

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And even the discussions on highly photoshopped photos.

And then the Puzzle Macro challenge happened. And I went out to find bugs to see if they could be puzzling. (btw, it was a painted lady butterfly -- not a mosquito!!) While I was taking photos of creepy bugs:

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butterflies and dragonflies:

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I looked down and saw a monarch. It was deceased. I bought it home, thinking that I'd try to put it under a magnifying glass, and using my extension tubes, get a really, really close macro that might be puzzling. After looking at way too many bug pictures, I got tired and bored and entered what I had. The monarch stayed in my dining room (which happens to be my "studio".)

Rule of thirds: So I didn't have any ideas. I had some live flowers and dead flowers -- a bouquet from my husband given a week before. I was going to try something like this:

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but with a live flower on one third and a dead one on the other. Nope. Didn't begin to work. Plus, Moriarty kept getting up on the table! I've already done a cat sniffing flowers.

And then I remembered the butterfly.

I would never be able to watch Mo going after a live butterfly. I even save moths when they fly in the house, because it seems cruel to let the cats play with them and eat them. But somehow I found myself gluing a dead butterfly to a flower.

That was the easy part. The whole reason I did it was because butterflies backlit are soooo gorgeous. I set up a strobe to backlit the butterfly. Really difficult. It had to be extremely bright to make the butterfly glow; and that made everything way too bright. I then snooted the strobe. Better.

But when I asked my husband to hold the flower, it was way too difficult to get the light right. I managed to hang the flower from a backdrop holder, but that kept swinging back and forth. And my cat wrangler kept knocking it aside.

That's because Mo had absolutely no interest in it! So we tried string. He'd watch that, but it was too hard to get it close enough to the flower without knocking it out of the way. We tried his beloved milk rings, and nothing worked.

Ok, getting desperate now. I've come this far, there must be a way.

Tuna fish!! Week and a half old tunafish in the fridge that hadn't been thrown out yet, because we'd been out of town. Got a tiny drop out and onto the flower.

Mo still didn't notice!! He's awfully cute, but not too bright. When he finally did notice, he didn't really sit and stare like I'd hoped, he just kept rubbing on the flower. Of course, that knocked it out of position each time he rubbed.

I got this shot; which is what I had been hoping for.

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but the pink flower just didn't fit. I didn't want to get rid of the color in the butterfly, after all that was the whole point! But the pink flower just was awful. B&W didn't really review well.

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So I went with the current entry.

Here's where he started getting more interested:

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By this time, I was sorry I had started the whole thing.

While I wouldn't and didn't do anything in for a shot, it still seems cheating to setup something like this. But is it really different than setting up shots with models, still lifes, etc.? I don't know any more.

Long rambling story. I hope I got the links right. And I hope that someone might find the thought process interesting.

Thanks for the comments!

Place: 1 out of 194
Avg (all users): 6.9451
Avg (commenters): 7.3000
Avg (participants): 6.7647
Avg (non-participants): 7.4783
Views since voting: 1738
Views during voting: 164
Votes: 91
Comments: 24
Favorites: 3 (view)

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07/10/2015 08:05:04 AM
Congratulations on your blue, with this lovely image.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/09/2015 09:53:40 PM
I love that flower.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/09/2015 04:35:38 PM
Ha! I love your notes, Wendy!

You've gone over to The Dark Side. LOL!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/08/2015 08:08:41 PM
Told you so!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/08/2015 06:45:00 PM
Grats on the win. Love your back stories and enjoy your creativity
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/08/2015 05:48:26 PM
Congrats Wendy; your stories are always interesting.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/08/2015 11:29:31 AM
Congrats Wendy!! Way to go teammate!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/08/2015 10:37:02 AM
Congratulations on winning the blue ribbon. Yes, your thought process is very interesting, both technically and philosophically. I always enjoy your commentary.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/08/2015 08:29:01 AM
Congrats Wendy! Love the story behind the scenes....Wonderful!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/08/2015 06:36:55 AM
Congratulations Wendy! The cat haters must be on vacation!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/08/2015 03:51:15 AM
Congrats on the blue Wendy. It's a great shot, and yes, I found your thought processes interesting. Not cheating imho and kudos to you for your persistance.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/08/2015 12:38:11 AM
Congrats on the blue!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/08/2015 12:07:48 AM
Fantastic Wendy! A big congratulations!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
07/05/2015 03:39:46 PM
Given how tough it is to photograph black pets, this is very nicely done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/03/2015 01:24:37 PM
Wonderful - seems a tad over-edited but lovely nonetheless.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/02/2015 03:50:47 PM
I'm enjoying being part of the DPL First ten! side challenge. Yours is photo #3 in my random voting stream for the Rule of Thirds VI challenge.

Intriguing use of the rule here, with two separate attention points in diagonal opposition at the intersection points. It works on one level, but also creates an interesting tension between the cat's eye and the flower. The front leg bridges the gap as a leading line, but it still feels visually unsettled to me. The exposure and background are exceptional.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/02/2015 03:14:23 PM
Kudos on your timing if it's a real butterfly. Juxtaposition of lights and darks and rim lighting make this one stand out.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/02/2015 11:17:57 AM
There is magic in this photo.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/01/2015 08:40:16 PM
The backlight on Mo's paw is just grand
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/01/2015 03:49:46 PM
Sweet! Very nice in B&W
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/01/2015 10:57:39 AM
Absolutely Beautiful and unusual image, a rare find.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/01/2015 04:50:48 AM
well composed, nice lighting. Too obviously composed with fake butterfly, though
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/01/2015 01:53:45 AM
top three
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/01/2015 12:24:57 AM
Lovely shot, I love the way you've highlight the dark cat against the dark background.
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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