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Leafy Sea Dragon
2nd PlaceLeafy Sea Dragon

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Master of Disguise (Basic Editing III)
Camera: Canon EOS-10D
Location: Atlanta, GA
Date: Mar 5, 2006
Aperture: F/4
ISO: ISO-800
Shutter: 1/10s
Galleries: Animals, Seascapes
Date Uploaded: Mar 7, 2006

Picture taken at the Georgia Aquarium... tough because the light was low, no flash allowed, and these little creatures were constantly moving.

From camera: crop/sharpen/noise/levels

Place: 2 out of 117
Avg (all users): 6.7438
Avg (commenters): 7.6667
Avg (participants): 6.1579
Avg (non-participants): 6.8707
Views since voting: 24299
Views during voting: 471
Votes: 320
Comments: 32
Favorites: 11 (view)

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03/20/2006 09:37:59 PM
Thanks for your critique... the original image (resized) can be viewed under my portfolio: //www.dpchallenge.com/image.php?IMAGE_ID=309203

I purposefully left in some of the plants to place the fish in-context (i.e., what the subject is disguised as). As you surmised, that annoying light is indeed glare; I tried to hide as much as possible in post-processing. I also tried to use a polarizer at the time the image was taken, but that cut down on the already low light further, and didn't help very much in any case.

The "thing" behind its head is actually another fish ( //www.dpchallenge.com/image.php?IMAGE_ID=309211 ).
03/20/2006 05:47:20 AM
Greetings from the Critique Club :-)

Congrats on your first ribbon! A fine shot. That is an amazing looking creature. Well, this is your entry in the 'Master of Disguise' challenge. I think it is easy to say that your shot definitely fits the challenge. My first impression when looking at this photo is wow, what an incredible creature. And presented in such a vivid and strong manner. Also, assuming it is probably an aquarium shot, and knowing the conditions of most aquariums (lighting, glass, people and such) I figure a lot of care and effort went into getting this beautiful image.

Technically, a superb job. Dof is great, the animal is crisp and clear, and plenty of detail present. Your processing is good. Lovely colors, and as I said initially, a very vivid and eyecatching image. You've put together a wonderful composition, IMO. Full framed subject, and it makes a great vertical across the image. I like that you have included the plants at left. I believe they are a strong element to the image. They provide context to the scene. They add a little something more to look at and the way the bottom kind of curves around and subtly frames the sea dragon, I think they help to keep the viewer engaged on the main subject. Without them, you would still have this nicely detailed, fascinating animal, but just him on a blue background, and I just don't think nearly as strong a presentation.

So, yes there is the plant, or whatever the thing is that is behind and to the right of his head. But it is a minor, very minor distraction. It is not noticeable at first glance, and is only seen once the viewer gets into studying and appreciating the photo. By that time, you have already won over the audience and they would be quite forgiving of that little flaw. The only other thing I might point out is, and again, it is very minor, just left of center almost to the bottom of the plant, there is a whitish spot on the blue, between the plant leaves. Looks like it could possibly be just a touch of glare or something. If you were say, getting this ready for a print, perhaps you might want to try and clone out that spot and the before mentioned plant to the right of the head.

This is a very stunning photo. Grabs your attention and demands you stay and look for awhile. I think it would make a beautiful print. A very fine job, and very well deserving of the ribbon. Congratulations again.

If you have any questions, or comments, or anything, feel free to contact me.

taterbug :-)
03/17/2006 10:34:40 AM
Well . . . you certainly wouldn't have known it was low light & constant movement! This is PERFECT!!! Sharp. Crisp. Stunning! Very deserving of a ribbon! Congratulations!
03/15/2006 08:15:22 PM
Congratulations on your Ribbon! Perfect subject for this challenge so well captured!
03/15/2006 01:17:22 PM
Congrads on your first well deserved ribbon and new high score. My first for this site too; quite exciting isn't it. Hope it is the road to many more.
03/15/2006 12:16:26 PM
Wow! Congratulations on your RED.
03/15/2006 11:20:19 AM
congrats on your ribbon neat shot
03/15/2006 11:05:00 AM

Message edited by author 2008-03-27 00:38:33.
03/15/2006 06:23:04 AM
Congratulations on the red, very well deserved!
03/15/2006 06:00:43 AM
I love this as I love sea dragons.....I have also added it to "my favorites".....
03/15/2006 03:47:44 AM
Congrats on your ribbon!
03/15/2006 02:41:13 AM
Congrats on your red ribbon. It's a beautiful image, well done.
03/15/2006 01:18:06 AM
You did a great job, this was your first ribbon and my seahorse gave me my first as well...maybe this is a bad trend to set...take a photo of a seahorse get a ribbon...haha. Anyways, again great shot.
03/15/2006 12:40:51 AM
Wow!! My 1st ribbon... thanks to everyone of you who voted for me -- it's a huge encouragement for becoming a better photographer.

I made a special trip to the Georgia Aquarium (~2 hrs away from me) just for the challenge. I'd never seen a Leafy Sea Dragon before, but it seemed perfect... I took over 30 pics trying to get one that was "just right".

BTW, I had no idea, until the voting started, that this creature had been entered before (*winning a yellow in the 'camouflage' challenge in November '05). And there was another one (but from a different aquarium, I believe) also entered in this challenge.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
03/14/2006 02:59:15 PM
I like the composition and the colours.
03/14/2006 02:38:21 PM
I love this picture. Clear, wonderful colour and a great subject. The out of focus plant or whatever in the background is slightly distracting but the plant on the left works well. Good luck.
03/12/2006 03:22:19 AM
Good idea, to bad there was another one just like this
03/11/2006 12:55:34 AM
Would have liked to see bigger DOF.. good picture though
03/10/2006 01:50:38 PM
great shot!
03/09/2006 09:45:21 AM
8 for the thought and the shot
03/08/2006 11:37:19 PM
This is so Good!
03/08/2006 11:13:11 PM
Wow! Another great seahorse photo!
03/08/2006 09:40:07 PM
Not bad, a little soft and I see some compression in the blue.
03/08/2006 03:36:25 PM
Nice lighting & clarity.
03/08/2006 01:36:08 PM
Is this a real creature? I've never seen anything like it! I wish the plant beside it was a different color, or perhaps not there at all.
03/08/2006 10:14:37 AM
and the disguise is?
03/08/2006 09:05:17 AM
Is this a plant or a sea horse? Im leaning twords sea horse. sencond photo of this Ive seen but this one is better IMHO. blue BG reall sets this wonderful creature off! good luck
~~Cher~~ :o)
03/08/2006 06:48:06 AM
Awesome picture, and such a beautiful creature. Great aquarium shot.
03/08/2006 05:33:08 AM
I love this as thase are one of my favorite living sea creatures.....
03/08/2006 02:15:43 AM
great shot from the aquarium.
03/08/2006 01:56:48 AM
I like this composition.
03/08/2006 12:50:43 AM
TomFoolery made this shot famous and you got it spot on as well! Great job on this one. I've been trying to shoot this type of seahorse but with no luck! 9
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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