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Evolution of the Species
Evolution of the Species
DrAchoo


Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Sci-Fi Celebration (Expert Editing)
Camera: Canon EOS-5D
Lens: Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM
Location: Redmond, WA
Date: Jun 24, 2007
Aperture: f/5.6
ISO: 400
Shutter: 1/400
Galleries: Macro, Digital Art
Date Uploaded: Jun 24, 2007

From Virtupedia:
"The basic shape of the dragonfly has been recorded in the fossil record for millions of years. It seems appropriate nature would take such a tested body plan and use it in her first experiments with metallic substrate nervous systems. Fossil records of crude metallic nerves appeared shortly after the seventh Great Extinction at the close of the Age of Homo sapiens. Though other classes of animals have since evolved metallic substrate nervous systems, none have perfected it like insects. This fine example of the common copper dragonfly (Odonata cuprum) shows off it's exquisitely innervated wings."


If you had enough patience to draw selections of circuits and if it didn't count as a new feature, this could be done in advanced. However, I used shots of some old motherboards to help select the shapes for me.

Started by catching a dragonfly in my parents' backyard. Doing so played havoc with my allergies as the grass was four feet tall and I was blowing my nose the rest of the day.

Eight minutes in the fridge and the little guy was ready to go (always check them every 3-4 minutes if you are going to do this). He sedately sat on the flower (sitting in a vase outside) for 10-15 minutes before lazily flying away.

I had shot the head-on shots of the motherboards the day before. In processing I would take a good looking rectangular section of circuitry and use transform to shape it roughly to the wing I was working on. I then used a layer mask to erase the parts I did not want (outside the wing and on the black wing sections). After applying the mask to the layer, I used channel mixer and a strong contrast application (+100) to turn the circuits black and white (also known as an alpha channel). I then selected on the white (the circuits) and used that selection on the dragonfly layer to create two adjustment layers of levels and color balance. Levels made them darker (90/.2/235) and color balance added the gold (+100 yellow on shadow/mid/high). I repeated for the four wings and that was it.

I think I may get a comment or two about cropping part of the wings off, but I think on the limited canvas size of DPC one needs to do this from time to time to bring out the detail wanted. I have an outtake with the whole dragonfly and some negative space and I was afraid the circuits got lost.

Personally I love this shot and have high hopes (thus leading to possible high disappointment). I'm not sure if it will compete for a ribbon or not (since expert editing tastes vary and others have much more expert editing skills than me). Here's to hoping!

Statistics
Place: 10 out of 93
Avg (all users): 7.0392
Avg (commenters): 7.8235
Avg (participants): 6.8070
Avg (non-participants): 7.1061
Views since voting: 3299
Views during voting: 543
Votes: 255
Comments: 60
Favorites: 16 (view)


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AuthorThread
06/07/2009 01:15:46 PM
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Message edited by author 2009-06-07 13:18:40.
07/13/2007 09:06:14 AM
Did I told you before that this image still impressed me after all this days? I think with this shot you captured the best of the two worlds. An excellent photo with a brilliant idea.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/12/2007 07:41:25 AM
Mate - very nicely done, and like the others say, a nice, subtle idea. Congrats on having a living specimen at the end of it too - I shouldn't say how many fly-sicles we produced with that method in 7th form biology experiments... ;)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/07/2007 10:42:05 AM
It took me a moment to see what was going on, but what a neat idea! Congratulations!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/06/2007 02:00:43 PM
Brilliant idea. So subtle. Congrats on top 10.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/06/2007 01:38:29 PM
Oh very well done!!! Just beautiful....this is a delicate, sensitively processed image. So well done that it actually looks "natural" - if you know what I mean!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/06/2007 10:47:53 AM
congrats on top 10, this is an excellent macro!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/06/2007 09:36:22 AM
This was one of my 10s. Congrats on getting in the top ten. I loved that moment of realization when I went from thinking "I can't believe someone entered a flower/dragonfly photo in a Sci-fi challenge" to "Wow!" Beautifully done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/06/2007 08:54:07 AM
Doc - I think this is my favorite entry in the challenge. I had one of those "Boy, I wish I'd thought of that moments" when I opened this photo. What an extremely clever idea!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/06/2007 07:15:47 AM
sorry doc, I was a bit clueless there on the look-through with voting. now a new early morning, and seeing this fresh...great image & I love the tale about chillin' him out so he'd be a "willing" subject! congrats on Top 10!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/06/2007 06:54:41 AM
excellent doc. one of the very few 10s i've ever given out.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/06/2007 04:25:14 AM
Very well put together, very photogenic.
But that 4th place... ah well
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/06/2007 01:55:47 AM
Slick Doc. So nicely done that you almost don't notice it at first.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/06/2007 01:43:42 AM
Beautiful piece of editing. Very believable. It represents everything good about all the old sci-fi books I used to read.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/06/2007 01:37:48 AM
i think you were terribly robbed on this one, nothing personal against the other photographers but i believe this is miles above the 2 and 3rd places, i gave a 10 to first so i cant say it should have won but i think 10th is ridiculous

edit for typo

Message edited by author 2007-07-06 01:38:49.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/06/2007 01:35:42 AM
This is my favorite of the challenge. Wings constructed of flex circuits is just a brilliant idea. Technically, this photo seems perfect to me.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/06/2007 12:51:49 AM
Brilliant work, Doc. Got a solid 7 from me.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/06/2007 12:34:22 AM
Great work Doc...it was one of my faves in the challenge
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/06/2007 12:12:45 AM
I can't believe I'm saying this for a 7+ image but it's placement makes it underrated. I thought this would ribbon.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/06/2007 12:07:00 AM
Not 4th....10th instead!! Congrats.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
07/05/2007 12:40:41 PM
Not sure I like to ask where the batteries go . ..

Very nice subtle work.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/05/2007 06:51:19 AM
Very good post processing, well done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/04/2007 04:22:12 PM
Superb!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/04/2007 05:44:49 AM
How cool is this! What a clear idea, well executed and professionally presented
Well done - good luck in your work
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/04/2007 01:03:40 AM
Ohhhh nice. I thought this would be nothing special when I looked at the thumbnail, but I couldn't have been further from the truth. The overlay on the wings looks a very tiny bit less "real" but it is still a very stunning image. Great job.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/03/2007 11:50:11 PM
nice
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/03/2007 02:27:13 PM
Great composition, focus, etc. The wings took me a minute. :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/03/2007 12:44:52 PM
Beautiful! Great execution. The focus is perfect
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/03/2007 08:44:04 AM
Oh, clever idea. Perhaps the mind of what's-his-name is at work here. ;-Þ (Shannon)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/02/2007 05:22:58 PM
There's not another entry in this challenge that hits a home run in every category like this one does. It meets the challenge perfectly. The concept is great and the execution perfect (few others can say this). On top of that it's also 100% believable (almost no other contender can say this) and the end product oozes wowness. In this challenge it's the perfect storm.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/02/2007 03:56:36 PM
I hate bee & flower shots but this is an exception.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/02/2007 03:40:06 PM
Nice Macro shot. Colors could maybe use a little livening but other then that nice photo.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/02/2007 11:51:04 AM
Excellent idea and execution.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/01/2007 11:30:06 PM
nice intricate work 8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/01/2007 11:25:28 PM
Very nice!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/01/2007 05:07:15 PM
One of my favourite shots in the challenge. A really simple and effective idea very well executed.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/01/2007 04:29:47 PM
Interesting idea, and I think the wings were nicely put together. The colours are nice.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/01/2007 03:51:19 PM
Great bit of editing, love the way you have followed the lines of the wings with the circuit board layers.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/01/2007 09:33:45 AM
Clever. Looks like the wings of a digital dragonfly.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/01/2007 08:59:32 AM
Very cool and well done. The "chip" pattern fits into the dragon flies wings perfectly and colors work great together. 7 for now and may get a bump before voting ends.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/01/2007 08:02:08 AM
BEAUTIFUl shot, just doesn't say "Sci-Fi" to me...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/01/2007 06:53:50 AM
Subtle and very well done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/01/2007 05:39:27 AM
Nice macro of the ode, but hardly sci-fi enough
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/30/2007 03:01:28 AM
9, The whites in the flower appear blown to me but otherwise a great idea and good execution
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/30/2007 02:04:40 AM
Very nice, I didn't notice the detail in the wings at first. Good sharp detail on the bug's head and body too.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/30/2007 12:07:24 AM
Almost didn't notice. Very cool, well done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/29/2007 10:43:02 PM
very nice work
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/29/2007 05:06:35 PM
Wow! Beautifully done, quite subtle really, disturbing too. Very nice.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/29/2007 03:26:03 PM
Is that a motherboard from a 486?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/29/2007 01:43:18 PM
Took me a while to figure out what was so "sci-fi" about this image but then it suddenly hit me. Nice subtle effect.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/29/2007 12:06:34 PM
Nice veins...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/29/2007 11:23:26 AM
Great idea and fantastic processing.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/29/2007 07:52:37 AM
OH man! that's good! I'm glad you allowed the focus or non-focus to be your guide when replacing the wing fibers.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/29/2007 06:42:45 AM
Nice. very nice!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/29/2007 03:16:50 AM
awesome photoshop work...faultless, so I have to give this 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/29/2007 02:32:28 AM
Looks almost Scalvert.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/29/2007 01:38:40 AM
subtle, nice.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/29/2007 01:22:08 AM
I love the circuit board in the wings. I don't know if there are any, but it makes me wish I had thought of a part-man part-insect entry.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/29/2007 12:50:37 AM
This is cool
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/29/2007 12:50:34 AM
Bad ASS! this took me a second, i was about to start complaining about entering an unedited shot for a EE challenge! this was edited so cleanly! AWESOME AWESOME JOB!! a big fat 10 and a favorite!
  Photographer found comment helpful.


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