Mantis shot for critique

Here is a recent shot of a mantis on which I’ve been working intermittently… I’m still wondering if I’ve pushed the post processing too far.

Shadow recovery + local contrast + tone curve + sharpening applied in photoflow.

What do you think? Too dark? Too sharp? Too “greenish”?

Here is the SoC image for comparison:

Thanks for looking!


I really like the increased detail, in the thorax, from just below the head to the shaded area. That really stands out as a focal point for me. Even more so, than the head. I also like the detail of the outer antenna that has been brought out in the sharpening. I don’t think that greener cast, of the background, looks unnatural, or detracts from the final image. I do see an increase in luminance noise, in the background. That doesn’t bother me, but is noticeable. Very nice removal of chroma noise too. I like the final version.

Cool shot, good light and nicely focused too. I don’t think you wend to far with processing it - not at all. I thin you might even want to go a bit further! :smiley:

A few things I would change:

  • Overall the image looks a bit dark, even more so after processing. Maybe boost the exposure by .2 ev or so and lift the shadows a bit more using curves
  • It looks like you applied to local contrast enhancement to the out of focus areas to making then look quite ‘rough’.
  • Some more vignetting could help ‘focusing’ the picture more on the subject
  • I like the colors but I do I think making the white balance slightly colder will remove some of that brownish cast which would give it a bit of a more fresh look - IF you want that.

Cool shot!


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@Wilam, @Jonas_Wagner thanks for looking and for the suggestions!

So I have raised a bit the blue component in the white balance, slightly increased the brightness and mid-tones contrast, added some contrast in the abdomen and finally added some vignetting on the right side of the image.

Indeed, the local contrast tends to increase the noise as well, but I find the result quite “grainy” and natural.

I think I like the new image more than the previous one:


I like the new image better, also. The transluscence in the abdomen is much more apparent now, to me anyway. I like the change to the WB. It allows the image to all come together, better, with the common colors of both the background and the insect. I find this change very pleasing to the eye. A very nice image.

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The new version really works for me. Gorgeous. :smile: It looks like shes glowing in the sun now.

Indeed, the local contrast tends to increase the noise as well, but I find the result quite “grainy” and natural.
I don’t mind that too much in this case. I was more referring to the effect it has on the ‘bokeh’.

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@Jonas_Wagner @Wilam You have been SOOOO helpful!

I’m really happy of the final outcome.
I think I’ll stop here for this one, and jump to the next of this mantis series (I have 4 or 5 more good shots out of about 40, as it was a really windy day).

Thanks again!

I agree, it “pops” a bit more and does indeed have a glow. :slight_smile: I also like the change to the WB. It’s subtle, but a bit prettier, imo.

Personally I like the first version the best.

I don’t often see dark, moody macro shots and that was excellent.