Pretty Fly

From Lair of Sorrow

Let's talk about perspective. More specifically - about how important it is to look at things differently. Let's fly to the details, then!

Taking pictures of people is relatively easy - after all, you can communicate with another human being to explain the intentions, the desired outcome and everything in between. It also comes with a few bult-in patterns that somehow affect taking pictures of other objects. Breaking those patterns - from time to time - can produce more interesting photos.

Let's start with an example.

A Portrait of a Fly

Here you can see a portrait of a fly. Despite all the details this is a pretty boring frame. Unlike humans, a fly does not have any personality that can be portrayed on a picture. This frame is more documentary than anything else. Why is that?

It is because of the photographer's perspective. I approached the fly as I would normally approach a topic to photograph - by standing next to it, framing, then taking a shot. While the end result is pleasant (I do enjoy just how sharp this image is and how depth of field is exactly on the eye), something is off and the photo could have been better. I remember the place as full of yellow and insects. The green parts are distracting, but however I moved, I could not get rid of them in the frame.

And then it struck me - what if I am moving wrong? Instead of pointing forward, maybe I should try downwards?

Raw photo

This picture still has a lot of distracting elements that fortunately can be solved by cropping - now it just better conveys the mood. The fly is still there, it is still the topic of the frame, but the picture is a bit more abstract. The depth of field is ridiculously tiny - you can see that the flower is blurred.

So, let's try to crop this image to see how can it be made more impactful.

Step 1: the first crop

Square format seems perfect, as it cuts most of the visual disturbances out. This is better than the original framing, but still far from perfect. There is too much green, there is a part of another flower in the upper right corner... and the image looks out of focus.

Step 2: tight crop

This is much better. You can guess that the background is just a nicely blurred flower that the insect sits on. This is different from previous crops - now the flower is not explicit, it requires some thinking. Also the insect is not ideally aligned, bringing some dynamic to the frame.

With framing done, it is time to deal with colours. The background is too saturated, it steals the focus from the wings and the insect itself.

Step 3: colour fixes

The changes are rather cosmetic. The saturation level of yellow has been toned down, the white balance was shifted towards warmer colours to bring the nice orange fragments in the wings and the overall contrast has been slightly increased.

The final step of the post-processing is - as always in my case - adding a nice vignette.

Pretty Fly

And there we are. From a boring portrait of a fly to an abstract image about an insect over yellow flowers - and all it required was a change of perspective. Thank you for reading and until the next time.