(Deep breath) Okay, here goes, no holds barred. Give it to me straight folks. These are a couple of projects I've been working on - All are essentially going to be submitted for competition in an Art photography category, and all are very different in approach and treatment.
Edit: The second two images have been removed, after I was gently (and quite rightly) reminded by Sir T about the the guidelines for the Critics Corner. It's a one image post. Thanks John, and sorry.
If you want to see the other two, I've left them as links
Thanks in advance
Addendum: (to correct my oversight of the guidelines for this section)
For this Gecko and Cricket image, I was trying to achieve an obvious 'nature' shot that was clear in it's meaning/story, with the overall effect being wholly artistic. That is to say a hybrid nature/art image using a clean silhouette, the echo of the scene if you like, to tell the story succinctly and without interference or distraction of dimensional details, but keeping the lovely lines and textures of the leaf.
I used a single modeling light only, no flash, positioned about 60cms above the banana leaf. The fresh leaf was suspended (yay for gaffa tape!) between two lighting stands on a very slight angle, just enough for me to be comfortable shooting upwards. The reason for this is, the leaf-tailed gecko is very sick and I didn't want to stress him on a slippery leaf (he is in rehab with me for a few weeks). The cricket (I have a food colony of them for my frogs and the gecko), had deceased by natural causes - so I carefully glued him with paper glue to the leaf.
As Huey (the Gecko) is very quiet - it was simply a case of positioning him on the leaf in a way that portrayed he was going after the cricket.
I had done several test shots in advance without Huey to check exposure and position and once he was in place, I turned on the modeling light again to take the shot.
Post processing was merely a slight crop to remove some dead space on one side, and a very minor adjustment to levels. As this was a project in monochrome study, I converted it using the channel mixers monochrome setting, plus; reducing red by approx 10%, reducing green by approx 5% and increasing blue by approx 8% to give the tonal range I was looking for.
In reply to Dugs comment about the colour - I agree, I like this image in full colour, but it also works in monochrome (which was the exercise)
To everyone else, thanks for your comments and feedback on this one and the others. I agree with you about the bird - hey, this is how we learn, and that photo was a dud. I'm still undecided about the fog image, it has it's merits as it stands, but I will take your comments on board and continue to explore what this shot can achieve.
Thank you members, you rock!