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kenfowkes
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JordanSuter April 27, 2016
Beautiful eyes. great work.
 
Mixy May 18, 2016
Lovely use of focus on the eye and very clever composition. Great shot. Congratulations....
 
maureenrueffer June 15, 2016
Such a pretty close-up
 
derxphoto Jun 11
wonder)
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sweetpea72 Jun 12
❤️❤️❤️
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TomasTar Jun 15
Awesome
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papillon518 Jun 16
Beautiful shot

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Apr, 2016
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Elsie Gazing



Turning inward, she gazes at nothing.
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Won Staff FavoriteJune, 2018

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Absolute Masterpiece
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Outstanding Creativity
Superior Skill
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Behind The Lens

Location
Sometimes a photo pretty much takes itself. After spending an hour or so shooting macros in the garden, I was lying on the couch reviewing my shots on the camera's LCD when I glanced sideways and saw Elsie sitting on the coffee table a few feet away, doing her zen-trance-inward-stare-whatever-it-is-thing. I quickly exited review mode, set the aperture to full open, rolled quietly sideways, focused on her eye, recomposed, and took the shot. It was pure luck that the angle happened to be one that aligned both her eye and her nose in the plane of focus, because I would not have been able to reposition myself while lying prone on the couch without making a commotion of grunting noises that would surely have distracted sweet Elsie from her reverie.
Time
This was taken in the mid afternoon, about six feet from east-facing double glass doors, below two skylights also angled east.
Lighting
Because the four large windows above and in front of Elsie were all facing east, and the sun was to the west, she was bathed in wonderfully diffuse reflected light. The light was so good, in fact, that I didn't need to make any adjustments to colors or tones in post-processing.
Equipment
This was taken with a 100mm F 2.8 macro lens on a full-frame DSLR using only available light. Although I got the lens primarily for taking close-ups in the garden, I also hoped to use it for portraits and it turned out to be great for that purpose.
Inspiration
I love Elsie's yellow eyes.
Editing
Since I was lying on the couch and had both hands on the camera, I had to use my core muscles to rise up slightly and frame the shot. Truth be told, my core muscles were not up to to the task and I wobbled. I wobbled a lot. I blame the soft cushions, but whether it was that or my soft belly doesn't matter. I messed up the framing and got her right eye too close to the edge of the frame. There was still some space there, but it really wasn't enough. I used Photoshop's sometimes-amazing Context-Aware Fill to add a sliver of extra space between Elsie's right eye and the left edge of the frame. When Context-Aware Fill works it is amazing and it worked here!
In my camera bag
I love my 100 mm macro lens and always bring that with me.
Feedback
Exercise your core! I'm only half joking here. When taking close-ups with my macro lens in a natural setting I often end up in an awkward posture, leaning over from where the context allows me to put my weight, to get my camera where it needs to be. In these moments, as I see all the movement in my viewfinder and switch to a higher shutter speed, I often think about the value of yoga. You all already know how important it is to make sure an eye is in focus, and to take advantage of natural light, so ... yeah ... how about yoga?

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