Like Rings on a Tree

© Elaine Hessler

Like Rings on a Tree

Uploaded: April 21, 2013


ISO 640, 48mm, f/5.6, 1/5 sec. RAW:)

Exif: F Number: 5.6, Exposure Bias Value: -0.33, ExposureTime: 1/5 seconds, Flash: did not fire., ISO: 640, White balance: Manual white balance, FocalLength: 48.00 mm, Model: NIKON D5100


Arthur Bohlmann April 21, 2013

looks like a close up on a tortoise shell. Nice caoture #1525007

Stephen Shoff April 21, 2013

That is my first thought, too. Very nice color tones, great lines. Somewhat soft in the left corners. A slight counter-clockwise rotation of the image might be interesting. #10662600

Jeff E Jensen April 22, 2013

It's either a tortoise shell, or Dale's big toe. . .

I think you could tighten the crop a bit, perhaps a 5x7, taking the left side off. #10662894

Dale Hardin April 22, 2013

Right toe, Jeff. And a bit of sharpening couldn't hurt. (I always do that right after a trim) :o) #10663081

Kalena Randall April 22, 2013

Jeff, you always make me laugh! Love that!

Elaine, I had to look twice at this two. I love the lines and color tones, too. I do agree with the other folks about the crop and maybe a rotation. Great shot and find! #10663433

Elaine Hessler April 22, 2013

I did a high pass filter in the original post, and used it as an overlay at 30%. I bumped it up to 50%, rotated it slightly CCW, and cropped it as suggested.

This was taken in the Cleveland Aquarium, and now I know why you were all asking how I got such a good picture of a jellyfish at the Monterey Bay Aquarium last year. It was all in the lighting and displays-I did not even bother taking any pictures this weekend because the conditions were horrible. So you got this cutey. And no, it is not Dale's toenail:) #10663484

Beth Spencer April 23, 2013

I like your edit and the turtle. I know what you mean about the weather. We have been at the Outer Banks, North Carolina and the weather has been cold, rainy and windy. Too windy to even take a picture but hopefully today the sun is going to come out! I am enjoying just relaxing!!! #10664078

Michael Kelly level-deluxe April 23, 2013

Great find and nicely captured. I did recognize this as tortoise shell but it took a minute as it almost looks like a geological formation of some type. I think I like your original version better than the crop.

The entire tortoise is a tough one. Love the comp of the tortoise in the shot with the great diagonals. The main problem is that the blend of the subject with the BG. The dirt has almost the identical color and tonal values as the subject. I don't think I could have done any better than you did it is just an unfortunate circumstance that they blend so well. I do think it could be a bit brighter and open the shadows which will help. Dale may have some magic, but I can't think of anything else to achieve a better separation. #10664317

Dale Hardin April 23, 2013

I like the entire tortoise shot also, and yes, the separation could be enhanced.

Elaine, since you have PSE, give this a try. First, apply a levels layer and click on the auto adjust. This will add just a bit of blue and bit of green which will result in a truer color for the soil and separate it color wise from the tortoise.

For the shadows, click on the layer with the tortoise, duplicate it, and then apply the shadows/highlights tool at it's default setting. This will open the shadows. On the same layer add a mask and use the black brush at 60% to hide the levels changes from the brightest part of the tortoise. His back, top of head and neck, and top of front legs.

As an added bonus, stamp (flatten) what you already have and duplicate the result. Apply softlight blend and click on filter/other/highpass and apply a setting of 0.5.

This last part will depend on your monitor setting. If the overall image looks a bit light to you, stamp (flatten) the image again, duplicate, apply multiply blend and reduce opacity to zero. Now advance the opacity to the desired level. Should be very low if needed at all. #10664346

Peter W. Marks April 25, 2013

1/5sec eh Elaine? I guess the old guy was not in too much of a hurry to get away. I shall be interested to see Dale's suggestions if you try them but I have no idea how we would know what 'true color' the soil is, but let's just humor him any way.:0) #10666791

Debbie E. Payne April 27, 2013

Beautiful, Elaine. I haven't ever gone to the Cleveland Aquarium. Like you, I just never come back with any keepers. Glad he made your day! Isn't it just amazing what nature creates. I would put this in Elements of Design, but bet you already have done that. #10669506

Elaine Hessler April 27, 2013

Sorry it took so long, but here it is. And I learned that you can uses the opacity slider for almost anything-thanks Dale!!! That was a lot for me, and I am not sure if I did this right, but it was a good exercise. Let me know if this is what you intended.

And Peter-this guy did not move, and the camera was anchored against a fence, there was no tripod.....

And Debbie-I didn't think about that category-I probably would have put it in animals or something. I'll try that, so thanks! #10669606

Dale Hardin April 27, 2013

Excellent Elaine. I like. :o) #10669649

lisa anderson May 01, 2013

I really like both of these shots, Elaine. Did you ever try the first post in black and white? Your title for the second shot is perfect. #10677645

To discuss, first log in or sign up (buttons are at top center of page).

Get Constructive Critiques

Sign up for an interactive online photography course to get critiques on your photos.


Did You Know?

BetterPhoto Websites: If you see an orange website link directly under the photographer's name, it's totally okay. It's not spam. The reason: BetterPhoto is the one that offers these personal photography websites. We are supporting our clients with those links.

Unavailable EXIF: If there is no other information but 'Unavailable' in the EXIF (meaning no EXIF data exists with the photo), the 'Unavailable' blurb is not displayed. If there is any info, it shows. Many photos have the EXIF stripped out when people modify the image and resave it, before uploading.


The following truth is one of the core philosophies of BetterPhoto:

I hear, I forget.
I see, I remember.
I do, I understand.

You learn by doing. Take your next online photography class.

Copyright for this gallery photo belongs solely to Elaine Hessler.
Images may not be copied, downloaded, or used in any way without the expressed, written permission of the photographer.
Log in to follow or message this photographer or report this photo.