Cerapachys cannibal ant, photoshopped

Cerapachys sp. (antennatus-group)

I subjected this shot of a Bornean Cerapachys to levels adjustments, vignetting, and a sepia filter. For comparison, I’ve placed the unmodified image below. Which do you prefer?

photo details: Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon EOS 7D
ISO 100, 1/250 sec, f/13, diffuse twin flash

17 thoughts on “Cerapachys cannibal ant, photoshopped”

    1. Oddly enough, I adjusted the levels so that the leg color didn’t change other than to fade slightly. Mostly, I pulled the yellows out, primarily affecting the backdrop.

  1. The unmodified pic reflects the mood of a warm sunny afternoon, the photoshopped one is like one taken on a cold and misty autumn morning. Both has its beauty!

  2. I prefer the top one. It seems I can appreciate the textures more in the edited photograph. That’s just me… 🙂

  3. I’ve gotta vote for the bottom photo. Some insect photos seem to work well with special processing, but the scientist in me likes things as close to realistic as possible most of the time!

  4. Based just on impressions, I like the warmer, lower picture the better (but that could be because the sun up here is already too dim to feel warm).

    I might use the upper picture to illustrate a discussion of the ant itself and the lower one if I were talking about its ecology, because in the upper one the ant seems more distinct (although I actually can’t see any difference when I compare structures on one picture to the other) and the lower more like a cannibal on the prowl.

  5. In the top one the ant draws your attention immediately. I dislike the vignetting though: this is not a 100 year old portrait.

  6. I like the lower one, too, but as MrILTA says, I would prefer whichever best renders the true colors of the ant. The graying/bleaching of the background is perhaps the most unfortunate part of the modifications.

    If the ant in the upper image can be placed in the background of the original … Time for CombineZ, or whatever.

    1. I’d not seen Aaron Diaz’s blog, I’ll have to bookmark that one. Completely agree re: silhouetting. I think it emerges because our brains use 3d information captured in binocular vision to make sense of images, and when confronted with 2d like a cartoon or photo an image requires extra simplification.

  7. Before I read the text, I thought the second one was going to be the “improved” version because the colors more inviting. What IS the ant standing on, anyway?

  8. The editing completely transforms my impression of where on earth the ant is. The original image looks to me like an ant on a granite outcrop on a verdant, possibly riparian slope. The edited version looks like an ant in a very austere, arid environment. They both look great, but I agree that the ant pops out more in the edited image.

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