Rattler Options!

eastern-diamondback-rattlesnake-fract-i-_y9c3313-indian-lake-estates-fl-copy

Here I started with Fractalius’s Rounded pre-set on its own layer and did lots of fine-tuning to get the look that I wanted. The image was then tweaked in Photoshop. The snake’s original eyes were revealed by painting away the Layer mask that I created (on the Fract layer). With my Layer Masks for Dummies technique you reveal when working on a regular Layer mask by hitting B/D. Layer Masks for Dummies is just a small section in the amazing Digital Basics File that includes my complete digital workflow, dozens of great Photoshop tips, and free updates for as long as I can press the shutter button.

For a greater appreciation of the image, click on the photo. Then click on the enlarged version to close it.

Rattler Options!

In Watch Your Step the consensus was pretty much 1, 2, 3. I agree right down the line. For today’s post I created two different versions using Redfield’s Fractalius plug-in. I run it in a 32-bit version of CS-5; it also runs in CS-3 and CS-4. I will present the original at the end of today’s post. The question of course remains the same: which do you like best, and why?

eastern-diamondback-rattlesnake-glow-100-rattler-fract-iii-tweaks-_y9c3313-indian-lake-estates-fl

With this one I started with Fractalius’s Glow 100 pre-set on its own layer and again did lots of fine-tuning to get the look that I wanted. The image was then tweaked in Photoshop. The original snake’s eyes were revealed by painting away the Layer mask that I created (on the Fract layer). With my Layer Masks for Dummies technique you reveal when working on a regular Layer mask by hitting B/D. Layer Masks for Dummies is just a small section in the amazing Digital Basics File that includes my complete digital workflow, dozens of great Photoshop tips, and free updates for as long as I can press the shutter button.

For a greater appreciation of the image, click on the photo. Then click on the enlarged version to close it.

If you would like to join the Fracting fun, please click here to purchase (only $39.90). It is easy to learn and easy to use. And tons of fun. See you in BPN’s Out of the Box forum. Be sure to check out Denise Ippolito’s Fractalius Gallery here and her free Fractalius tutorial here.

eastern-diamondback-rattlesnake-_y9c3313-indian-lake-estates-fl

Tripod-mounted Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens, a 25mm Extension tube, the 1.4X III TC, and the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 1600. Evaluative metering +2/3: 1/60 sec. at f/5.6 in Manual mode. I placed the tube on the lens and the TC on the camera for a bit of extra close focus but doing it that way you lose AF so I needed to focus manually. That is one of the zillions of lessons in The Art of Bird Photography II (916 pages, 900+ images on CD only.)

Lens/TC/Camera Body Micro-Adjustment: 0.

For a greater appreciation of the image, click on the photo. Then click on the enlarged version to close it.

Which Rattler Image Do You Like Best? And Why?

Please do leave a comment and let us know which image you like best: Rounded Fract, Glow 100 Fract, or the traditional image. And let us know why.

Support both the Bulletins and the Blog by making all your B & H purchases here.

More and more folks are earning multiple contest entries with their B & H purchases. See here for details on that. Eleven great categories, 34 winning and honored images, and prize pools valued in excess of $20,000. Click here to visit the competition home page.

Shopper’s Guide

Below is a list of the gear used to create the image in today’s blog post. Thanks a stack to all who have used the Shopper’s Guide links to purchase their gear as a thank you for all the free information that we bring you on the Blog and in the Bulletins. Before you purchase anything be sure to check out the advice in our Shopper’s Guide.

Canon 800mm f/5.L IS lens. Right now this is my all time favorite super-telephoto lens.
Canon 1.4X III Teleconverter. Designed to work best with the new Series II super-telephoto lenses.
Canon EF 25mm Extension tube. I am never out without one of these in my vest; it allows for closer focus in a variety of situations.
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV professional digital camera body. My two Mark IVs are my workhorse digital camera bodies.

And from the BAA On-line Store:

LensCoats. I have a LensCoat on each of my big lenses to protect them from nicks and thus increase their re-sales value. All my big lens LensCoat stuff is in Hardwood Snow pattern.
LegCoat Tripod Leg Covers. I have four tripods active and each has a Hardwood Snow LegCoat on it to help prevent further damage to my tender shoulders :)
Gitzo GT3530LS Tripod. This one will last you a lifetime.
Mongoose M3.6 Tripod Head. Right now this is the best tripod head around for use with lenses that weigh less than 9 pounds. For heavier lenses, check out the Wimberley V2 head.
CR-80 Replacement Foot for Canon 800. When using the 800 on a Mongoose as I do, replacing the lens foot with this accessory lets the lens sit like a dog whether pointed up or down and prevents wind-blown spinning of your lens on breezy days by centering the lens directly over the tripod.
Double Bubble Level. You will find one in my camera’s hot shoe whenever I am not using flash.
Be sure to check out our camera body User’s Guides here.
The Lens Align Mark II. I use the Lens Align Mark II pretty much religiously to micro-adjust all of my gear an average of once a month and always before a major trip. Enjoy our free comprehensive tutorial here.
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV User’s Guide. Learn to use your Mark IV the way that I use mine.

Did you like this? Share it:

17 comments to Rattler Options!

  • The more I look at #2, the more I think it would be a really cool, best-selling black-light poster.

  • I suppose I can see the appeal in this kind of work in a “Wow! How did you do that?” sort of way, but I don’t aspire to images like these the way I might the original.

    At the end of the day filters like Fractalus, technically interesting as they might be, are still someone else’s idea of “cool”, so – for me – it’s the natural image all the way.

  • avatar Bill Richardson

    Yikes, I have to be more careful when I walk the brush/long grass areas. I like the first one best by far but would smooth out the background which I find distracting. I don’t know why you did not use your macro lens. ;-0

  • avatar Jay

    My preferences in this list would go 3, 2, 1. I love the original image. The snake as it exists in the field can’t be beat. It’s a beautiful animal, and the shot is a great perspective. That said, image 2, the Fractalius glow is very striking. It gives the impression that the head is hollowed out (or a wire structure) by the way the white lines are formed (I could envision this as a great black light poster). The first one doesn’t strike a chord with me, and I can’t explain why at this moment. I’d have to look at the photo a little more to figure it out.

  • avatar cheapo

    Great fun! :¬) Snakes are cool at the best of times (pun intended).

  • Yeah the second one the modernism of it, the sheer fascination of fear. I can see it large framed, one of those you don’t realize what it is until you get closer to it, and zap! I can see people backing up when they realize the form. Very cool!

  • avatar Jay Gould

    While none compare to the original, the first is the best of the fracts.

  • The second one looks like it needs to be on a wall with a black light. That could be scary, perhaps better than a ghost as we approach Halloween.

  • avatar Ron Sprunger

    My personal preference is the original image. I guess my imagination fails me here. I can’t draw or paint, but somehow can’t get excited about manipulating a photograph to make it look like something hand-painted. They look great, but I prefer the original.

  • avatar Bob Boner

    I prefer the original.

  • avatar Pat Fishburne

    Art: I love the Fractilus Rounded rattlesnake! I like it even more than the original.

  • I too prefer the top image, because it maintains the essence of the rattler.

  • avatar Carl

    I like the first one; extremely artistic not a photograph.

  • Artie,

    This is extremely beautiful work. I wish i could use Fractalius with my macbook :(

  • avatar Jim Kranick

    Artie, I prefer the first one. I think it’s the “more realistic” look that gets me. I have the same preference when viewing a few versions of the same immage that has undergone some HDR work.

  • avatar Harriet Gleaton

    I prefer the Rounded treatment which is high key and retains more of the rattler’s original pattern.

  • Artie, they both came out good. I love the first one- very creative!