Diane Hopp – “Chipmunk”


Choice and comments by Sharon Jensen.

Initially, I was drawn to this image because the chipmunk looks so cute and its gaze is so intense.

Eyes always make or break an otherwise great picture. In this case the eyes are sharp and the catchlights from backlighting give them life. That is precisely why I am able to stare into the chipmunk’s eyes and ponder its secret thoughts. Blurry eyes with no catchlights would have any viewer turning away immediately, no matter how compelling the image is in other respects.

Backlighting emphasizes the hair around the edge of the subject and it also brings out the beautiful veins in some of the leaves. Backlighting can be tricky to get right. The photographer has certainly mastered the lighting here.

The colourful berries add interest without taking attention away from the chipmunk.

Blurring the background and foreground helps draw the viewer’s eye to the subject.

This is a very pleasing portrait of a wee chipmunk shown in its environment.

If I were to change anything, perhaps I would try darkening the tip of the leaf behind and to the right of the chipmunk. Not sure how easy that would be to do, but it would be interesting to see if that would prevent the viewer’s eye from landing on that spot. Anything in the background that is lighter in colour than the subject can be quite distracting.

Your comments are always welcome ....

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