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It's a long way to the top... by darkphoenix It's a long way to the top... by darkphoenix
It's a long way to the top if you're only half an inch.

While hunting through my boxes of photos looking for images to submit to my ~darkphoenix-stock account, I found a few which seemed worth submitting here instead. Needless to say, this is one of them.

I was obviously in a show-biz frame of mind when I came up with the title. My initial thought was "Climbing the Stairway to Heaven", and I briefly considered "It's not easy being green" before finally settling on this title. As I've doubtless said too many times before, I don't get on well with titles... ;-)

Edit: June 13, 2004
Since several people have commented on the focus of this picture, I feel I should say something about it here -- ideally without sounding too much like I'm making whiny excuses. ;-)

Yes, there is a certain lack of sharpness to this image. The actual print doesn't look too bad -- perhaps not quite as razor-sharp as it could have been, and the leaf itself falls out of focus a little more towards the top, but not too bad.

Part of the problem here, then -- and I don't consider it to be a big problem, or I wouldn't have submitted it at all -- is the scanning process. I guess that's the drawback to buying the cheapest scanner you can find! The scanned image actually came out quite blurred, but also with several obvious scanning artefacts (most notably, straight vertical streaks.) I ran several filters over it, and managed to clean it up pretty well, but the final image was a bit of a balance between sharpening it up and over-processing it.

(In other words, Pete is blaming his tools! :D All these problems will obviously go away once I finally invest in a digital camera! :o)

The other part of the problem is that this image is actually only about 3" x 2" of my 6x4 print. If I used the full thing, perhaps the extra scaling-down that would require would sharpen the image up a bit. However, while I quite like the full picture, I eventually did make the conscious decision to crop it, mostly because the upper left corner of the print is distractingly lighter than the rest -- and because I did want to make the frog at least a little obvious...

(For those who are interested, the full print is now in my scrapbook: an even longer way to the top -- and it's still a little unfocussed!)

Next time I take such a photo [if I'm ever able to find something similar] I shall definitely take more care with how I compose the actual print! (Or take several...) Lesson learned there!
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:iconmusicfan:
musicfan Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2004
It's so cute!!!
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:iconriverwolf:
Riverwolf Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2004   Writer
whare were you when you took this? it looks very jungly
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:icondarkphoenix:
darkphoenix Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2004  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This was taken in the deepest darkest depths of ... uh ... of my back yard. Unfortunately that plant is not there any more (it went to the store for a loaf of milk, and never came back.)
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:iconriverwolf:
Riverwolf Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2004   Writer
i hate it when they run off with someone else. its probably photosynthizing with some whore it ment at the local bar.
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:iconspicebunny:
spicebunny Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2004  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
heya Pete :) Love the font and i like the image :) nice choice of the border ... matches with the background of the leave itself. nice froggy too :)
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:icon54ka:
54ka Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2004  Professional Photographer
very nice image :)
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:iconprydewolf:
PrydeWolf Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2004
Scanners can be a pain in the butt, i've had some of my pieces gooped up by the 3-in-one fa-printer-scanner i use. Bleh! I still love this photo tho, the froggy is so adorable! He stands out really well. Eeee! :aww:
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:iconduskblue:
duskblue Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2004
This image is beautiful, the toad seems to small compared to the leaf.
Your title is perfect imho, it really reflect was one can think seeing this image.
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:iconblackzer0:
blackzer0 Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2004
okay, I can see where you're coming from with the scanning issue... it can be a pain in the neck. :nod: :no:
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:iconseveneves:
seveneves Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2004
a couple of other people have said they think the shot is out of focus, and the frog isnt as clear as it could be. but i love the fact that you cant really see the frog straight away, because thats almost the point of the picture. he's just this little dude in a big forest =P
as for the font though, i dont like it, but i think thats just a matter of taste, i would have gone with a more formal font. and the white border kinda gets to me, im not sure what i would suggest, maybe just try it without the border.

all that said, i love it, great work. :nod:
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:icondarkphoenix:
darkphoenix Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2004  Hobbyist Digital Artist
"he's just this little dude in a big forest"

I like that! ;-)

The shot could do with being a little sharper, but since several people mentioned it, I've revised the deviation description with my focus comments [excuses], if you're interested...

The font is called "tweed, ultra-light", and I'm not entirely sure where I got it from... I did try a couple of more formal options, but they all seemed a little too severe, especially given the somewhat whimsical title. Of course, I originally (and quite logically, I thought) tried a font called "treefrog", which looked like a frog had crawled through paint then hopped across the top of the picture; compared to that, "tweed" is formal! ;-)

"maybe just try it without the border"

Do you mean "without the white border" or "without the whole border"?

After leading a long, borderless existence, I've decided that having some sort of frame is definitely the way to go, so I shall be experimenting with frames for a while yet -- but all comments one them will be taken into consideration. As for the white border -- it is a little "in yer face", isn't it? I don't think I would like to get rid of it altogether -- I like to have some sort of clear distinction between the image and the frame -- but perhaps it would work better as a pale lime-green, or even an orange colour to match the plant stalk? (And would the colour of the text then have to match?) I'll try out a few combinations to see which looks good -- but I'm also a fan of the black/white combo, so it may not necessarily change... ;-)

All that aside, thanks for your input -- and I'm glad you like it!
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:iconseveneves:
seveneves Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2004
yeh, i think the font does actually fit the playfull feeling of the piece after thinking a bit more about it. and yeh, i meant the white border. and like you, im not sure how i would go about it, but it just doesnt feel right as it is. but im definitely a fan of borders on pieces of photoraphy especially :nod:
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:iconsteavielea:
SteavieLea Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2004  Professional Photographer
This is stunning......the colour is striking, and the little guy on the leaf so cute,,,,,Well done I really enjoyed looking at this!
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:icondarkphoenix:
darkphoenix Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2004  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks. I guess you really can't lose with frogs, can you? :D

(Has sudden thought of taking same photo with fat warty cane-toad sitting on leaf. Hmmmmm... :o)
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:iconsteavielea:
SteavieLea Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2004  Professional Photographer
OH dear....that sounds scarey~I can't see the cuteness in a ugly toad......I like the little green frog.....so sweet!!!
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:iconychi4100:
ychi4100 Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2004   Traditional Artist
Great shot! Love it!
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:icondarkphoenix:
darkphoenix Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2004  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks ;-)
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:iconunderln:
underln Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2004
I really like this, the plant is quite lovely. I like how you gave it a sort of elementary-school-teacher-motivational-p oster feel with the font and the title. "It's not easy being green" would have been funny too, but I think you made the right choice.
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:icondarkphoenix:
darkphoenix Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2004  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah, thanks ... sometimes I really struggle with titles, but I was quite pleased (well, relieved!) when this title occurred to me. And the motivational poster thing does seem to add a little to this, I feel. (Perhaps the text should read "Perseverence" instead?! :D)
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:iconlevite:
levite Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2004   Artist
Pete:

Not 'cause you are my buddy... but this is a wonderfully presented piece and photo.
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:icondarkphoenix:
darkphoenix Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2004  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks, glad you like it. :D
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:iconlevite:
levite Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2004   Artist
you da' man! Congrats!
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:iconblackzer0:
blackzer0 Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2004
I like that font. :lol:

The photo is badly out of focus. The composition is nice, though. The contrast as well: greens well saturated. Focus is mainly the problem here.

Seeing as the photos in your stock are good, I'm looking forward to more artistic photography from you!
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:icondarkphoenix:
darkphoenix Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2004  Hobbyist Digital Artist
"I like that font."

Well at least I got something right! ;-) The font is called "tweed, ultra-light", and I'm not entirely sure where I got it from...

Yes, the focus is a problem (I've revised the deviation description with my focus comments [excuses], if you're interested.)

Cheers.
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:iconshadryn:
shadryn Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2004
The composition of this piece is really stunning. My only comment otherwise is that the frog is very much out of focus. The photograph would be very much improved if perhaps the texture of the frog's skin were captured, or the color of its eyes (as tree frogs have such brilliante eyes). But all in all, this is a lovely piece.
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:icondarkphoenix:
darkphoenix Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2004  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks!

Yes, the focus is a problem (I've revised the deviation description with my focus comments [excuses], if you're interested.)

Strangely enough, I know we're all used to seeing photos of treefrogs with brilliant orange or yellow eyes, but the ones that live around here all seem to have beady black eyes. There seem to be three or four different species here, with various different markings and colours -- I really should do a little more research on 'em, I guess -- but I've never seen one with brightly-coloured eyes.

Unfortunate but true... ;-)
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:iconshadryn:
shadryn Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2004
Heh well then my mistake about the eyes. I live in North-East US so I've never even seen a real tree frog! ^^
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