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Something a little more fun from me today! 🙂  

While photographing rain-soaked hosta leaves, I was already drawn to their wave-like form. So, when a small black gnat decided to do some surfing, well, it’s times like this you simply cannot believe what you are seeing through the lens!

"Shooting the Tube" (Black Gnat Surfing on Wet Hosta Leaves) Nikon D300, 105mm F/2.8G Macro, F/8, 1/50s, ISO 640, Black & White with Blue Tint

Since the foliage colors of this particular hosta are a variegation of green, white and yellow – not the hues that evoke a strong feeling of the sea – I decided a color change was necessary to successfully convey the ‘surfing gnat’ idea. So, the image was first converted to black & white and then tinted using blue. I also bumped up tonal contrast a bit using Color Efex Pro.  

Gnarly, dude! 🙂


04/21/10 Update

Sean Kane requested a close up of the ‘surfing gnat’ so, here he is! 🙂

"Hang Six" (Surfing Gnat Close-up)

 (If you listen really closely, you can hear ‘wheeeeeeeeee!’ 😉 )


  1. amazing! it looks like an ice sculpture. LOVE this processing. brava!

    • Thanks, Stephen! Never thought of it that way but, yeah, now can see it! 🙂

  2. Hang Ten, little Gnat dude…or how many toes er, feet, ah, whatever you got there. 🙂

    Nice processing to tell the story. He kind of looks like he’s in the old Time Tunnel show.

    • Ha! I am guessing gnats don’t have toes, but it looks like there are six legs so ‘hang six’ is the most this little guy can hope for!

      Thanks, Scott. I really thought the processing was necessary as without it, it simply is a bug on a leaf (and that has so been done. 😉 ) (Had to look up Time Tunnel…too young to get the reference!)

  3. Another great shot, Tracy! I’m now dying to see a loupe of the gnat detail.

    This reminds me of some of the old Japanese wave art.

    • Thanks, Sean! Ask and you shall receive! Close-up image comin’ right up! 🙂

      • That is killer dude! He’s even looking at the camera. Thanks for posting detail shot!

      • You’re welcome!

        (And, shouldn’t that be dude-ette??) 😉

  4. I love the “wave like form” you got! And your right it is a fun picture!!! It reminded me of the sea before I saw you write that LOL !! Very cool !

    • Thank you, Melanie! Sooooo glad my crazy idea wasn’t all in my head! 🙂

  5. Some tasty waves there dude.

  6. Haha, this is great!

  7. Wow!

  8. Are you the Noah of insects? They just seem to flock around you. Lovely shot and I love the blue!

    • lol! I’m really beginning to wonder myself! (If they start showing up in pairs, I’ll let you know). 😉

      Thank you, Jan!

  9. What an amazing shot, and perfectly complimented with the blue tint… and lol at the gnat…

    • Why, thank you! I actually played with the blue tint for quite some time because I really wanted to make sure the result was (somewhat) believable. Had to be the right shade of blue or else it would have just looked like I was trying too hard. Guess I did alright. 😉

  10. I love your imagination. :-)Just wonderful!

  11. Tracy love, you never cease to amaze me.

    • Glad you approve, mom! (Now go brag about me to all your friends… 😉 )

  12. This is awesome. Love the blue conversion. Well seen and so creative.

    • Thank you so very much, Amber! 🙂 I’ll take that compliment any day!

  13. I’d be curious to see these in b&w.

    • To be honest, Lynn, the image loses all of its punch and meaning in b&w. The bug ends up looking like a dirty spot on the image that you want to wipe away. 😦 What I think the striking blue color does in this case is grab the viewer’s attention to look further at what is going on and then it’s like, ‘Aha! there’s a surfing gnat! How neat!’

  14. Hi! I’ve seen your comments at Scott’s and Michaela’s sites, so I decided to come take a look. I’m very glad I did. What a super-cool and creative shot!

    • Hi, back! 🙂 So glad you stopped by and took the time to comment – much appreciated!

      I checked out your blog – that baby bunny nest, how cute! I wanted to tell you not to worry about them. From your last pic, they are old enough to be on their own (baby bunnies grow up so fast!) and that is why the nest is empty. What a find! I’m jealous! 🙂

      • I do miss taking the bunnies pictures, but I’m sure you are right!

        Now that I think about it, you must be the person who commented on my hometown shots over at Scott’s place; the person from Beverly who grew up in Chicopee? I hadn’t started the blog yet at the time of Scott’s challenge. I had the shot of the Friendly’s sign on the Mass Turnpike.
        I’ve added you to the blogroll so I’ll be back on a regular basis. 🙂

      • Yes, that’s me! 🙂 I know that Friendly’s sign well.

        Thanks for adding me to your blogroll! So glad you will be back! 🙂

        Good luck with your blog! I will be checking in!

  15. Super cool shot, Tracy!

    That gnat was probably listening to the Beach Boys or Jan & Dean on its super nano iPod when you shot that photo.

    • Thank you, Juan!

      LOL! You are probably right!! 😀 (Great, now I have this image of the gnat with this teeny-tiny ipod and, of course, head phones!!)

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