I don't think I've ever seen a garter snake as vibrant as the second image. I don't know exactly what the subspecies in California looks like, but probably something between the two based on those snakes in New England. I like the snake, in the first, but it could use a tiny boost, while the skull in the second is more dramatic, and shows more apparent detail.

I guess I'm saying I'd like a more naturalistic snake and more dramatic skull. (God that sounds like some sort of sexual innuendo).

On 9/22/2016 4:44 AM, Larry Colen wrote:
A friend sent me a note that she really wanted a print of one of my snake and skull photos for her daughter, so I worked it up and sent her a copy of the file to print: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ellarsee/29744792311/in/album-72157674075743956/

She thanked me, and without my asking for it, sent me some money, which was appreciated. She also mentioned that the unemployed graphic artist she had sitting around the house had "punched it up" a bit at her request by using levels. I could see the aesthetics in what they were going for, but felt that with the proper tools (lightroom adjustment brush used on the raw file) it could be done a bit better.

This is my version post "making the snake pop more"

in short, I boosted the saturation and a little color balance on the stripes, and decreased the saturation and tonality of the skull, and deepened some of the shadows a bit.

I'd appreciate some critique comparing the two versions, which works, or not, and why.

FWIW, my goal was to make the colors of the snake pop more, but still have things look reasonably realistic, if not perfectly accurate.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work; I want to achieve 
immortality through not dying.
-- Woody Allen

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