Photo review: The Killer by Ankan Das

Review by Korry Benneth

By Ankan Das. "When the Cotton stainer bugs (Pyrrhocoridae) killed the ladybug I took this shot." Barishal, Bangladesh. Nikon D7200 + 50mm 1.8D + 20mm ET f/22, ss 1/250, ISO 1100

First Impressions

Wow! I love this photo. Nature can be so cruel and beautiful at the same time. I sure hope conditions were good long enough for you to make a whole series of images, it would be amazing to see the whole process from start to end.

What This Photo Does Well & How It Could Be Improved

Technically this photo is very well done. The shallow DOF you achieved is amazing. You also did a great job in blurring the background to a lovely green with just a hint of leaves that tell us the photo is not staged.

With your choise of aperture (f/22) your subject is as clear as it can be without it being disturbed and potentially running away. It might have been better if your DOF was just slightly deeper so that more of the bug was completely focused, but I understand in that case you’d lose that lovely green background - sometimes you just can’t get everything and you made a good choice on blurring the background instead of showing the bug’s legs. You know your camera much better than I do so I believe this really is as good as it can get.

White Balance

While I rarely recommend using auto white balance when shooting green and red, your camera did an amazing job with the colours. The greens and reds are stunning and as complementary colours, work great together! What I wouldn’t mind seeing is just a bit more contrast to make the subject pop out just a bit more.

Something like this:


Your composition is also good and I wouldn't recommend changing anything here either. Though very basic (your subject is placed in almost the perfect middle), with the story your photo has to tell and the lovely colours, the placement of the subject doesn’t really matter as long as you stick to any of the basic composition rules such as placing the object in the middle or in one third of the frame.


You have a few distractions in your photo, such as the leaves in the left foreground, but they’re not too bad. Someone might be bothered by them and advise you to clean the photo to get a completely minimalistic look, but it's all down to personal preference after all, it’s nature at its best and you did great job representing it with your photo.

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