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Smile of "La Gioconda"

Smile of
Photo Information
Copyright: Alexei Alyokhin (Alex99) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-07-15
Categories: Insects
Camera: Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D, Konica Minolta AF 100 F2.8 Macro (D), Hoya HMC Super UV(0) 55 mm
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/500 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2006-07-17 15:00
Viewed: 4280
Favorites: 3 [view]
Points: 84
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Why is the Mona Lisa Smiling?

Leonardo Da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa on a piece of pine wood in the year 1506.

Never in the history of Art has one painting been so admired. This is due largely to the enigmatic smile, which has caused much speculation. He recorded in his note-books the records of model sittings; but nowhere can be found any records of the Mona Lisa model sitting. Why is that? Who posed for him? Dr. Lillian Schwartz of Bell Labs suggests that Leonardo painted himself, and was able to support her theory by analyzing the facial features of Leonardo's face and that of the famous painting, She digitized both the self-portrait of the artist and the Mona Lisa. She flipped the self portrait and merged the two images together using a computer. She noticed the features of the face aligned perfectly! You may draw your own conclusion.

Why is this charming dragonfly smiling? I think, nobody can answer this question. And no manipulations with a portrait of its founder on a computer will help to find a right answer. But you may draw your own conclusion.

P.S. Gioconda: "My best regards to my cousin".
(pvs, Paul van Slooten)

extramundi, pvs, Leace, coasties, jchemas, bullybeef53, AndyB, Luc, jjcordier, aido, CTP, firelord, SkyF, TAZ, gelor, marjan, metcher, izler, oscarromulus, Maite, ridvan has marked this note useful
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Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To simon182: Generosity. Thanks.Alex99 1 03-15 16:45
To horia: ThanksAlex99 1 07-19 23:38
To markula: From "Gioconda"Alex99 2 07-18 06:15
To markula: P.S.Alex99 1 07-17 22:20
To extramundi: Re: GiocondaAlex99 1 07-17 15:15
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • mrcrow Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 422 W: 98 N: 194] (3008)
  • [2006-07-17 15:26]

we get closer...good for me as i cant take these and appreciate the effort and technique which must be involved..
the mona wasnt smiling she was ..erm..in the process of smiling...?

love to see rembrandt's prodigal son

  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2006-07-17 16:05]

Hi Alexei,

A very great macro of this dragonfly,with excellent sharpness and details,good use of fill flash,my compliments on this shot,very well done,

Regards from your swedish cousin,


  • Great 
  • wuta Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 855 W: 2 N: 617] (2142)
  • [2006-07-17 16:07]

Hello Alexei , It"s A Great macro , lenzes in his eyes , good details compositie colours ,very good ,tfs .Greetings Teunie .

Hi Alexei

Awesome macro. Congrats. All the detail is clear and sharp. :-)

Hi Alexei!

This is an excellent shot and lovely portrait of dragonfly.It looks smiling alien. Congratulations.

Hi Alexei.
Great macro with excellent composition, colors and details.

  • Great 
  • nimou Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 148 W: 1 N: 687] (3171)
  • [2006-07-17 17:20]

Espectacular, felicidades alex por esta estupenda foto. Un saludo

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2006-07-17 17:22]
  • [2] [+]

Superb shot, Alexei
Now this is the definition of the word :macro"! Very, very good work. I simply can't get enough of those details.
Bravo and TFS

PS: I'm going to try and make this really short.
If you'll look at a photo of someone smiling from different angles, you'll have the impression that they are smiling right at you...just as Mona Lisa. Several mathematiciens prooved that the painting has this special atribute because it represents the exact figures of the human anatomy. Da Vinci worked on this painting for about 2 years, beacuse ha calculated every single aspect of the face, which had to equal the "golden number" (i know it by that definition) which itself represent the ration between the length and the width of a certain organ of the face. It is found everywhere, for example: the lenght of the eye devided by the width of the eye has to equal: [1+ root from 5] / 2...i think i remember it correctly. And this is why, you get the impression that she is smiling at you like a real person from a photo.
Anyway...this is a version that i've heared from a very good maths teacher from my university. Hope i didn't bore you with it :)

You have incredible colors, detail, and closeness. It is a fantastic portrait and the best of macro shot I've ever seen . Well done ! Jim

  • Great 
  • thor68 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 795 W: 138 N: 1319] (5674)
  • [2006-07-17 17:25]

wow, now that´s what i call "right in the face"!
amazing CLOSE-up, alexei! :-)
excellent sharpness and breathtaking details on the face of the dragonfly
- he really should have shaved before the photoshoot. *g*
very well done & take care, thorsten.

Hi Alexei,

What a close-up. Impressive !
I never noticed that dragonflies could smile, maybe because they appear on the famous Treknature website ;-)
See you soon. TFS.


  • Great 
  • AndyB Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1366 W: 32 N: 1351] (3982)
  • [2006-07-17 18:48]

Hello Alexei,
An excellent macro.
Very impressive detail of the eyes,good lighting and POV.
They must be happy insects as they always appear to be smiling!
Great work.


Hello Alexei!
Wonderful macro shot. Incredibly sharp. Actually, I don't get it: how did you achieve this much of DOF with such a large aperture? And the magnification - where does it come from? You can crop an image like this somewhat but it degrades the quality, especially when shot at ISO400. This one is still perfect in spite of the large size of the dragonfly's head in the frame. I'm very, very impressed. Congratulations,

  • Great 
  • Spl (8)
  • [2006-07-18 2:30]

Hello! It is a fantastic picture. In the first I see such macro. I receive great pleasure from viewing. A background of pleasant, sand color. Good luck...

Excellent shot, Alexei, and very nice smile..
best regards

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2006-07-18 3:05]

What a stunning macro! Incredible close-up, with fantastic details and sharpness. This smiling face is very dangerous for other insects :-)

Everything already have been sayed, but I also wanted to say: Very very good picture!

Greetz Kristies

  • Great 
  • aido Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 1044 W: 156 N: 1218] (4046)
  • [2006-07-18 11:30]

Hi Alexei,
WOW! I have no idea how you get so close. Absolutely stunning detail on the head and eyes, quite amazing. It's very interesting to see them this close. Excellent exposure, great colours, fantastic image.

hi alexei
juste splendide.

Hi Alexei,
this is what I call macro, really close.
The details and specially the DOF is great. I know this is not easy to shot but you manage more than well.
The pose are very nice and funny. Well composed and very good POV.
Excellent work.

  • Great 
  • takos1 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 261 W: 25 N: 208] (2607)
  • [2006-07-18 18:07]

stupenda foto macro Alexei!
Bellissimi i dettagli!!!

  • Great 
  • CTP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 644 W: 6 N: 946] (2726)
  • [2006-07-18 21:57]

Hi Alexei,
Excellent Dragonfly macro my friend.
I like the face details you captured.
Great pov,dof,focus,sharpness,colors,frame and note.TFS

  • Great 
  • valy67 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1727 W: 59 N: 3060] (9219)
  • [2006-07-19 16:00]

Hi Alexei !
Wow, I have never seen a dragon's face from this close ! Really impressive, the detailson the face are awesome - we can even count the hairs and the "facettes" of his eyes. Beautiful colors and composition, nice POV, nice DOF. Very well done !

  • Great 
  • osse Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 955 W: 0 N: 89] (7805)
  • [2006-07-19 16:47]

Hi Alexei
Great macro shot. Excellent colours, sharpnes, details, light, DOF and POV.
Well done Alexei


  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2006-07-20 16:23]

Hello Alexei,
very nice extreme closeup of this dragonfly. Superp sharpness and georgeous detail Good tight crop.

Hi Alexei.
This is a very lovely potrait. The level of details you got is very good and clear. I would have loved the contour of the head was also into DOF, but I know is difficult with this close ups.
A very nice work, congratulations.

amazing macro, master...
technical success is uppermost here...
big congratulations!

Hi Alex,
I don´t know if its La Gioconda, but this face to face is impressive. Very good details, specially in the eyes, where you can see the nice effects of light and shadows in the numerous comosite eyes.
Good job!

  • Great 
  • manibj (168)
  • [2006-07-28 19:17]

Great Macro.... what thing I can say, It's perfect...
very well done.

  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2006-07-29 13:33]

You have not a camera but a microscope ;-) What an impressive and fantastic close-up ! Here, we can see so much details... Congratulations Alexei and thanks for sharing.

  • Great 
  • gelor Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 124 W: 3 N: 12] (523)
  • [2006-07-30 2:41]

Bonjour Alexei,
Le portrait macro de cette libellule est absolument sublime. Je confirme le sourire est bien celui de Mona Lisa. Félicitations !

Hi Alexei,
This is the kind of photos that makes me want to run to the nearest photoshop and bu y a macro lens!
Simply amazing.
TFS - Shir

  • Great 
  • marjan Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 459 W: 14 N: 366] (2685)
  • [2006-11-17 13:02]

hi Aleksei, exceletn macro, fantastic details and POV

Hi, Alexei.
Great dragonfly portrait. Good sharpness and details. Nice BG.

  • Great 
  • izler Gold Star Critiquer [C: 1387 W: 3 N: 9] (44)
  • [2007-01-20 16:37]

hello Alexei
really here is wonderful macro-working. i like composition, point of view, colours, background, sharpness and details in your photo


I struggle to comprehend the actual size of this dragonfly and the size I am seeing of just a small part of it on my screen!
You really are an expert in the macro field and I am always impressed by your technique and knowledge.
This shot is a real winner, it is incredibly sharp right down to the minute hairs on the snout AND this is reduced etc. Very good quality indeed.

The smile must just be that he likes to look good in photos...or maybe that you nailed the POV so well you have created this illusion ;)

Wonderful stuff, I will one day get a macro and then I shall have to follow your detailed posts and photos to learn from one of the best!


  • Great 
  • methos Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 213 W: 51 N: 281] (1189)
  • [2007-03-19 15:06]

Hi Alexei,
The details are stonishing!
Just amazing!!!!!!!!!

AS you have observed in my past Critiques of your photgraphy work I've always admired your unusual talent.

Now I can see that you are the "Leonardo Da Vinci" of photography.


GREAT ART ... GREAT TALENT. Congratulations.

Hi Alexei, This picture has character written all over it. I can clearly see a sinister smile, coupled with a sneer from its flat nose while it looks at us wide eyed. One the best macros I have seen.

TFS, regards, Kiran.

  • Great 
  • ridvan Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 498 W: 0 N: 1136] (5205)
  • [2007-05-21 14:29]

selam alex,
This is AMAZING.
Deatails are well registered.
Love your notes too.
Great composition.
Best regards,

  • Great 
  • Maite Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 998 W: 65 N: 1270] (5199)
  • [2007-05-22 15:09]

Impressive! You can count its ocels and hairs perfectly!
A stunning, perfect and beautiful macro!
You are right, the smile remembers that of the Gioconda, ha,ha.

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-04-30 22:30]

Hi Alexei,
Outstanding macro shot with such amazing clear details. The compounded eyes look so gorgeous and lively. Very impressive sharpness, colours, lighting and spot-on focus. Excellent POV and very nicely composed. Kudos.

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