David's Photo52 2011: Index Post 1: Weeks 44 to 46 belatedly added

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Fission v Fusion


Week 18 - Power by morganthecat, on Flickr

What:
Sunset over Dungeness Nuclear Power Station
Why:
I wanted to capture the idea of the two types of nuclear reactor - the earthbound fission reactor against the immensely more powerful fusion reactor of the sun.
How:
Once again I used my fisheye which I have learnt that on a 4/3 crop it is possible to compose with the horizon on the 1/2 with minimal distortion and then crop out some of the foreground so that in the final image the horizon sits of the 1/3. I also correct some of the distortion in Lightroom. Nonetheless, I would like to upgrade to a wide angle rectilinear lens as the after performing the above process the image size is approximately 1/2 of the original so a lot of resolution is lost.
Originally I had intended to shoot in HDR, but in my post processing I decided to take a different approach and go with a composite exposure. The advantage is you get a much 'cleaner' sky devoid of the noise and other artefacts you usually get with HDR processing.
It was also a reason to use Jeffrey Friedl's new "Photoshop Layers" Lightroom Plugin which is an early beta version and which Jeffrey describes as "a slow but mostly-effective way to get a somewhat layer-like experience in a Lightroom non-destructive workflow by using Photoshop as an external rendering engine". It's pretty cool.
I then used a combination of the erase and history brushes to give a reasonable blend between the sky and the buildings.
Back in Lightroom I played around with saturation, contrast, clarity, sharpening etc to get to the final image.
Improvement:
Composition. I really struggled to get an angle whereby I could include both Dungeness A and Dungeness B in the shot whilst also including the sunset. I was also constrained by using a fisheye rather than a rectilinear lens. That said I like how the sunset brings the pylons and cables into silhouette. I knew where the sunset would be from The Photographer's Ephemeris and really meant that the shot I had in mind would never really work - I wanted a much more obvious counterpoint between the reactor and the sun.
Timing. In trying to address the composition, I did not get the sunset at its absolute best. As I travelled down to Dungeness at 6.30pm the sky was dull and flat. At the time of the sunset at 8.13pm there was arguably not enough cloud in the sky (or not in the right places). The magic all happens in a matter of minutes.
 

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Hiya David

A very powerful image indeed. I have only been to Dungeness once before (about 5 years ago) and it is quite a desolate place, I felt like I was in no-mans-land. So I really appreciate this photograph.

Regardless of the fact that the sunset was not playing in your favour, I still think that the image conveys the message by the colours reflected off the clouds.

You have utilised some great lead in lines with the paths and then the power lines lead the eye to the sunset, so from a compositional perspective this works for me.

For me, when I look at the photo I also like the way it is darker on the left and then leads to the light on the right, almost drawing its source from the sun.

The processing you have applied is good and I can see why you opted for same rather than an HDR process.

Thanks for the link to the TPE thread, I will make use of that especially in planning some of my travels in the camper van during the year. Going up to Scotland for 2 weeks and down to Cornwall area for 2 weeks and then out and about to various areas for some shorter stints throughout the summer.

As always thanks again for your explanation of how you achieved this result, your thread is always such a learning experience.

Cheers

Dawn :)
 
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Thanks for the comments.

Looking back through my thread to see how my photos have developed over the past 4 months, I realised that in my early ones I also included a "Learnt:" section. I will make sure that returns in future posts, but in the meantime for my Power shot, what I learnt was:

Passivity Whilst taking various shots around Dungeness Power Station, I started going right up to the boundary fence and shooting upwards with an idea of making one of the pylons the main subject. After 10 minutes or so of this, a security van turns up and a gentleman in his 50s comes over and asks what I was doing. I explained that I was taking photos around the theme of Power. He said they had seen me on CCTV and were sensitive to such shots. I gave my surname, said I understood and I just wanted to shoot a few more as the sun set. He left me alone.

I was on public land outside the perimeter set up by the Nuclear Installations Act 1965, and I am not obliged to give my name :nono:

Nonetheless, it is sometimes easier to grease the wheels than set about insisting upon your rights. He was pleasant enough and I was left to just get on with what I was doing. A police vehicle toured the perimeter not long after but did not stop to invetsigate further. At the end of the day, I would be far more worried about the tog sat in his car in the car park 100 yards with a Bigma on his camera than me with a fisheye stood right next to the fence :wave: At least Dungeness could be construed as a genuinely sensitive terrorist target.

Mind you the hoodie probably didn't help. Also, this was Sunday night, about 12 hours before the killing of Osama Bin Laden was reported to the world. You might not get such a welcome this weekend ;)

I should declare a conflict of interest - I work for a firm of solicitors who have acted for clients who have been stopped by police under section 44 for taking photographs.
 
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:shake:

Life isn't fair.

Superb photograph.

A lot has been covered by Dawn, but I really like the detail in the sky throughout. Nice lead in (inverted V at the bottom with the gravel), great detail in the pylons (even the far right one).

I tried to view via Flickr with a black background but couldn't, for some reason :thinking:

Cheers.
 
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At least Dungeness could be construed as a genuinely sensitive terrorist target.

Mind you the hoodie probably didn't help. Also, this was Sunday night, about 12 hours before the killing of Osama Bin Laden was reported to the world. You might not get such a welcome this weekend ;)
I hope I didn't encourage these guys to go round photographing nuclear power stations :bat:

Sellafield nuclear site terror arrests made

The moral of the story is to get your TP52 shot in as early in the week as possible just in case - you never know what will scupper you otherwise.

I tried to view via Flickr with a black background but couldn't, for some reason :thinking:
Hi Andy

It is working for me ok, not sure what has happened there.

Superb contribution for Power by the way, very creative.
 
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Apples and Oranges, Lemons and Pears


Week 19 - Divided (original) by morganthecat, on Flickr


Week 19 - Divided (alternative) by morganthecat, on Flickr

What:
Two fruits divided in half to reveal insides you would not expect to see.
Indeed the two shots divide my opinion as to which works best so for this week only I am presenting two shots:
Original - better balance of colours, but not so clearly differentiate the fruits involved. My use of liquify on the orange was a bit ham fisted (particularly in the segments towards the camera), but on the pear, the flesh of the lemon nicely follows the contours of the pear. Lighting is spot on.
Alternative - better demonstrates the contrast in the juxtaposition, but not so pleasing on the eye. More adept use of liquify on the apple but should have spent some more time on the pear to ensure the orange segments mirror the contours of the pear. Missed a trick on the lighting of the orange in the re-shoot (see below).
Why:
I like the idea of subverting both text and visual imagery.
Taken from the rhyme "Oranges and lemons say the bells of St Clements" is a reference to two possible churches both of which are located north of the River Thames.
"Apples and pears" is well known cockney rhyming slang for stairs, but whilst there is a strong association between the East End and cockneys, one of the most famous references to cockney culture is "The Lambeth Walk" which is a London Borough south of the River Thames.
References to areas of London either side of the river is a further divide.
How:
I cut the fruit in half and then inserted cocktail sticks in the back to place it in the upright position. I tried to do this so that the apple and orange were positioned the same, and similarly for the pear and lemon.
I then shot the apple and pear in a light tent, before placing the orange and lemon in the same respective positions. The idea here is that the light falling (including any shadows) would be broadly the same which will make the final image more convincing (of course, I forgot to adjust the cocktails sticks in the orange and lemon when I switched positions so that they would now mirror the angles of the pear and apple respectively).
Lighting for the light tent was as follows:
1. YN460-II (1/16 power) with built-in diffuser flipped down to soften the light, shot through the DIY light tent from the left and positioned slightly in front of the subject - lights both the subject and blows out the background;
2. YN460-II (1/8 power) with built-in diffuser flipped down to soften the light, shot through the DIY light tent from the right and positioned slightly in front of the subject - lights both the subject and blows out the background.
I will explain the PP process I used in the alternative shot as I developed some improvements from what was done the first time.
I took my citrus and pomaceous fruit shots and in CS3 placed the 'pomaceous' layer as my top layer and duplicated the 'citrus' layer underneath. I applied a layer mask to the 'pomaceous' layer and then using the Magic Wand tool and the eraser I removed the flesh of the 'pomaceous' layer. I took my first citrus layer and erased all but the lemon. I selected this 'lemon' layer and using the free transform tool I skewed and scaled until the lemon pretty much filled the space left from deleting the flesh of the apple in the top layer. I then applied the liquify filter which meant transferring the 'lemon' layer into a new window - using as large a brush as I could and making small adjustments at a time, I moved the lemon flesh in new directions to better mirror the shape of the cut apple. As this is all happening in another window, I would make a few adjustments at a time before importing back into the stacked layers so that I could see how I was doing. It was laborious but I don't know of a better way to do this. Once the lemon flesh fitted the 'hole' left from deleting the flesh of the apple in the top layer, I selected the top 'pomaceous' layer and using the eraser and history brush with a small brush size (30), soft edge (~25%) and 30% flow, worked on getting a better edge where the apple skin met the lemon flesh.
The same principle was applied to the orange and the pear using the duplicated 'citrus' layer, except this time I brushed back in the pear flesh up to the orange segments rather than extending the orange pith up to the edge of the pear skin. This is because using the liquify filter to extend the pith to the top of the pear did not look satisfactory (too much distortion).
Learnt:
The Return of the Learn - this week was about building on my recent learning regarding layer masks, and applying the Liquify technique that I saw demonstrated at a recent club night by Gavin Hoey.
Improvement:
Composition. Particularly in the second shot, the fruit would have benefited from being turned in more so that we could see more of the contrasting skin of the pomaceous fruit. A lot of food photography relies on 'props' to enhance the main subject eg cutlery - placement of the knife in the photo may have added an extra element.
Lighting. Pretty good, though I forgot that I had removed a part segment of the orange on the left hand side.This meant when I shot the citrus fruit for the second shot I got a shadow (actually helps a little) across the face of the orange but also no clean 'pith edge' to work with which has resulted in a soft look when I have blended the edge of the orange into the flesh of the pear. I think I have controlled balancing the lighting well given the competing demands of the hi-key look versus the potential for blown highlights in the reflections on the juicy flesh of the citrus fruit.
Background. I'm not comfortable shooting hi-key, my palette is generally much darker. I feel the highly reflective flesh of the citrus fruit versus the delicate tones of the skin of the pomaceous fruit may have benefitted from a different background which in turn would have allowed me to explore alternative lighting options.
 
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Hi, David, it took me a second to see it, but damn, that's impressive, well thought out and well processed...(y)

I think (small point) that I'd like to see the pips removed??

Cheers.
 

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Hiya David,

Wow, well what can I say except absolutely FANTASTIC :clap:

You are a true inspiration to me, and I am sure others here. The thought, attention to detail, sharing of your learning experience and technique are all a great help, and for that I thank you kindly. I always look forward to seeing your post each week.

I can't choose between the two because they are both great and the differences compliment in their own way.

The title fits the first image better as it is consistent with the actual subject matter, i.e., apple + orange vs lemon + pear, but as you said 'subverting both text and visual imagery' now that really plays tricks with the mind in the second image as the subject doesn't follow the title and makes one think :D and I like that idea.

I see your point about the background, and to some degree seems to have softened parts of the pomaceous fruit, particularly noticeable on the stalks of the second image.

The flesh of the pear in the second image is a bit brighter and stands out in relation to the colours of the other fruits and for me the slightly darker tone of the first works better.

Both are great images and I would be very pleased with this result.

I still have so much to learn and practice, especially regards the post processing techniques you mention, but all in good time.

Thanks for sharing your work with us.

Cheers

Dawn :)
 
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Promissory Note


Week 20 - Promise by morganthecat, on Flickr

What:
Macro photograph of a Bank of England £10 bank note.
Why:
All banknotes issued are actually promises made by the issuing bank.
How:
The banknote is placed on glass that is lit from below using a DIY carboad box light tent with two YN460-II (1/16 power) with built-in diffuser flipped down to soften the light, shot onto the sides of the DIY light tent left and right to create an even light out the top of the light tent on which the glass is placed. The banknote is exposed to show the detail on the front side of the note whilst the strobe brings out some of the detail of the note from the opposite side.
I have applied a liberal dose of PP in LR3.4 to give an image with more punch.
Learnt:
I have taken my first steps towards developing my cardboard box DIY light tent into a light table that will allow for underlighting when taking product shots.
Improvement:
Processing. Lots of different ways I could have taken with this, and a subtle antiqued effect may have been more aesthetically pleasing.
 

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Hiya David,

Another excellent take on the theme ... I had never noticed this on the note before now. I have to say I like how the hologram is lit and the inclusion of the words 'and or' in the bottom right corner, may just be my warped thinking but it reads well i.e., 'I promise to pay the bearer on demand £10 or and ....' yes please I'll have a couple of million thank you kindly :D

Good use of lighting, and thanks for the link to the DIY light tent. I was lucky that Lynne sent me a light tent, but this is a good link for when I want to create a bigger light tent for the larger subjects (y)

Well done, you are now up-to-date. I did one photo yesterday, not posted yet as someone beat me to the idea (they know who they are :bat:), however I have a fantastic idea (well I think so), the question is whether I can execute it successfully and how long it will take. I'm going to start on it shortly, could take some time to complete though.

Cheers

Dawn :)
 
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I have to say I like how the hologram is lit...
The sunlight through the window really made the hologram 'shine'. You may notice that to get the right exposure the exposure was 1/3 sec. I stopped down the aperture as the note wasn't perfectly flat and I was worried about the slim DOF of the macro.

I did one photo yesterday, not posted yet as someone beat me to the idea (they know who they are :bat:), however I have a fantastic idea (well I think so), the question is whether I can execute it successfully and how long it will take. I'm going to start on it shortly, could take some time to complete though.
I am intrigued!

In other news, whilst updating my photoshopping skills I came across this video regarding the Gradient Tool inside Photoshop and I once again thought about your Style photo. Not sure this would have been of help to you as your re-process was great anyway.
 

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The sunlight through the window really made the hologram 'shine'. You may notice that to get the right exposure the exposure was 1/3 sec. I stopped down the aperture as the note wasn't perfectly flat and I was worried about the slim DOF of the macro.



I am intrigued!

In other news, whilst updating my photoshopping skills I came across this video regarding the Gradient Tool inside Photoshop and I once again thought about your Style photo. Not sure this would have been of help to you as your re-process was great anyway.
Hiya David,

I was wondering how you had got the hologram to shine like that, almost like a negative of the true ... I really like that, thanks for the technical explanation, I hadn't notice the settings.

As for my idea for this week's theme, I hope I haven't set too high a standard for myself. I had a chat to mum about it this morning and she thinks it is an excellent idea (not that mum has any photography knowledge, but certainly has a very artistic mind ... perhaps that is where I get it from :).... and my idea has a personal interest to her too .... she can't wait to see the result ... so I have a lot riding on this one :D)

BTW, you have just sold me on Photoshop with the link, thank you. I have been in debate as to whether to upgrade my software. Currently using the most basic, the majority of time (I have LR3 but very seldom use it) ... even though I work in IT I still seem to resort to using the easiest methods for processing and Photoshop has always appeared too technical and time consuming for me. However after watching the video I think it is time for me to get my 'A into Z' and start taking the post processing techniques more seriously. The video made me think of all the potential opportunities .... as you mentioned, would have been a great tool for my Style theme, but I also think it would be beneficial for all the recent photos I have taken of the clouds ..... if you have not seen the thread link here: http://www.talkphotography.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=319977.

Others have mentioned to me about how I could apply these to other photos ... not something I know how to do ... but am willing to learn and find out how to do this, it could open a whole new world of photography processing for me.

Anyway, have gone off on another tangent now.

Thank you again for your advice.

Cheers

Dawn :)
 
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Hi David

can't say anything except WOW for your Divided shot , both versions are just stunning :clap: As always it's great to read the hows & why's of your creations , one day maybe I'll understand them & be able to do the same type of editing !
Have you ever thought of giving editing lessons ?
 
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Hi David.

Love the divided shot... loads of work went into it but it has really come together well to produce an image that shouts divided...

Week 20... Great shot and idea... I really need to get myself a macro lens!

Mark
 
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Thanks for all the comments, and as always apologies for not returning in kind although I do try to keep up with everyone's shots. That said I have deliberately not swung by recently as I don't like to view others' contributions until I have posted my own first so as to not to be influenced to take a certain path.

Unfortunately a combination of work and a trip to Cornwall have really got in the way of keeping up to date with my Photo52 together with some technical issues and limitations I have had to overcome.

So today is a catch-up day.

Week 21 - Twisted: I immediately knew the shot I wanted to take here, being
my attempt at David Hobby's classic Compact Fluorescent Bulb shot. Once again, this is a re-imagination of a well known shot featured on David's Strobist blog but my Photo52 is about learning as well as developing my own imagination and this is an example where I needed to develop my skills' set.

The kicker came in that I could not find my solder kit, try as I might. What should have been a fairly simple set-up and execution dragged out as I couldn't find the tools for the tube. Today, out of desparation and a realisation that I wanted to put the bulb back in its lamp, I decided to gaffer tape the wires to the bulb (DISCLAIMER - do not try this at home). This temporary solution allowed me to take the shot today. The irony being that after I had shot this (3 weeks' late) I had a look at this week's theme to find out it was Bright! I have decided to stick with this image for Week 21 as I do not have anything else for that theme as yet.

Technical issue to blame for the delay until I realised that gaffer tape is almost always the answer.

Week 22 - Twisted: The photos used for this shot were shot on time, but I have been struggling with the PPing. I can't make selections that allow me to produce a nice composite image without losing some of the dark details (ie the hands) or not ending up with the black 'haloing' around the soldiers on each row. I have decided to post this today as I am already running late on this shot too, and that when I improve my Photoshop skills I will submit the refined image.

Technical limitation of mysef to blame for the delay.

Week 23 - Broken: Sometimes you have some time to shoot, and you can then shoehorn your efforts into that week's theme rather than shooting specifically to the brief. Two shots from my trip to Cornwall were contenders here. A contre jour shot of the sunrise (morning has broken) at Lands End silhouetting the famous sign, or the WEEE Man sculpture made up of recycled (broken) electrical products. I just felt this had more punch. Again I have chosen to use HDR (this time with a lot less subtlety than previous HDR efforts for my Photo52) as I thought a surreal cartoon style suited this almost Manga-esque construction.

Right, now I have to get back to thinking what I will shoot for this week. Any BRIGHT ideas?
 
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Inspiral Lighting


Week 21 - Twisted by morganthecat, on Flickr

What:
Photograph of a compact fluorescent bulb.
Why:
I immediately knew the shot I wanted to take here, being my attempt at David Hobby's classic Compact Fluorescent Bulb shot. Once again, this is a re-imagination of a well known shot featured on David's Strobist blog but my Photo52 is about learning as well as developing my own imagination and this is an example where I needed to develop my skills' set.
How:
The bulb is stuck onto the end of a piece of dowel using gaffer tape, with a black cloth background positioned 24" behind. Along the dowel runs the twin flex that again is attached to the two poles of the bulb using gaffer tape (rather than a more permanent soldered joint). The dowel and the flex pass through a piece of MDF at the back. The aperture is set to get the correct light from the bulb (not too bright). No filter on the two lights aimed at the base of the bulb gave a very cold look, so I went with 3/4 CTO – I didn’t think to try CT green to colour balance with the bulb itself.
Strobist info:
1. YN460-II (1/4 power) with DIY 7/8" gridded snoot and 3/4 CTO filter set at 8" to camera left 35 degree in front to illuminate the base of the bulb; and
2. YN460-II (1/4 power) with DIY 7/8" gridded snoot and 3/4 CTO filter set at 8" to camera right 35 degree in front to illuminate the base of the bulb; and
3. YN460 (1/4 power) with flip down diffuser and Lee 075 Evening Blue filter fitted 10" in front of background pointing up at 45 degree; and
4. Olympus FL-36R (Full power) with DIY 2" carboard snoot and Lee 712 Bedford Blue filter fitted 24" in front of background pointing down at 30 degree.
All Yongnuo strobes triggered with PT-04 wireless triggers and FL-36R triggered by in-built slave.
I have then made adjustments in LR3.4 to crop the photo and address clarity, vibrance and saturation. I cloned out the shadow fall on the background from the dowel, before adding a slight vignette to focus the eye of the subject.
Learnt:
Gaffer tape is nearly always the solution.
Improvement:
Composition. Having revisited David Hobby’s original shot I think I prefer the slightly upward composition of his shot, but overall very pleased with this.
 
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The RSM would have a field day when he saw Private Thire had turned up to drill in Stormtrooper armour


Week 22 - Hidden by morganthecat, on Flickr

What:
Composite photograph of a battalion of Clone Troopers.
Why:
I wanted a humorous take on the idea of an odd one out, who needs to remain hidden.
How:
A line of 6 Clone Troopers was evenly spaced out using a ruler and placed on a polished black tile and the shot was taken using the lighting outlined below. The line was pushed back using the ruler to keep the line straight and shot again (on this one the fourth Clone Trooper was replaced by the Stormtrooper) – the camera was on fully manual as I did not want to re-focus the shot each time, preferring the look in the final edit that there had been a battalion of 54 figures shot in one picture with a shallow DOF. The missing Clone Trooper was replaced, the line was pushed back and the 3rd shot was taken and so on.
Strobist info – I cannot recall exactly what was done here:
1. YN460-II with DIY 7/8" gridded snoot overhead as the main light; and
2. YN460-II with DIY 1 and 3/4" gridded snoot to camera right shooting across the scene to give some definition.
Both strobes triggered with PT-04 wireless triggers.
I have then made adjustments in LR3.4 before taking the 9 photos and stacking as layers in CS3. I have made small changes to the layers manually using the move tool so that all the columns are aligned. I have then attempted to take the top later (the first row) and using an adjustments mask and the magic wand, delete the black background to reveal the 2nd row of troops behind. I have merged these first two layers then repeated the process to reveal the 3rd row of troops etc.
Learnt:
Well, that’s the thing. I haven’t yet learnt how to successfully select my subject in each layer and blend it in with the layer below, hence why there are the black ‘halos’ around the body and helmet of the clones and why the hands have not been successfully brought through from each layer (particularly see the inside hands on the two columns to the right).
Improvement:
Post processing. I have gone with this edit to ensure that I can post my Week 23 shot, but as and when I improve my Photoshop skills I will return to this and produce a full sized image.
 
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WEEE Man


Week 23 - Broken by morganthecat, on Flickr

What:
A sculpture made out of broken and recyclable waste electrical products such as lawnmowers, washing machines, TVs, computers etc. The sculpture includes 33 tonnes of electrical waste which represents the amount an average person could recycle in a lifetime. The sculpture is at the Eden Project in St Austell, Cornwall.
Why:
It was one of the shots taken during my long weekend last weekend that could meet the brief of broken.
How:
It was a distinctly flat and overcast Sunday with no discernible detail in the cloud, so I instantly knew I would be shooting a 5 shot handheld HDR +/- 2 eV with me lying on the floor shooting upwards. I remembered comments about previous photos of the WEEE Man that complained that the image gave no sense of the scale of the sculpture so I wanted an angle that would give some background interest to ‘anchor’ the image.
After combining in Photomatix I have then applied a heavy dose of PPing in LR3.4 as I thought the subject of the image could tolerate a surreal approach.
Learnt:
This was a return to a safe style I have developed for rescuing a situation where I fear that there is a lack of interest in the sky. I have learnt that I need to be aware of looking for alternative strategies or alternative compositions to overcome those limitations.
Improvement:
Post processing. This will be at the Marmite end of my photographic range but I am pleased with the outcome. An alternative, although not necessarily an improvement, would be to have taken a monochromatic approach to the PPing.
 
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Hi David

I like #1, the lighting is good and the detail is not blown out.

I love the Lego images people are doing and this is another one. My only comment, and I almost don't want to say it after all your hard work (but I will!), is that the distance between the 4th and 3rd from last rows is out. Other than that, the effort you have put in has paid off. I can see the halo you refer to but, but you've done better than I could have with the PP.

#3 is a good take on the theme (and an amazing sculpture), but the HDR isn't working for me. The green is too green and the outline of the trees with the sky is grey. The detail in the sky is good though. Top marks for 5 handheld bracketed exposures.
 

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Hiya David,

Wow you always put so much thought into your photos and I always look forward to opening your thread because I know I will be pleased with what I see and read.

I have learned so much from your project. I have not had chance to apply same yet ... but one day I will hopefully be a a level of photography and post processing to try some of these challenging shots.

Three great photos here for the last 3 weeks.

Twisted: Great idea and the composition and lighting work well. For me though, I may have been tempted to turn the bulb to hide the text .... or clone it out. I had a look at the link you provided and I see the text is included on those too. Maybe it is just me being picky (sorry).

Thank goodness for gaffer tape ... I'll have to remember that trick.

Hidden: Another great shot and thanks for the explanation of how you did this because at first view I thought .... wow you have a lot of Clone Troopers :D

I too noticed the alignment Neil mentioned, but that is only because I look at the photos in closely. At first glance it isn't noticeable. My only other nitpick here would be to the left of the last two rows on the right ... the reflections on the base are slightly distracting and not consistent with the dark space between the other rows.

Overall though it works for the theme and is a great photo.

Broken: I like this photo ... even though I am not too keen on HDR (probably because I can never seem to get it right myself :D). The angle at which you have taken the photo and the processing applied makes the image look alien-like, so well done there.

I will be in the Cornwall area later this year and will definitely have to visit the Eden Project.

Once again well done on all three. Can't wait to see what bright idea you come up with for this week ;)

Cheers

Dawn :)
 
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Hi David


I just love seeing your work , you put so much effort in both with the prep , pp & write up's:clap: As per Dawn , one day I may get somewhere need good enough to produce such work !

The Bulb is just fantastic , I'm with Dawn on the writing as it draws my eye but hey , what do I know:LOL:

Your Broken image is stunning , very unusual & great pp :clap:
 
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David
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Bright Idea


Week 24 - Bright by morganthecat, on Flickr

What:
A clear incandescent candle bulb
Why:
I had just posted up my Week 21 - Twisted photo when I found out that this week's theme was Bright, so I decided to revisit the same idea but this time using an incandescent bulb.
How:
I used the EX-25 extension tube fitted to my 50-200mm lens. This does not give a 1:1 macro and I have struggled in the past with this combination and with macro in general.
Otherwise the setup for the bulb is per the Week 21 - Twisted photo except there was only flash used this time.
Strobist info:
YN460-II (1/32 power) with DIY 7/8" gridded snoot and 3/4 CTO filter set at 8" to camera left to illuminate the base of the bulb.
YN460-II triggered with PT-04 wireless trigger.
Because of the brightness of the tungsten wire I shot at both 1/50 and 1/800 and then combined the two shots in CS3 using manual layer masks to enable the image above whereby the wire is discernible but partially the rest of the bulb is visible as well. Also due to some awkward and distracting reflections on the glass I shot at 1/50 with and without flash and blended these two shots to allow illumination of the bulb's base.
After combining in CS3 there was some slight tweaking in LR3.4.
Learnt:
Gaffer tape may often but is not always the answer. It had come to my rescue in Week 21 but I could not make good contacts this time, and having found my solder iron in the intervening time I used some solder joints this time.
Improvement:
Focus. It is not quite as sharp as I would like across the wire and the DOF means the base is more OOF than I think is desirable. My macro technique needs some improvement.
Lighting. I went with a very quick and dirt one flash lighting setup on the base of the bulb, but the direction of the lighting doesn't really complement the rest of the shot and I should have given more time and consideration to the end result.
 
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I had an idea for Bright Eyes along the lines of the 1980s sci fi-horror movie Scanners. Before shooting a new self portrait for this week, I decided to first play with the PPing necessary to give the illuminated eyes. Taking the self portrait I used in Week 10 - Trio I had a play using duplicate layers and the Pin Hole Light blend mode.

As I already had the lightbulb shot I decided not to go down this route, but here is my play with the old photo.

After

Bright Eyes by morganthecat, on Flickr

Before

Steal from the Poor, Give to the Rich by morganthecat, on Flickr
 
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Neil
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I like the light bulb.
A lot of effort but it was worth it.
I'm not sure about the text on the bulb, I think I'd prefer it without.
There is a slightly distracting mark below the element on the right too. Not sure if it's a finger print or reflection, but I'd prefer it wasn't there.

I never saw the film 'Scanners' so I'm not sure if you've achieved what you set out to.
However, if you'd done that to a rabbit I'd know exactly what film/ book you meant!
 
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Andy
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Your light bulb is very well produced. I like that you left the Tesco on and you've even got a slight glow from the filament....

Scanners...before and after...:LOL:

I was tempted to do one similar but week 24 wasn't working for me...:crying:

Cheers.
 
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I like the light bulb.
A lot of effort but it was worth it.
I'm not sure about the text on the bulb, I think I'd prefer it without.
There is a slightly distracting mark below the element on the right too. Not sure if it's a finger print or reflection, but I'd prefer it wasn't there.
Your light bulb is very well produced. I like that you left the Tesco on and you've even got a slight glow from the filament....
Week 24 Bright
It wasn't entirely arbitrary what I kept in and what I threw out when editing the candle lightbulb. The glass creates lots of reflections some of which I wanted to keep to give a sense of the outline of the bulb. As with the Week 21 bulb I have a penchant for keeping stuff in rather than cloning it out. I can see why it might be viewed as a distraction from the element which should be the focus of the picture, but I quite like the texture and tones of the text that has been imprinted on the glass.


The light bulb shot is amazing. Thanks for your detailed explanation - a very thoughtful and skilled approach.

Your lighting and PP skill are very inspiring.
I just love seeing your work , you put so much effort in both with the prep , pp & write up's:clap: As per Dawn , one day I may get somewhere need good enough to produce such work !
Thankyou Lynne and Patrick, that's very kind. Have a dig around DeviantART to be totally blown away by what some people can achieve in their PPing.

I love the Lego images people are doing and this is another one. My only comment, and I almost don't want to say it after all your hard work (but I will!), is that the distance between the 4th and 3rd from last rows is out. Other than that, the effort you have put in has paid off. I can see the halo you refer to but, but you've done better than I could have with the PP.

#3 is a good take on the theme (and an amazing sculpture), but the HDR isn't working for me. The green is too green and the outline of the trees with the sky is grey. The detail in the sky is good though. Top marks for 5 handheld bracketed exposures.
Twisted: Great idea and the composition and lighting work well. For me though, I may have been tempted to turn the bulb to hide the text .... or clone it out. I had a look at the link you provided and I see the text is included on those too. Maybe it is just me being picky (sorry)....

I too noticed the alignment Neil mentioned, but that is only because I look at the photos in closely. At first glance it isn't noticeable. My only other nitpick here would be to the left of the last two rows on the right ... the reflections on the base are slightly distracting and not consistent with the dark space between the other rows....

Broken: I like this photo ... even though I am not too keen on HDR (probably because I can never seem to get it right myself :D). The angle at which you have taken the photo and the processing applied makes the image look alien-like, so well done there.
The Bulb is just fantastic , I'm with Dawn on the writing as it draws my eye but hey , what do I know:LOL:

Your Broken image is stunning , very unusual & great pp :clap:
Week 21 Twisted
Again the inclusion of the writing on the base of the spiral bulb was, like the inclusion of the Tesco on the candle bulb, a conscious decision but it is good to get feedback whether or not it works. It doesn't mean I'll change my mind as I shoot for myself, and if others like it it's a bonus, but nonetheless if I keep hearing the same comments I should consider whether to clean up images of distracting elements.

Week 22 Hidden
Agreed with the comments about the separation of the last 3 rows. I can easily correct this if I re-edit the shot to address the 'haloing' and the lost hands. I might actually go the other way and build in a similar break between the 3rd and 4th row instead to give a feel of 3 platoons within the battalion.

Week 23 Broken
I knew the Broken shot would be marmite... Neil you are right about the desaturation (I'm loathe to say haloing as that's a common consequence of HDR that I try to avoid) of the tops of the trees. Not sure what happened there, but something to watch out for if I go back and re-process this shot.
 
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Life belts


Week 23 - Rescue by morganthecat, on Flickr

What:
Life belts on the quayside of Faversham Creek
Why:
A lot of my submissions for the T552 have involved substantial PPing. I wanted to get out, take and process this week's shot in under an hour.
How:
A simple 'grab shot' taken down by Faversham Creek and then simple pass through LR3.4 for a slight crop, saturation/clarity/sharpness/noise reduction adjustments and addition of a vignette to draw the eye into the main element and the secondary element of the smaller, distant life belt.
Learnt:
KISS
Improvement:
Composition. A return to 'basics' this week for me, and such shots demand even greater attention to the basic skills of composition, DOF and control of exposure - in other words the 80% of an image that too frequently spend 20% of our time thinking about. I needed to be slower and more patient in my composition so that there are as few distracting features as possible. Not easy in such a crowded, busy scene but why more care and attention should be taken to ensure the substrate SOOC is as good as possible.
 
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