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DPChallenge Forums >> Current Challenge >> Desaturation - A Huge Failure
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06/22/2004 02:51:31 AM · #1
I love looking at de saturated photos. Until a week ago I didn’t know the techniques to do it. However, with 36+ years working in B&W I know what makes a good non-color picture.

Still, I surfed to a few photo web sites and checked out what made a great de-saturation image. When I tried to practice in Photo Shop Elements none of the directions I found fit the tools available………… so I figured out for myself how to do it in PS Elements. Then I wrote, “PhotoShop Elements – De Saturation for Dummies” and posted it in the ‘Current Challenge’ forum so others could join in the challenge.

Next step – compose a picture with plenty of contrast where the missing colors will be easily recognized by the viewer – and have something awesome to highlight. Took me three days, over 200 pictures, and 30 de-saturation attempts before I found the right picture. I found it frustrating - so many great pics that just didn't work - but eventually I composed one I liked.

Last night I rated half the de saturation entries and received a ton of hate mail for my comments. Tonight I finished the ratings. Of the 230 photos – this is what my top number of choices were:

10 – Only one picture selected.
9 - Only five pictures selected.
8 – Just eight
7 – Just 2

That’s only 16 out of 230 photos that meet the challenge well. The top 80 submissions seemed to be from people who worked hard to do it right. How disappointing the bottom 150 pics were. If you don’t have time to do an entry correctly – just blow it off – and concentrate on another challenge some other day.

The bottom 150+ pics feel into these categories:
• Selecting a picture with a major white subject – a duck, a swan, foam, or clouds that get’s de saturated still leaves you with a white duck, a white swan, white foam and white clouds. There is no gain and the desaturation effect is null and hard to notice. What were you thinking?????
• Selecting a picture where nobody but you knows the color of the item getting de saturated is pretty useless – duh! What were you thinking!!!
• De saturation is more than just dumping the reds and greens in a picture and expecting the blue item to automatically look cool. All colors have shades and hues – when you dump 2 of the 3 primaries you get a cheap looking black and white with the remaining color looking like something drawn in by a kid with a pen. Your ‘highlighted’ item should look as good in the finished picture as it did in the original. If it didn’t – do it again.
• Not every picture looks good desaturated. If it was boring and dull in color – it ain’t gonna look any better with most of the colors missing. What were you thinking?????
• Selecting a picture of your loved one – baby, mom, sister or cat and just leaving the eyes normal might be ok for practice……. But faces don’t have allot of contrast – they don’t work well. Not very original either.
• Selecting a picture of a grave or mementos of a dead loved one is pretty hair brained for a challenge photo where people need to comment on your composition and choices – sorry folks, no pity factor here. Grandpa may be dead – that doesn’t make a picture of his picture any better – it just means you need to work on your imagination and compositions more.
• Selecting a picture where the main subjects takes up 95% of the frame and de saturating a little dirt and a small piece of sky here and there doesn’t cut the mustard. Especially when using a pic of something huge and damn bright!!!

Most of the submissions seemed like half hearted attempts. So, here are my hints:

1. Don’t feel obligated or rushed to enter a challenge. If you submit poop – you will get poopie scores and poopy comments.
2. Just because you finally figured out how to do something doesn’t mean your first attempt is golden. Try to develop a new skill and better workmanship. When you pick a challenge, do some homework, experiment, and submit what you think is an honest effort.
3. Find someone approachable to look over your work days before the challenge ends …….. that way you have time to incorporate their advice and ideas.
4. Last: read the challenge. Read it again! Research the challenge material. Do not veer from the set course.

Three or four submissions I wish I could have given negative numbers to. Which one did I dislike the most? I can’t say now – but – as soon as this challenge voting is ended I am going to write about it. It showed the utmost lack of imagination possible - something I see allot on this site.

For those of you who tried hard and fell flat on your face: What??? Your too new to figure this out?? Not an issue. Although I only enter one challenge a month - I would much rather coach someone who wants to learn than keep giving them negative comments. So email me. I share reasources and secrets - that - and my wife is an ex photo judge. (what, you think I pick out my own pictures? LOL)

Glacierwolf

Message edited by author 2004-06-22 02:53:01.
06/22/2004 02:54:48 AM · #2
I might have to finally start voting again because I'm famous for using the technique too much.
Note: No entry again :(

Message edited by author 2004-06-22 02:58:55.
06/22/2004 03:06:11 AM · #3
Well, I recieved your comment, but it was constructive.
It was realy helpfull, and would like to try the photo again taking your advice and see how it comes out...

Maybe I will...
06/22/2004 03:09:39 AM · #4
I wonder Kevin how you would've rated some of my previous efforts. My previous shots were posted in this thread.

Message edited by author 2004-06-22 03:11:32.
06/22/2004 03:41:47 AM · #5
Originally posted by Glacierwolf:

Which one did I dislike the most? I can’t say now – but – as soon as this challenge voting is ended I am going to write about it. It showed the utmost lack of imagination possible - something I see allot on this site.


I hope you don't single out an individual photo. I don't think that will be in the spirit of this site.

06/22/2004 03:57:27 AM · #6
Let me tell you something...
If I was making kids for 36 years, I would have 5 basketball teams by now.
I saw the photos in your portfolio and I'm not shocked or awed what I see,just everyday snapshots even my kid can do it!
Most of the people here are amateurs who are trying hard to advance and learn to take better photos.
In order someone to teach me how to cook ,I want to try their pie first !
Pitsapitsa
06/22/2004 04:00:53 AM · #7
I have to say I'm pretty suprised by this thread. Maybe I have different standards or I interpreted the challenge differently, but I thought there were a number of truly outstanding entries in the desaturated challenge. I found it inspiring to look through the photos to see how people achieved their desaturation and appreciated the many different techniques that people used, many of which I hope to attempt in the future. So many of them, no matter how different they were from mine, were absolutely beautiful and I rated them highly.

I really enjoyed going through each of the photos in this challenge. It was a lot of fun seeing the kind of images that people produce when they are really thinking about color and the main subject of the image. I hope we have more challenges like this in the future and that they yield equally wonderful results.
06/22/2004 04:02:42 AM · #8
Originally posted by pitsaman:

Let me tell you something...
If I was making kids for 36 years, I would have 5 basketball teams by now.
I saw the photos in your portfolio and I'm not shocked or awed what I see,just everyday snapshots even my kid can do it!
Most of the people here are amateurs who are trying hard to advance and learn to take better photos.
In order someone to teach me how to cook ,I want to try their pie first !
Pitsapitsa


here! here! I am really looking forward to seeing Glacierwolf's entry.
06/22/2004 04:29:26 AM · #9
Originally posted by Glacierwolf:

Last night I rated half the de saturation entries and received a ton of hate mail for my comments.


All you have to do is be tactful with your comments. When you say "What were you thinking" in a comment, don't expect to build a fan list.

We are sorry that we did not meet YOUR expectations. I took a look at a few of your challenge entries and I made that exact comment on one of your that was out of focus and didn't meet the challenge IMO. Why bother...

You, and many others, make up what some of like to call the LMV. The "Literal Minded Voter".... You don't have any concept of flexibility or the mind power to attempt to understand someone elses intent or vision. This will limit you in your own growth as a photograper, so have fun :)

06/22/2004 04:36:06 AM · #10
Originally posted by BooZon:


here! here! I am really looking forward to seeing Glacierwolf's entry.


I bet he's suffering a low score.
06/22/2004 04:56:03 AM · #11
I enjoyed voting this challenge, I gave 4 10's, that's high for me. I hope everyone learned something, I know I did.
06/22/2004 05:11:00 AM · #12
Glacierwolf,
although I share your disappointment with a lot of the entries, I don't think bashing people is going to help. Constructive comments, indicating that you recognize the effort put in, and pointing out possible ways for improvement, are much more helpful. Your list of flaws for this challenge is very much to the point, and I too have seen a lot of images that don't cut it for me, for all the reasons you have listed, but telling people 'what were you thinking' isn't going to get your message across.

Message edited by author 2004-06-22 05:28:02.
06/22/2004 05:12:25 AM · #13
You said the following: "What were you thinking?.... just what in the picture did you desaturate...................... aluminum - a greyscale metal. Duh!"

Maybe you failed to see that it was shiny and for metal to be shiny it has to be polished in someway and when metal is polished they reflect well.
With 33yrs of B&W you should have been able to tell from the tonal range.
What did I desaturate? Probably your eye sight!
06/22/2004 05:14:51 AM · #14
Originally posted by pitsaman:

Let me tell you something...
If I was making kids for 36 years, I would have 5 basketball teams by now.
I saw the photos in your portfolio and I'm not shocked or awed what I see,just everyday snapshots even my kid can do it!
Most of the people here are amateurs who are trying hard to advance and learn to take better photos.
In order someone to teach me how to cook ,I want to try their pie first !
Pitsapitsa

I don't agree that only advice from people with good pictures in their portfolio is helpful. When I look at my own portfolio, I'm not impressed, especially not when comparing myself to others here at the site. However, I think that I'm quite able to describe why I do or don't like an image, and how an image could have been improved. Unfortunately, that's much easier for other people's pictures than for my own. So I still like to comment quite a lot, and still keep submitting rather mediocre pictures. Hopefully, I'll continue to learn to apply that same objective criticism to my own work as well.

Edit: that doesn't mean it's okay to be arrogant...

Message edited by author 2004-06-22 05:29:04.
06/22/2004 05:26:01 AM · #15
Originally posted by pitsaman:

Let me tell you something...
If I was making kids for 36 years, I would have 5 basketball teams by now.
I saw the photos in your portfolio and I'm not shocked or awed what I see,just everyday snapshots even my kid can do it!
Most of the people here are amateurs who are trying hard to advance and learn to take better photos.
In order someone to teach me how to cook ,I want to try their pie first !
Pitsapitsa


I agree... that's a pretty arrogant way to open up a thread, your photography had better be good to back up such a cocky way of talking to us all. Oops, it isn't. :-)
06/22/2004 05:27:56 AM · #16
removed

Message edited by author 2004-06-26 13:14:10.
06/22/2004 05:39:11 AM · #17
Maybe it's lack of sleep - he must be on permanent daylight at the moment.

But I wouldn't get too upset, folks. He's abviously set his mind as to what selective de-saturation is for in advance, and it judging entirely by thhat pre-set idea - check the comments about 'kids coloured in with crayons' or whatever. No suggestion that that may have been the photographrs intention?

I suspect he hated my entry, though I still rather like it (given my distaste for the technique that is), and I'm sure it would fall into one of his categories of ills. The great benefit of comments not being anonymous, is that we can go and look at the submitted work of those that made them, and decide whether or not to pay any attention.

E
06/22/2004 05:43:52 AM · #18
It's quite sad that people live their life that way and have no idea what they are doing wrong.

That is in the same tone as the comment I received from him. I have received some other very helpful comments in this challenge. I don't see myself as a great photographer but I am trying very hard to improve with the help of the helpful comments I have received. When I received the comment from glacierwolf it was the first time I thought "why do I bother?"

I don't participate to be humiliated!

Message edited by author 2004-06-22 05:45:12.
06/22/2004 05:46:56 AM · #19
Originally posted by BooZon:

It's quite sad that people live their life that way and have no idea what they are doing wrong.

That is in the same tone as the comment I received from him. I have received some other very helpful comments in this challenge. I don't see myself as a great photographer but I am trying very hard to improve with the help of the helpful comments I have received. When I received the comment from glacierwolf it was the first time I thought "why do I bother?"

I don't participate to humiliated!


BooZon
Don't be disappointed. Have a look at his work and you might see the funny side of this. Maybe he's writing all these comments because he wants us all to see his 'photography' and be prepared for the next big thing.
06/22/2004 05:47:09 AM · #20
Like it is said before: if you want to teach people then why make such harsh comments in advance? You haven't got a clue what the amount of effort is someone else put into this challenge, maybe they sat for hours and hours and you just ridiculize that with only one sentence ! You don't hold the truth (thankfully nobody does!) and the average "truth" is resembling in the scores: after the challenge we'll find out what picture was on average the best photo that fitted the challenge best.

Don't let us spill more words now on this one...

-edit- OK, some more words: saying the topic starter's isn't a good photographer himself isn't doing much good I think..it's like doing the same thing (fighting evil with evil).

Message edited by author 2004-06-22 05:49:39.
06/22/2004 06:11:17 AM · #21
Originally posted by pitsaman:

In order someone to teach me how to cook ,I want to try their pie first !

A friend of mine once told me:

You don't need to have written a book to write a book review.

If I can see a photo, I can appreciate it, even if I can't create it myself.
06/22/2004 06:12:15 AM · #22
Originally posted by Fotowereld:

You haven't got a clue what the amount of effort is someone else put into this challenge, maybe they sat for hours and hours and you just ridiculize that with only one sentence !


But effort put in has nothing to do with final quality of photograph, and hours waiting in wind, rain, ice, fog, blazing heat, the middle of traffic, whatever, means nothing to your audience. The shot has to be good, whether it took you one minute or one year to get it.

Ed
06/22/2004 06:37:14 AM · #23
.....And you entered this one for a challenge...DUH

//dpchallenge.com/image.php?IMAGE_ID=66256
06/22/2004 06:37:40 AM · #24
how much time did you spend on each photo?

my photo has an obvious (actually two) items desaturated, both causing other areas to show color. And your comment was you couldn't tell what was desaturated.

Sure seems like you breezed through it. Other comments quote STRONG IMAGE, GREAT SUBJECT. Seems like you ran through the judging in a bad mood.
06/22/2004 06:40:31 AM · #25
Originally posted by e301:

Originally posted by Fotowereld:

You haven't got a clue what the amount of effort is someone else put into this challenge, maybe they sat for hours and hours and you just ridiculize that with only one sentence !


But effort put in has nothing to do with final quality of photograph, and hours waiting in wind, rain, ice, fog, blazing heat, the middle of traffic, whatever, means nothing to your audience. The shot has to be good, whether it took you one minute or one year to get it.

Ed

I was reacting to the sentence: "If you don’t have time to do an entry correctly – just blow it off – and concentrate on another challenge some other day."
not on the fact that quality equals effort, though it seems that the TS is thinking the two are closely connected. I never said they were...

Message edited by author 2004-06-22 06:41:19.
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