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DPChallenge Forums >> Challenge Results >> Revenge of the Self Portrait (thanx, Posthumous)
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12/13/2007 11:15:03 AM · #1
' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Posthumous suggested I retitle this image "Revenge of the Self Portrait", which amuses me so that's what I titled this thread, but it's not why I am posting.

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/780/120/619713.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/780/120/619713.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

I am posting to answer, in public, another comment: "I don't understand this type of processing at all. I cant stand it."

Let me start by saying the comment doesn't bother me at all; it's a perfectly valid comment.

But I wanted to explain WHY I chose to do my self-portrait this way. My goal, before I even took the picture, was to get a shot that accomplished two things:

1. Put me in a vertiginous relationship with the sea, and

2. Accentuated every single wrinkle, scar, and age mark that I wear on my face.

IMO, for the second part, nothing works better than tone mapping, which is capable of creating a truly harsh landscape out of any surface it encounters. I'm aware that some folks (maybe a lot of folks) think this whole tone mapping thing has been overdone, but I strongly believe it has its applications, and a shot like this is one of them.

Do you agree/disagree/not give a hoot one way or the other?

For purposes of comparison, here's the untouched original at ACR defaults:

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/30000-34999/30861/120/622106.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/30000-34999/30861/120/622106.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

R.
12/13/2007 11:18:06 AM · #2
Bear,

I am one who can never argue with your wondrous creativity and capabilities.

I think the tone mapping does add so much more character to the photo and it works very well to portray exactly what you were going for.
12/13/2007 11:18:45 AM · #3
I think the edit is good. Makes the lines stand out which give you character. In other words it makes you, you.


12/13/2007 11:21:23 AM · #4
I like the tone-mapped version much better. As a portrait, I think it has much more character with the accenduated features, especially in conjunction with its title.

Honestly, if I had seen the original entered into a challenge, I would have thought it rather boring - just a guy with the sea in the background. The tone-mapping gives a "weathered salt" feel, and tightens the impact.
12/13/2007 11:21:34 AM · #5
I think the processing matches the title very well. If, however, you had titled it 'Studmuffin' it would not have matched. :-0
12/13/2007 11:34:23 AM · #6
Originally posted by kawesttex:

I think the processing matches the title very well. If, however, you had titled it 'Studmuffin' it would not have matched. :-0


Gawd, that made me choke! No danger of that, mate! The word "studmuffin" has never been applied to me :-)

R.
12/13/2007 11:45:55 AM · #7
Originally posted by Bear_Music:


But I wanted to explain WHY I chose to do my self-portrait this way. My goal, before I even took the picture, was to get a shot that accomplished two things:

1. Put me in a vertiginous relationship with the sea, and

2. Accentuated every single wrinkle, scar, and age mark that I wear on my face.

IMO, for the second part, nothing works better than tone mapping, which is capable of creating a truly harsh landscape out of any surface it encounters. I'm aware that some folks (maybe a lot of folks) think this whole tone mapping thing has been overdone, but I strongly believe it has its applications, and a shot like this is one of them.


I think I understand your motivation and also the tool you picked to achieve it. Tone mapping is certainly a good way to go to achieve that end result.

I think where I branch off is in the degree to which it's been used here. It seems over the top and a heavy handed and unsubtle application of the technique. I try to be something of an 'everything in moderation' in my approach to applying filters, effects, noise reduction, saturation and so on. There's such a tendency to think that if some is good then a lot must be better. This image to my eye looks like one of those cases - the local contrast enhancement, particularly around your beard gives a very overly sharpened/ haloed look to the area which I don't know that helps with your initial goal.

Least that's what went through my mind when voting.

Much of the processing I see on this site seems to suffer from some sort of Spinal Tap affliction.

Message edited by author 2007-12-13 11:47:03.
12/13/2007 11:54:39 AM · #8
I'm not a big fan of tone-mapping but if your goal was to have an old weathered seaman washed up on some shore amongst the seaweed, sand and mud then this hits the mark. I can see you laying on the beach and rocks as I take my morning walk and wonder where the hell did he wash up from?

So It works here. Good job Bear.
12/13/2007 11:57:35 AM · #9
Originally posted by Gordon:

I think where I branch off is in the degree to which it's been used here. It seems over the top and a heavy handed and unsubtle application of the technique. I try to be something of an 'everything in moderation' in my approach to applying filters, effects, noise reduction, saturation and so on. There's such a tendency to think that if some is good then a lot must be better. This image to my eye looks like one of those cases - the local contrast enhancement, particularly around your beard gives a very overly sharpened/ haloed look to the area which I don't know that helps with your initial goal.


I tried to find a middle ground, actually, and didn't find one that seemed to "click" for me. This is actually not the most extreme version, for what that's worth. What bothers me the most about it, btw, is the tendency of the skin to gray out, I really had to fight that.

R.
12/13/2007 11:59:42 AM · #10
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

I tried to find a middle ground, actually, and didn't find one that seemed to "click" for me. This is actually not the most extreme version, for what that's worth. What bothers me the most about it, btw, is the tendency of the skin to gray out, I really had to fight that.


It might have been more effective if applied mainly to the skin, leaving the background and hair more neutral.
12/13/2007 12:04:03 PM · #11
I think the tone mapping is effective, and for the most part it brings out what you were trying to express. But, like Gordon, I think it went over the top. The first thought that hit my brain when I saw the image was 'Tone mapped. Strong.' The old sea salt idea didn't come until after I read the title.

Not that I could have done even half as well....
12/13/2007 12:20:25 PM · #12
Originally posted by Bear_Music:


I am posting to answer, in public, another comment: "I don't understand this type of processing at all. I cant stand it."


And you succumb to a comment from an 18-year old KID?
You know better I think! =)

Your photo is very effective and had achieved what you are trying to evoke!
12/13/2007 12:26:35 PM · #13
Originally posted by keans_d:

Originally posted by Bear_Music:


I am posting to answer, in public, another comment: "I don't understand this type of processing at all. I cant stand it."


And you succumb to a comment from an 18-year old KID?
You know better I think! =)

Your photo is very effective and had achieved what you are trying to evoke!


You either a) didn't read the next sentence or b) chose to ignore it. :) But, in fact, it is very important to the context of that comment.

Robert does know better, and even clearly stated that he did not mind the comment -- that it was a valid opinion. There are *many* on the site who share the view, so I think Mr. Bear was simply explaining why he chose to edit in this way.
12/13/2007 12:28:48 PM · #14
When I first saw the shot I thought it had been oversharpened, but I suppose that's one of the side-effects of HDR.

Overall I think the effect really added to the shot, it probably added about 20 years to your age as well!
12/13/2007 12:32:28 PM · #15
I think it's a lovely portrait, you have a wonderful face :) The one thing that bothers me about this technique used on people is that they end up looking grubby. I notice you mention the greyness yourself. :)
12/13/2007 01:36:26 PM · #16
Originally posted by karmat:

Robert does know better, and even clearly stated that he did not mind the comment -- that it was a valid opinion. There are *many* on the site who share the view, so I think Mr. Bear was simply explaining why he chose to edit in this way.


Thanks, Karma. That's exactly why I posted. There's this whole "tone mapping: love it or hate it" thing that goes on in here, so I thought I'd explain WHY this image is tone mapped, not for any kind of personal argument's sake, but just to explain what thought process created it. I think this kind of work does have its place :-)

I completely understand why some are turned off by it.

R.
12/13/2007 01:38:35 PM · #17
I love this style, and I gave this image a 10 and believe it should have taken the blue. I believe what you were trying to convey came out perfectly, only being rough, most people didn't understand or care to understand it. I think its Fantastic.
12/13/2007 01:55:41 PM · #18
I tend to distrust anything that can dominate a photo enough to be called a "style." In this case, the tonemapping matched your (original) title perfectly. It made your face part of, not the ocean, but the shore, the embattled interface between land and sea. I didn't vote because I could not find any way to vote on the picture without voting on the man, but it's easily one of the best photos in the top 10.
12/13/2007 02:19:26 PM · #19
Funny thing is when this challenge was announced I thought that Bear_Music would be perfect for this type of PP. He is older so he has more lines on his face(no offense Bear) and as a great beard. I do believe that this type of PP is overused alot but I think in this case it was perfect for the portrait. Add the relation he wanted the viewer to know he had w/ the Sea and I think its great. It was one of my top picks for the challenge. I totally understand how some may not like it though and totally respect that, to each his own. Nice work Robert and everyone else as there were some great shots that didn't make the front page.

Edit: I thought of Ernest Hemingways The Old Man and the Sea.

Message edited by author 2007-12-13 14:21:57.
12/13/2007 02:47:35 PM · #20
Originally posted by trevytrev:

I thought of Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea.


That was my working title, actually. Then the Mishima occurred to me.

R.
12/13/2007 04:04:50 PM · #21
FWIW, generally I find HDR/tone mapping to be overdone. It's not a tool for every image as some people seem to think. It's one tool in what should be a box full of tools.

In this case, however, I like what it does and the feeling it gives to the face, making it look as if it's seen 100 seasons working on the deck of a wooden ship.
12/13/2007 04:19:17 PM · #22
Originally posted by littlegett:

I love this style, and I gave this image a 10 and believe it should have taken the blue. I believe what you were trying to convey came out perfectly, only being rough, most people didn't understand or care to understand it. I think its Fantastic.


Had you left it closer to the original; I would have been closer to giving it a score more in the 4-5 range. The original isn't really anything special (I mean this in a nice way :-D). The one you've edited just draws the viewer in to take a closer look at each wrinkle, hair, scar, and or mark on your face. A very nice job, congratulations on a great finish. -BB
12/13/2007 04:27:47 PM · #23
I just LOVE the edited version.

I don't care what people think about so called over edited shots. I did with my SP and got the score to prove it. But I still like my shot.

It´s all about what you want to say with your photo. And this one does just that!
12/22/2007 10:39:46 PM · #24
Just found this thread. As I commented during voting, it's over the top to me, so I voted it a 5. But I would've voted the original the same, too. There's no question the editing added interest, but it wasn't a direction I found I enjoyed.

But that doesn't really matter for this thread. What I really want to say is how much I appreciate your explaining your reasoning for doing it. The teaching point is to have a reason to do things, not just randomly move sliders around. You set out with a goal and you accomplished it. You happened to also impress many more voters than those who shared my opinion. But as I often find myself commenting (and Puckzzz, this applies to your shot, too), if YOU like it, that's most important. If you also find an audience who likes it, that's even better. :)
12/23/2007 01:05:01 AM · #25
Your challenge entry got VERY high marks from me Robert. I really think the TM version created a wonderful character study, full of personality, wisdom, and grit.

After seeing the original (unTMed) version, I agree that it is good and has some great personal intrigues,.. but I think you definitely made the right choice. ;-)

Keep up the amazing work. You are one of the reasons I have stuck with DPC. You totally rock in my book dude!
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