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1st PlaceGeology

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: HDR VI (Standard Editing)
Collection: Portfolio
Camera: Sony Alpha a77
Lens: Sony 16-50mm f2.8
Date: Oct 3, 2016
Aperture: 8.0
ISO: 250
Shutter: 1/500
Date Uploaded: Oct 16, 2016

Toadstool Geologic Park, Nebraska

Wow, thank you all so much. I had hopes for a top five finish mid-week when I was climbing steadily. Then I peaked at about 6.88 and started falling . . . fast. Recovered a bit today. Anyway, no matter. I never expected a blue but I'm delighted.

Place: 1 out of 45
Avg (all users): 6.5682
Avg (commenters): 9.3333
Avg (participants): 6.5625
Avg (non-participants): 6.5714
Views since voting: 1798
Views during voting: 111
Votes: 44
Comments: 14
Favorites: 2 (view)

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11/07/2016 07:24:06 PM
This is remarkably done. The clouds almost mimic the same formations the rocks are forming.
A simple composition done well. Not too many colours to distract the eye.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/06/2016 08:23:30 PM

Here's a new edit - warmer sky, more contrast in land.

Thanks so much, Bill, for the thoughtful critique. I am probably pretty much with you on HDR images - I tried to stop short of going over the top as I really don't like that. I know I always process the skies separately as they always seem more problematic to me.

I did warm the earth and cool the sky - perhaps I over-did it but I really don't like skies with a yellow cast and the sky that day had that menacing dark blue color that immediately precedes a thunderstorm in the Midwest, Southwest, or West so I tried to get rid of it, possibly erring in that direction. I don't mind the tones, though.

Your comment about tonal range and contrast actually interests me more. I'm still feeling the scene falls a bit flat. I think you are suggesting I up the contrast to see what that does. I'll try, but I'd love more input.

Sorry it took so long for me to respond beyond the "like comment" check, but we have our granddaughter for the weekend every other week and this was the one - I spend almost all my free time enjoying her :) (And yes, she's hopelessly spoiled.)

Message edited by author 2016-11-06 20:37:44.
11/05/2016 02:01:28 PM
Congrats on the Blue, Nikki. I'm commenting here as part of the Post Challenge Volunteer thread activities.

I'm generally not a fan of extreme HDR images that go beyond tone-mapping to stylized processing. For me, this shot sits right on the edge of enough vs. too much. I scored it in the top 3rd of entries, but not among my favorites. Here's why:

The lines and subject matter are terrific - nature verging on abstract. The tonal range is good with details at every level of bright/dark, but as a result, the image lacks contrast. The brightest spot on the image is on the left side between the dark clouds and the hills. My eye is drawn to a hole in the sky. I'm also not a fan of the blue/indigo cast in the clouds, I'd be curious what warming up the tones in the skies would do.

This is obviously a minority opinion based on the blue ribbon and terrific score. If I were you, I'd completely ignore my comment and revel in the accolades. It's a lovely image that I might have processed a bit differently. I pretty certain it would have scored lower, too!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/25/2016 12:07:05 AM
Congratulations! Great job.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/24/2016 05:59:13 PM
Congrats - the structures are stunning and the clouds are adding fabulous drama
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/24/2016 05:38:09 PM
Thank you, friends. I'm pretty happy with the way this one worked out - and especially with the outcome :)
10/24/2016 05:22:33 PM
Yay! Congratulations, Nikki!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/24/2016 04:17:43 PM
Fantastic- congrats.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/24/2016 08:16:17 AM
Wonderful! Congrats on the deserved blue.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/24/2016 07:23:41 AM
Beautifully aptured scene. I had no idea Nebraska had featured like this.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/24/2016 12:03:28 AM
yes. hdr suited this to a t. grats on the blue.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
10/23/2016 11:17:12 PM
Fabulous detail! Great scene. In my top row.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/23/2016 07:50:22 AM
Top 3, great details. A 9 from me
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/19/2016 12:18:22 AM
Oh my, where is this? It's a magical place. You should be very proud of this. I feel it will make it to the top.10
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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