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Four Seconds to Impact
Four Seconds to Impact

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: One Photo (Extended Editing)
Camera: Canon EOS-1D Mark IV
Lens: Canon EF 50mm f1.2L
Location: Over Spain
Date: Dec 22, 2016
Aperture: 8.0
ISO: 100
Shutter: 1/200
Galleries: Cityscape, Action
Date Uploaded: Dec 22, 2016

I wanted to convey the concept that the probe is in fact headed towards Earth, with catastrophic results, but without resorting to calling this out in the title.

A shot from an airplane window over southern Spain, in the raking morning light. The mountainous semi-desert landscape produces some excellent shadows here. In fact I chose my seat with the intention of trying for a shot like this - a seat with a clear view ahead of the wing, on the starboard side to shoot towards the light. I chose the relatively stubby 50mm f/1.2L as it allowed me to get very close to the glass to angle down steeply, and has the perfect focal length for this kind of shot through the window without including extraneous elements while being wide enough to get a good swathe of terrain.

The zoom blur was added in postprocessing in two semitransparent stages, followed by selective curves work in four stages over various parts of the image: First to add a red glow of re-entry heat to the periphery, and a little over the rest of the entire frame. Second, a cinematic blue in the shadows, and third, to increase overall contrast on the city make the most of the tonal range between the highlights and shadows of the buildings.

I was torn about the crop to use - I considered using a much closer crop, as there is a ton of detail in the buildings that simply doesn't make it to this resolution, but in the end I decided to crop it only lightly to centre the city horizontally, since that still shows the best colour gradient from top to bottom of the image and plenty of context.

Editing in full consisted of two layers of selective zoom blur, three layers of selective curves, crop, resize and sharpen.

I will be flying this route again a number of times over the following months, so this may be one of a series of aerial shots with the 50 f/1.2 of Spanish landscape.

Outtake edits:

Place: 4 out of 35
Avg (all users): 6.3333
Avg (commenters): 6.0000
Avg (participants): 6.1304
Avg (non-participants): 6.4839
Views since voting: 1161
Views during voting: 106
Votes: 54
Comments: 10
Favorites: 1 (view)

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01/01/2017 07:37:57 PM
Another concept I loved. And so well executed. one of my favorites. Congrats on the HM Eugene!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/31/2016 01:28:13 PM
Perfect for this challenge. Congrats on the HM.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/30/2016 12:08:02 PM
Thanks for your detailed notes, it is very interesting to see how you actually translated your idea into an image. This kind of planning shows how involved you are in the creative process, so it is no surprise seeing your great entries doing well one after the other. Talent and work at play!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/30/2016 09:34:40 AM
Hello from the critique club

An interesting image that contributes well to the challenge

Another excellent entry Eugene and justifiably rewarded with a healthy score and placing, well done. In the context of the challenge brief your image works so well. I love the upper part of the image with those lovely shadows and the zoom burst effect, that against the sharp detail of the habitation is a tremendous contrast. The whole thing is utterly believable, lovely colours, just the right amount of blur, love it well done again.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/30/2016 03:16:36 AM
I wondered where on the earth this could have been...congrats on the HM, and I always appreciate your notes. Thanks.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/30/2016 02:22:14 AM
another one of my favorites this challenge! congratulations
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/30/2016 02:21:16 AM
Congratulations on another splendid work of art. Thank you for the tutorial. I gave you a 7 on this one.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/30/2016 01:51:27 AM
Congrats on teh HM. Great approach.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
12/23/2016 03:28:05 PM
Hope not!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/23/2016 12:14:14 AM
Very interesting!
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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