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Red and Yellow in Gray
Red and Yellow in Gray

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Best of 2004 (Advanced Editing III*)
Camera: Fujifilm FinePix S602Z
Location: Johan Huizingalaan, Amsterdam, Holland
Date: Apr 12, 2004
Aperture: f5.6
ISO: 160
Shutter: 1/600s
Galleries: Black and White, Floral
Date Uploaded: Jan 6, 2005

Shot of tulips in the spring in the middle of Amsterdam-West. The tulip in the front is deep bright red and the upper ones are all National Geographic Yellow. All sparkle from a good heap of fresh sunlight.
I uploaded the original ages ago: //www.dpchallenge.com/image.php?IMAGE_ID=70273

Is this the best of 2004?
Difficult question. For me personally 2004 sucked when it comes to photography. 2003 was much better. As the year progressed I became frustrated with the capabilities of the S602Z, especially because of the limitation with DOF, the lens being only sharp stopped down and low light photography was bad (dynamic range and shadow noise). This resulted in me simply not taking any photographs anymore. This shot is essentially the last good shot with the S602Z. The original one with bright saturated colors has at the moment of writing six dpc members who like it so much that they added it as a favorite. So that became my guideline for choosing a best of 2004.
The best shots from the D70 were already used in challenges. I think that my best photograph of 2004 is 'Marken'(8/638 in the B&W II challenge). I hope that the D70 will artistically pull me out of the bayou again. It is a much more versatile tool and should be more motivating to go out and try stuff. What I record will be of the best quality and not noisy artifacty halfsharp less processable output that only looks good at 640x480 but could never be put up as a print (Something that happened with a lot of my St. Petersburg photos). Lets face it, would you book a USD 3000 vacation to the national parks (Yosemite, Bryce etc) or to St. Petersburg in Russia especially for photography if you would not be able to shoot with a good camera? Pure luxury of course, but that is what I mean with limitations and that even goes as far as going somewhere in my own country to photograph.
Mind, in controlled conditions the S602 is capable of producing publishing worthy photos (like fullpage A4-size in books). But it takes optimum lighting, F5.6-F8, ISO160 and a tripod to pull it off. Whereas the D70 does a great job at f2.8, ISO1600 out of the hand.

Enough of that!
Let's talk about this photo a bit more. In Holland spring always comes with tulips. There are tulip fields everywhere and you'll also find them in many public parks and people's gardens.
This shot was taken on one of the finest days in the spring of 2004. You know, when the light is great, the air smells fresh and natural aromatic, the temperature is not hot and not cold and everyone seems to be in a good mood.
I was on a visit to my granny but got bored with sitting around a table with the family. So I took up my camera and searched for spring in the city. These tulips were found on a roundabout. Cars wizz by around it and on a bridge above runs the tram.
Inspired by Willem from dpc and Charlotte Lowrie I tried to make a toad's view of tulips. Camera in macro mode, preset focus distance, timer on and without looking I pushed my hand with the camera on in between the tulips. Voila: the result was the colored original (nr x out of many).
To top it off we had a great family BBQ.

Why enter this B&W version then?
Just entering the original seemed a bit easy and simple. B&W is also becoming more and more a favorite way of presenting photographs, so I had a go with this photo.
For starters I cropped it much tighter and in a 1:1 ratio. I think square fits the content and this way there is a certain balance between
Dark Sky
Bright FLowers
Dark Leafs
It also brings out the rightside standing tulip a lot better as the main subject.

Than the B&W toning. Straight B&W was very boring. At the end I chose a conversion with Fred Miranda's B&W pro. I used a preset B&W conversion with a red filter. This darkens the blue sky and green leafs. But it brightens the yellows and extremely brightens the reds. The reds turn from dark to bright.

I cloned out a very small spot near one of the flowers. It was probably a seagull in the distance, but it looked like a dustspot on film in this size. Sharpened the photo on lightness channel in LAB mode and added a border. Normally I don't use borders, but it seemed to work on this one. The 2 pixel middle line is not white, but an eye-dropper selection from the big tulip.
Saved for the web.

I hope you like it.

Date: 12.04.2004 at 17:04:21
EV 0,00 EV
Program: A - Aperture-priority auto
Metering mode: Multisegment
Flash: Not fired, Compulsory flash light
White balance: Daylight
Zoom: 35 mm KB (7,8 mm Real)
Resolution: 2832 x 2128 Pixel (FINE)
Macro mode: On
Exposure mode I: Auto exposure
White balance I: Manual white balance
Sharpness: Soft

Place: 172 out of 530
Avg (all users): 5.9582
Avg (commenters): 7.0000
Avg (participants): 5.8732
Avg (non-participants): 6.2410
Views since voting: 916
Views during voting: 523
Votes: 359
Comments: 13
Favorites: 3 (view)

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 Comments Made During the Challenge
01/31/2005 02:21:35 PM
I would put this in my house.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/30/2005 09:21:59 PM
great contrast, composition.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/27/2005 07:09:13 PM
GORGEOUS processing for what could have been a mundane shot. 9.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/22/2005 02:08:54 PM
this ROCKS! excellent work. and, as i can't offer anything else, i'll just sit and enjoy this a bit. good luck with the challenge!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/21/2005 05:03:40 PM
Interesting shot, I think. This is a parallel of that classic really poppy colour study - presumably, from your title, it would have bright punchy reds, yellows, greens, blues ... so, of course, to present it in B/W is intriguing. However (and there's always a however, isn't there?) ... I'm not sure whether it's the knowledge, the familiarity of that referred to image, or whether it's a genuine thing, but this seems to be lacking real texture, and is more of graphic image - but of course you've invited that comparison with the big colour shot ...

There is a strong sense of fragility on the petals though - that translucency. I'm not quite sure what to make of it at the moment.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/21/2005 01:30:44 PM
Interesting but the lack of color is very disturbing. Perhaps a selective desaturation would have been the better choice. Because of the high contrast it also look a little blurry. Good luck and keep up the good work in 2005.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/19/2005 06:09:22 PM
I don't usually care too much for flower pictures, but I love this one! The composition is perfect, and so is the fact that it's black and white which makes the white jump out at you with its striking contrast.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/18/2005 07:32:27 AM
Very nice.....8....
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/17/2005 07:11:56 AM
An interesting perspective. I like B & W but I think I would have liked to see the colors in this one. It appears a little too grainy.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/16/2005 06:25:52 PM
The border is distracting.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/16/2005 03:01:38 PM
Very nice composition your composition really "WOW", I feel that in Photoshop you could have pushed the range of grays and blacks a bit darker and really make this image pop or perhaps my monitor is off!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/16/2005 07:06:53 AM
This is simply beautiful. The composition against the sky works really well here. 8.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/16/2005 12:11:54 AM
I think this would look better in color! :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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