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3rd PlaceBodhisattva

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Surrealism (Basic Editing III)
Camera: Nikon D70
Lens: Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX Macro for Nikon
Location: bedroom
Date: Mar 8, 2005
Aperture: 11
ISO: 400
Shutter: 24.2sec
Galleries: Studio
Date Uploaded: Mar 8, 2005

After receiving 78(!) comments during voting, many of which asked "How did you do this?", I figured I'd write up a tutorial about this technique I thought up, when I get the time. So for now, more briefly, I quote Itsimring:

“Or (perhaps simpler) - he had two "complimentary" screens which he swapped before the second exposure”


Here’s a picture of the setup on the “dark side”. It is separated by a cardboard from the “bright side”, where the flash and subject are. The hole in the cardboard is just slightly larger than the camera’s FOV, so that it limits the amount light crossing to the dark side. This is crucial as the filters used to obstruct the center of the hand and isolate the eye need to remain completely black. They are exact complements of each other, cut out from photo paper, because it’s opaque. These filters were stuck on Plexiglas, supported by a holder that I machined from scrap metal at school. Also necessary was an alignment bar, so that the filters could be switched, and accurately replaced every time to a tolerance of 1/4mm. Any larger misalignment caused both exposures to overlap with dark and bright halos around the eye.

The D70, equipped with the Sigma 105mm, rests on a tripod. I align my hand with the filter, with feedback from peete.
lights off. peete opens the shutter, manually sets off the flash, switches the filter, meanwhile I position my eye to the right location, then one flash and the shutter. A 24.2 second exposure in nearly full darkness.

Place: 3 out of 271
Avg (all users): 7.2846
Avg (commenters): 8.4925
Avg (participants): 7.3025
Avg (non-participants): 7.2763
Views since voting: 15164
Views during voting: 1012
Votes: 376
Comments: 125
Favorites: 58 (view)

Please log in or register to add your comments!

11/26/2008 10:36:04 AM
Way back during my Film-Camera days, I superimposed my face on a fancy silver teapot, using a very similar technique. I still have the complementary Cokin filter set, made of plastic that slides in place. One clear with approx.1/4" black dot, other black with 1/4" black hole. [url=//www.cokin.com/ico13/ico13.html ]Cokin Filter System Catalogues[/url]
03/21/2005 12:31:26 PM
I agree with all before. Your photography is fantastic. This is a very deserving image. Congrats! You da man!
03/18/2005 06:42:03 PM
Absolutely unbelievable, I am in total awe.

Not only the thought process behind being able to create this, but the technical expertise in doing so. Amazing, really amazing, that something like this could be done all with DPC limitations.

03/17/2005 10:42:19 PM
How appropriate that, in your setup photo, I see your screen propped up by both, a nice thick physics textbook, and a nice thick book on Dali (at least I think that's what I see)! That's consistent with both sides of your brain needing to be engaged and in good working order in order to pull this one off. Well done.

Message edited by author 2005-03-17 22:57:37.
03/17/2005 10:31:47 PM
Amazing! Congratulations on No. 5 Aleks!

BTW, I hope that you do write a detailed tutorial. I still don't understand how this one was done.

Message edited by author 2005-03-17 22:33:23.
03/17/2005 05:52:20 PM
Great shot, I picked you for the Blue
03/17/2005 03:29:54 PM
Thanks for sharing with us how you actually did that. Brilliant !!! Amazing what you can achieve with a little bit of creativity...
03/17/2005 01:25:35 PM
Originally posted by metoecus:

One thing I still find odd about this image: this is obviously your right hand, but it appears to be your left eye. What was the reason for this mis-match?

On an unrelated note, how many shots did it take before you ended up with the shot you submitted?

actually, its his right eye too. take a closer look...
and once the filters were alligned, about 5 shots till ew got the hand perfectly centered.
03/17/2005 12:32:29 PM
One thing I still find odd about this image: this is obviously your right hand, but it appears to be your left eye. What was the reason for this mis-match?

On an unrelated note, how many shots did it take before you ended up with the shot you submitted?
03/17/2005 11:00:07 AM
i still wonder how this could have been done without breaking the basic rules...in post production i mean

Message edited by author 2005-03-17 11:02:57.
03/17/2005 08:59:12 AM
Thanks Mr. Tee. Like I said, it will probably fly here on DPC but in the outside world it wouldn't. That's all...
03/17/2005 08:51:48 AM
Originally posted by Davenit:

Just an FYI. If your friend fired the shutter, he actually owns the rights to the image since he actually 'took' the picture. I am sure it will fly by here on DPC but in the real world it's copyright infringement.

Great image none the less...

No copyright or rules infringement here unless the last part of the rule was not obtained, or the administrators object:

Ownership:The photograph you enter must be taken and post-processed by you. You may let someone else press the shutter if you are unable to, but you must be the one who set up the shot and configured the camera. If you wish to collaborate with others when creating your submission, you will need express permission from the administrators beforehand.
03/17/2005 08:20:23 AM
Just an FYI. If your friend fired the shutter, he actually owns the rights to the image since he actually 'took' the picture. I am sure it will fly by here on DPC but in the real world it's copyright infringement.

Great image none the less...
03/17/2005 12:22:06 AM
Really groovy stuff, Aleks! Congratulations on the ribbon!
03/16/2005 11:19:02 PM
I'm glad a fellow montrealer wins Ribbons that often. Can't wait for the explanation!
03/16/2005 10:09:43 PM
amazing - must be a double-exposure, yes? Since everyone else is guessing too...I'd say used to filters over the lens (maybe painted a UV filter, or used black cardboard)...one with a black spot in the middle, for the hand, and one with a black surround, for the eye. Immaculately done. :)
03/16/2005 06:53:09 PM
Congratulations on your Ribbon with this amazing image! Fantastic work!
03/16/2005 05:33:15 PM
You must have fantastic hand-eye coordination!
03/16/2005 05:01:21 PM
This was among the first images I saw in this challenge and I had it down for the blue immediately. Simply amazing. Please please please tell us how you did it, now :)
03/16/2005 03:47:16 PM
Originally posted by scalvert:

Patience! It take Labuda a while to respond because he can't see the keyboard while he's typing. ;-)

actually, i would think that the keyboard is *all* he sees while typing. :)
03/16/2005 03:44:14 PM
Originally posted by labuda:

Originally posted by wadap0:

The answer is simple: He actually has an eye in his hand.

I'm a bit self-conscious about it though... so let's keep it between us.

Wow! So you could actually be the one guy that really does go blind from too much...
03/16/2005 01:39:00 PM
Patience! It take Labuda a while to respond because he can't see the keyboard while he's typing. ;-)
03/16/2005 01:07:48 PM
Originally posted by wadap0:

The answer is simple: He actually has an eye in his hand.


I'm a bit self-conscious about it though... so let's keep it between us.
03/16/2005 12:57:00 PM
I'm so curious too. Really great job. I actually thought this might place even higher - but bravo on the ribbon. It was very well deserved!
03/16/2005 12:21:20 PM
Congrats on 3rd and on such a creative shot! I'll be looking forward to reading your explanation :)
03/16/2005 12:17:49 PM
Could have photographed the hand and the eye simultaneously using a partially reflective surface in front of the camera, and judiciously lighting both subjects. Requires some technical expertise, but has been done with good effect in movies for decades.
Congrats on a fine image!
03/16/2005 11:16:33 AM
my guess would be that it was a double exposure, but he had to paint the middle of the hand pitch black (with blurred edges) and paint his face with a similar size eye-hole in it to avoid overlapping the images. Or (perhaps simpler) - he had two "complimentary" screens which he swapped before the second exposire. In any case - a magnificent job (I was sure it was going to get DQ'd :)). Congrats!

Message edited by author 2005-03-16 11:19:13.
03/16/2005 10:44:27 AM
The answer is simple: He actually has an eye in his hand.
03/16/2005 10:42:38 AM
seems to me it was a double exposure, but with a very small circular area of the sensor exposed or something...
03/16/2005 10:27:45 AM
Originally posted by nsbca7:

Took a picture of the eye, cut out and glued to the hand. Edges blended with paint or makeup. Lit from the bottom left and photographed. Good work.

wrong, it was much more complicated than that. he's away, he'll be back later today... patience...
03/16/2005 08:48:26 AM
We are waiting for your answer, sir. lol. Let me guess, you are sitting on your mouth? Or maybe your eye doesn't like being banged against a keyboard?

It was a 24 sec exposure, so I'm guessing that the eye was selectively lit and then the hand lit after in the same place. Judging from the reflection in the eye, it was a flashlight. Great work!

Message edited by author 2005-03-16 08:53:13.
03/16/2005 08:44:02 AM
Took a picture of the eye, cut out and glued to the hand. Edges blended with paint or makeup. Lit from the bottom left and photographed. Good work.
03/16/2005 08:18:09 AM
Wow, congrats on your ribbon!
I really loved this one. As I commented during the challenge - if I could give you 11 - I would!

I would also love to know how you did that :-)

03/16/2005 08:06:26 AM
congrats. one of my top picks.
still curious how it was done. looks too clean to be a double exposure...

03/16/2005 06:42:47 AM
Well done and congratulations on your red ribbon. How did you do this with basic editing?
03/16/2005 05:13:57 AM
Originally posted by lennywells:

OK, all we can figure was that the hand is holding a piece of glass. the eye is a reflection and the edges of the glass were cloned out.

... except this is basic editing.
03/16/2005 03:12:17 AM
your a rolling stone, cant be stopped...your work is awesome..congrats!
03/16/2005 01:51:55 AM
Cool picture, I am glad it ribboned. Congratulations !
03/16/2005 01:24:26 AM
As always, technically perfect and a wonder to behold. You da Man!

OK, now fess up, how'd you do it? :)
03/16/2005 01:19:16 AM
OK, all we can figure was that the hand is holding a piece of glass. the eye is a reflection and the edges of the glass were cloned out.

03/16/2005 12:34:32 AM
Only a handful of photographers could have done this, and somehow eye knew it was you. Congrats on another ribbon, Aleks! Now how's about letting us in on the secret?
03/16/2005 12:28:29 AM
Truly surreal. I really, really want to see how this was done in basic editing... Congrats on ribbon.
03/16/2005 12:10:09 AM
Amazingly done, but can I join the queue of people who would just love to know how you achieved it. Sensational.
03/16/2005 12:06:17 AM
Aleks: you are quite a wonder. Yes, I did ascertain that it was yours. The sheer wonder of this image with its esoteric name is right up my alley. Very good work and impeccable technique. You have my full admiration. This image will receive many views. It is a little masterpiece. In my comment during voting I explained how I would have done such an image.

Congratulations on your YELLOW.

Message edited by author 2005-03-16 14:45:38.
03/16/2005 12:03:54 AM
well deserving of its ribbon status!
I must admit I'd hoped to see an explanation of the setup.
03/16/2005 12:03:46 AM
So how did you accomplish the effect with a digital camera??
03/16/2005 12:03:44 AM
...so... the explanation please...
 Comments Made During the Challenge
03/15/2005 11:43:32 PM
It is certainly a surrealistic image. Excellent idea and realization.
03/15/2005 10:56:28 PM
Okay my 3rd 10, and now tied for my favorite Image in the challege.
03/15/2005 06:52:01 PM
now that is creative....man that is bugged out
03/15/2005 05:55:11 PM
Ok...technically, this shot is amazing considering it is done in basic. However, as far as a photograph, I don't find anything about it appealing beyond it technical side. Let me put it like this: Some guys play guitar really well - they can go blindingly fast and make sounds that others cannot dream of making, but in the end, there is no underlying substance. Some guys play guitar and do it with heart - it's not about how many notes you hit, but hitting the right ones that matters.
03/15/2005 04:24:53 PM
Very clever. I will look back to see you done this. 9
03/15/2005 04:05:58 PM
Cool Blending
03/15/2005 03:29:04 PM
Wow. You know how to handle your lighting! Looks great, but as there is still some of the background visible, I'd have chosen something different than bambus. 9.
03/15/2005 03:11:48 PM
wow kinda scary, Definatley surreal- GOOD.
03/15/2005 02:52:06 PM
This one got my attention - I have no idea how it was done, but it's impressive.
03/15/2005 02:39:29 PM
This is awesome. I think I have worked out how you did this but the execution is great and to my mind it captures surrealism very well (although I'm sure others will disagree) The wow factor is very strong here and I expect it to be top ten, if not a ribbon. Congratulations
03/15/2005 01:11:48 PM
Very unique. I really love what you've done here. 10
03/15/2005 10:13:29 AM
finally, someone who understands the meaning of the word. This should get a ribbon and I want to know how you did this within the rules.
03/15/2005 09:59:19 AM
Picasso would be proud.
03/15/2005 06:56:34 AM
Great pic....I`d love to know how you did this!!
03/14/2005 09:31:59 PM
Now that is surreal. Can't wait to read how you did this one in the basic rules. Great job.
03/14/2005 08:26:04 PM
i can only think of one way this was accomplished that would pass validation.

good luck
03/14/2005 10:54:45 AM
wow how did you do this?
03/14/2005 03:25:19 AM
i really like the concept and the lighting isn't bad! it does look cloned
03/14/2005 12:20:04 AM
unique idea. one of my favorites!!
03/13/2005 11:52:44 PM
03/13/2005 11:17:48 PM
My vote here is biased, because I actually tried to execute this same concept. I was not sufficiently satisfied with my results, so I didn't submit anything for this challenge. I'd be interested in learning how you masked this off to get such a polished looking shot. Excellent work.
03/13/2005 10:00:44 PM
This has got to fit the definition of surrealism. Looking forward on your "how to" tutorial for this setup. Great job.
03/13/2005 06:56:02 PM
very, very creepy.

good job!
03/13/2005 02:44:04 PM
You must have great hand-eye coordination. ;-)

Can't wait to see how this was done. My guess (based upon some slight blur in the palm) would be a double exposure. Regardless, this is excellent work and surely among the ribbons. Gotta be Labuda or maybe Seanachai. My pick for, uh... second place. ;-) 10
03/13/2005 02:24:40 PM
you have captured a great sense of surrealism - interesting composition and juxtaposition of elements - one of my ribbon picks this challenge -- well done!
03/13/2005 12:45:33 PM
it's not the most appealing image to me, but that's not the point. I don't know how you did this and that's what makes it so awesome. If this is a double exposure then you're a master. Good work.
03/13/2005 11:24:52 AM
How did you do that?
Realy habe to come back after the challenge to learn (10)
03/12/2005 12:01:48 PM
Nice editing job.
03/12/2005 01:54:34 AM
Creepy, but effective. I believe I've seen your other similar creative work.
03/12/2005 01:51:28 AM
03/11/2005 11:59:40 PM
Something to be said about "the eye of the behoder". Good luck with this most surreal submission...
03/11/2005 11:30:05 PM
How This is Surreal! And very well done as well! I would sure like to know how to manage this 'tour de Force' ! I love the lighting and the composition and position of the hand in the shot. The background is somewhat strange tho, perharps uneven which throws the picture off a little. None The Less a very impressive work! 8!
03/11/2005 10:42:43 PM
You'd better do a write up on how you did this!
03/11/2005 09:45:57 PM
this is definitely surreal but i can not see how this wasn't manipulated...yet i see it was validated
03/11/2005 07:02:28 PM
So very curious how this was achieved. It's excellent.
03/11/2005 03:50:52 PM
A great double exposure with perfect fade. Another bump. I get the feeling I am seeing an image by Labuda. Regardless, this is my favorite to ribbon. How i would achieve this effect: color around the right eye and then place a dark cover to hide the rest of the face leaving the eye exposed. Then draw a complimentary oval in black on the palm of the hand. Feathering the oval will help with the final transition. In darkness, place hand over eye and shoot off the light source and while shutter remains open, remove hand and capture eye.
03/11/2005 02:49:09 PM
like to find out how you shot this:)
03/11/2005 10:02:52 AM
Awsome How was that done?
03/10/2005 05:37:12 PM
Very Surreal! How did you do that?
03/10/2005 05:18:23 PM
you have to let us know how this was done in basic editing... the eye blends seemlessly into the hand, great job!
03/10/2005 04:21:02 PM
Great Double Exposure. So few of them seem to work out this well!!!

03/10/2005 03:54:19 PM
Wow. I try to think of a logical way that this picture could have been created within the rules (I see it's been validated, so obvoiusly, it's legit), but I just can't figure it out. I hope you planning on sharing with us--I'm very curious! Wonderful.
It's almost a bit graint (see pinky, fleshy thumb area of palm), but the wonderment of the image basically outweighs that.
03/10/2005 03:32:18 PM
This is a exceptional execution. I can't wait to know how it was done. 9
03/10/2005 02:48:04 PM
Wow, this should score high !
I'm looking forward to your comments on hwo you did it !
03/10/2005 12:56:45 PM
good job!!! 8
03/10/2005 11:58:03 AM
Great entry! Very well executed and creative!!
03/10/2005 10:21:31 AM
This image is really nice. I love things out of the ordinary so this image really got my eye. I like the fact that you can see a lot of detail to and it looks like your images are one. Nice work.
03/10/2005 05:24:08 AM
This will be one for the "how'd they do that" section...great skill. I'm not sure that you wanted the background (left) to show through, but it does and takes a little bit away from the shot.
03/10/2005 12:36:32 AM
how the hell?
03/09/2005 11:02:55 PM
I can't even begin to imagine how you accomplished the effect. Fantastic!
03/09/2005 09:22:40 PM
how in the world?
03/09/2005 07:57:14 PM
How in the world did you manage to do this? Well, very good job, great definition and light, though I find the subject, itself, to be kind of creepy...
03/09/2005 07:53:41 PM
finally someone who understands the topic
03/09/2005 07:32:08 PM
not classic photography
03/09/2005 07:30:05 PM
When I first saw this photo, I didn't want to vote on it because I thought it might be DQ'd. Now that I know it has been validated you are absolutely getting a 10! I hope you explained how to do this also because I can't even begin to fathom the technique you used!!
03/09/2005 05:49:30 PM
Eye am going to go out on a limb and state that this image wins hands down :) Awesome shot please PM me with the set up when you get a chance... 10
03/09/2005 05:46:24 PM
spooky,how did you do this?
03/09/2005 05:32:49 PM
Validated, huh? Man! That is some birth defect! ;-)
03/09/2005 05:08:01 PM
I cannot believe this was done with Basic Editing. I am sure everyone who sees it wil lhave the same reaction. I asked for validation last night 30 mins after the challenge posted, for that reason. I hope I'm wrong and that this is "legal". But it REALLY needs that "validated" tag on it LOL. Meanwhile, I have given it a 10, and that vote will stay as long as the image stays up. If you care to PM me and tell me how you did it, just to satisfy my curiosity, feel free.

GREAT! Validated! I love it. Can't wait to see how you did this.
03/09/2005 05:03:13 PM
Very cool.
03/09/2005 04:18:16 PM
I think this is amazing! How on earth were you able to do this under basic editing???
I find this photo strong and very surreal. Definately one of the top 3 IMO.
I am waiting to see the validation message on this one. You get a 10 from me for now, and I am waiting impatiently to read the how-to on this one!

Adding after validation: OMG... can I give you 11?
03/09/2005 03:45:36 PM
Impressive, can't wait to see how you did this. I know how I would and I can see a lot of frustration.
03/09/2005 02:29:49 PM
I cant imagine how this was done great job....10
03/09/2005 02:26:31 PM
I'd like to know how you did this--double exposure in-camera?
03/09/2005 02:12:17 PM
Basic edit???
03/09/2005 12:38:33 PM
great shot, but how did you get the eye in there without cloning from another photograph?
03/09/2005 11:58:58 AM
very neat ...
03/09/2005 11:06:52 AM
very surreal image. not sure how it would be accomplished using basic editing skills, but if so...great job.
03/09/2005 10:15:11 AM
You have surpassed the level of professionalism usually seen on this website.
03/09/2005 03:13:38 AM
not bad.
03/09/2005 01:56:29 AM
how did you do that?
03/09/2005 01:13:09 AM
Great effect. I really hope you gave details on how you did this in basic editing. Might be a great timesaver.
03/09/2005 01:12:58 AM
Classic, very disturbing.
03/09/2005 01:08:09 AM
if this fits the editing rules -- WOW! lol
03/09/2005 01:06:28 AM
This has got to be the most creative image in this challenge. Did you use light to create 2 different exposers?
03/09/2005 12:22:40 AM
Just AWESOME and a definate winner! I hope that ya kept on the rules? Awesome shot either way! 10
03/09/2005 12:11:56 AM
I am going to NEED to see how you pulled this off. I've tried doing such things with masking before, but never managed to get such smooth edges.
03/09/2005 12:07:04 AM
Great matching of color balance, tone and light in eye.

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