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Journey Through Middle-earth
Journey Through Middle-earth
Joey Lawrence


Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Fantasy World (Advanced Editing IV)
Camera: Olympus D-600L
Location: Ontario, Canada
Date: Jun 17, 2005
Aperture: /
ISO: /
Shutter: /
Galleries: Nature, Portraiture
Date Uploaded: Jun 17, 2005

If you havn't noticed this is actually just a Gandalf cardboard stand up! I bought it awhile ago online for 10 bucks, free shipping. :-D I use him to stand in my room and of course scare my mom by putting him in her room... :-)

I had this set up in my head the minute I saw the challenge posted. I set him up in the bushes behind my house where he kept getting knocked over by the wind. I had another spot but the lighting was reverse from that of the cardboard picture... So I just found another (better) spot. I used my fog machine spraying from half in front of him and half behind him to make him seem 3D and part of the environment, instead of a cardboard cut out. Another problem I had was the glare on the shiney cardboard, I had to tilt it and shoot from a lower angle.

For editing I used a crop, curves, hue/sat, brightness/contrast, dodging and burning (a lot of midtone work), unsharp mask, clone tool, blur tool, border and a bit of the ol neatimage. The clone tool removed a few specks but I also used it to hide a small bright blue cardboard strip that supported the figure's staff. The fog mostly hid it but it still bothered me and it would be noticable.

I almost used my Legolas and Gimli stand up instead but they just can't out-cool Gandalf. :-)

Statistics
Place: 4 out of 151
Avg (all users): 6.7589
Avg (commenters): 7.6667
Avg (participants): 6.7375
Avg (non-participants): 6.7708
Views since voting: 8283
Views during voting: 615
Votes: 224
Comments: 51
Favorites: 15 (view)


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AuthorThread
09/02/2005 11:58:26 AM
For what it's worth, regarding your choice of leaves, you were rather spot on. I am something of a LOTR geek and I will tell you that the stories were written to mirror the British Isles. These islands are loaded with old, final growth deciduous forests. It is said that unless there are factors that are extremely inhospitable to deciduous trees, they will be replaced within a few hundred years by deciduous trees which are a more sustainable type of tree. I can't vouch for the reliability of that statement, I learned it in grade 6 social studies in Canada. The fact that Britain is loaded with deciduous forests and has quite a mild climate would indicate that your choice of leaves is very good indeed.

Rock on Joey!

I would have tried to soften the light on the foreground leaves just a hair. I don't mind them photographically, but thematically, I think they conflict a bit with the mood of the fog lighting.

Hope it's helpful!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/03/2005 10:56:04 PM
I've not read or watched LOTR so I'm not familiar with the characters, but it was fun reading through your comments to see who you "fooled" with this one :) Wherever you're doing these "deep forested fog" shots, you're certainly conveying the mood quite well.

Maybe just a bit too much light on the front leaves, but that's just my .02.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/02/2005 03:34:01 AM
<nerdalert>
I really really like this shot, and even when you know it's a cutout - it's hard to tell.. I'm still not convinced you didn't actually have Sir McKellen in your back yard.
If I had to say something negative (which I probably don't, but will anyway), it's that the leaves don't look very middle-earthy.. If you know what I mean. Maybe it would have helped to tone down the green a bit - they look too "crisp" to fit in where Gandalf would travel. :)
Still, though - thumbs up. :)
</nerdalert>
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/27/2005 05:35:20 PM
Only just now I realised you got here 4th!
Congratulations! that's a cool photo :-)
How creative of you!

by the way, I liked the part where you scare your mom with it ;-)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/27/2005 04:03:45 PM
Well done Joey you showed them after the beauty challenge.
"The Road goes ever on and on" LOTR
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/27/2005 01:27:54 PM
Fantastic job - I was completely fooled into thinking someone had stolen a frame from LOTR. Beautiful job! Never would have guessed it was a cardboard cutout - you hid it well in the mist!

Congrats on another well deserved top 5 finish!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/27/2005 09:31:20 AM
A most intriguing image missing a ribbon. Congratulations on your creativity and your superior problem solving ability. The latter makes your images outstanding and unique. Congratulations on your top 5 finish.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/27/2005 08:15:18 AM
Well deserved for the top group . Congratulations.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/27/2005 07:54:03 AM
great photo joey, great imagination joey!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/27/2005 02:44:20 AM
You fooled me! Was wondering who you dressed up for this take ;) congratulations on the 4th!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/27/2005 01:46:24 AM
ahhhh you just missed out on a ribbon, but congrats on the high placing! really well executed image! cant believe it came from a 1.3 megapixel camera but that just shows how good you are.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/27/2005 01:22:44 AM
Good to see you scoring with something other than pain & anguish, LOL, WTG!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/27/2005 12:41:00 AM
Originally posted by BradP:

Way to go Joey.
I bow to the Master. ' . substr('//www.cobusnet.nl/images/emoticons/hulde.gif', strrpos('//www.cobusnet.nl/images/emoticons/hulde.gif', '/') + 1) . '

We've got the Little Camera That Could!
06/27/2005 12:37:51 AM
Way to go Joey.
I bow to the Master. ' . substr('//www.cobusnet.nl/images/emoticons/hulde.gif', strrpos('//www.cobusnet.nl/images/emoticons/hulde.gif', '/') + 1) . '
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/27/2005 12:34:29 AM
lol i never would have guessed the setup
great job and congrats on 4th place
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/27/2005 12:24:04 AM
Great set up and result, Joey! Many congrats on your top five finish!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/27/2005 12:22:19 AM
Congrats! I knew this would be right at the top!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/27/2005 12:08:45 AM
Wow, that's so neat how you did it! Cardboard eh? Fooled me. And you're right, Gandalf is way cooler than Legolas and Gimli-- although, Aragorn rocks my world (as well as Samwise the brave!)
Oh dear, I'm a nerd. :) Good Job!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
06/26/2005 11:23:28 PM
hehe, thats cool
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/25/2005 10:29:06 PM
This is great, bumping up
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/25/2005 03:39:28 PM
Nice effects and lighting!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/25/2005 02:30:28 AM
great use of smoke and a layered composition to create a three-dimensional feel with the gandalf cutout.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/23/2005 11:45:42 PM
This is exactly what I had in my head for this challenge. Great shot!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/23/2005 07:59:15 PM
Great fantasy picture.. love the smoky background, the costume and the leaves in the foreground for depth.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/23/2005 04:52:03 PM
Color, lighting and framing are excellent without excessive noise.

This natural looking image fits the challenge perfectly in a way most all voters can recognize. The Gandolf character is outstanding and the misty look a nice touch. That coupled with its high technical quality will likely put this in the ribbons with the blue possible.

On a technical note a few things can be said.

There is some minor haloing around the main characters garments near the top that can be removed.

The nearest leaves are out of focus. It could be validly argued it is that way on purpose to convey the sense of a journey through middle earth but most viewers will probably find that slightly distracting. That is generally true of most foreground elements that occupy a prominent position in a composition.

The image is lower contrast. Even a simple autocontrast adjustment will add considerable "pop" to an already amazing image. Again it might be said low contrast is purposeful to retain greater image detail and a sense of the mystical but most viewrs would likely think the added "pop" outweighs the other items.

If this image fails to get the blue ribbon it is likely because of the contrast.

A super photograph! Kudos to you for a great shot!

Message edited by author 2005-06-27 03:20:32.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/23/2005 03:49:26 PM
Just Great
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/22/2005 05:13:15 PM
Nice image
very lord of the rings
one of the best in this challenge
good luck
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/22/2005 01:50:28 PM
This is absolutely an AWESOME photo for this challenge! So well set up and interesting. The fog is an incredible effect, and your color contrasts are so fairy-tale like! You did GOOD!!!!! 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/22/2005 11:23:46 AM
my impression of this is that it looks pretty staged; if the leaves are going to be in sharp focus so should be the bearded man, better if both were as soft as the man is, and the mist looks phoney
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/22/2005 05:26:21 AM
time u started shopping somewhere else.
leaves sharper than subject spoiles it for me.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/21/2005 11:41:58 PM
What an intriguing image. The contrast between the down to earth foliage and the figure in the fog is a great juxtapostion to set off the imagination.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/21/2005 08:10:12 PM
One of the few who have actually went to some trouble setting up. Great model. Looks the part and the clarity and colors in the image are very powerful. Smoke adds the final touch. Overall my favourite image. Hope it ribbons. 8, bumping up again 9
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/21/2005 05:07:57 PM
Great costume, great setup, great facial expression and attitude of the model. It looks just like a screen shot from the movie.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/21/2005 04:42:29 PM
Fantatic.9
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/21/2005 02:30:07 PM
It seems your journey through middle earth got you gandalf himself. This is a brilliant resemblance. Well done indeed.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/21/2005 10:14:07 AM
Good luck to you. He really looks like Gandolf! 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/21/2005 07:41:58 AM
Great photo! 9
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/21/2005 02:53:17 AM
holy macaroni
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/21/2005 02:51:39 AM
Where did you get this guy??? Love the colors...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/21/2005 12:44:41 AM
This looks fairly believable and certainly weird enough to fit the challenge. Nice composition.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2005 07:59:05 PM
I love the background effect behind the guy, and your depth of field is very nice. 7
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2005 10:28:46 AM
I like the photo - well done in fact. But the reference to LOTR is what turned me off. It loses its originality.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2005 04:35:35 AM
this is anexcellent image although not original it certainly is fantasy 9
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2005 04:04:01 AM
I know this is being picky - but the foliage seems too much from our world. I think vines and drooping dark foliage would have been better. Having said that this is much better than mine and It is a great shot
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2005 03:52:12 AM
This is a very good image,with great contrast, but I am bemused that It appears to be more than than one image, blended, I hope to be proven wrong,so don't be disqualified, I am giving this image a 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2005 02:11:13 AM
This is great. Love the costume and the foggy light. Very well done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2005 01:24:02 AM
that is one amazing look a like!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2005 01:21:08 AM
Nice tie in to the fantasy theme, one of only a few that did a good job with that aspect. Composition is interesting. DOF must have been a bit of a challenge. My only nit pick (and it's small) is that the subject wizard (?) feels flat compared to the foreground. Not sure what could be done about it, but if it had greater depth, I could have given it a point or 2 more. Good luck in the voting.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2005 01:05:22 AM
You do know it is illegal to use someone elses image???
06/20/2005 12:39:37 AM
What can I say other than I love everything about this! Great imaging, and I'm a totally LOTR fanatic, so this is definatly a -10!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2005 12:08:47 AM
looks just like gandalf!
  Photographer found comment helpful.


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