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Balancing Act
Balancing Act

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: What? (Basic Editing III)
Camera: Fujifilm FinePix S5100
Location: My house
Date: Oct 17, 2005
Aperture: F/3.6
ISO: 64
Shutter: 1 sec.
Galleries: Humorous, Performance
Date Uploaded: Oct 17, 2005

To set this up, I began by gluing a rare earth magnet to the end of a 3 ft. section of steel rod. I then stuck the other end of the rod into a shallow hole in the wall at maybe 4 ft. or so from the floor. (I had already covered the wall with a dark cloth for my backdrop). The knife was then stuck to the free end of the rod by the magnet.

The lighting consists of one incandescent bulb in a trouble light fixture, which I clamped onto the back of a chair at a strategic place, just to the right of the picture. I then set up large pieces of white card (about 5 or 6 total) in various places to reflect light back to the subjects and to control glare on the knife blade.

And yes, that's me with my nose to the knife point! My original plan was to "balance" the knife on a fingertip. I did a number of shots of this (which was way easier than the nose!), but they just seemed to lack in interest or drama or something. So I then tried this set up. It was really interesting doing this, as my camera has no remote - only a 10 second timer. So I composed the shot, clicked the shutter button, and moved quickly (but very carefully!) into position (sitting on a pile of magazines of the proper height), and ever-so-gently nudged my nose up into the knife point. I took around 80 shots in this manner, trying different angles and facial expressions. My nose is still a little sore almost 24 hrs. later!

My post processing was fairly straight-forward. In Paint Shop Pro 8 - histogram contrast adjust, saturation enhance, a little noise removal, crop, add borders, resize, unsharp mask, compress & save. I decided to leave the knife slightly skewed from the vertical to try to keep it looking as natural as possible.

Place: 7 out of 274
Avg (all users): 6.3080
Avg (commenters): 7.7692
Avg (participants): 6.0694
Avg (non-participants): 6.4211
Views since voting: 2234
Views during voting: 395
Votes: 224
Comments: 19
Favorites: 2 (view)

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10/26/2005 08:52:51 PM
This is a wonderful image. I'm impressed with the thinking and dedication you took to create this shot. Thanks for sharing it.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/26/2005 01:14:17 PM
Nice use of light for that shadow line. Well set up.

That's definitely a knife.

I play with my students like this. At around 7 years old, they get a real kick out of anyone balancing anything on the face even if its just for a second! Stick a pen on the end of your chin for a half second and they start calling you a magician.

Fun picture.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/26/2005 03:43:30 AM
Excellent composition and expression on your face. I guess that's suffering for one's art...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
10/25/2005 11:17:44 PM
is this real?it's awesome anyway.10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/25/2005 10:16:18 PM
Convincing indeed!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/25/2005 07:30:44 PM
Get the feeling it is just hanging there. But good photo.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/25/2005 07:05:55 PM
Nice image.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/25/2005 03:34:19 PM
7, if this guy still alive.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/25/2005 09:42:01 AM
Nice, clean shot. Like the pose as well, shows the concentration
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/23/2005 12:02:18 PM
wonderful expression and the knife is razor sharp. good work.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/21/2005 07:59:42 PM
Very nice...Great job..!! 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/20/2005 07:43:06 PM
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/20/2005 11:13:40 AM
Talk about cutting edge!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/19/2005 09:02:16 PM
how is it realyed to what
10/19/2005 06:25:42 PM
your brave! and nuts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! excellent entry 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/19/2005 05:51:08 PM
quite nice...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/19/2005 04:17:48 PM
WHAT? lol, it works!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/19/2005 08:59:55 AM
Clever. Great imagination. I might tone down the red tones of the skin a touch, but the composition and light is spot on. Good use of negative space too. 8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/19/2005 08:09:51 AM
hard on the nose ;0

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