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zesty
zesty
mycelium


Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Off-Centered Subject II (Advanced Editing IV)
Camera: Canon EOS-350D Rebel XT
Lens: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II
Location: San Jose, CA
Date: Jan 26, 2006
Aperture: 3.2
ISO: 100
Shutter: 1/100 sec.
Galleries: Still Life
Date Uploaded: Jan 26, 2006

I love me some 50mm.

I decided to eschew originality for this shot, and woo the voters... I really liked the red/orange color scheme of gaurawa's goldfish, so I thought I'd try something along those lines myself. (Mostly I just wanted to use a red gradient background, because it looks so sexy.) This image also draws inspiration from arnit's "Caught Up."


My background is heavyweight art paper taped to foamcore to keep it flat, propped up on my desk, and lit from below with a $5 clamp-on lamp. (The bulb is one of those 60W equivalent fluorescent things.) Light on the orange was provided by my 420EX bounced off the ceiling.

The hardest part of making this image was keeping the exposure consistent on both the background and foreground, since I couldn't (in any effective, practical manner) change the intensity of my light sources. Also, it was pretty tough to get the radial gradient from the clamp-on light to have its focus in the right spot.

PP included using a radial gradient set to Multiply mode to help bring out the deeper red tones in the corners - the original exposure was a little bit too flat. Bit of selective color adjustments to make the leaf more green and the orange more orange, and some saturation boosts to brighten things overall. The use of Hue/Saturation was tricky, because too much resulted in color banding. A Gradient Map (masked to only affect the outer areas of the gradient) brought out the color in the dark parts. A high-radius USM also helped bring out the highlight detail on the fruit. Cloned out a few specks; resized; more USM; there we go.

Pretty pleased with how this came out... it was a good learning experience, and easier than I thought it might be (and a WHOLE lot easier than my Tribute entry was).

--
post: yay, my first top 10 and top 5, all in one! you can bet I'm quite pleased - it's an honor to have finished so well with so much strong competition!

Statistics
Place: 5 out of 357
Avg (all users): 6.7194
Avg (commenters): 7.8000
Avg (participants): 6.4921
Avg (non-participants): 7.1286
Views since voting: 2651
Views during voting: 312
Votes: 196
Comments: 26
Favorites: 17 (view)


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AuthorThread
02/10/2006 10:49:47 PM
WOW..very nice! Congrats on your top 5!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/06/2006 11:39:06 AM
nice work ! congrats on 5th !!

  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/06/2006 04:02:21 AM
Originally posted by BrennanOB:

Pretty shot Damon, simple and straightforward.Your work has been so rich and quirky lately that I would never have guessed this was yours. Sounds like you aimed at a top ten and hit the mark.Is this gonna be a new direction or more in the way of an experiment?


Thank you, Brennan, your words are flattering. I've thought about the fact that the stuff I've been producing has been kind of all over the map, but I don't really know what to make of it.

A new direction? I don't know, but I think that's a good question and I'm glad you asked. I do feel like I kind of turned a corner--or maybe turned a page, or shifted gears, or something--sometime during the past month, and suddenly I felt like I understood some things I had been struggling with before. It's weird, because at the same time as I feel like I'm doing pretty much the same thing I've been doing for a while now, I feel like things are working better.

This image was intended as an experiment in technique. If it bodes anything for what I'm likely to be doing in the future, I can't speak to that; I'm just kind of going with the flow. It's more like boating down a river or surfing a wave than flying a plane - I get the sense that I'm just along for the ride.

Or I could have been reading too much Vonnegut lately.
02/06/2006 01:26:16 AM
Pretty shot Damon, simple and straightforward.Your work has been so rich and quirky lately that I would never have guessed this was yours. Sounds like you aimed at a top ten and hit the mark.Is this gonna be a new direction or more in the way of an experiment?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/06/2006 01:13:21 AM
Great colours! Well done on your top 5 finish!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/06/2006 01:08:32 AM
Congratulations on your top 5 finish with this visual beauty.

Message edited by author 2006-02-06 01:09:08.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/06/2006 12:41:11 AM
Top 5 baby!!! Wooohoo! Congrats Damon! This was an image that I really liked both as a thumb and as a full size image! Great job my friend!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/06/2006 12:37:31 AM
Isn't amazing how easy it is to boost scores with simplicity? Congrats on 5th place. Sounds like you learned a bunch setting it up too. Only thing I didn't like about this was the pink. The red and orange are great by me but the pink just threw it over the edge. :P
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/06/2006 12:09:24 AM
very well done... the red is indeed sexy

to even out lights for a consistant exposure, i use wax paper (and my lights are usually lamps like yours)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
02/05/2006 11:22:30 PM
Great visual tension. 7
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/05/2006 10:58:38 PM
Love the background, color combo and clarity. Super attractive. 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/05/2006 05:05:51 AM
Funny, I thought "zesty" was your username, and how appropriate to have an orange. Lovely clear image.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/04/2006 08:48:48 PM
The simplicity of the great image, works so very well.....
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/04/2006 12:11:03 PM
Too much difference in colour/brightness. From lower right corner up to high left corner I mean. I like the composition though.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/03/2006 07:12:29 PM
very "appealing"!! 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/03/2006 05:36:12 PM
Wow, Love the simplicity of this, good texture. I wonder how it would look with a complementary color background like a nice darkish blue? Very nice.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/02/2006 05:27:36 PM
Love it!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/31/2006 03:19:52 PM
This is totally gorgeous. I am mesmerized by the texture, shading, crispness and
interesting topic. 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/31/2006 10:42:43 AM
Aha, a nice composition! I am not sure that I like the red colour in the background: orange already has a lot of red in it, so something more contrasty would work better for me.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/30/2006 09:12:14 PM
Very nice. I like the colors and the composition. Focus is perfect. (8)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/30/2006 05:42:38 PM
I really like this and the background is perfect.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/30/2006 12:17:10 PM
Zesty indeed! I'm not usually a huge fan of this type of image, but this has zip and sas...and the light is great! You have managed to give a rather simple comp. amazing depth...well done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/30/2006 10:51:28 AM
very nice
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/30/2006 08:39:45 AM
Very nice. I like the backlit almost halo effect. The leaf really makes it as you don't usually see that on an orange. I like that you can really see the texture of the orange peel. The tomato red background is a nice contrast, yet complements the orange of the fruit. 8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/30/2006 06:11:01 AM
i was hoping to find art of this calliber. usually i am not a fan of studio photography, but this is so well portrayed it is a clear 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/30/2006 12:11:35 AM
nicely done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.


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