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Challenge: Blue II (Basic Editing III)
Collection: et cetera
Camera: Canon EOS-350D Rebel XT
Lens: Tamron SP AF 24-135mm f/3.5-5.6 AD Aspherical IF for Canon
Location: San Jose, CA
Date: Jan 30, 2006
Aperture: 22.0
ISO: 100
Shutter: 13 sec.
Galleries: Studio
Date Uploaded: Jan 30, 2006

Pure eye candy :)

Making it happen
Back in the days when I had an income, I bought a crystal ball (about 15cm diameter), both on general principles (crystal balls are cool) and because I knew that I could pull it out for a photo op when the right challenge came along. I took a piece of blue art paper and taped it on top of the red paper I used for my Off Center entry, pointed the same $5 clipon lamp at the base of the paper, and started firing away.

The streaks of light are from a keychain LED light - during the long exposure, I made arcs from one side of the camera (not the FOV - the camera itself), around the crystal ball, and back to the other side. The variations in apparent line weight are largely the result of foreshortening on the light streaks.

The color in the original image was blue to begin with - I had a custom white balance set to the light temperature of the clip-on light, which made the cold white of the LED appear blue. I enhanced this later through post-processing.

focal length 37.0mm

original image -->
selective color layer (-55 Blacks in Blues)
add gradient map to convert to b/w
add hue/saturation to recolorize (240, 40, 0)
curves layer

NeatImage #1
USM (100, .3, 0)
NeatImage #2
USM (50, .5, 0)

This image is not as technically well accomplished as I would have liked - I set a new personal standard for execution with my Off Center entry. Advanced editing would have been helpful; I could have gotten rid of the smudges in the background (those are from my moving hand during the exposure) and reduced the brightness of the hot spot at the left of the crystal's base. I should have worked out the lighting during the shoot. There are also some artifacts around the base that are bugging me, but I don't think I could avoid that without doing a reshoot. (I tried doing a reshoot and made marginal improvements in the background lighting, but couldn't get light trails that were as good as the ones in this photo.)

The title was also tough.

Hoping to break 6 on this one.

Place: 8 out of 446
Avg (all users): 6.5413
Avg (commenters): 7.6667
Avg (participants): 6.5854
Avg (non-participants): 6.4958
Views since voting: 2636
Views during voting: 337
Votes: 242
Comments: 10
Favorites: 6 (view)

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02/08/2006 01:06:44 AM
And such a sweet eye candy it is Damon! Great finish!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/08/2006 12:34:16 AM
Congratulations on your high placing....I wondered where the crystal ball disappeared to...LOL!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/08/2006 12:27:43 AM
Good use of the crystal! A great shot. Congratulations on your top ten finish.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
02/07/2006 12:39:44 PM
Next time crop out the dead space a little bit.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/07/2006 02:36:39 AM
really nice, how did you make the background?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/06/2006 10:33:44 PM
Love this entry and the shade of blue used for this. It gives the ball a lot of depth.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/05/2006 08:21:22 AM
Looks great!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/03/2006 10:25:49 AM
I have been always trying around to shoot glass sharp, I think I will take lessons from you. :-) Great, clear shot with composition and lighting spot on, the subject is also interesting and I like the indigo shade blues very much. I am really curoius what this is and how it was done. Good luck!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/02/2006 07:32:55 PM
great shot. 9
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/02/2006 12:15:23 PM
Well it would look good in a school science book.
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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