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Splitting Hairs... (in a hair's breadth DOF too!)
Splitting Hairs... (in a hair's breadth DOF too!)

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Clichés and Sayings (Basic Editing III)
Camera: Canon PowerShot S2 IS
Lens: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II
Location: My apartment, Taipei, Taiwan
Date: May 2, 2006
Aperture: 5.0
ISO: 100
Shutter: 1/160
Galleries: Macro
Date Uploaded: May 2, 2006

This shot worked better with my S2 IS likely for reasons of lens aberration in the 30D setup. Relying on the optics alone ended up with a fairly poor image. I didn't have time to see what level of sharpness would be appropriate.

This was a ***DIFFICULT*** shot to take due to the knife being HANDHELD. The DOF really is a hair's breadth. It was nearly impossible to get the three strands of hair properly aligned with the plane of focus using just my fingernails.

After several attempts at trying to find the right composition, I ended up with this one. I realize that it's a 50/50 split which is usually a no-no, but I feel that it works in this particular picture.

I also like how the hairs seem to be recoiling away from the blade.

The hair used is one of my split ends from my sideburns :) and the blade is an exacto type knife that has in fact never been used. The area covered by this shot is MAYBE 3mm across. Actual magnification is probably in the neighborhood of 1:1.2 which multiplies out to around 7.2x effective magnification equivalent.

PP steps were actually pretty heavy due to the fluorescent color cast (will I ever learn to check my WB BEFORE shooting?) and visible chromatic aberration.

I am fairly happy with the results. I actually PP'd and got 99% finished submitting a shot before this only to realize that it was shot 1 day before the challenge. No good! So I had to do my second idea.

PP steps included 5 adjustment layers (all in NORMAL mode)
Levels to increase midtone contrast
Curves to fine tune midtone contrast
Curves to correct color cast
Selective color to play with the colors (I don't think I used this in the end)
Hue/Sat to desat the cyans, magentas and greens to remove more color cast and chromatic aberration (boy am I lucky the hairs turned out so red)
Brightness +10 (?) Contrast +20 (?)
Rotate 5 degrees CCW (this really helped me get a better crop to slice off that corner vignetting)
Further tweaking of the cyan/red balance with curves and hue/sat
USM 300 0.3 3
Fade USM (normal mode) 60%
final resize and save 4 web.

Please note. The time of the photograph was 05/03/2006 00:49:46. This was the local time in Taipei. As of this moment, I am exactly 12 hours ahead of DPC time, so the picture was taken 05/02/2006 12:49:46.

Place: 93 out of 288
Avg (all users): 5.7166
Avg (commenters): 6.7500
Avg (participants): 5.4024
Avg (non-participants): 5.8727
Views since voting: 9118
Views during voting: 346
Votes: 247
Comments: 7
Favorites: 1 (view)

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06/24/2007 10:48:24 PM
I love the title as you have captured this perfectly for your title..... Excellent image all round with this one.....
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/10/2006 08:26:28 PM
Keiran - great shot! Truly amazing DOF and clarity. And really good take on the challenge, too. This is one of those cases where I think the frame did add to the picture. Good job, and nice score!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
05/08/2006 04:12:57 PM
The borders are a little overwhelming, but very nice marco and DOF
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/07/2006 03:30:47 AM
Wow...that is close
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/07/2006 12:52:57 AM
Nice macro work!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/03/2006 01:39:50 AM
Now THAT'S macro! :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/03/2006 12:57:17 AM
nice macro
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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