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Challenge: The Number 10 (Advanced Editing IV)
Camera: Canon EOS-20D
Lens: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
Location: my 'studio'
Date: Jul 8, 2006
Aperture: 18
ISO: 200
Shutter: 1/6
Date Uploaded: Jul 6, 2006

playing around with a quasi light box for the first time. I've spent more time on this challenge than I probably should have. Started out shooting black stones... that was boring, so I moved on to silver marbles. That caused too many odd reflections, so then I tried blueberries, didn't like them, so I did raspberries. Still boring, so I threw in a wineglass. Still wasn't colorful enough so I went and got strawberries. I'm still not completely happy with this. The glass isn't clear enough, and I obviously still need to learn a lot in the way of lighting. This is shot inside a lightbox made out of white foam board with various desk lamps (I pillaged from all my kids' desks) shining into it. I taped a piece of black paper part way up the background to get some separation between the glass and the background. When I added some to the front, the glass got a little less 'milky' looking, but I still couldn't get the lighting the way I wanted it. But I'm giving up and going to my daughters soccer game, so this is as good as it's going to get.
pp - adjusted the levels and curves a bit, resized and sharpened (gee.. seems like those are the steps I always take.)

Place: 103 out of 219
Avg (all users): 5.4180
Avg (commenters): 8.3333
Avg (participants): 5.2000
Avg (non-participants): 5.5962
Views since voting: 494
Views during voting: 257
Votes: 189
Comments: 5
Favorites: 0

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07/22/2006 06:57:30 PM
Hi Margie -

For me, this suffers on two levels. First and foremost is that the light is just too harsh. The whites are super bright and fog up the glass. The color on the strawberries seems washed out in comparison. Overall, the image comes across looking fairly flat.

The lightbox did a good job of eliminating the shadows, but perhaps the desk lamps could do with some diffusing, say with white muslin or wax paper.

Don't be afraid to bump up the color saturation.

One of my tricks for toning down bright spots is a reverse S-curve. In a normal S curve, you select the three points (lower, mid and upper), pull the lower point down a touch (deepens colors and shadows) and the upper point is pulled up (brightens highlights, lightens shadows). To tone down super brights, do exactly the opposite - lower point goes up, upper point goes down. Then I usually do a second curves layer, also 3-points, in which I pull the lower and center down just a touch, and leave the upper where it is. I'm betting this technique would work some magic here. :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/17/2006 02:27:24 AM
I'm surprised this got so few comments and the low score. I'm guessing the foggy glass was the issue here. Most glass shots I've seen that has that tonal range to die for is lit from the back as in bounced off the back wall and not directly on the glass itself. Perhaps try that.

Btw, the lighting on the strawberries came out very well and I like the choices made with the background and the composition in general. This is a fairly good image. I just think maybe it got nitpicked too much.

Message edited by author 2006-07-17 02:29:01.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
07/13/2006 01:14:28 PM
Very classy looking photo, nice composition. The only thing I don't like is that the glass looks "milky".
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/11/2006 01:29:35 AM
Nice comp. I like the transparency of the glass but think the whole photo needs a levels adjustment.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/10/2006 03:21:25 PM
nice photo,should do well,good luck.
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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