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Greetings from Switzerland !
Greetings from Switzerland !
Noel_ZH


Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Postcard II (Advanced Editing V*)
Camera: Olympus E-300 EVOLT
Lens: Olympus 14-45mm f/3.5-5.6 Zuiko Digital ED
Location: Lake of Geneva, Switzerland
Date: Nov 18, 2006
Aperture: f/8.0
ISO: 100
Shutter: 1/160
Galleries: Landscape, Water
Date Uploaded: Nov 19, 2006

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After Challenge
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Thank you all for the very very kind comments! Didn't expect this on my 4th challenge entry, or even better said, after having started with photography 3 months ago...

I thoroughly appreciate the constructive crit received from stdavidson, learn so much just from reflecting on a single picture!

I took this shot on the other end of Switzerland, en route to an event. I knew it would make for a great postcard so I decided to pass by and take some shots while the sun was on its way out. I purposefully underexposed my image slightly in order to prevent any errors from happening in the HDR stage. Original:

postcardoriginalux2.th.jpg

If you'd like to see more HDR work with before & after, feel free to check out my entry for the HDR challenge which you can see below:

426266.jpg

Again, many thanks for all the feedback !

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Before Challenge
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So here it is, a postcard scene of Switzerland. I was on the way to another event so I snapped a few shots as the sun was fading. Was careful to have no area over exposed in order to avoid any issues later on with HDR.

So once on my PC, I picked my fav shot and performed the following:

- Tone Mapping @ 50%
- Rotate to align horizon
- Brightness / Curves
- Dodge parts of water
- Color Balance / Selective (de)saturation
- Darken sky
- Border / Test / Save for web.

Some people may not be fond of the amount of processing that went in this piece, but it is a postcard and is meant to wow your audience or whoever you decide to send it to if you buy one. You wouldn't want other people to think that you visited some lame location ;)

Anyway, I congratulate the Iceland winners in advance :P Hoping for a 7!

Cheers



Statistics
Place: 4 out of 266
Avg (all users): 7.7557
Avg (commenters): 8.7692
Avg (participants): 7.6404
Avg (non-participants): 7.8785
Views since voting: 8680
Views during voting: 528
Votes: 221
Comments: 64
Favorites: 27 (view)


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AuthorThread
12/03/2006 11:36:13 PM
Makes me want to run there! Congratulations on your 4th place.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/02/2006 05:20:55 PM
Congrats on your 4th place with this beautiful shot!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/30/2006 02:35:36 PM
Now this is an example of where tonemapping has an excellent, quite natural (and stunning) result. Congrats!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/30/2006 02:27:56 PM
I remember seeing this as a child, and appreciate seeing it againas an adult.
Congrats on your top 5 finish and very worthy of a real postcard!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/28/2006 10:28:34 AM
What an amazing shot! This pic really makes me miss Europe. I went to a boarding school in Southern Germany, and visited this castle several times...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/28/2006 12:06:29 AM
Not that your score was lacking but I bet those hot spots kept this from scoring over an 8. Since the original didn't have that problem you could have used a mask with a low opacity brush and "undo" the tone mapping a little bit in those hot spots or use the clone brush. Anyway, not that you need the help with this great result.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/27/2006 10:54:07 PM
Congratulations on this brilliant entry. One of my favs.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/27/2006 05:54:40 PM
What a beautiful shot - Congrats on the 4th place finish!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/27/2006 03:58:04 PM
A great postcard, and wonderful subtle HDR work made this photo sing, and a monster score to boot, Congrats on the PB and a 7.75!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/27/2006 12:48:05 PM
Gorgeous gorgeous. One of my favs not only for the way you made the postcard, but just the scene in itself. BRAVO
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/27/2006 12:31:54 PM
Love this shot. Perfect postcard and great work with the processing. Had it figured for #1 but there was some tough competition.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/27/2006 11:25:24 AM
I absolutely love this image and am determined to learn this HDR thing :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/27/2006 07:30:06 AM
Congratulationg on 4th place in such an amazing challenge. This photo is so stunning!

  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/27/2006 06:38:54 AM
Congratulations on your top 10, lovely shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/27/2006 02:28:41 AM
Daaaaaaaaaamn, feel sorry for you, a 7.75 and no ribbon :( I know how that must feel but don´t worry, you´ll get there!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/27/2006 02:18:08 AM
I'm one of your many 10s. PLEASE do a "How'd they do that?" pice on this.

I still don't understand how you got from the original to the final. Tone mapping? What's that?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/27/2006 02:10:59 AM
Amazing transformation. Btw, I just looked it up and you are the third highest score to not ribbon.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/27/2006 01:36:30 AM
Thanks for the comment on my Postcard entry, yours is very well deserving of your great score. Beautiful capture and the text you added was a great choice :) Keep up the great work
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/27/2006 12:30:37 AM
I had this pegged for a ribbon. Congrats.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/27/2006 12:24:36 AM
It's lovely! Congratulations!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/27/2006 12:18:07 AM
Congrats. Always loved this castle view, but the colors in your shot are spectacular.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
11/26/2006 11:57:46 PM
Hope to see this one in the top 10. Great text, composition and color.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/26/2006 09:01:23 PM
Thats shot rally makes me want to go there.

Great shot and a super postcard.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/26/2006 06:57:17 PM
This looks just like a postcard. Good job!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/26/2006 06:21:17 PM
Excellent.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/26/2006 03:57:27 PM
Spec-frickin-tacular. 10.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/26/2006 11:56:10 AM
Gorgeous photo - makes for a lovely postcard. 9
Edit Just been through all the postcards for a final review, and bumped up to 10.Am I right in thinking that there is very subtle use of HDR here? The exposure is absoltely spot on, either way. Lovely work.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/26/2006 05:07:17 AM
I really like this image and it makes me want to go and visit.
So as a post card it is a success.
Good luck

Kev
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/24/2006 11:21:26 PM
Fantastic architecture, great capture, colors, reflection, sky. I think that the title could be better, maybe script in the upper or lower left, leaving the waterfowl unobstructed. Also consider tweaking the verticals. Love it anyways, and hope that it does well.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/24/2006 03:47:01 PM
Very professional presentation.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/23/2006 08:55:59 PM
Unbelievable. This is mesmerizing. Well, well done! 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/23/2006 02:01:55 PM
Great shot and great lay-out with the text.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/23/2006 06:06:56 AM
Love your PP. The sky is amazing.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/23/2006 03:37:22 AM
I rally like this one.....
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/22/2006 08:53:18 PM
AWESOME!!! love it love it love it!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/22/2006 07:26:10 PM
Very well done. I think this is #1 in the challenge and hope it does well.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/22/2006 05:01:17 PM
Man, so hard to compete when there are places like this. What a stunning capture.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/22/2006 03:06:13 PM
WOW! This is a winner in my book.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/22/2006 11:45:50 AM
In the words of the great Strong Bad, HOLY CRAP!
This is gorgeous! Great color and detail all around! I love the way you laid the text on it, too. Beautiful sky, perfect water, fascinating castle, all composed masterfully in the frame. What can I say, this is perfect.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/22/2006 07:13:22 AM
Very catchy card :)...well done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2006 10:03:10 PM
I really love the color in this. Awesome job on the text!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2006 08:32:56 PM
excellent composition and use of text and font - great job
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2006 06:49:14 PM
Excellent work.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2006 05:44:33 PM
Fine art. 9.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2006 01:50:13 PM
Love the lighting, and like how the letters extend up into the picture...effective. Nice type face. One of my favorites. 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2006 01:25:35 PM
Beautiful photo, font is great, relaly works well.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2006 11:58:03 AM
like this a lot - great lighting and tones. I guess you picked the right time of day...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2006 10:49:56 AM
THAT's lovely and certainly looks like a postcard!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2006 09:22:12 AM
Beautiful scene and photograph, a perfect example of a postcard photo. Very nice job of adding text to this, it doesn't overwhelm the photo like so many of the other entries. Very nice, 10!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2006 12:52:20 AM
ha, was at exact same point just a month ago... you've got a better lighting though. very nice photo
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/20/2006 08:19:58 PM
Is this the Chateau de Chillon? Looks like it...I was there a few years ago, but long before I got into photography so none of my shots are even close to this good. Very romantic period/fairy tale feel to the whole shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/20/2006 07:07:13 PM
very beautiful, I'd certainly purchase this card! 10+
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/20/2006 04:34:38 PM
Wonderful shot. Good luck in the challenge.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/20/2006 03:11:09 PM
Oh, I remember this place well! Chateau de Chillon, Montreux? On the shores of Lac Leman? I lived in Geneva from 1957-1961, and spent one summer at a camp in the hills above this structure. Very nicely done, except the greenish/cyan tint in the mid-sky bugs me.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/20/2006 03:10:53 PM
I like the lighting and the post-processing.
The type is spaced too far apart for my liking.
Should score high nevertheless.
Good luck.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/20/2006 01:28:25 PM
This image will be a top scorer in this challenge. It is an excellent composition.

The strength of the composition, no surprise, is the lighting on the castle and its reflection. The way you have worked it is superb. The lighting of the trees and dodging and burning of the clouds also adds lighting interest. Your framing of the setting adds greatly as well.

The image has an certain photographic irreverence about it with the way you have totally unbalanced it to the right side of the frame. Perhaps you are thinking of the water and cloud to the left like negative space or what is called white space in print journalism. It is not and therein lies its irreverence. Teachers have a built-in bias for photographic balance. I could just hear them now scolding you for such a horrible error. Great job!

That being said, I'd still crop some off the left side. :)

There is an aspect of the image that DPC voters are amazingly tolerant of, but that I feel is a fault that should be corrected every time. That is overexposed areas in the sky. It has overexposed places to the immediate left of the castle and to the upper left of the trees.

I'd correct those if it were me. I assume you've brought out all the detail there is to bring out in those areas, so I would do it with light cloning. In that technique I would select an area of sky with indistinctive detail but similar to what it should be and lightly clone it in using a brush of low opacity, below 20%. In this way you can slowly airbrush detail into the overexposed areas until it is just right. If you try this I suspect you will be amazed at how natural and unlike the area it is cloned from that it actually actually turns out to be.

I'm unsure that splitting the word 'Switzerland' in half using the border at the bottom is a good idea. It looks nice after you look at it for a while, but at first glance it is hard to read and that is generally not a good thing in a postcard, though you see this style in postcards often. At DPC voters, like me, generally to make an instantaneous value judgment of an image and you may be faulted slightly for readability.

All in all... a GREAT image.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/20/2006 12:14:43 PM
Beautiful capture. I really like the type font you chose. Wish I'd seen it for mine :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/20/2006 12:14:01 PM
BEAUTIFUL! This is one I'd definitely buy to send home to show off what a stunning place I was visiting! :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/20/2006 11:47:01 AM
I really want to go there. Great image
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/20/2006 11:22:25 AM
Love the shot and choice of font....beautiful! Wish the border was a bit wider on the sides/top *9*
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/20/2006 10:21:58 AM
wow, amazing ... this one /me likes :-)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/20/2006 09:15:18 AM
This is superb. Makes me want to go there, in fact I'm booking my ticket right now : )
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/20/2006 12:36:32 AM
fabolous !
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/20/2006 12:29:41 AM
Wow. Would love a postcard like that, great picture and a well made postcard.
  Photographer found comment helpful.


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