DPChallenge: A Digital Photography Contest You are not logged in. (log in or register
 
Challenge Entries

 
You are viewing 1st place.
2nd
Portfolio Images
This image is not part of a public portfolio.
A Dark Past...
1st PlaceA Dark Past...
cutlassdude70


Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Death (Basic Editing)
Camera: Canon EOS-20D
Lens: Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
Location: Imperial Dunes - Glamis, CA
Date: Dec 3, 2006
Aperture: f/16
ISO: 100
Shutter: 1/10 sec
Galleries: Black and White
Date Uploaded: Dec 4, 2006

* Post-challenge: Thanks for the great comments, everyone! :) As far as the latest questions - yes, I very well might make a print available soon. :D Also, I do have a couple suggestions as far as circular polarizers go. I think it really depends on how much you want to spend. My general advice is to try and go with a multi-coated Tiffen or Hoya if you're on a somewhat limited budget. Either one will probably run you between $40 and $75, depending on where you go. Promasters are decent, but I don't believe they're multi-coated. If you want a REALLY nice circular polarizer, go with a B+W or Heliopan. For a 58mm CP, a local place quoted me about $100 - $125 for either of those. They're pricier, but the best quality out there from what I've heard. Personally, I'm going with a multi-coated Hoya. :D


While I had a fun time shooting this, I also learned an important lesson. When it comes to filters, you REALLY do get what you pay for. After discovering that my old circular polarizer had somehow been scratched, I had to pick up a new filter in a hurry on the way out to the shoot. In a rush, I gave in to better judgment and picked up a Sunpak circular polarizer from a local electronics store...

Although the photos looked awesome on the LCD while I was out in the dunes, the "quality" of the filter became evident when I pulled the pics off my camera when I got home. I realized that every single one of my photos (all of which I used the circular polarizer with to enhance the sky) had what appeared to be a pixelated sky - despite the fact that I was shooting at ISO 100 in good light. Also, the dark pattern I got in the sky was REALLY obvious, even for a circular polarizer.

To combat the sky problems, I cropped out most of the sky and converted to B&W using a Channel Mixer adjustment layer to deal with the overwhelming blue tones (since desaturation just enhanced the "pixelation" throughout the sky). You can still see the dark banding and not-so-smooth sky though. If I were to reshoot this, I would just opt for no circular polarizer at all...

The cool "skull" is something I found the morning of the shoot while looking for photo props in the mall. Saw it and had to have it. :) For the shoot, I drove out to Glamis (Imperial Dunes). I had a friend hold a cheap windshield reflector just outside the left edge of the frame to add a little fill lighting on the dark side of the skull.

The moral of this whole photo - DON'T BUY CHEAP FILTERS! ;)

Statistics
Place: 1 out of 227
Avg (all users): 7.0939
Avg (commenters): 8.4286
Avg (participants): 7.0125
Avg (non-participants): 7.1429
Views since voting: 7676
Views during voting: 445
Votes: 213
Comments: 64
Favorites: 23 (view)


Please log in or register to add your comments!

AuthorThread
12/21/2006 04:57:56 PM
Gorgeous!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/17/2006 10:19:16 PM
Outstanding! Congratulations on your Blue.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/15/2006 09:33:07 PM
It took me along time to realize what it was at the bottom of the screan and the picture is to dark
12/15/2006 10:15:58 AM
Well it wasn't hard for me to tell this was the number 1. Two things I want to ask/mention. One, when it comes to the polarizer, I've also ran into this, having bought two now. I'm still not happy with the second, which I spent significantly more on "Promaster". Could you recommend a good one? Two, will you be making the Print available, I think it would do well? Adding to my favs. Again, great image.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/14/2006 08:46:49 PM
Well all I can say is jaw dropping beautiful. Great composition, great tones, great leading lines, great, great, great! Congratulations!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/14/2006 11:57:37 AM
Great photo, congrats on winning the blue ribbon!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/14/2006 04:26:06 AM
Great image, well deserved win.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/14/2006 01:18:10 AM
Dude that skull is awesome...where did you find it.....GREAT shot by the way
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/13/2006 03:22:56 PM
Fine shot. I like the foreground and background elements of this photo. Congrats on your BLUE.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/13/2006 12:33:08 PM
Yeah, yeah.....another ribbon....

How 'bout letting us mortals have a chance?

Great stuff, Sean!

Keep up the good work!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/13/2006 10:33:39 AM
congrats, great photo. what kind of skull is it?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/13/2006 10:22:13 AM
You are bordering on super-human right now. Ribbon after ribbon after ribbon.

Well done!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/13/2006 09:38:43 AM
Excellent!! Congrats on the Blue!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/13/2006 09:28:22 AM
Wow! What a perfect, stunning photo! An obvious blue!!! Congratulations!

  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/13/2006 08:29:27 AM
This was my immediate pick for the blue, just after looking through thumbnails. Great job, what sensational DOF in this shot!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/13/2006 08:03:59 AM
What a shot and great idea. Keep up the good work man your on fire!! IS IT THE SHOES!!! BOOM SHOCKA LOCKA!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/13/2006 02:59:55 AM
Absolutely deserved blue, dude! Just look at the score of the second placed...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/13/2006 02:45:53 AM
Dude, you're on fire! ANOTHER well-deserved ribbon.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/13/2006 01:38:19 AM
very cool shot and i love that skull...i need it for my collection! :) congrats on the blue ribbon. very well deserved!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/13/2006 01:32:05 AM
Great shot. Congrats!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/13/2006 01:16:25 AM
sweetness - couldn't have done it better myself. Except maybe move the skull to the right about 6 inches..heh. You've got somethin' going and I want it. Maybe it is the driving to cool locales part I am too lazy about.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/13/2006 01:03:35 AM
Alright - not only are you on a roll, but you've actually acquired some sort of MO here now 'cause I guessed this one as being yours...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/13/2006 12:57:35 AM
you are on a roll Sean ! well done man!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/13/2006 12:55:04 AM
Congrats!!! This ribbon is well deserved..
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/13/2006 12:43:01 AM
Nice job, very strong, graphic image. Congrats on the blue!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/13/2006 12:36:53 AM
Congratulations for this very strong pic !
Quality and details are well present and reflecting the natural light on the left side of the skull was a clever idea !
Great result !
Pol
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/13/2006 12:28:52 AM
Good trick, to win the "Death" theme with something that's never lived. You know your stuff. You have an awesome place nearby to shoot this kind of images.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/13/2006 12:25:11 AM
First class image on a difficult subject. Congratulations on your blue ribbon.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/13/2006 12:22:18 AM
Congratulations again! Great picture
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/13/2006 12:16:21 AM
You're on a roll! It's so fun seeing your work! Congratulations!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/13/2006 12:15:03 AM
Cool as hell. Grats!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/13/2006 12:14:12 AM
Sweet! I love this photo, very simple and yet striking!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/13/2006 12:08:55 AM
Great job, Sean! Excellent image! :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
12/12/2006 10:21:12 PM
Very cool. Hope to see it ribbon.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/12/2006 07:44:17 AM
Nicely done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/11/2006 12:19:30 AM
Just beautiful
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/10/2006 11:42:20 PM
awesome...one of the best in this challenge...love the perspective and the whole idea 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/10/2006 02:35:29 AM
Beautiful. Sammie? Ribbon-worthy.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/09/2006 07:09:42 PM
If the skull was a bit more toward the center of the image, so the entire shadow was inside the frame, this would be just about perfect for me. 8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/09/2006 12:14:30 AM
my kind of shot, how did you find that weird skeleton?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/08/2006 03:05:01 PM
Hmm interesting, i like the lines, the stull looks kinda, fake i suppose, doesn't look natural. LIke it, 8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/08/2006 03:00:42 PM
Nice B&W!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/08/2006 07:33:32 AM
It's such a beautiful photo...if it were a realistic skull I would have given it a 10. 9
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/08/2006 06:30:00 AM
I like this shot a lot. It has sharp focus and the contrast is IMO spot on. I like the lines of shifting sand and the dunes in the background.The scull is perfectly placed and quite unusual. 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/07/2006 09:18:32 PM
coooool. that skull looks wicked.
were did you get it???
nice job
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/07/2006 08:56:57 PM
VERY NICE! Congratulations on your ribbon! 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/07/2006 03:24:31 PM
this is just the way I visualise a desert; with a skull. very clichee ofcourse, but it works for me.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/07/2006 02:57:25 PM
What the heck kind of skull is that!!?! This is an amazing photo and great for this challenge. I love everything about it. Wish I could've thought of something like this.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/07/2006 02:07:36 PM
Excellent texture and composition. Good b&w conversion as well. Great job!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/07/2006 01:45:07 PM
Awesome. Best I've seen for this challenge.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/07/2006 01:08:42 PM
In my humble opinion, this one here will be the blue ribbon winner. Why?
Because it's the best in the lot. Perfect on all levels > 10.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/07/2006 09:36:00 AM
Maybe contrived, but it works. I just love those sand dunes!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/07/2006 07:55:40 AM
Very nice. Excellent tone and composition. This should ribbon IMO
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/06/2006 10:46:21 PM
Wow!!! Perfect. 10.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/06/2006 08:58:49 PM
WOW!!! 10.. i bet this is a top 3 finish!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/06/2006 07:42:07 PM
Excellent - nicely done!!! You've actually captured the grim subject of death beautifully!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/06/2006 07:21:25 PM
Good, but unrealistic..
12/06/2006 06:20:48 PM
The best entry into this challenge, by far! Composition, crispness, theme, location...all first rate! I smell a blue ribbon....{10}
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/06/2006 05:08:24 PM
The "skull" is actually a distraction in this image (which is, otherwise, quite good). Of course, without it it wouldn't have much to do with death.
12/06/2006 10:12:36 AM
One of my two 10s this time around -- great contrast!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/06/2006 04:24:04 AM
well done, wonder if it wouldn't have been better in color...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/06/2006 01:30:07 AM
Top ten, I'd say, after finishing voting ...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/06/2006 01:04:19 AM
gorgeous shot, beautiful tones and contrast.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/06/2006 12:25:11 AM
awesome image! Early favorite!
  Photographer found comment helpful.


Home - Challenges - Community - League - Photos - Cameras - Lenses - Learn - Prints! - Help - Terms of Use - Privacy - Top ^
DPChallenge, and website content and design, Copyright © 2001-2018 Challenging Technologies, LLC.
All digital photo copyrights belong to the photographers and may not be used without permission.
Proudly hosted by Sargasso Networks. Current Server Time: 08/19/2018 02:20:33 AM EDT.