DPChallenge: A Digital Photography Contest You are not logged in. (log in or register
Challenge Entries
Portfolio Images
This image is not part of a public portfolio.
Breaking The Bank
Breaking The Bank

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Action Shot (Advanced Editing I*)
Camera: Canon EOS-10D
Location: My basement
Date: Jan 4, 2004
Aperture: 22
ISO: 400
Shutter: 1/5 sec
Galleries: Action
Date Uploaded: Jan 4, 2004

I hope this picture will do well because this is one of my most time-consuming submissions so far.

I got some new photography books for Christmas, and in one of them was a shot very similar to this one. After seeing how they did it, I knew that I would have to try it myself as a "learning exercise" if the opportunity ever presented itself. And what do you know... December 29th rolls around and the challenge is "Action Shot"! Here was the opportunity...

I looked for a cheap ceramic pig (like at the dollar store), but in the end I ended up having to pay $8.99 for one. It was probably the shortest amount of time ever between when I paid for something and then broke it (less than 30 minutes.)

But in actuality, there isn't much "action" at all, as this picture of the setup shows:

After (somewhat reluctantly) breaking the pig with a hammer (I'd never smashed a ceramic pig before, so I had no idea what would happen!), I glued the pieces of the pig and the coins to craft dowels. Then I had to wait for them to dry (which took a while and wasted a bunch of time). Next I shoved the dowels through a piece of black foamcore, behind which was a big chunk of styrofoam which helped stabilize them. After I inserted each piece, I would look through the camera and make sure the dowel wasn't visible, adjusting the angle of the piece as necessary. This "behind the scenes" shot shows the dowels poking through the foamcore into the styrofoam:

Once I had everything positioned, I put some baby powder inside the pig, set the self-timer on the camera, walked behind the setup, and using one of those little cans of compressed air, attempted to blow the powder to put some "dust and debris" in the air to give it a more "action" look. There is a little bit of this effect visible on the right side of the shot, but not nearly as much as I had hoped for, even after several attempts.

I was running out of time (of course I waited until the Sunday it was due to start on the shot), so I took what I had up to the computer -- I wanted to submit something after all the work. =]

The shot was lit mostly with my flash as straight-on as I could get it (if it was off to the sides at all, the shadows from the dowels were visible on the black background -- look at the first shot above to see what I mean). Unfortunately, this resulted in some pretty harsh lighting. I had a couple tungsten lights up high and on either side of the pig, but I think they were mostly washed out by the flash.

Place: 6 out of 97
Avg (all users): 6.8889
Avg (commenters): 7.8636
Avg (participants): 6.5231
Avg (non-participants): 7.1340
Views since voting: 3694
Votes: 162
Comments: 36
Favorites: 7 (view)

Please log in or register to add your comments!

09/03/2008 08:17:09 AM
Just to let you know...I just got this image, with a lot of other stop action images that look like DPC images, in an email from my mom. I knew it looked familiar so I had to find the original. They are all watermarked with this website: //www.widelec.org/ so not sure if you can do anything. I will however reply to my mom and point her to the the true original photograph.
07/26/2006 02:46:12 AM
this is SO clever!!! never would've thought you did it this way!

thanks for sharing, I love it!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/20/2004 07:41:52 PM
Thanks for shareing the technique used to create this photo.
Its worth the effort getting a picture like this.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/20/2004 11:05:03 AM
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/12/2004 04:30:46 PM
...wow. I'm just in awe of the effort put into this. :) So very cool!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/14/2004 10:41:14 AM
That setup is amazing -- why's it not in our "How'd They Do That?" section? :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/12/2004 10:54:11 PM
you rock eddy :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/12/2004 07:04:32 PM
Thanks for all the comments everyone! I agree that the lighting could have been better, but I was working with what I had and with a limited amount of time. I think this shot may have also appeared "dark" on some monitors (I just checked it on a friend's LCD and it didn't look all that great...)

Message edited by author 2004-01-12 19:08:02.
01/12/2004 09:13:09 AM
Congrats on your top 10 finish. This was one of my favorites. I didn't get a chance to vote - but it would've been one of my high scorers. :-) Great work and great idea...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
01/11/2004 10:28:09 PM
very interesting. Can;t wait to see how it was done. 9
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/11/2004 07:26:43 PM
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/10/2004 11:11:37 PM
cool did you drop it?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/09/2004 03:24:52 PM
Good idea, well captured
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/09/2004 02:26:52 PM
I saw such an image image in "product and still life photography" book. Yours is also very well done, I assume you used the same technique. Cropping is a bit tight, especially on the left and I am missing some more unsharp debris to add some more suggestion of movement. A give away is that some coins are more on the outside than the fragments of the pig, for example the one here in front. That can't be it the money was inside. (I checked the book now and see they did the same thing with the money... still looks illogical to me)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/09/2004 08:02:12 AM
Very impressive, with either amazing luck or skill. I suspect both
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/09/2004 07:42:36 AM
Funny LOL.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/09/2004 02:36:27 AM
Oh, what a pity! Seriously, it´s a good idea and good imabe, but the lighting wasn´t the best lighting that you can use here.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/08/2004 07:04:49 AM
Excellent stop-action shot!

How many tries did it take you? :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/07/2004 08:36:00 PM
now thats action..nice capture well done one of my favs so far
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/07/2004 08:31:19 PM
Very interesting frozen action. One of the best shots in this challenge. I even love the dust flying around. One of kind photo. The title is perfect
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/06/2004 09:42:06 PM
I don't know how you did this but the shot is damn cool. The issues I have with this are the reflections of the light, and the lighting of the overall photograph is too low in my opinion.

But for creativity, 10/10. Looks really cool, congratulations.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/06/2004 08:34:23 PM
creative title, excellent exposure and composition. I'll be looking forward to your explanation after the challenge on how this was created. congrats on a fantastic effort!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/06/2004 06:04:45 PM
shame shame a good job on shooting the action 7
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/06/2004 05:09:44 PM
Very nicely done - is this an actual explosion/ breaking or a very carefully set up studio shot? I'm not suggesting one is "better" or preferable to the other - the end result is what counts to me - but I am curious!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/06/2004 11:34:25 AM
excellent idea...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/06/2004 08:12:40 AM
you have created a great freeze frame action shot here, my only comment is that the lighting and background could be improved. The lighting isn't strong enough, and the background would look better if it were completely black. But supurb job with the action! WOW!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/06/2004 06:41:51 AM
You have to tell us how you did that!
Very creative. Light could be a little softer to reduce the reflexions and thus allow to increase the overall brightness. Also the the surface the poor pig stands on should be without any disturbances.
Anyhow, very well done and good luck to you.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/05/2004 11:08:31 PM
Wow. You really wanted it!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/05/2004 09:21:35 PM
Very Good. Creative. Original. Interesting. Looks like you only had one chance at this one. I will be interested to read your technique.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/05/2004 03:30:17 PM
Ya killed the pig. :( lol Very good action.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/05/2004 01:58:24 PM
Was that all pasted together to look like that or did you really time the shot just right? Either way, good shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/05/2004 08:32:46 AM
Wow, This is an amazing shot! Don't tell me you got this on the first try? You must have alot of little pigs lying around. :-) Great capture! How'd you get the pig to explode outward like that? 9!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/05/2004 06:17:13 AM
Shame to do that to a perfectly good piggy, LOL! Nice shot!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/05/2004 03:28:27 AM
How did you break it? You froze the action well. But I think that if I would see maybe a hammer smashing the pig then I would like it better. But thats just me :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/05/2004 12:20:19 AM
Incredible capture...great shot!

just curious...how many piggy banks did you go through before getting this shot??
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/05/2004 12:12:20 AM
This is an awesome picture- that poor piggy bank!
  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 © 2001-2024 Challenging Technologies, LLC.
All digital photo copyrights belong to the photographers and may not be used without permission.
Current Server Time: 02/23/2024 09:50:36 PM EST.