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Spoon over half cone
Spoon over half cone

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Ansel Adams II (Advanced Editing VII*)
Camera: Canon EOS-400D Rebel XTi
Lens: Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
Location: Pasadena, CA
Date: Jan 18, 2009
Aperture: F20
ISO: 200
Shutter: 20
Date Uploaded: Jan 18, 2009

This is my first ever submission to DPC. I have a newfound respect for the work that must be involved in submitting a good entry. At my skill level, the several hours that went into this did not produce a satisfactory entry. I'm submitting anyway, because I want to get better at this.

Obviously, this is an attempt to recreate Moon Over Half Dome with ice cream, a sugar cone, and a spoon. This turned out to be much more challenging than I thought. I spent a lot of time getting the lighting where I wanted it, and am relatively satisfied with that piece of it except for the shadow of the spoon on the backdrop. I used a reading light with newspaper around it to create a spot, then I held up some tissue paper to cast a shadow on the cone but hopefully leave it recognizable.

The biggest problem, oddly, was molding the ice cream. I really thought I'd be able to do a better job recreating the look of half-dome. It did not help that it is 80 degrees here in California. I tried to stall the melt by setting the whole thing on ice packs. It did help a lot, but not enough.

By the time I got an exposure that I was relatively satisfied with, the ice cream was too melted to take any further pictures, and I had not noticed that the spoon had migrated out of position.

If I had time do fix this, I'd buy some fresh ice cream then
- jack up the air conditioning
- put a greater tilt on the cone
- move the spoon over the dome (this would probably take care of the shadow as well)
- probably use a slightly wider aperture, though I didn't really like the look of the blurry spoon either.

Very little post production obviously... Sharpened and bumped the contrast a bit in iPhoto.

Criticism is welcome and appreciated.

Place: 218 out of 219
Avg (all users): 2.9462
Avg (commenters): 3.6667
Avg (participants): 2.8642
Avg (non-participants): 2.9930
Views since voting: 813
Views during voting: 400
Votes: 223
Comments: 17
Favorites: 0

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01/29/2009 09:15:21 AM
Welcome to the challenges. For the voting and scores, it helps to remember your purpose in submitting - to learn, instead of to gather scores. Sometimes comments help with that, sometimes not. But you can always learn from having attempted to meet a challenge and then noticing in detail how others approached the topic. Still, you were not last place.

As you have discovered, along with many of us, studio set up shots are not easy. Your subject is complex. Moving the background further away would eliminate some of the distrating variation. Not sure why the spoon appears out of focus, but that does diminish the visual appeal. Consider reading up on all the different factors that affect depth of field besides the f stop.
01/28/2009 10:34:02 PM
lol well i thought it was a cool idea. dont be too discouraged, i did reeelly freaking bad in my first challenge too. we all get better
 Comments Made During the Challenge
01/27/2009 04:15:34 PM
I like the wit...
01/27/2009 09:14:23 AM
LOL @ title
01/25/2009 09:13:47 PM
LOL...Good one!
01/24/2009 11:11:20 AM
Even after reading the title I'm not entirely sure what this is, my best bet is ice cream!
01/22/2009 09:49:26 PM
I'm just not really feeling this picture.
01/22/2009 06:55:52 PM
massive credit for the creative ABUSE of a good Adams image
01/22/2009 05:51:29 PM
Funny DNMC
01/22/2009 02:11:45 PM
Nice idea, sharper focus would have been nice though.
01/22/2009 03:08:03 AM
To be perfectly honest, I'm just not sure what i am looking at.
01/21/2009 07:31:20 PM
It's not the prettiest picture but - I love the idea !
01/21/2009 12:13:54 PM
i like the title
01/21/2009 10:36:29 AM
ROTFL! Major points for the title and the attempt at humor. The execution of the image is horribly "bad" from a conventional perspective: I'm not sure but what that may not be entirely intentional on your part, not that it much matters...

In any event, thanks for the chuckle!
01/21/2009 09:55:08 AM
Focus and detail???
01/21/2009 12:40:49 AM
LOL, nice play on words. Not sure it will get high votes though. It's not a typical Adams landscape and it's not very sharp. No voting from me.
01/21/2009 12:18:03 AM
hilarious! if it were better technically, i'd give it high marks for the idea. pretty out of focus though.

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