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The Great Banini
3rd PlaceThe Great Banini
jperez1690


Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Banana (Advanced Editing II)
Camera: Canon EOS-300D Rebel
Location: Flagstaff, Arizona
Date: May 23, 2004
Aperture: f/20
ISO: 100
Shutter: 30 sec.
Galleries: Humorous, Still Life
Date Uploaded: May 23, 2004

In a burst of smoke and seeds, The Great Banini lofts skyward, hurtling through a fiery pepper before returning to earth and piercing the melon below.

Various fruits were carved, dismembered & reassembled to achieve canon shot effect. Pepper was hung from 2 points of a tripod with string. Dry ice was placed in banana cavity & repeatedly squirted during 30 second exposure. Open cavity of pepper was lit with a laser pointer for approximately 8 seconds of the exposure.

Minimal cloning to remove strings that held the red pepper in place.
Curves adjustment layer applied to base image layer for color adjustment.
Background layer duped, set to luminosity & then new curves layer applied to this layer to enhance contrast.
Added a 50% gray layer set to overlay mode & applied some very light dodge & burn to hilight banana & peel & upper right of cantaloupe and to bring out more contrast in the bell pepper.
Unsharp masking & cropping.

Statistics
Place: 3 out of 122
Avg (all users): 6.8896
Avg (commenters): 8.3478
Avg (participants): 6.8767
Avg (non-participants): 6.9012
Views since voting: 6246
Votes: 154
Comments: 38
Favorites: 3 (view)


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AuthorThread
06/23/2004 12:26:13 PM
Schoff, and anyone else who wondered about the red pepper...

I had considered doing the shot without the pepper, but felt that for the perspective I was after, it needed something else to balance the shot in a few ways.

1.) Color. The black background with the yellowish fruit had good contrast, but didn't offer the brilliant splash of color I thought a circusy theme would need.

2.) Odd number. I tend to believe that when there are distinct objects showing in a composition, that an odd number is better than an even. That's not always the case, but here, I really felt that the peel and the banana/melon combo needed a third party. So in comes the pepper.

3.) Layout. The peel and banana-melon looked a little flat by themselves, and I thought the pepper helped add some punch and dynamics to the composition.

If I had shot this on something other than a flat black background, I think that all 3 of these preceding reasons might not have been as big of a factor, since background items could have provided other compositional bits to satisfy me.

Finally...4.) Story. Since my metephor was a human canonball, I thought that having The Great Banini fly through a hurtling ring of fire (or in the fruit world, a red bell pepper) would add to the 'daredevil' part of the story.

Of course, I know a lot of this is a matter of taste. And based on a couple of comments, that the red pepper was more distracting than interesting for some people's taste. I think I still personally disagree with that, but I DO appreciate that people brought it up, because it did make me consider other ways I might handle the shot were I to do it again. Thanks again to everyone for all their thoughts!
06/03/2004 05:39:45 PM
I don't get the pepper. What does it have to do with the shot?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/01/2004 10:29:06 AM
This is a awsome shot!!! What a way to think outside the box! Great work technically as well!! :o-)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/30/2004 11:09:42 PM
LOL...great shot! Congrats.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/30/2004 02:49:53 PM
So much fun! Congratulations on your first ribbon!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/30/2004 02:38:34 AM
This one really cracked me up when I took a good look. Really funny concept. Congratulations.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/30/2004 02:16:02 AM
Sweeeeeeeet!

There were some great pictures in this challenge. So I'm stoked that this shot did as well as it did.

I learned a few things in the process...

1. Dry ice screams when held tightly in tongs
2. Wife screams when she sees what you've done to the bedroom...and the fruit

erm...

sorry for any offense given with phalic overtones, by the way. I knew at the outset that was going to be a pretty inseparable feature of what I was trying to put together. But I swear, man, I was totally going for the circus theme as the main thrus...uh...feature.

m'kay...

So there were some other things I learned:

1. Soft Natural Light. I have squat for light equipment. I was trying to light this travesty with my wife's make-up mirror thing, and every shot was lousy with hot spots and horrible color. So out of desperation, I stepped up the exposure to 30 seconds and just used the ambient light that was filtering in through a north facing window in the room. It gave everything a smooth soft-box lighting.

2. Smoke Effects. The theory of puddling water in shallow, oddly contoured fruit and plunking little pieces of dry ice in it for smoke visuals is sadly flawed. You get about 2 seconds of heavy mist before the bottom of the dry ice chunks get a protective coat of ice water, or the puddle freezes over and the mist dwindles away. Which leads to...

3. Fudging on Long Exposures. Because I wasn't getting the smoke effect I needed over the 30 second exposure, I had to find a way of keeping the dry ice and water in constant agitated contact. So I grabbed one of those little plastic syringes you get with kid's medicine (because the only squirt bottle we have is decrepit and won't squirt a stream any narrower than 45 degrees :P ). So for the first 20 seconds of the exposure, I filled and squirted the syringe into the banana cavity I think 3 times. That was enough to keep the little dry ice pebbles tumbling around and steaming up really nice. I know that my hand and the syringe would enter the frame every time, but I tried to keep my arm moving and firing from different angles each time so it didn't expose any one part of the frame too much. And because the light was dim and exposure long, it worked.

4. Canon EOS Rebel noise (lack thereof). I have been really impressed with how well this camera handles noise over long exposures. So far, I've taken 90 second exposures at 100 ISO, and haven't encountered any noise problems so far.

Thanks for all the comments!
05/30/2004 02:11:02 AM
congrats...what a fun shot!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/30/2004 12:38:27 AM
you have a great sense of humor and excellent photography skills to realize your vision. congrats on a well deserved ribbon!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/30/2004 12:35:14 AM
Congratulations on your first ribbon Jeremy! It's a fun photo.

  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/30/2004 12:21:50 AM
Awesome, great work, kudo's.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/30/2004 12:13:05 AM
Congrats! Nice Job!

Deannda
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
05/29/2004 10:28:45 PM
I don't know what the bell pepper is doing there :) Maybe I just didn't get it, but this is a great idea. Good luck...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/29/2004 04:52:12 PM
Great visual effect! Like the composition and the execution. 9
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/29/2004 07:28:58 AM
Nery creative...9
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/28/2004 08:51:51 AM
Good shot
A bit phalic
made me laugh
9
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/27/2004 05:04:11 AM
Very clever indeed. My pick of the bunch (pardon the pun).
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/26/2004 10:26:46 PM
This HAD to have taken the bulk of the 24 hours to perfect...what a shot! I admire your humor, your style, and your talent. Wow!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/26/2004 12:35:17 PM
very cool idea. Nicely done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/26/2004 09:51:49 AM
Unbelievable! Very funny... Quite suggestive as well... I really like this shot.

I like the smoke effect you have coming out of the 'empty' banana peel.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/25/2004 07:58:59 PM
Probably the most interesting one I've seen so far. Technically, this looks like a very difficult shot to produce. The lighting, composition, detail, and colors are all great..... 8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/25/2004 06:42:20 PM
Great shot and I am sure will score very high. The red bell pepper is a little processed (?) looking to me or something.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/25/2004 05:43:14 PM
LOL! LOVE IT! outstanding!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/25/2004 12:46:50 PM
LOL Fun story! Nice work with this set up.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/24/2004 06:01:37 PM
Very nice, very imaginative and well executed. One of my favourites. 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/24/2004 03:55:47 PM
I'd pay money to see him...and naked too (Banini, I mean, not me)!!! Very funny picture and well done too
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/24/2004 02:27:27 PM
This is a neat idea and obviously well thought out. It seems a bit too cropped at the vertical edges. Because of the rather seemless background the sense of depth that this set-up requires is lost. It looks very two dimensional.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/24/2004 01:37:18 PM
Your quite quite mad.......well done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/24/2004 12:29:28 PM
Inventive and must of taken a lot of work to set up and shoot. My hat is off to you!! Well done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/24/2004 11:26:14 AM
This is a winner ... no question about it. LOVE IT -10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/24/2004 08:47:23 AM
Nice picture - good luck! 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/24/2004 08:45:27 AM
very clever and well executed.. I like the "smoke" and debris coming out of the cannon. The pepper bothers me as it looks like it is just floating in space
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/24/2004 07:49:28 AM
10.
05/24/2004 02:01:07 AM
Very creative and well shot, 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/24/2004 01:58:40 AM
Wow! What an amazing idea for this shot and you executed it perfectly. Great job!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/24/2004 01:18:10 AM
As a photo, this is interesting, I hope it gets validated. Hope you post how you did it after the voting. The hole in the pepper is distracting to me, I thing would have been stronger with just the banana and the cantalope.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/24/2004 01:18:09 AM
Very creative, and a lot of work put into a clean and sharp shot. Well done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/24/2004 12:15:41 AM
LOL - great job!
  Photographer found comment helpful.


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