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The Specific Gravity Of A Lie.
The Specific Gravity Of A Lie.

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: HDR II (Advanced Editing VII)
Camera: Nikon D300
Lens: Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D
Location: Wales
Date: Sep 9, 2009
Aperture: 1/4
ISO: 800
Shutter: 1/250 plus -2 , +2
Galleries: Animals, High Dynamic Range (HDR)
Date Uploaded: Sep 9, 2009

HDR photograph of a stuffed leopard at a museum.

Three exposures, -2, 0, +2, taken from one RAW shot then tonemapped. I would have taken three or five different RAW shots to get the exposures but this was just not possible in very low light without a tripod. Also tricky shooting through glass.

Photoshop for cloning out spots and stray light, adjusted tone and contrast with Niksoftware plugin then i added a layer of gaussian blur, blended and erased selections. Added another layer to get rid of some haloing and add more hair detail on the back of the neck and shoulder.

Back in Lightroom i cropped and played with levels and colours until i got what i wanted. Extremely pleased how this came out. Actually very close to how i saw it in my head for once!

The title comes from Charles Fort...

'Lies, yarns, hoaxes, mistakes - what's the specific gravity of a lie, and how am I to segregate?'

I thought it an apt quote for a stuffed dead cat, a HDR challenge and, perhaps, for photography in general.

Place: 115 out of 155
Avg (all users): 5.3500
Avg (commenters): 4.9091
Avg (participants): 5.1512
Avg (non-participants): 5.5000
Views since voting: 926
Views during voting: 464
Votes: 200
Comments: 16
Favorites: 1 (view)

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09/25/2009 08:38:29 PM
Hi from the Critique Club,

You asked that one of your shots have a comment from one of the members of the Critique Club.

This is an interesting shot. You have a very good POV going on here. The one thing that is not going for you is that it looks like a stuffed animal. One way to avoid this is to bring more life into the eyes. There is a great tutorial on how to make eyes pop in the Tutorial tab on DPC. Using some of these techniques could have made this come alive versus the dead eye stare.

HDR is meant to bring out all the hidden details that are not not easily captured in a single shot. But to be honest in this finished shot it is not showing too many more details than a one shot, shot.

Maybe some curves, selective colours would have popped the fur as well.

Message edited by author 2009-09-25 20:39:12.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/25/2009 08:13:53 PM
My highest score in this challenge a 10, and the only one above a 7. Well done..
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/21/2009 12:43:30 AM
Should win a 21.gif posthumous award! So strange and eerily beautiful, though not sure how much HDR was involved. I read your description; I'm not sure I understood everything you did, but be careful you stay within editing bounds. Cheers,
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
09/20/2009 10:32:20 PM
Scary! great shot!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/20/2009 09:16:49 AM
Wow! He/She is staring at me! 7
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/19/2009 10:58:08 PM
The eye catchlights are those of a non-live creature, like the glass eyes of a taxidermy project.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/18/2009 03:52:17 PM
this must be stuffed. either that or its one very stiff cat. not like it matters, it just changes the feel. and you must explain the title, it has me thinking
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/16/2009 10:12:50 PM
Lots of dimension to this. Not totally sure what the title is referring to. Perhaps the look on the cat's face?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/16/2009 10:05:10 PM
Love the eye, though I withe the animal didn't disappear like that into the darkness behind him.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/16/2009 02:43:12 PM
NOt sure what to make of this one. It looks like its a fake and I don't see any signs of HDR processes.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/16/2009 01:20:40 AM
Interesting title. You have a very strong image here. The intensity in the pose is great, and mottled fur looks very good. I like the border choice as well.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/15/2009 05:50:06 PM
Wow! He looks intense. And it's awesome how his pupil in the light is so small and the one in the dark is so large. Very cool. Good Luck in the challenge!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/15/2009 03:45:32 PM
that kitty doesn't look too alive.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/15/2009 02:17:45 PM
I shall be rating this challenge by the following criteria:

1 - Not HDR in my opinion

3 - HDR is way over-done, in my opinion

5 - A reasonable use of HDR, but not a very engaging photo, in my opinion

7 - A reasonable use of HDR, and an engaging photo, in my opinion

10 - A fantastic use of HDR, and an out of this world photo, in my opinion

Your photo receives:

  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/14/2009 06:28:59 AM
I hope he's been stuffed - otherwise he needs to see a vet urgently. lol
(Maybe he's at the vet's right now and he just doesn't appreciate where they stuck the thermometer.)
good luck
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/14/2009 01:31:15 AM
Great title! Like the image too - hope it won't get clobbered. He reminds me of a sad comic book villain, or perhaps he's in the middle of morphing back into a human. I think the specific gravity of a lie is probably higher than that of a barleywine... but how is its hop nose?
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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