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Challenge: Long Exposure V (Advanced Editing VII*)
Camera: Sony DSLR-A350
Lens: Sony SAL 30M28 AF Macro
Date: Jun 14, 2010
Aperture: f8
ISO: 400
Shutter: 5 sec
Date Uploaded: Jun 15, 2010

Well, I have a confession to make. I did not move the fork, I hand-held the camera & deliberately moved it during the 5 second exposure. I know that's a shalt-not of photography, but I could never get all that irregular motion any other way. I like irregular motion.

The human brain is adept at looking for, & finding, even creating, meaning. I love that moment of suspended thought when my mind can't find a meaning, or make one up, before it looses interest. How long the mind stays, trying to find a meaning, depends on how interesting the subject is to look at.

Did you know, we invented the knife and spoon first in paleolithic times, and the fork last of all, within the last 500 years or so. People thought of the fork as jewelry, effeminate--& though forks are undeniably funny-looking, they come in handy when eating cake or noodles, & make an attractive subject for photography. This is a cute little silver salad fork, & I enjoy the way the light & the silver surface interact.

While the shutter is open, I can't see what I'm doing, so there is an element of suprise & unpredictability in these comps that I like.

Why should you care what I was thinking when I snapped the shutter? There's no reason to suppose that you do. These comments are because I'm in the mood to write them.

Place: 110 out of 127
Avg (all users): 4.6789
Avg (commenters): 6.0000
Avg (participants): 4.4773
Avg (non-participants): 4.7299
Views since voting: 722
Views during voting: 394
Votes: 218
Comments: 6
Favorites: 1 (view)

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07/02/2010 09:09:38 AM
I think you did an excellent job of editing this photo. I tried a couple of different edits:

This first one is using your edited file and playing around with it a little more:
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/100000-104999/103142/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_895016.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/100000-104999/103142/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_895016.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
Things that I was trying to fix:
1. I did want the last fork position to be a little more focused and prominent, so I selected that portion of the photo and did a smart sharpen with a setting of 109 and 4.

2. The point around which the fork rotates gets quite blown out, so I burned that area. I still had a few bright highlights that looked awkward, so I cloned those out using another area that looked better.

3. saturated it a little more, because I liked the warm colors that you were bringing out.

4. increased the contrast to darken the dark areas.

This second try is from scratch:

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/100000-104999/103142/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_895017.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/100000-104999/103142/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_895017.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

I used Topaz 4, recovery highlight setting.
changed the curves
colorized it using the hue/sat command.
burned the point of rotation
smart sharpened the center fork

Last one is from scratch:
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/100000-104999/103142/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_895018.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/100000-104999/103142/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_895018.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
Silver Efex -- high structure setting
colorized using hue/sat
burned the point of rotation
smart sharpened the center fork

Since people might be irritated that I'm using other programs that have an additional cost, here's an edit using photoshops features:
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/100000-104999/103142/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_895019.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/100000-104999/103142/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_895019.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
duplicated layer
filter->other->high pass with a setting of 6.0
changed the blend of that layer to soft light, decreased the opacity a bit.
burned the point of rotation
smart sharpened the center fork

NOTE: on that last edit -- I just discovered high pass sharpening I DO NOT KNOW IF IT'S LEGAL ON DPC.

one last one:
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/100000-104999/103142/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_895021.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/100000-104999/103142/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_895021.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
smart sharpening 109 - 4
burned the point of rotation
smart sharpened the center fork
saturated a little bit more.

Message edited by author 2010-07-02 09:37:13.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/02/2010 08:57:47 AM
Oops, I forgot to put this in the comments when I PM'd you:

When I recommended the rear-curtain flash, I thought I'd better play around with it to see if it actually works.

Here's two examples to show you what I was talking about. The first one shows an example with no point in focus. The second one shows (kind of) the idea of the end fork being in focus. It helps give the eye a resting spot.

Just a thought.

I was also wondering whether color would add more interest -- I just went into hue/sat and clicked the colorize button.

btw, with the second curtain flash, I had to dial down the exposure of the flash to about -3EV, otherwise it was way too bright with the setup I was using.

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/100000-104999/103142/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_894970.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/100000-104999/103142/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_894970.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/100000-104999/103142/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_894968.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/100000-104999/103142/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_894968.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

(btw, my fork in the second shot is still a tad fuzzy, because I stopped in that place and waited for the flash, so it burned it there and then added the brighter fork. If I would have kept it moving until the flash, it would have been cleaner.)

(btw, I doubly impressed with your shot after trying this -- it is MUCH harder than it looks! You got a very nice flow with your shot!)

Message edited by author 2010-07-02 08:57:57.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/01/2010 06:46:51 PM
There is something quite appealing about this shot, but something not quite right, as well. The fork tines blur is very appealing, and the lines from the bottom of the fork are quite intriguing. The middle of the fork, where it's being rotated, is not as appealing, but I'm not sure you can do anything about that.

I'd be interested to see what happens if you had the fork in focus at the very end, so you have the motion blur, but there's a resolution. A couple of thoughts on how to achieve this:

1. Do you have an external flash? What about doing the 5 second exposure and then firing the flash at the end. I'm not sure whether this would work, but I think it would.

2. Setting your camera to do a rear curtain flash. I've never tried this, but I believe it will also have the same effect.

3. Silly solution that might work without playing with flash: set up a tripod very near where you're moving the camera. Set the shot for about 5 seconds longer than normal. Start the shot, do your rotations, when you're done rotating, put the lens cap on, put the camera on the tripod, take lens cap off and let it expose for another second or two. The final fork position should then be in focus. (You could try rotating it on the tripod, but then you wouldn't get the undulations.)


Lastly, you do have a processing problem, but you might not see it on your screen. On my screen, the lower left hand corner isn't black, it's a spotty blue. That's the type of thing that can hurt you the most. I've had this on shots where I've had a black background. The best thing to do is when you're working in photoshop, slowly increase the brightness of the photo and look what happens in your black background, this will show you the areas that you need to burn, clone or just darken in curves (when doing advanced editing.)

  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/30/2010 07:58:22 PM
Wow... not sure what it is about this shot, but I truly do like it a lot. Adding it to my favs...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
06/18/2010 08:08:02 PM
Now for something completely different...

Great idea. Nicely executed.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/16/2010 05:40:48 PM
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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