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05-09-2011, 10:48 AM   #1
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Challenge #42 Porto Douro Winners

Adverse circumstances forced me to reschedule the results of our challenge; my apologies for that.

Knowing that judging is always a difficult task and necessarily influenced by a personal perspective, take it for what is worth.

The challenge photo has a few problems, some of them quite evident and others not so obvious. This is roughly what I did on Ps with the original: composition (3/2 crop sky and left/right highlight, bring forward the main subjects; distance between the birds and bottom must be kept; remove all distractions, blemishes, etc.) color (reduce cyan tint on water and sky; correct/increase color saturation on buildings and boats; adjust for a warmer tone overall-more red and yellow background stuff, adjust for more blue on sky and green on water) contrast (increase on sky/clouds, buildings and boats) luminosity (more on subjects; less on sky and water).

The Players:

------Jeff
The cyan tint is well reduced, more or less as expected, and the water looks quite natural; on the other hand, image is a bit lifeless, too much on the cool side; more exposure and warmer tones should satisfy most people (btw, it looks quite underexposed on my monitor); you didn't crop the original photo and you left two highlights, on the right and left side, that could be easily removed; good removal of the main distractions; some other minor stuff could be removed as well; good work overall, being the exposure the main issue about your edit. Thank you Jeff.

------John
An amusing recreation of the old cyan postcard look; perhaps because I was expecting the removal of the cyan tint, I'm not that apt to welcome the increased cyan on the image; the added text gives a humorist postcard feel and certainly quite adequate to what we might expect from a old fashioned postcard; composition could be improved by cropping a bit on the left side, removing the third boat mast, and you cropped too much on the bottom (the birds were left too close to the border); some definition was lost in the clouds but it goes well with the overall feel. Again, a nice cyan postcard if somehow a bit extreme. Thank you John.

------Tim
Another interesting variation on the cyan postcard, although less saturated and without the text; the cyan on the water needs to be reduced IMO; the buildings on the background look a bit washed out and slightly overexposed; improve composition by cropping on the left and right side, removing the third boat and the small highlight on the right; good removal of the main distractions but you have left some others that could be easily removed; also, there's a repeating pattern on the cloned section on the water that should be avoid when removing stuff by cloning; it looks a bit over sharpened but that has probably to do with the sizing down of the file; sky could have been improved with some darkening and contrast /definition on the clouds. A good work overall, being the repetition pattern on the water the main negative on your version. Thank you Tim

------Steven
Good detail and contrast; the cyan tone was decreased more or less to real colors, although a warmer tone would give the image what it needs; well cropped on sides but the bottom should have been left untouched; the birds are too close to the border and they have in some way lost their position; the sky has better color than the original and better definition on the clouds; some artifact is apparent on the clouds (top-right corner) that should be avoided by masking it out; good removal of distractions but you could have gone further; a nice work, being the coldish tone and the bottom crop my main concerns . Thank you Steven.

------Joe
Good removal of the right-left side distractions, but the bottom should have been left untouched; you have removed the birds from the photo and that was an significant point on my evaluation; only the tourists should have been removed. Nice feel on the sepia tone but the white vignette doesn't work well in my opinion; despite the pointed flaws, that's an interesting edit, being what it was supposed to be: and aged version of the original. Thank you Joe.

------Stan
Composition/crop doesn't appeal that much to me; a wide or normal 3/2 proportion is better suited for the kind of shot in my opinion; you have removed the birds and half of the second boat from the photo, not so good...; color more or less within the original tones, meaning too much cyan, particularly on water; the color on the buildings and the warmer look is pleasant and inviting... like you said, it was a sunny day. Thank you Stan.

------ozlizard
A pleasant image and a nice impressionist painting effect; less cyan on the water would make it more appealing to me; good work on the tourists but it's a pity you have sunken the little ducks with them; difficult to judge detail and cleaning up, since the photo is quite reduced in size; Monet would like this one. Thanks Oz

------Christoph
Interesting and pleasant composition; I like the nostalgic feel although, IMO, the LQ photocopier tone doesn't fit that well with the surrounding decaying old paper; nevertheless, a creative and unexpected version of the original. Thank you Christoph.

------Lurch
Some brush work but the post-processing job with this particular photo, and most of them anyway, is to reduce and simplify, to remove stuff that's distracting... no need to add more elements IMO; second, (that's only a suggestion but) you could have pasted some guns on your boats to make a real armada, I mean a more compelling fleet of warships; on the other hand, the birds look well fit and sheltered by your boats (and that's a nice outcome after all). Thank you Lurch.

------Rob
Good detail and contrast but the grain effect seems a bit too much; it would be better if it was applied more selectively; you didn't crop the left side highlight and the bottom should have been left untouched, birds are too close to the border now; the sky has good contrast on the clouds but, overall, too grainy for me; good removal of the two main distractions but you have left much stuff behind (the spot on the sky, that was fairly ignored on the previous versions, looks quite noticeable on yours); a nice B&W conversion that could be improved with more subtle artwork. Thank you Rob.

------nosliwmit
The cyan tint was addressed more or less as expected, but colors are a bit lifeless, too much on the cool side; like I said before, this image calls for a warmer tone (it was a sunny day and we want to invite people, not scare them away). Crop is ok but the left side highlight although diminished is still there for no reason; the sky has better color than the original but the darkening on the corners seems a bit heavy; good removal of the two main distractions but you could have gone further on small details; a good work, being the coldish tone and the sky vignette my main concerns . Thank you nosliwmit.

------slip
A probing and provocative version here; not sure if the menacing stormy weather effect on the sky goes well with the tempting model; also the little birds don't look that well on the picture; good removal of the two main distractions but you have left some important stuff behind; definitely needs a more warm tone and some work on composition, contrast and color. Thank you slip

------Mike
That's a nice image and you did a good job removing the main distractions; still, a bit on the cool side i must say; too much blue perhaps and the cyan tint on the water isn't working (water is not that color, as naturally you would guess); composition is somehow odd since I would go for more space down and to the image left side, preserving space for the birds and the buildings on the left; good work (but don't let your brush work prevail over other stuff). Thank you Mike.

And, without further delays, the winning trio:

First place goes to Steven



Second to Mike



and Third goes to Oz



I had the intention of refining those comments but I must give up since too much time has already pass on this; next time I will try to do a better job.

Steven, you are supposed to be the next challenge organizer; if, for any reason, you want to drop it, the other winners may take your place, should they agree with that.

Many thanks to everyone.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/mini-challenges-games-photo-stories/14110...rto-douro.html


Last edited by Manel Brand; 05-15-2011 at 08:25 AM.
05-09-2011, 04:36 PM   #2
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great job everyone
I agree with your critiques, thanks for the tips

looking forward to the next one

cheers
05-09-2011, 06:39 PM   #3
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Well done to Steven and Mike and thanks to Manel for a great challenge and a third place!
05-09-2011, 06:53 PM   #4
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Great comments and judging, Manel, and thanks for the 2nd
This was a fun challenge!

05-10-2011, 10:32 AM   #5
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Fantastic! Thanks for the top finish and thank you VERY much for the thoughtful and helpful critique! I REALLY appreciate it!

Nice job, everyone!
05-10-2011, 10:54 AM   #6
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Thanks for the challenge Manel, and congrats to the winners. To address a couple things...

QuoteQuote:
------Jeff
The cyan tint is well reduced, more or less as expected, and the water looks quite natural; on the other hand, image is a bit lifeless, too much on the cool side; more exposure and warmer tones should satisfy most people (btw, it looks quite underexposed on my monitor); you didn't crop the original photo and you left two highlights, on the right and left side, that could be easily removed; good removal of the main distractions; some other minor stuff could be removed as well; good work overall, being the exposure the main issue about your edit. Thank you Jeff.
If mine looks underexposed on your monitor, then the winners photo should be nearly black. It's definitely darker on my screen than my submission (I'm not complaining mind you, just pointing out what I see). I agree I missed removing the little bit of land mass on the bottom left but I'm unsure about what you mean about 'highlights' particularly on the right. With the exception of the bottom, left to right scene (crop-wise) if Steven's submission appears the same to me (with different exposure presentation). Again, I'm not complaining, just pointing out what I see here in front of me.

Good luck to the next host of the challenge.

05-10-2011, 12:26 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone.

Not a problem Jeff, feel free to ask anything about my comments.

QuoteQuote:
If mine looks underexposed on your monitor, then the winners photo should be nearly black.
Actually, quite the opposite; winners photo looks well exposed (with good detail) and yours looks too dark, with poor detail on the boats and buildings; I'm looking at the posted photos, not opened in photoshop to avoid any color space conversion problem; sincerely, your photo looks underexposed and I doubt it has to do with my monitor (it's a very good monitor, BTW); maybe someone else could evaluate this.

In reference to highlights and clutter that should be removed with a crop, as suggested by me, please take a look:

Last edited by Manel Brand; 10-05-2011 at 10:09 AM.
05-14-2011, 01:04 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Manel Brand Quote
------Christoph
Interesting and pleasant composition; I like the nostalgic feel although, IMO, the LQ photocopier tone doesn't fit that well with the surrounding decaying old paper; nevertheless, a creative and unexpected version of the original. Thank you Christoph.
Thanks a lot. But: it is clearly an 60 year old sun-bleached postcard and no photocopy... aiaiai.

05-15-2011, 08:14 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by christophleipzig Quote
...clearly an 60 year old sun-bleached postcard and no photocopy
It must be the two-hole-punch effect then... Thanks again.
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