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03-16-2019, 06:13 PM   #1
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PP Challenge #290 - Canberra Skyfire 2019

This Challenge will close on Friday, March 22nd.

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For the next host:
The mediafire website is: mediafire.com
The login name is: ppchallenge@tmphillips.com
The password is: postprocessing

I took this image last night at Canberra's largest annual event, known as Skyfire 2019. It was taken with my trusty Pentax K-01, perfect for working with crowds at night. I was trying it out with my recently acquired second hand version of Pentax's 18-135mm zoom. I learnt quickly the pitfalls of no infinity distance scale. I switched to manual focus and closed down to f/22 to assure adequate sharpness in the gloom.

What wondrous eye candy can you post processing legends concoct from this freshly taken nightscape?

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03-17-2019, 12:52 AM   #2
Tas
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03-17-2019, 04:01 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnhilvert Quote
I took this image last night at Canberra's largest annual event, known as Skyfire 2019.
Were you near the exploding barge?
03-17-2019, 04:51 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by officiousbystander Quote
Were you near the exploding barge?
I was north of it near Regatta point. It happened within the first six minutes of the display. I heard an explosion but I thought it was part of the accompanying audio actually.

03-20-2019, 12:33 PM - 1 Like   #5
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Black and white is certainly an odd choice for a firework display but why not hey, my thinking here was to simplify, pare it down to just the display and the one couple watching. Then added back in a touch of colour, blue to the shadows and an orange/red to the highlights.
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03-21-2019, 08:17 AM   #6
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Here's my take, whhat's that thing that looks like a tv in front of the woman with the headband?
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03-21-2019, 03:11 PM   #7
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Another 1:1 version

Oh White Balance, why must thou be so cruel?
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03-21-2019, 06:03 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuggie76 Quote
Here's my take, whhat's that thing that looks like a tv in front of the woman with the headband?
It's one of those ditzy disposable sparkling headbands, you buy for 10 bucks or so at these events.

---------- Post added 03-21-19 at 06:07 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by photocles Quote
Oh White Balance, why must thou be so cruel?
Indeed. It's a good example of playing with multiple color balances in the same image or opting for gray scale.
.

03-21-2019, 07:09 PM   #9
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The headband I get, but it looks like a TV in front of her.
03-21-2019, 08:54 PM   #10
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03-21-2019, 11:45 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuggie76 Quote
The headband I get, but it looks like a TV in front of her.
Push the exposure to +5 and you will see it's a wheelie bin with the lid ajar as it has too much rubbish in it.


Sticking with the TV analogy, you could say because it's full it has no reception...sorry, I was trying to channel some bad puns...okay, okay, I'll give up, but it's hard to stop as I think I'm just programmed this way...waits for rapturous applause...starting to think it was a good idea not to hold my breath waiting for the applause...

Tas
03-22-2019, 12:18 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tas Quote
Push the exposure to +5 and you will see it's a wheelie bin with the lid ajar as it has too much rubbish in it.


Sticking with the TV analogy, you could say because it's full it has no reception...sorry, I was trying to channel some bad puns...okay, okay, I'll give up, but it's hard to stop as I think I'm just programmed this way...waits for rapturous applause...starting to think it was a good idea not to hold my breath waiting for the applause...

Tas
Thanks Tas, you get points for explaining how to distinguish a TV set from a wheelie bin image under fireworks by upping the exposure.

We'll close this competition after midnight Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time (HAST) Friday 22 March.

Surprise and delight me with your boldest and bravest efforts, please. You have roughly one day to go.
03-22-2019, 09:27 AM   #13
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03-22-2019, 10:34 PM   #14
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Some cheesy fun on my part...

Last edited by JHfwp; 04-04-2019 at 03:21 PM.
03-23-2019, 04:50 PM - 1 Like   #15
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ISSUES
Great post-processing should do more than make pictures pop. It can correct features such as white balance and distracting objects. Issues that deserved attention with Skyfire 2019 were the complex white balances due to the fireworks and other fluorescent ambient lighting giving an ultra-violet cast to the seating of persons in the lower left, when increasing shadow detail. The 30-second exposure also meant the fireworks colourfully and traced well. Yet movement among visitors also produced distracting ghostly shadows. There was an unsightly over-full wheelie bin that did the image few favours. Determining and managing the right tonal contrast was not easy.

Let me dwell on the merits of your entries and the range of strategies you deployed. All of these gave me immense delight and bemusement.

Tas' SOLUTION
Tas gave it a modest crop eliminating the tree on the left. This helped focus more on the fireworks. He improved saturation and upped the shadow detail and exposure. This also brought out and anchored the lit head-dress of the person on the lower right. He also cleaned up the dark sky background. But his solution gave prominence to the wheelie bin and highlighted the mixed white balances. 8 out of 10.

graeme83's SOLUTION
His "odd choice" of going gray scale and cropping even more to the fireworks action proved bold and coherent, focusing the action on the fireworks. graeme83 also reduced the ghosting. His eye for overall composition was innovative. He resolved the white balance issue by going black & white, though I wondered whether he was trading off too much eye candy for his minimalist approach. 8 out of 10.

tuggie76's SOLUTION
I did appreciate the excellent overall warmer look of tuggie76's take. His approach to white balance was exceptional. He avoided the ultra-violet cast trap in the seating of the visitor on the bottom left. His take was the only one to reproduce the natural colours in the shadows. I also had a soft spot for his moderating the overall tonal contrast resulting in an almost HDR look. Unfortunately the wheelie bin became more distracting as a consequence. 9 out of 10.

photocles' SOLUTION
His solution to white balance was reminiscent of graeme83's approach to desaturate colours. But he stopped short of going totally gray-scale. This approach preserved more of the colour of the fireworks as well. His cropping was innovative, allowing the visitor silhouettes to operate as a frame. The wheelie bin was less prominent as well. As he correctly notes white balance can be "cruel". His otherwise measured strategy left the ultra-vilolet cast intact. 8 out of 10.

Glenn5995's SOLUTION
The art of post-processing lies in determining what the image is about. I agree with Glenn5995, it's about the fireworks. His approach to make the image pop, saturating the colours and uppng contrast to highlight fireworks was well judged. Crushing the blacks and the girl with lit head-dress was bold as well as vignetting everything else meant Glenn5955's side-stepped the colour balance around the visitors without distracting from the main show. 9 out of 10.

Noelcmn's SOLUTION
Cropping proved noelcmn's friend as well. I liked his strong colour saturation and his purging the wheelie bin into the gloom was a good example of less is more. The fireworks dominate and his overall look was well judged, reducing the number of silhouetted viewers to strengthen composition. The challenging colour casts from white balance on the visitors worked in his favour, echoing some of the blue from the fireworks. 9.5 points out of 10.

JHfwp's SOLUTION
JHfwp understood the implicit challenge of Skyfire 2019: how subtle should one be when there's an unsightly wheelie bin in the foreground? No steenking cropping or magical erasures, for me, he declares. Replace the offending uncroppable aspects with a "cheesy" image of a mouse and a plug for OfficeSmacks. JHfwp also gets points for resolving white balance issues by crushing the blacks and upping contrast. 8 out of 10.

CONCLUSION:
I learned much from your entries. Glenn5995's solution came closest to what I would have attempted. But Noelcmn's splendid solution to white balance gave him the edge, proving a mini masterclass for me. Accordingly I dub, Noelcmn the winner of PP Challenge #290.

Last edited by johnhilvert; 03-23-2019 at 04:58 PM. Reason: brain fart
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