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10-18-2021, 12:08 PM   #1
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Post-Processing Challenge #390: Water Lily & Dragonfly

Thanks again to Fdooch for choosing me in the last round

For this round #390 - I've got a mildly cliché photo for you to work on. While out at a small lake recently I spotted this little blue guy (a Tule Bluet? - I'm no bug expert!) atop a pretty (yet still classified as a "noxious weed" around here) common water lily (Nymphaea odorata)

Of course, my camera was set on a high shutter speed, as I really wasn't out there to photograph flowers. I got the shot, but anything in the dark range didn't fair so well. Yeah - It's a little chunky there in the shadows.

Your challenge this round is to see if you can find an amazing "Best Free Wallpapers" - or "Corporate Hallway Space Filler" worthy sort of thing amongst the mess.

Have Fun - Learn some new tricks !

I'll close this up on Monday Oct 25th - just in time for the next winner to hop on the Halloween band-wagon

Download: PPC_390_Water_Lilly.DNG/file

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

**************

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10-18-2021, 01:18 PM   #2
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Here's mine.

Last edited by xs400; 11-12-2021 at 12:24 PM.
10-18-2021, 02:36 PM - 2 Likes   #3
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Stylised

In the subtlety...
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10-18-2021, 06:32 PM   #4
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my version


Last edited by Fdooch; 4 Days Ago at 03:55 PM.
10-19-2021, 02:45 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Nice photo. Here is my go. I think it is a damselfly rather than a dragonfly (at least in the UK).
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10-19-2021, 01:04 PM - 1 Like   #6
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390

Not as easy as it looks.
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10-20-2021, 09:07 AM   #7
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Here's my attempt

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10-20-2021, 06:19 PM   #8
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Here's mine.
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10-22-2021, 08:33 AM   #9
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Last edited by noelcmn; 10-22-2021 at 08:40 AM.
10-22-2021, 10:47 AM   #10
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And another.
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10-26-2021, 12:29 PM   #11
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Wow! lots of entries this time - all very nice, too.
We've got both sides of the photographic / painterly fence to consider here. This took a lot of coffee to do!

*****


xs400: great job of keeping this photo mostly as-is, while correcting the scraggly background. very nice & clean. Love the bubbles at the base of the flower. Sort of a blend between an oil background w/ photo subject.

Kerrowdown: Just the flower. Nice job of getting the damselfly (thanks stevejo!) in there - I know the wings would be tricky if doing some masking. Nice effect with the blue toning on the petals - very transparent. Looks good.

LittleGidding: Fun entry - movement & pattern in there. Loving the creamy white you have. Points for originality! (now I'm wondering how this would look in a circular pattern?!)

Fdooch: This is gorgeous! Very "painterly" Soft, yet still precise. I'll be extra picky and say that I wish the little bubbles were still on the bottom of the flower. But I can live without them. Great color tones as well.

stevejo: Thank you for the bug tip! I always thought that dragon & damsel were just interchangeable lingo for the same critter. Never really gave it much thought. Know I now it's actually "a thing." Very nice tight crop view on the flower.

mariwalt: the only pink toned one in the batch. nice crisp detail on the damselfly. I see smooth shadows/vignetting on the left side, but maybe a bit of roughness on the right. I'm not sure what program you are using, but try playing around with your brushes a bit. There may be a "softer tip" in your tool kit. Also - sometimes if I'm stuggling with edges I'll start with a really low opacity and gradually move it up, building up "layers" - even varying in brush size a little - you might find some secret sauce to get good transitions in there. (think like you're painting!) Overall, though I really do like it, and I think pink was an excellent route to go!

tuggie76: you did something to get that terrible grain out of the water without totally doing dark. It was very daring of you, and it seemed to work. Nice, very accurate version of the photo. Good job.

jmacias: another nice nice version, this time with the darker background. I know it was a hard one to deal with!

noelcmn: making that little blue guy a STAR !!! I seriously wish I had a better shot of him for you to blow up - sorry - But you had fun with what you had to work with - I think the composition of your first one would be super cool on a big print. Thanks!

DW58: great to see another PNW'er join the Post Processing challenge - welcome! We've got another nice entry here - dark backgound showing off the flower. I'm liking the way the bug shadow is doing it's thing in this one. Looks good.


I wasn't looking for this going through the entries, but in the end it struck me that leaving the petal shadows really "grounded" (watered??) the flower. It really reminded me that the thing is ON the water. I found myself more drawn to the entries that left these reflections in. You guys really made it a tough call. All the entries had certain elements that shone. I finally had to balance out all the different categories - composition, scene cleaning, background noise, little details... et c.

Giving this to xs400 as the winner for this round.

and Fdooch as the solid runner-up. This entry was so beautiful as well!

thanks everyone
10-26-2021, 12:58 PM   #12
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Thanks for a great challenge Laurie. I found that this was one area where you could crank up the saturation to almost 100% for the damselfly, as these things really glow in the sunlight. (That was my plan anyway to make it stand out).
As soon as Frank posted that one I thought it would be hard to beat. Nice job.
10-26-2021, 02:10 PM   #13
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Well done XS400, and thanks Laurie for a great image.
10-26-2021, 02:34 PM   #14
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At first, the problem did not seem interesting to me.
But additional conditions made me do it.
The photo is too noisy for wallpaper, but it can be done as an office decoration.
This is what I was guided by. Square frame, minimalism of background details and color contrast of cold water and a sunny flower.
Can be hung on the wall behind the boss's chair. ))
Thanks, that was funny.
10-26-2021, 02:38 PM   #15
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Thank you so much for choosing my image. I'm honored.

The next Challenge is PP Challenge #391

Last edited by xs400; 10-27-2021 at 09:10 AM.
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