60-hour Post Processing Challenge #623 - Winners announced.

relic

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Image of neighbor's Christmas decoration taken in December, 2015.

_SZ92306_challenge.jpg
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JPEG is here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/6udrxa26y1xr7vc/_SZ92306.JPG?dl=0
RAW is here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/mpmw7dm3si34fu4/_SZ92306.ORF?dl=0

The challenge will close on Friday, January 1st at midnight EST (5 AM Saturday, January 2nd GMT/UTC).

Post-Processing Challenge Rules:

The Challenge Master provides an image or images to be "improved" upon by way of post-processing, as well as a closing date for entries.
  1. Entrants are to post their entries, visible in this thread, at a resolution of 1000 to 1600 pixels in the longest dimension, prior to the closing date.
  2. Each entrant is allowed two entries in the Challenge.
  3. At the close of the Challenge, the Challenge Master will select a Winner and Runners-up.
  4. The Winner of the challenge is honoured as the Master of the next Challenge
Notes:
  • Images provided by Challenge Masters must be their own. They are posted solely for the purpose of this Challenge; not to invite critique or criticism nor for other uses. If Entrants post their entries at a photo sharing site, they should credit the owner of the original image.
  • "Improve" is a subjective term, and may include many creative ideas, as well as traditional "fixing". The Challenge Master agrees that Entrants may make any changes they deem fit in their entries.
  • Entrants are strongly encouraged to share the tools and techniques used for their entries, however this is not a requirement for entry.
  • Compositing is allowed provided the use of the donor image does not violate any licensing or copyright restrictions.
  • As we all know, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. The Challenge Master is encouraged (but not required) to state the criteria used to decide upon a Winner. While we may not all agree with the result, the Challenge Master's decision is final. Please refrain from posting adverse comment.
  • If the Winner is unable to post a new Challenge within five days, the honour passes to the next Runner-up.
 
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rpatodia

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Used Nik HDR Efex on above
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todd phillips

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mumu

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Tried to clean up the noise with DxO and then made other edits in LR:
Radial tool to create light below the "tree."
Local adjustment brush that selected for the sky to change sky colours.
Healing brush to remove a few bits of weird light in the trees.
 

BosseBe

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Entry #1:
_SZ92306_DxO_Web_1.jpg
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Again, the magic of DeepPRIME!
 
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BOKEH

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WhidbeyLVR

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BosseBe

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This is not a selective colour, I just blacked out everything but the lights.
Entry #2:
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This is actually the first time I use my new PC for this challenge, it took about 6 seconds to process this cropped picture with DeepPRIME active! Did it by remote desktop from my old PC as I am still in the process of transferring to the new one. (Will use the same monitor so I need it for my old one for now.)
 
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Another different take on it. (Very difficult) Dxo Deep Prime and then some serious cropping and slider adjustments in LR
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And in time honoured fashion . a black and white of the same
_SZ92306_DxO_2-2.jpg
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rpatodia

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Downloaded DxO PL4 to check it out
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relic

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I had intentionally underexposed the photo so the lights would not be overexposed and thus retain their color. I had to come up with a result, an almost impossible task given the excellence and creativity shown by the entrants. I had to keep reminding myself that I am not a juror on a murder trial and I'm not going to be sued for my virtually arbitrary choices. After much mulling, I thought I should exclude the creative entries no matter how beautiful, and only consider the "straight" interpretations, only to break my own rule in the end.
@RichardC 's entries are marvelous even as they are "super-creative".
@todd phillips's entry was also very beautiful and decorative.
I very much liked @frankmulder's blurry interpretation: very beautiful!
Mrs. B (@Brodhall) had very intriguing entries indeed.
2nd runner up: @Robert Davidson. The colored lights are rendered beautifully as is the light through the trees in the background.
1st runners up: @mumu, @BosseBe's #1, @rpatodia #2 who, in addition to excellent colors, had the ground under the lights illuminated to different degrees, which I liked.
Winner: @WhidbeyLVR. Those animals sneaking in in the dark simply disarmed me!

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!
 
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