60 hour post processing challenge - #628 - Winners Announced

RichardC

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A box of Meerkats.

Have fun with this one - there is quite a lot of scope for changes.

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JPEG: https://www.dropbox.com/s/eiygdy14aup0pwu/P7300019.jpg?dl=0

RAW: https://www.dropbox.com/s/z4p8j3ef9s68le2/P7300019.ORF?dl=0


Challenge will close on Tuesday, January 19th at 02.00 GMT.

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Post-Processing Challenge Rules
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Each entrant is allowed two entries in the Challenge.
  4. At the close of the Challenge, the Challenge Master will select a Winner and Runners-up.
  5. The Winner of the challenge is honored 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 honor passes to the next Runner-up.
 

relic

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I provide below the detailed description of what I did not as an example to be followed (I am far from being an expert, and my poor eyesight is not an asset in this work), but only because the Challenge Master requested it, and with some hope that someone would kindly point to some poor choices that I've made.
Opened raw file in DxO PL2. Warmed up the image slightly to a color temperature of 5000, increased vibrancy to 63, ClearView Plus 12, Contrast 1, Microcontrast 16, Fine contrast 23, bent the top 25% of the Tone curve down to 240, PRIME NR 33, Lens sharpness -2, then exported image full size in 16-bit tiff format. I opened tiff file in Photoshop Elements 14, converted to 8-bit, checked to see if more noise reduction was needed (no), cropped, selected the meerkat, opened ON1 Effects 10 from within Elements, applied a little Portrait Enhancer filter in order to reduce harshness of the fur, then applied a little Dynamic Filter and then went back to Elements, deselected the meekrat, in Levels pulled in both the left and right pointers to increase contrast taking care not to blow the highlgihts. I then applied a slight vignette using ON1 Effects, back to Elements where I downsized the image to a 1600-pixel height, applied some sharpening (Unsharp mask, radius 0.3 pixel, amount=50%), Added slight extra sharpness to the eyes, then blurred the image very slightly to reduce harshness in the fur without sacrificing sharpness too much, and saved final image as jpeg.
(I forgot to add that I tried to tone down the very bright spot on its nose).

P7300019_DxOdcLL.jpg
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RichardC

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I provide below the detailed description of what I did not as an example to be followed (I am far from being an expert, and my poor eyesight is not an asset in this work), but only because the Challenge Master requested it, and with some hope that someone would kindly point to some poor choices that I've made.
Opened raw file in DxO PL2. Warmed up the image slightly to a color temperature of 5000, increased vibrancy to 63, ClearView Plus 12, Contrast 1, Microcontrast 16, Fine contrast 23, bent the top 25% of the Tone curve down to 240, PRIME NR 33, Lens sharpness -2, then exported image full size in 16-bit tiff format. I opened tiff file in Photoshop Elements 14, converted to 8-bit, checked to see if more noise reduction was needed (no), cropped, selected the meerkat, opened ON1 Effects 10 from within Elements, applied a little Portrait Enhancer filter in order to reduce harshness of the fur, then applied a little Dynamic Filter and then went back to Elements, deselected the meekrat, in Levels pulled in both the left and right pointers to increase contrast taking care not to blow the highlgihts. I then applied a slight vignette using ON1 Effects, back to Elements where I downsized the image to a 1600-pixel height, applied some sharpening (Unsharp mask, radius 0.3 pixel, amount=50%), Added slight estra sharpness to the eyes, then blurred the image very slightly to reduce harshness in the fur without sacrificing sharpness too much, and saved final image as jpeg.
:drinks:
 
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Oh grief - no pressure then on the process description :-O
Quick swing by DxO for deep prime (not much difference) and sharpening
Back to LR i .dng format.
Slight adjustments to tone and lights (+)/darks (-)/highlights (-)/shadows (+)
Increased clarity and texture. Added a slight 'dehaze' and a tiny adjustment in the tone curve
Basically sliding about :-D

Would be great candidate for the caption contest :-D

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BosseBe

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Felt a little tilted so straightened the picture (Horizon +10%?), Clearview 25, Contrast, Microcontrast and Fine contrast all to 16 (I usually set Contrast and FineContrast to the same value as the autofunction gives for MicroContrast.) Slight S-curve. Automask local correction outside the box Blur 10, Sharpness -12, exposure -0.88. That's all folks! Edit: Forgot about the crop to 3:2.
Entry #1:
P7300019_DxO_Web.jpg
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BosseBe

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B&W version of the above, DxO Filmpack Kodak Tri-X 400 rendering, no filter but Channel Mixer for B&W: Red and Yellow -100, Blue +100.
Entry #2:
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Thanks RichardC for reminding us to include what we have done!
 

relic

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Entry #2: I converted entry #1 to B&W using Nik Silver Efex with green filter, except that, after seeing @BosseBe's entry, I thought I'd copy him in trying to straighten the image (I'm hoping he wouldn't mind :) ). Result turned out to be a bit more contrasty than I wanted, but trying to reduce the contrast did not look better to me. Re-edited entry: tried to fiddle a bit with the area at the top of the head.

P7300019_DxOdcBWLL2.jpg
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BosseBe

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Entry #2: I converted entry #1 to B&W using Nik Silver Efex with green filter, except that, after seeing @BosseBe's entry, I thought I'd copy him in trying to straighten the image (I'm hoping he wouldn't mind :) ). Result turned out to be a bit more contrasty than I wanted, but trying to reduce the contrast did not look better to me.

View attachment 868954
I definitely don't mind! We are all here to learn, at least I am!
Cute little bugger you got here!
 
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Difficult to make this guy cuter than his already is. B&W cropped form entry #1
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RichardC

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I mostly don't really know in detail what I've done! Will have to start keeping a notebook, as I did when first started processing my images ....
I couldn’t tell what I would have done to an image unless I had written it down or screenshot-ed it. Mine tend to ‘evolve’ 🤣
 
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WhidbeyLVR

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Entry 1

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Minor touch-ups from RAW -- almost SOOC.




:laugh1: :laugh1: :laugh1:

Ok, perhaps a few changes were made. Much of the effort was in finding suitable donor driftwood images from my archives and color/exposure matching them, then blurring them somewhat convincingly. The other timesink was creating the compositing masks (for all layers, but most especially for the meerkats).
 
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Fred S

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Attempt # 1
Processed .jpg in Affinity . Minor Touch ups
Mostly HSL . My usual Selective Color, High lights / Shadows, Sharpening, Crop.

P7300019 je01.jpg
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WhidbeyLVR

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Not an Entry

PPC628_02.jpg
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Once you have the masks, it's party time!

Edit: I had a lot of fun making this image and I hope everyone enjoys it, but I don’t think it retains enough of the content or character of the original image to be in the challenge. So just for the giggles, then.
 
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todd phillips

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