60-Hour Post-Processing Challenge #633 (closed, results posted)

WhidbeyLVR

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Example:

Vehicle joke.jpg
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:laugh1: :laugh1: :laugh1:
 

sbm

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PPC633.jpg
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WhidbeyLVR

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Thank you to all who entered.

OK, where to start? When I took this picture, I didn't have the tools or skills to process the image to a satisfactory result. So it sat in my archives, untouched for seven-plus years. It has plenty of problems, but what looked like detritus back then became a diamond-in-the-rough now. It was fun to find it hidden in the digital strata of my photo archives. And I think you did a good job with it, overall!

I tend to prefer color and tonal adjustments which are "enhanced", but not unnatural or extreme. The dynamic range of the image doesn't quite fit in this single exposure, so part of the clouds are blown out and a few shadows are close to pure black. The original tonal values in the image have a bright sky against a too-dark skyline/foreground, so some re-balancing was a good thing. Folks who corrected the cloud blowout got extra brownie points; those who blew them even further got demerits.

Some sky additions and modifications had odd artifacts. I did not prefer the sky replacements to the original sky.

Since the horizon is low and the the angle-of-view, fairly wide, there strong perspective convergence upwards, plus my unsure footing in a moving boat resulted in a crooked image. With a low horizon, I usually prefer a partial perspective adjustment, but it's not a big deal. Most entries made good adjustments and straightened things up nicely.

And then, there is the "beautiful vehicle". . .
It must be beautiful, because it's labelled as such.
If I believed labels, I would have to attach significance to things like "new and improved" or "all natural" too, but I don't, so I won't. By comparison, the automobile rooftop doesn't bother me much. It is a tiny freckle to the "Bellissimo" wart. I appreciate all efforts to remove the offending blemish, but some were more successful than others. Unfortunately, no attempt at cloning out the van was entirely successful. Be careful that the cure isn't worse than the disease (or "First, do no harm!"). Several entries cropped the vehicle out, and I found that as long as the bridge wasn't too badly chopped, I didn't miss most of the left side of the image, so this worked for me.

Winner (wart and all): @RichardC #1. Pleasing colors and great tonal balance. And OH! That FRAME!

1st Runner-Up: @Robert Davidson (again with the wart). A bit darker than Richard's entry, but pleasing. And you took out the red neon sign on the right (a good thing).

2nd Runner-Up: @roboroto . A bit of oddness in the shadow and dark areas at the bottom, but the crop worked for me.
 

WhidbeyLVR

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Here is my attempt at it this week:

PPC633_01_1.jpg
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Unfortunately, Gimp does not actually have a "Remove Ugly Vehicle" tool, so I had to clone out the wart. But what Gimp does have is a perspective-corrected clone tool which which allowed me to clone windows to the right of the van in proper size and orientation over the van. So the whole job was maybe 15-20 minutes of cloning and healing, and masking the pedestrian back into the image.

@BosseBe (and anyone else who may be interested). I like Gimp and can make good use of it, but I have about 20 years of experience with it. It isn't very easy to learn. It is missing a lot of features of many professional image editing programs. But it does have dumb layers, and high bit-depth pixels. I can use the old, free Nik tools with it, and there is an add-on tool library called "G'mic" which adds even more goodies. And the price is right. That said, if you already use and are comfortable with full PS or Elements or even Affinity Photo, I wouldn't necessarily recommend digging into Gimp unless you know it has some feature you crave.
 
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RichardC

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