60-Hour Post-Processing Challenge #666

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It's time for lucky number 666. I'll try to make this one not so evil, or maybe not?

P1060238.jpg
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Please rescue this poor ostrich from sub-par editing! This is shot through a tinted car window and two layers of fencing in a drive-through safari.

For some context, I think the ostrich gets decent space and treatment, but the same unfortunately didn't seem to be true for every animal at the establishment, so I don't believe I will be returning. A topic for another day, I suppose.

RAW+jpg here.

Contest closes at 9 am CDT (14:00 UTC) on Sunday, 5/30.


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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.
 

Hoffelijk

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Edit in workspace



P1060238 (2).jpg
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P1060238_ext.jpg
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Kae1

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Best I've struggled to do do. Entry #1
P1060238ar.jpg
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Kae1

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Entry #2
P1060238bwr.jpg
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BosseBe

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No way I could get rid of the blur lines from the fence(s) in the foreground, so a sever crop it is!
Entry #1:
P1060238_DxO_Web_1.jpg
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Thank you, Richard. I found out that I could not remove the fence that way in Elements, but it was an incentive for me to try to submit something. I decided that the fence better be behind the ostrich so I tried to make that clear, thus obviating the need to try remove it. Edited raw file in DxO PL2 then tweaked in Elements. To increase the clarity of the bird, I highlighted it and used "Haze Removal" in Elements. Edit: Upon looking at my original entry again, I thought it was too blue, so I warmed it up with Nik Color Efex.

P1060238_DxOdLL.jpg
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RichardC

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Entry 2

Added some texture and colour correction to the lower half of the bird. Reduced some colour fringing on the legs (pretty sure I put it there).

ostrich2.jpg
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WhidbeyLVR

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Difficult image. I made my attempt in Gimp, which doesn't have sophisticated tools like content-aware fill. What I did for the body of the bird was to work with cloning on a wavelet-decompose stack. Then I used several ad hoc methods to deal with the grass and the back fence, with mixed success. (What that means is I flailed at it until it seemed suitably bloodied.)

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I can't claim success, only capitulation.
 
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How to think about this image? The ostrich is clearly the focus and there's not much else going on other than the fencing, so I see two routes to editing this:
  • Remove fencing with technical wizardry
  • Leave it in and lean into it as part of a story
Because the former is too hard for me, personally I'd go for the latter. It just kind of matches the droopy head and dour look, right? Use a cooler color temp and this ostrich is clearly evaluating its lot in life. :whistling:

P1060238_DP+LC_example.jpg
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Here's also what I looked for:
  • Reasonable contrast and visibility of the ostrich
  • Definition on the head, where the focus is (too much being clipped is a minus)
  • Definition on the feathers, which is touch given how dark it is
  • If removing fencing, what any artifacts look like (especially those on top of the ostrich)
  • Grass shouldn't be too busy, maybe

Results

Winner - @WhidbeyLVR. Maybe it was capitulation, but not before cleaning up a lot of ruffled ostrich feathers / blood / sweat / tears from the image! I have to say that the background trees look a bit weird though.

Runner up #1 - @frankmulder. Great definition on the ostrich itself and removal of the finer fencing. The less saturated look works.

Runner up #2 - @RichardC #2. Some more wizardry afoot. A little bit much vignetting for my personal tastes but did see the improvements over #1. Very nice.
 

WhidbeyLVR

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I have to say that the background trees look a bit weird though.
Those are the scars from the flogging.

Thanks, Mike! I personally thought @RichardC ’s entry where he turned the bird into a dog was the best, but you’re the judge.

I need to update one thing from my post. There is a Gimp plug-in called “resynthesizer” which does something similar to content-aware fill. It’s an old plug-in which is minimally maintained and a bit finicky. I installed it yesterday and applied it to that back fence per Richard’s video link, and . . . it was horrible. It looked like Freddy Krueger visited the forest! So with Gimp, I think cloning and healing still gave the best results, scars and all.

I will have to poke around and find a bad photo for the next challenge. Not sure I have any left. :rofl: Gimme a few hours.
 

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