72-Hour Post Processing Challenge #650 - Closed: Winner announced!

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We've had a lot of landscapes and outdoors shots lately, so how about something else?

Presenting... a crappy picture I took late at night, from somebody who doesn't normally take these kinds of phtotos (I definitely have no affiliation with whatever this jar of chili oil is), spending an astounding less than 5 seconds on setup and composition! The scene is lit by the lamp in the background (an 2700K LED bulb), a colored strip of RGB LEDs around the bottom that I haven't figured out what to do with, and maybe some other light from the direction of the camera. The highlights for the LED strip (set to blue) are blown. Good luck!

P1040313.jpg
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(I just used defaults out of DT3.4 to generate the jpeg. With other processors the result won't start as ugly.)

Raw and Jpegs here:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/zmzb0vi3wgruao2/AAAwkL6gNtNOYzymEefV6GoEa

The challenge will close on Friday April 2nd at 11pm CDT (4:00 UTC on April 3rd).

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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.
 

betamax

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80FDC714-2F6E-422F-AD54-FD7B363F0F30.jpeg
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BosseBe

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Entry #1:
P1040313_DxO_Web_1.jpg
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BosseBe

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Entry #2:
P1040313_DxO_Web_2.jpg
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WhidbeyLVR

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Entry 1

PPC650_01.jpg
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Last edited:
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Affinity Photo for iPad. I used the selection tool and made a mask then put the ad in a layer under it. It’s just meant as a joke, not a serious entry.
Chili Oil.jpg
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Kae1

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Entry #1
P1040313ar3.jpg
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Kae1

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Entry #2
P1040313fr.jpg
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P1040313_ext-1.jpg
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😇
 
Last edited:

relic

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North Carolina, USA
Entry #2: As in entry #1 and used Nik Analog Efex.

P1040313_DxOdLL2.jpg
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Joined
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I couldn't really figure out how to get decent-looking gradients out of the blown blue highlights, and the blue on the jar itself is in turn jarring, so... personally I bailed and did this, desaturating the blue a lot and a mild chroma blur in places:

P1040313_edited.jpg
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Judging:

Tough one here.

1st place: @RichardC. Overall liked the saturated look and with very nice rendering of the blue.

2nd place: @BosseBe #1. Best way to get around the weird color issues is to remove the color? Looks quite nice, really.

3rd place: @WhidbeyLVR. This entry was FIRE. In my (weird?) view, there's maybe some opportunities to improve how the blue lights mesh with the new background, and the rendering of the blown highlights. But the overall look and edit were spot on.

Can't say I disliked any of the entrants. Great job!
 

RichardC

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Thank you for the win.

I didn't do much to the jar, but added a little extra space with content aware scale in Photoshop and cloned out any blown highlights. From then on I was going to go for smoke or flames but @WhidbeyLVR got there first, so I concentrated on the wonderful orange lighting with repeated blurring, adding of extra bokeh and general tweaking. This is my way of saying I actually lost all track of what I did to it.

Challenge #651 is live:

https://www.mu-43.com/threads/60-hour-post-processing-challenge-651.110936/
 

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