72 Hour Post Processing Challenge #662 — Closed, Winners Announced

Hendrik

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A red-tail hawk in a tree. Not particularly close. Not terribly picturesque. Against a busy background. In sub-optimal light. Welcome to my world.

PPC662 display.jpg
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Raw file may be found here
OW-generated jpeg may be found here

The challenge will run until Sunday, May 16 ~6pm EST (GMT -4)

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.
 
Joined
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#1
I decided to lose the twig through the head and darkened the sky. Topaz Denoise worked well and then a closer crop.
PPC662.jpg
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Joined
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#2
PPC662bw.jpg
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WhidbeyLVR

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#1
I decided to lose the twig through the head and darkened the sky. Topaz Denoise worked well and then a closer crop.
Funny thing. I had the exact same thoughts.

Entry 1

PPC662_01.jpg
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DxO PL4 DeepPrime did a good job on noise. Tried to enhance feather detail without getting too crunchy.
 

WhidbeyLVR

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Entry 2

PPC662_01BW.jpg
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Nik Silver Efex Pro 2
 
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ENHANCE! (that is, crop like a maniac :whistling:)

DeepPRIME, then twiddly stuff in DT3.4. Hacking off a couple branches seems to be a theme.

edit: stealthily made a very quick v2 after I saw some obvious fringing

#1

PPC662_DP+LC.jpg
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Kae1

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Ken
Entry #1
PPC662br.jpg
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Kae1

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Entry #2
PPC662bwr.jpg
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Edited raw file in DxO PL4 then tweaked in Elements.

PPC662_DxOdcLL.jpg
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Joined
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Entry #2. Applied Shadows/Highlights (brightened shadows, darkened highlights, increased midtone contrast) to entry #1.

PPC662_DxOdcLL2.jpg
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BosseBe

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Entry #1
PPC662_DxO_1.jpg
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BosseBe

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Entry #2:
PPC662_DxO.jpg
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Joined
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Rejiggered and ended up with basically the same image, just cropped less. Guess that means I'm out of ideas!

#2

PPC662_DP+LC_v2.jpg
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RichardC

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Cropped. Got rid of some twigs. Changed the sky. Changed the colours. Added a texture. Added a border.

PPC662.jpg
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Hendrik

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I’m judging on my iPad while babysitting a puppy away from home, so it’ll be a bit different this time, less wordy and maybe a bit disjointed.

Every entry demonstrated a willingness to engage in cloning out some background, some more than others. Kudos to you all. Whatever was done struck me as having been done well.

Three characteristics suggested themselves to me as important. First, obviously, sharpening. It’s a soft image. The outline of bird’s head appears to have been the hardest to render in a natural manner. It tended to render with a harsh halo evident at display size. Getting a good balance between sharpening the feather detail and the head/sky boundary was tricky. Second, selection accuracy, most easily seen in the fine feathers under the tail. This was particularly important for attempts to darken the sky. Third, the bird’s eyes, which are the only reason that any attempt to rescue the image might be justified. In fact, the eyes draw attention so well that any halo along the outline of the head becomes inescapable. I counted allowing the eyes to go dark as a demerit.

I’ll make this quick. Dinner is about to arrive and the puppy’s being importunate.

Second runner up @Kae1 #1
First runner up @RichardC. I appreciate the vision as well as the effort.

Winner @WhidbeyLVR #1
 

WhidbeyLVR

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I’m judging on my iPad while babysitting a puppy away from home, so it’ll be a bit different this time, less wordy and maybe a bit disjointed.

Every entry demonstrated a willingness to engage in cloning out some background, some more than others. Kudos to you all. Whatever was done struck me as having been done well.

Three characteristics suggested themselves to me as important. First, obviously, sharpening. It’s a soft image. The outline of bird’s head appears to have been the hardest to render in a natural manner. It tended to render with a harsh halo evident at display size. Getting a good balance between sharpening the feather detail and the head/sky boundary was tricky. Second, selection accuracy, most easily seen in the fine feathers under the tail. This was particularly important for attempts to darken the sky. Third, the bird’s eyes, which are the only reason that any attempt to rescue the image might be justified. In fact, the eyes draw attention so well that any halo along the outline of the head becomes inescapable. I counted allowing the eyes to go dark as a demerit.

I’ll make this quick. Dinner is about to arrive and the puppy’s being importunate.

Second runner up @Kae1 #1
First runner up @RichardC. I appreciate the vision as well as the effort.

Winner @WhidbeyLVR #1
Thank you, @Hendrik ! I will look for a good challenge and get it posted within 24 hours.
 
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