72 Hour Post Processing Challenge #701

Paul C

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Competition #701 is a photo from a recent trip to Stourhead in Wiltshire, England.

This is a hint to take your camera to a wonderful place for photographers - just do a web-search for "images of Stourhead" and see what I mean. It is a wonderful country house and landscaped garden owned by National Trust England - so open to all for a small fee, including inside the house (but no tripods please).

The best time to go is for the autumn colours - so anytime soon will be perfect. I went at the end of August in the last weekend of the school holidays, so bad luck, there is lots of green instead and it had just rained too!

I have put 2 images in dropbox for you - both as either a JPG or Raw RW2.
Why two? So that you can try a panorama "re-composition" if you want.

The full size SOOC jpgs are here

The RW2 images are here

LEFT small.JPG
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Image "Left" - here downsized but SOC on the Dropbox link
RIGHT small.JPG
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Image "RIGHT" - again here it is downsized - so give yourself the best start and download the full sized images from the lnks


What's the key to the challenge today? - well it's the perennial trouble with woodlands;
  • the leaves filter out all but green (blue and yellow passes through the canopy, red is cut out)
  • and as well, the contrast in light levels can be way beyond the power of a sensor to resolve.
  • So normally I would shoot an HDR sequence - but this time I wanted to try a panorama/stretched picture format, so HDR wasn't possible
    • to be helpful - I have even put in some near vertical tree trunks to help the stitching process!

At present I can't afford the Lumix 7-14mm (I suspect like many of us hobbyists - those prices are just too steep to justify) so I have used the "free" version of an "ultrawide" instead and put the images together from my 14-42mm kit-lens using my favourite free panorama programme "Panorama Stitcher Mini" for Apple-Mac (Free on the App Store).

So there you have it - 3 problems in one to overcome in #701
  • problem colours,
  • problem dynamic range and
  • problems of stitching / or not-stitching as you choose -
    • there are all sorts of potential subjects hidden in the landscape to crop into if you want!
Don't think this has to be a perfect landscape picture - for with that temple in the woods there is plenty of scope for Gothic Horror interpretations too!


Here is my version - JEPGs straight out camera and fused in Panorama Stitcher Mini without any corrections. I know you can all do better!

LEFT_RIGHT.jpg
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I always learn a lot from this competition - so do have a go and DO PLEASE tell us how you approached the problem - even if only to tell us how it DIDN'T work for you as you wanted !

Today is 14.00 Thursday afternoon 30 Sept UK time (GMT)
  • so that gives you up to 14.00 Sunday 3rd October UK time to have a try.


Best wishes to you all - Paul C

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:

  1. 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.
  2. "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.
  3. Entrants are strongly encouraged to share the tools and techniques used for their entries, however this is not a requirement for entry.
  4. Compositing is allowed, provided the use of the donor image does not violate any licensing or copyright restrictions.
  5. 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.
  6. If the Winner is unable to post a new Challenge within five days, the honor passes to the next Runner-up.
 
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Kae1

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Entry #1 Nice place :thumbsup: Embarrassed to say what I've done but both JPEGs merged in Elements with autofill of gaps; Merged JPEG then opened in ACR; Edited in Elements, Chopped tree down and got Bodge It and Sons to rebuild bridge :blush: ; then tweaked colours, light, autofills, added sky etc. till I was happier.
Leftrightbr.jpg
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Kae1

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Entry #2 As #1 plus Topaz BW Effects
Leftrightbbwr.jpg
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#2. Sorry Ken but I have stolen your idea of chopping down the centre tree and employing Bodge it and Sons to extend the bridge, plus I have cropped in closer.
Panorama-2.jpg
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WhidbeyLVR

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entry 1

PPC701.jpg
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Developed in DxO PL4. Stitched in Hugin. Sky replacement. Cropped pano to 2.35:1 cinematic aspect ratio. Various contrast and exposure tweaks in Gimp/Nik.
 
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rpatodia

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Entry Left
LEFT_DxO_edited.jpg
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rpatodia

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Entry Right
RIGHT_DxO_edited.jpg
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rpatodia

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I don't have tools to merge and lazy to not try it. So pls pardon for processing both images separately. Will be grateful if anyone can merge it.
 
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I don't have tools to merge and lazy to not try it. So pls pardon for processing both images separately. Will be grateful if anyone can merge it.
Ramesh, I have merged your Left and Right images. Cheers, Rob
LEFT_DxO_edited-Pano copy.jpg
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rpatodia

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Merged entry
LEFT_DxO_edited-Pano copy.jpg
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Hendrik

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Initial exposure tweaks in Adobe Camera Raw. Photoshop rendered a perfectly weird stitch - it chose the two trees in the middle for the join and the result was bizarre. Following the crowd, I planned to eliminate the trees in any case, so no foul, but what made this tough was the water, especially the reflections. Water reflections are a useful stand-in for a horizon. They should be square to the frame. In this instance they toed in a bit toward the bottom. But the two images couldn't be fully reconciled so I stitched by hand and applied a skew transform to the right image to correct the reflections. It's said that westerners cannot fully appreciate a Japanese moss garden and I think that must apply to non-Brits for this kind of lush greenery under overcast skies. I admit I had no clue to what it might really have looked like if I were there, so I pushed the easy button and chose Adobe's Cloudy white balance setting. A lot of massaging for contrast and balance with several curves layers. In an attempt to draw the eye to the distant bank, I applied clarity by brush to the distant bank and, after downsizing for display, sharpened the same area in Topaz DeNoise AI.

ppc701p.jpg
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frankmulder

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RIGHT.jpg
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BosseBe

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I could not make a good stitch in Hugin, the tree in the centre of the picture always had a displacement just at the edge of the sky.
So I looked around for something else to do the stitch with and found GigaPan Stitch.
Entry #1
11_DxO_Web.jpg
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BosseBe

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Entry #2
11_DxO_Web_1.jpg
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betamax

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Growltiger

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Merged, cropped to position main features, enhanced autumn colours, cut down tree for firewood, structural repairs to the bridge, replaced the missing sky, sharpened.

20211002 Comp rb1 1600.jpg
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Growltiger

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Entry 2, same as above but with added vibrance:

20211002 Comp rb2 1600.jpg
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Paul C

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Many congratulations to all who joined in with process challenge #701

Thanks to all who managed to stitch this together - I had given a hint that some more common programs failed to do it well. It is always good to have a back-up program to use when your first choice fails so many thanks to Bo/BosseBe - who has found a new one to me called "GigaPan Stitch".


Special commendations must go to those who chopped out the offending tree and restored the bridge as a focal point for the composition - Ken/Kae1, Robert Davidson and Hendrik

Sky replacement keeps getting better - even around the tree trunks and leaves that were laid as a trap - special commendation to Lyle/WhidbeyLVR. and Growltiger

In the end the winner has to be the processing challenge victor for this week - that managed to overcome all the problems in one - Growltiger --- CONGRATULATIONS

and best of luch setting us the next challenge -#702

===
Perhaps just before I sign off, can I ask anyone to suggest where to start with sky-replacements for the complete novice? Faced with a bland pale grey sky that day I just stepped back from the edge of the lake and put the trees and leaves in the upper frame; (there were no clouds to make it worth using an ND grad filter) I now know better!


Best wishes to you all - Paul C
 

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