Post-Processing Challenge #494 - Closed - Winner Announced

AussiePhil

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It is spring time in the southern half of the world not that you can tell from this photo taken on Sat. it was a miserable 10c with a cold wind blowing directly towards me.

The blossoms on the trees are pure white and the water really looked grey like the sky ... for your reference.

In the dropbox folder are a three image 2EV bracketed set for you to play with

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The raw and jpeg files are here.

This challenge will close at the end of the day, Tuesday, September 10th at around 8pm AEST (UTC +10).
72-Hour 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:
  • Any/all source images used for the challenge must be the Challenge Master's own images. 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.
  • 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.
 

Dinobe

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Difficult one, main question here: what is the subject? Blossoms, man, sky, sea, clouds?
Anyway another, more dramatic attempt (I hope)
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Macroramphosis

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A 'traditional' fix of the JPEG - what I would do to it if it were my photograph (as against a challenge). Mainly done in Aurora, with adjustments to colour, exposure, detail and so on, some of it in layers. About 5 mins work ...... love the photo, too, Phil. Moody and wintery, as you said :)
_M071412.jpeg
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stagor

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There is not a lot happening here colourwise so I decided to go the monochrome route.
I think the fact that the lamps are so perfectly in line is by design and not accident, nice leading lines from the wall and the distant shore takes your eye to the lamps and then the walker ,who is the subject.
I used a lot of local adjustment burning and dodging to emphasize the subject even more, lightning the walls and the blossom, also how light fell from the sky onto the subject, and darkening the paths surface and the angry clouds.
_M071413.jpg
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LukasP

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_M071414.jpg
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I am a fan of cropping photos so I did heavy crop on this one too mainly because the photo is not centered so it gives off the balance. And of course water is not that interesting when you have this moody path with trees. I did basic Lightroom sliders to match the mood I was after and BW as it barely contains any colour so I wanted to get rid of it altogether. I don't particularly fancy harsh contrast on images like these so I decreased the clarity and contrast a bit.

Edit: I really underexposed the image which I can only see on another devices except the one which was used to edit. I will leave it as it is to be a lesson for other people
 
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BosseBe

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Used the .ORF files to make a HDR in NIK, then some local adjustments to the trees and flowers to lighten them, last a square crop, but I guess you can see that.
_M071412_Nik_HDR_DxO_Web.jpg
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And a B&W from the above using NIK again.
_M071412_Nik_HDR_Nik_DxO_Web.jpg
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mnhoj

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HDR merge in Affinity. 16:9 Crop, darken upper sky and split tone in LR 5.7.
Lovely file(s) to work with.

ppc challenge.jpg
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GregRed

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HDR adjustments in Aurora, with some further toning adjustments in Luminar.

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rpatodia

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WhidbeyLVR

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Entry #1

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Just used the darkest raw image through DxO PL2. Perspective correction, huge crop, noise reduction. In GIMP, I did some color adjustments, dynamic adjustments through Nik Color Efex, some sharpening in G'mic. and finale scaling. Then I thought, "Hey! It's spring down under. . . let's just boost the colors a bit and pretend!" So I did.
 
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AussiePhil

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Thanks to all the participants who had a go at this one, not the easiest maybe

Some comments for each
@Dinobe
The subject largely was what you decided it was going to be, I liked the vertical crop and the emphasis on the blossoms, it maybe was quite the gray but certainly the clouds where dramatic at the time.

@Macroramphosis
I'm always a sucker for a wide panorama style crop on landscape images, nice job on the greens, it's pretty close to how it looked.

@stagor
Interestingly about 2 hours later that's about where the sun would be breaking through the clouds :) The lamps were intentionally lined up and i was shooting through one hence the thick vertical on the right on the original. Funny thing is that i didn't even notice the walker at the time :)

@LukasP
You called it out in your edit that it came out quite underexposed, the tight crop is interesting but it seems to create an optical illusion of the lamp posts learning to the right.

@BosseBe
It must be the concrete colouring but the colour version has an autumn feel to it. I wouldn't normally crop this square but it seems to work. The BW version i like. It has that mix of calm and storm that creates an edgy image.

@mnhoj
I like the crop and the dark stormy clouds but it seems a little to dark on my display.

@GregRed
Nice work, got the green detail out from under the trees with the blossoms looking white.

@rpatodia
This has come up really dark on my monitor.

@RichardC
I often use these challenges to get out of the comfort zone so know where you are coming from, I really like it with only the strip of highlighted water breaking the lighted lamp look. I need to go back one evening and take a photo with the lamps lit up.

@WhidbeyLVR
well it is spring Lyle and the boosted colours do work :) if you started with the darkest image then there is a lot of leeway in the files, nice.


Drum roll :)

Third goes to @GregRed

Second goes to @stagor .... honestly Stan it was a close call to first

First goes to @RichardC .... you get the thrill of the win and the pleasure of the next host, over to you mate


....... the final criteria for me at least is which one would i print and put on the wall. My thanks to everyone for having a go.

Cheers
Phil
 
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Thank you very much. I've had a number of goes at the pools of light on the ground, and I'm still not happy with them. It's a good project though, and I'm going to have another go. There are a number of Youtube tutorials by Serge Ramelli along the lines of switching lights on watch , and some useful tips on dodging/burning on f64 academy's channel (This is quite a good one, the black and white techniques can be used on colour photos
).

Will find a picture and post a new challenge later today.
 

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