Welcome to our extra-special, Thanksgiving-week contest. This one revolves around the 21 images that I posted in my two-part “Southern France Rocks” travelogue. For the sake of reference, here are links to Part 1 and Part 2. And just for fun, here’s a graphic of one of the images in progress.
The idea is this: Either I or a friend of mine shot nearly all the images using one of two cameras: an Olympus E-30 digital SLR, or an Olympus Stylus 1030 SW point-and-shoot. (Just one image comes from another camera; can you tell me which it is and the camera model?)
I selected from the best photographs. Even so, they needed Photoshop’s loving care. Now as you know, Photoshop isn’t just for fixing mistakes or creating elaborate compositions. In fact, its first and foremost mission is bring out the best of what your photographs naturally have to offer. Which is what I did. No switched-out skies. No artificial reflections. No slimming with the Liquify filter. Just some elbow grease and lots of good old-fashioned image correction.
Your job, should you choose to accept it, is to select any one of the 21 images and tell me what I did to it. In other words, you’ll work as a kind of image detective, inspecting the photograph and looking for enhancements. By way of example, consider the image below (not one of the 21). Click on it to see a high-res version. Captured as a raw image with an E-30, I opened it in Camera Raw, warmed up the Temperature value, added generous amounts of Recovery and Fill Light, increased the Contrast and Vibrance, and opened the image as a smart object. In Photoshop, I reduced the height of the image to about 85% to make some of the sky visible inside this panoramic aspect ratio. I also cropped the image, darkened the midtones using a combination of Color Range and Levels, and applied a bit of the Smart Sharpen filter.
Do I expect you to give me that much detail? Of course not. Make your best guesses; there are no wrong answers. That said, the ten answers that come closest to being right will each win a week of free training at lynda.com. And the best answer of them all will win copies of my recent One-on-One books, all three of them, for CS4!
Here are the rules:
- Pick one image from “Southern France Rocks” Part 1 or Part 2.
- Add a comment to this post or one of the “Southern France Rocks” posts telling me which image you’re writing about and what you think I did.
- (Only members can add comments. You can become a member by clicking the Create New Account link in the top-right corner.)
- Include your full name with the post so we can contact you in the event you win.
So much for the rules. How easy is that?
Here are a few hints to help you on your way:
- Every high-res image includes metadata which can prove helpful for identifying the camera model.
- I shot all photos from the E-30 as raw files (ORFs converted to DNGs) and all photos from the Stylus 1030 as JPEGs.
- I used just one lens with the E-30, a standard 14–54mm. The Stylus sports a built-in 5.0–18.2mm lens.
- I sharpened all images using either the Smart Sharpen or High Pass filter.
- Several images were stretched or rotated. And a few were distorted—using either the Warp function or the Spherize filter—in the name of creating a fish-eye effect or filling the panoramic aspect ratio.
- Just one image was upsampled (enlarged beyond its natural resolution).
- Two images are the result of combining multiple photographs with the Photomerge command.
- The night shots and some shadow details required noise reduction.
- No skies are faked. But I was not above darkening or increasing the saturation of a sky or river.
- In some images, I used masking to modify one group of luminance levels from another.
- I did not clone away any details (there’s even a distant sign left over inside one of the images). But I did add a slender shadow effect to enhance the depth of one of the images.
- I applied the healing brush to just one photograph. This image also happens to be the most elaborate enhancement, weighing in at four layers in the final file.
I have no problems with you making guesses about multiple images, but please do so in independent comments. Feel free to help each other and riff off other people’s guesses. My decisions in selecting the winners will be final. Please, no whining. The contest will end on a random day next week, essentially whenever I feel like it, so write your comment(s) soon.
Best of luck, and happy image sleuthing!