Challenge! Digital Darkroom Derby #027 CLOSED - Winner announced!

DeeJayK

Top Veteran
Location
Seattle, WA, USA
Name
Keith
Start Date: March 26, 2022
End Date: March 29, 2022

Welcome to challenge number 27 in the Digital Darkroom Derby.

Rules are here, please read them.

This is one of my favorite captures of a mother and baby three-toed sloth in Costa Rica a few years back, because it's one of the few where the baby's face can be seen.

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ORF (Olympus Raw Format) and JPG files can be downloaded from here (on Dropbox).

Challenge closes Tuesday, March 29th around 8:00am PST (3pm GMT).

- K
 

Hendrik

Regular
Location
Massachusetts
Cute!

Developing in Adobe Camera Raw to bring up the shadows. Minus Contrast, equal plus Clarity and 1/3 plus saturation. Blacks/Shadows and Whites/Highlights each pulled apart. Modest exposure boost (~< 1/3 stop). Zero sharpening in ACR to give Topaz Sharpen AI a clean slate. Back in Photoshop, a crop, a Curves adjustment for contrast and a second, extravagant curves adjustment targeted solely at the pup's eye.

DDD027.jpg
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DeeJayK

Top Veteran
Location
Seattle, WA, USA
Name
Keith
The lighting in this image is difficult and it really pushes the limit of the E-M1's sensor. I wish I had boosted the exposure a bit more at capture as there isn't really any crucial information in the highlights.

Every entry is a big improvement from the original, which made judging hard.

My own initial thought was to go tight with the crop, but in looking at the results there just isn't enough fidelity in the original to allow the image to hold together with an extreme crop as @RobD @Hendrik and @Zeus1 attempted. I found I prefer the mid-crop options to the extreme crops and @BosseBe's uncropped first offering. That leaves me with the three mid-crop images.

Second runner up: Ken's color version is just a tiny bit too "overcooked" for my liking
First runner up: Bo's cropped version is more naturalistic, although I find myself wishing for a Goldilocks middle between this one and Ken's version

And the winner is:
Ken's black and white version! That I chose a monochrome option was a bit of a surprise to me. It wouldn't have thought to try a B&W conversion, simply because the difference in coloration between mama and cub is a strong point of the image, IMO. Based on the fact that there was only one monochrome entry, I assume others may have had similar inclinations. But this image just works for me better than any of the others.

Take it away, Ken!
 
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