As always, many thanks to everyone who participated in the challenge! I think there may have been more variety in the resulting images than in any recent challenge I have hosted, which is good.
I wanted to see how folks would choose to deal with the exposure bracketing/HDR, the very bright cloud edges, the fishiness, perspective distortion, and (of course) my errant finger. (I have included my feet with this lens, too.) I was agnostic on fisheye correction and perspective correction and treated it as an aesthetic choice. I think the HDR merge wasn't strictly necessary if you were working from the raw files -- the middle exposure could cover the dynamic range okay. But the tone-mapping step in HDR sometimes has other aesthetic benefits. I preferred the color entries over the B&W.
I liked the Polaroid by @copescamera
, but he wasn't competing.
5-way tie for 3rd place:
#2 -- I liked the de-fishing and color & exposure, but there were ghosting artifacts from the HDR merge.
#1 --Rich color and generally nice HDR merge, but there was a lot of noise in the sky and the "finger fix" was a bit rough.
-- Nice de-fish and general processing, but the image mirror flip and the remaining sliver of finger were distractions.
#1 -- Nice HDR merge, but the sky seemed a bit over-cooked with blown highlights in the clouds. The "finger fix" was pretty rough, too.
-- good de-fish and perspective adjustment, but the colors seemed muted and there were noise, banding, and blown highlights in the sky.
-- Nice de-fish with partial perspective adjustment and good HDR merge.
#1 -- I liked the color, exposure, and local contrast. The cloud highlights kissed right up against the top without being obviously blown. The partial de-fish worked nicely. The finger replacement wasn't perfect, but close enough to not be a distraction.
I'm sure Ken will have something interesting for us in DDD #121.