Challenge! Digital Darkroom Derby #120 (closed, results posted)


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:
@betamax #2 -- I liked the de-fishing and color & exposure, but there were ghosting artifacts from the HDR merge.
@Herbert Hound #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.
@Stiga -- Nice de-fish and general processing, but the image mirror flip and the remaining sliver of finger were distractions.
@BosseBe #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.
@gecko -- good de-fish and perspective adjustment, but the colors seemed muted and there were noise, banding, and blown highlights in the sky.

2nd place:
@RobD -- Nice de-fish with partial perspective adjustment and good HDR merge.

@kae1 #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.
That was a great challenge. I must say that a very good image set was a bonus and, in this case, your originals promoted lots of technical discussion. Many thanks for providing us with some good meat!