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Jack-o'-Scarecrow
1st PlaceJack-o'-Scarecrow
gyaban


Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Halloween IV (Expert Editing)
Collection: Portfolio
Camera: Canon EOS-5D Mark II
Lens: Canon TS-E 17mm f/4.0L MF
Date: Nov 6, 2012
Date Uploaded: Nov 6, 2012



[Nov. 9th, 2012 11:35:07 AM]

A month ago, I spotted a dead tree while driving on the highway. There was lots of fog that day, and it looked perfectly creepy, covered with myriads of ravens on its branches. I immediately thought: "if a Halloween challenge shows up, I need this one!".

So I went there. When I arrived I realized that unfortunately, it was standing in the middle of a sand quarry. It was of course forbidden to enter, but since there was no worker, I parked my car a bit further away and climbed over the fence. The area was mostly a swamp with high herbs, and very quickly I got wet and covered in mud to the belt. Fantastic. When I finally reached the damn tree, there was not a single raven in view, to my disappointment. I took some photos of the tree nonetheless, and headed back to my car, with a new mission: find ravens on the way back to home.

Who knew these damn birds were such a pain to photograph?! I saw some of these in fields along the road: cars were passing by, and they just didn't care about, so I was quite confident that it would be an easy task... but as soon as I actually stopped the car, they immediately flew away! Each and every time! Damn birds. No way to reach them by walking to them, the results were even worse. Damn birds. In the end I was driving slowly, windows opened, the 600mm on the knees, playing the sniper through the windows, as fast as possible, as soon as the car was stopped. The 5D2 auto-focus not being the fastest one out there, it proved to be rather challenging, but I managed to grab some decent shots after a few hours of chase.

Back at home, my wife took care of the pumpkin carving, while I prepared the scarecrow outfit. We photographed both in the home studio, using quite different settings, since the light emitted by the candle in the pumpkin required a long exposure. I also took some feather photos while I was at it. Finally, around midnight, I took the barbecue outside once again, and snapped some flames and smoke.

The post-processing phase was not too complicated from a technical point of view (just the regular masking/blending stuff), but it wasn't easy to place the birds in a believable way. Lots of tries and discussions with my wife, but it was worth it, since we both like the final result.

Thank you all very much! It was definitely a fun challenge.

Statistics
Place: 1 out of 67
Avg (all users): 7.8897
Avg (commenters): 9.5000
Avg (participants): 7.5946
Avg (non-participants): 7.9907
Views since voting: 3708
Views during voting: 417
Votes: 145
Comments: 43
Favorites: 10 (view)


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AuthorThread
11/20/2012 03:39:00 PM
That awesome
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/19/2012 07:51:22 AM
WD on your blue! And welcome to my world (of bird photography), especially BiF (Bird in Flight). Fish Eagles in bright sunlight with "baited" fish is not that difficult as totally random flight patterns or skittish birds :) Hope to see more 10's from you on my next challenge entry :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/16/2012 10:56:07 PM
Congratulations! Another masterpiece....
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/14/2012 05:32:00 PM
I like the story even better than the image (to which I gave a 10).

Hilarious! I've never seen you perturbed before.

I love it! LOL!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/14/2012 05:17:39 PM
Great job and congrats Christophe!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/14/2012 02:36:13 PM
Outstanding, as usual. Congrats!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/14/2012 02:13:51 PM
congratulations!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/14/2012 01:24:29 PM
The picture is great, but the story is priceless! Congrats!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/14/2012 12:21:30 PM
Damn birds!! LOL!!! Congrats, Christophe :-)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/14/2012 11:35:14 AM
The work you go to to get the stuff for your amazing photos! I am in awe.. Congrats on the Blue!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/14/2012 09:38:18 AM
Amazing ideas and DA work!! Congrats on your Blue
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/14/2012 09:26:46 AM
This is spectacular! Well done on a great image! And also you got this, apparently. No real surprise when looking at the histogram.

1.341 times more asigmaticly chaotic than the rest!
Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1000203.gif


Message edited by author 2012-11-14 09:27:34.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/14/2012 09:07:48 AM
Wonderful, deserving work, Christophe. I really really like this :) Congratulations to you and your wife.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/14/2012 08:02:36 AM
Another wonderful creation! I'm happy that you mentioned the difficulty you had trying to photograph birds, even with your 600.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/14/2012 07:35:11 AM
I love viewing your work and reading your photographer notes.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/14/2012 07:26:33 AM
Congrats on the image and ribbon - and welcome to the wonderful world of bird photography! Corvids especially (ravens, crows, jays) are super-intelligent and don't mind leading you on a merry chase :-0
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/14/2012 07:23:21 AM
So well done Christophe! Congrats on the Blue!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/14/2012 04:53:02 AM
Congratulations another wonderful image.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/14/2012 03:54:08 AM
sweet christophe excellent work. love the damn birds story.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/14/2012 01:01:01 AM
Rockin awesome! Congrats, Christophe!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/14/2012 12:39:37 AM
As if there was ever any doubt!! ;) CONGRATS!! Definitely best!!

Message edited by author 2012-11-14 00:40:38.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/14/2012 12:27:16 AM
Congratulations Christophe. You just get everything so right!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/14/2012 12:06:49 AM
Yeah, those damn birds.
Another great effort. Congratulations.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
11/13/2012 09:40:11 PM
Exceptional! 10 - on its own.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/13/2012 07:01:05 PM
Stellar work
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/13/2012 04:10:15 PM
This has to be gyaban's, it's ingenious!! 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/12/2012 09:22:03 PM
Maybe the best!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/12/2012 04:12:37 PM
One of my two favorites in the challenge - no problem giving this a 10 :) All the originals are incredible captures and the whole is fantastic - spooky and perfect for the season without being gory. Voted earlier.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/12/2012 01:44:02 PM
Excellent!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/12/2012 12:16:37 AM
Great composition! Love the lighting on the pumkin's body plus the flames are great. The overall mood is delightfully eerie. Good job!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/10/2012 09:36:24 PM
there it is
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/10/2012 12:48:58 PM
Very good work for me!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/09/2012 02:20:18 AM
wow! wonderful! 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/08/2012 08:58:18 AM
Oh wow. This is great!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/07/2012 09:36:03 PM
Phenomenal! Love all the varied birds and their feathers flying.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/07/2012 07:18:34 PM
0.o
i itch to enter challenges again everytime i see something this good. I figure if i try enough times maybe i begin to get close - its like you took a picture of a beautiful movie poster
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/07/2012 05:32:59 PM
Best in show award, congrats, Christophe?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/07/2012 03:09:29 PM
I can't even begin to imagine how to do such a shot. Awesome.

Message edited by author 2012-11-14 02:18:24.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/07/2012 02:55:00 PM
looks like Christophe's to me
Seems like less would be really more here
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/07/2012 02:08:05 PM
Very well done!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/07/2012 07:45:41 AM
WOW very nice. Alot going on here and it really tells a story.
I could look at this all day.
I hope Jack-O doesn't burn your ribbon.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/07/2012 07:33:50 AM
well done
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/07/2012 03:58:03 AM
Once again, a lot of respect for your seamless compositing skills. Looks like you'll be adding one more to your collection of blue ribbons. :-)
  Photographer found comment helpful.


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