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scalvert


Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Magic & Mystery (Advanced Editing IV)
Collection: Favorites - Ribbons
Camera: Canon EOS-20D
Lens: Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM
Location: Easton, CT
Date: Aug 20, 2006
Date Uploaded: Aug 20, 2006

The funny thing about a photography site with focused topics is that a good concept poorly photographed can sometimes beat technically perfect photos of common scenes. Right here is the proof: a pretty good idea, but yechhh! I'll be totally embarrassed if this hits blue, so I'm hoping for a Larus or Kiwiness entry to beat me. (Post challenge: Hooray for Larus!)

The original plan was to have her levitating in the dark, surrounded by fog, with beams of light coming from a book with the word "Spells" on the cover. There would be butterflies flying out of the book and glitter sprinkled in the light. The title was going to be "Spellbound." Well so much for the original plan! The word Spells (in an Old English font) wasn't clear enough. I tried to rig up a work light with a cool fluorescent bulb and a colander placed over it for the beams of light, but it was too bulky to hide behind the book so I covered the light in aluminum foil with holes poked in it. Still too bulky to hide, and it finally dawned on me that I'd have to clone out a power cord. Duh. At this point, it's 10:30 on deadline night and I have nothing.

OK, OK... the floating trick: those of you who thought this was a photo composite, oversized print, double exposure, etc... you're all WRONG! My model is really up there, and I didn't clone out a ladder, shelf or forklift to do it. She's sitting on a bicycle seat that's suspended from a ceiling beam with almost-invisible 80lb fishing line. It was difficult for her to balance AND cross her legs, so I had to put the couch there for peace of mind. Even so, this was a very tough pose since she only had one heel on the very tip of the bicycle seat to support her legs. It looked convincing, but dull with just her in the shot. Model number two- you sit right there, open your mouth and look amazed. Major props to my daughters for being great, um... props. The light in the book was simply a 580ex flash in slave mode triggered by another one on the camera. I tried like crazy to dial down the output on that %#@& slave, but no luck and it was really late. I wrapped a couple sheets of paper over the flash, but it still blew out everything. *sigh* It''ll have to do.

Alrighty then... I get everything in place and have my helper hit the fog machine. Bad idea. In 5 seconds the whole room is a murky cloud, and when the flashes go off, all you can see is blinding white. Ugh! I had to turn on the ceiling fan, open all the windows and wait for the room to clear. Finally downloaded the shots to my computer about 30 minutes before the deadline (the kids were sound asleep 5 minutes later).

In my haste, I totally screwed this up in Photoshop. Converted from RAW twice- once for normal exposure, and again as dark as I could get it to rescue some detail from the blown out face. Cloned out the faint fishing lines and a bit of bicycle seat peeking below her feet. Used the Patch tool to even out slight variations in the background wall. The rest was typical stuff: Crop, Levels, USM, Channel Mixer, HSM. With the exception of a completely blown out face, the untouched RAW file looked better than this disaster... and now I'll be stuck with it in my top scores for a loooong time. Lesson learned: if at first you don't succeed, improvise (but leave plenty of time for Photoshop)! ;-)

This is what it should have looked like:
386576.jpg

Statistics
Place: 2 out of 127
Avg (all users): 7.4661
Avg (commenters): 8.1163
Avg (participants): 6.9483
Avg (non-participants): 7.6503
Views since voting: 22559
Views during voting: 808
Votes: 221
Comments: 107
Favorites: 24 (view)


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AuthorThread
11/11/2008 04:53:37 PM
awesome!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/12/2007 05:50:34 PM
LOL....just going through previous winning challenges for the "Deja Vu" challenge and remembered seeing this shot when I first became a member at DPChallenge. I remember being amazed at this shot and still am!

Of course, I don't have a beam that I'm going to suspend a bike seat from, but it suddenly struck me...........

You KNOW you're into photography so badly when you're willing to suspend your child from a ceiling and put a couch underneath as a "safety net"....."Just in case"! LOL
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/23/2006 02:26:42 PM
cool photo !
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/05/2006 01:23:44 AM
Nicely done. Reminds me of 305665.jpg...

Nice context...

I've got a great idea for another shot that I don't think I can pull off for a few months if you want to collaborate on another in this theme PM me... :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/31/2006 07:53:09 PM
you know, I just read through all the comments about drab lighting and harsh lighting from the book and all.

Do people ever see a picture for a picture anymore? I thought the same thing, I admit, then I thought: "But magic books are SUPPOSED to be blindingly bright" seriously, I thought you did it on purpose. A little smoke something to make the light stream really would have been the icing on this.

And the drab lighting on the rest? I LOVED it. The magical meeting the ordinary in a stark contrast, amazing happenings intruding on our everyday monotonous environs, even the walls are barren of life or painting or imagination. Oi. Ve.

Or maybe I'm reading too much into it and your living room is just a zen sanctuary? hrm..
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/31/2006 01:09:02 PM
Brilliant! Technical blah... doesn´t matter.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/30/2006 05:41:02 PM
Very creative indeed. Congrats!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/30/2006 09:32:54 AM
Shannon! Congratulations on your Ribbon!! The real Magic is your creative ability!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/29/2006 10:38:24 PM
*Oh yawn* Congrats on yet another rib2.gif ;)

Starting to think the site should have a congrats script and dedicated icon we can just click to applaud your creativity and photography talents Shannon. You certainly are in a leaugue of your own.

(wish I could spell and didn't have to edit everything I write)

Message edited by author 2006-08-29 22:43:53.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/29/2006 05:36:43 PM
Ohh my... another crazy idea!!!!! Poor girls!!! Just kidding, because I know they love to help you with your pictures!!! By the way, finally I can see the girls faces!!!! Good shot! Congrats!!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/29/2006 02:56:38 PM
I must say that this is a wonderful shot, and when I say it on voting expected it to do very well. Also, thank you for the run-down on how this was achieved, as I was really impressed.
Congrats!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/29/2006 01:53:47 PM
Great imagination in this one . . . hope you be able to get som fog soon and butterflies for you to realise your full vision of the image ;)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/29/2006 01:04:04 PM
A beautiful Scalvert-shot, once again. You're a master of imagination! Congratulations on your not-blue ribbon ;-)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/29/2006 12:42:57 PM
Shannon,
Fantastic work, as always! (Actually, I think this shot looks more natural and convincing than your "fixed" version. For instance, the floating girl's hair on the top of her head appears too dark in the fixed version when compared with other things in the room lit from above.)

LOL about the "worst 7+ image, technically" comment, and your response!! ;-)

Keep up the inspirational work.
Colin
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/29/2006 10:07:46 AM
Great shot, Congrats on your ribbon!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/29/2006 08:06:25 AM
I cannot believe the extremes you go to to get a shot! You are so creative. I might have been able to come up with that idea, but would not have taken the time to do that. I knew this was yours too! Floating kids is your trademark now! Congrats on your ribbon......AGAIN.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/29/2006 07:42:16 AM
This is a pretty cool shot. Lots of thought and patience. Well done..
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/29/2006 04:52:52 AM
You're damn crazy! Love it.

Silvestro.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2006 09:42:30 PM
even with the explanation it's hard to believe how you pulled this off. i didn't vote in this but it's one of the only photos i saw when i browsed, and would've handed you a 9 (didn't like the blown highlights) but wow... you keep pushing it a bit further.

  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2006 09:30:33 PM
Great concept as always, Shannon! Congrats! I wish my feats were as good as your disasters :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2006 09:24:16 PM
Congrats Shannon! Hey, are you talking about me " And I didn't clone out a ladder, shelf or forklift to do it ... " :D

Great shot ... great setup

  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2006 05:20:46 PM
Outstanding entry. It had your name all over it the second I saw it. Well done!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2006 03:34:14 PM
You are incredible. I cannot believe the amount of effort you put into your shots.
I think I admire your daughters even more for putting up with your antics way past bedtime. They're real dolls.
Congrats on your second place !
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2006 03:31:22 PM
Thanks for the explanation! Was wondering???? Congrats!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2006 01:52:41 PM
Awesome work once again buddy. Congrats on yet another ribbon ;-)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2006 12:26:25 PM
here's a typical Scalvert shot!!

fantastic job, and congrats with the red ribbon!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2006 11:19:40 AM
Man you are the master of setting these things up...congrats!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2006 08:53:24 AM
Congrats. :)

At least I'm learning what's technically sound, given my comment and your description.

But I'm actually glad to see that, from time to time, this site rewards terrific concepts over pure technical merit! It leaves hope for the rest of us. ;)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2006 08:46:24 AM
I didn't take part in this challenge, but I have to tell how super this image is. You worked hard to get it (as did your charming assistants ;-)but it's obviously been worth the effort. Congrats on your well deserved red.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2006 08:32:13 AM
You just continue to astound me with your creativity Shannon, its not just your concepts, but the way you problem solve to achieve results like this, you are a genius!!!!!!

Always a pleasure looking at your work, keep it up

Darren
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2006 07:04:12 AM
Originally posted by samtrundle:

...this is, in strictly technical terms, the worst 7+ image I've seen on this site in a long time.


My favorite comment. :-)
08/28/2006 06:11:56 AM
I love the photogs comments - this is, in strictly technical terms, the worst 7+ image I've seen on this site in a long time. However, it's very clever, amusing and deftly titled.

Congratulations.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2006 04:16:18 AM
Congrats on the RED! Wonderful shot!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2006 04:08:13 AM
You just can't tell you have this enormous brain power that you actually can lift things... com'n say it... I mean with all those ribbons, do you think I believe you are from this world? Hmmm? You can't fool me man, too old for that... too old for anything... I think my brain cells are dying faster now... where was I? Oh yeah... DHUEEEEE DHUEEEEE *Drool more*
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2006 03:27:30 AM
Super work that had me fooled, amazing what members will do to get that ribbon! Congrats!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2006 03:19:41 AM
Lol! You are welcome dude :) I kindof predicted this more than a week ago although I was totally kidding at the time :P

Just take a look at this thread if you don´t believe me :) Congrats on the ribbon dude!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2006 01:43:36 AM
New it had to be you, jejeje™ And now you're stuck with it on your front page :-) Congrats on another ribbon, dude.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2006 01:17:19 AM
you comment is so darn funny....made me laugh and laugh...and man you are right...sometimes you don't have to be techincal...and you still can ribbon...but only you can get away with that! you know it, everyone knows it! great capture though...no brokens limps I presume....
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2006 01:00:24 AM
Congrats! So you hang your kids from ceilings have them pose with toy planes on ledges... what's next? A reanactment of Michael Jackson dangling his baby? :P
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2006 12:53:37 AM
Congratulations, Shannon, on another ribbon! This one looks so spooky. You're good.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2006 12:48:45 AM
Congrats! Sheesh....your creativity just never ceases to amaze me!! Well done!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2006 12:45:17 AM
shannon, thanks so much for the entertaining explanation! congrats on ANOTHER RIBBON...yawn, yawn, yawn :-)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2006 12:38:06 AM
Master Scalvert at it again. Ideas and concepts that make our spirits lighter. Congratulations on your RED.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2006 12:36:37 AM
You are a master of magical photography. Congrats!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2006 12:35:31 AM
Way to go, Shannon! This is really clever!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2006 12:31:38 AM
Being a magician and a photographer I knew there was something great about this image Shannon. Good for you pulling this off the way you did. I think it is great. Congrats to you.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2006 12:25:33 AM
You are just totally awesome! A legend for these types of shots! It may not be exactly as YOU planned it. ..but for this challenge, it is most definitely worthy of award winning status!

Congratulations! I guess it's good you don't have to suffer through a blue ribbon, so this is perfect, right? tee heee

  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2006 12:24:26 AM
Another scalvert Masterpiece, congrates on your ribbon.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2006 12:23:28 AM
You should write a book about these challenges. Congrats!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2006 12:18:13 AM
Congrats Shannon! I like the story more than the pic though!

...and people say I have too much time on my hands! :-)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2006 12:13:55 AM
You're amazing!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2006 12:12:13 AM
Heh, sorry you hate your ribbon winning photo so much but it sure looked good to me. Grats!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2006 12:09:45 AM
Great job, Shannon. I didn't shoot or score this one, but would have pulled this out as yours if I had! You da man! Again you earn huge respect from me.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2006 12:08:31 AM
congrats on ANOTHER one!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2006 12:08:31 AM
When I viewed this photo I knew it was your. Again great creativity. Great job!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
08/27/2006 08:31:46 PM
Terrific concept, great "How was THAT done?" material. Marred by lackluster technicals and drab surrounding colors, plus extreme blowout on the face of the levitating child.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/27/2006 02:49:32 PM
This is just great!!!!! I'm dying to know how you did it!!!!!! And you little actors did a great job.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/27/2006 12:38:15 PM
Talk about imagination and creativity ...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/26/2006 05:42:21 PM
nice, but why is the levetated one so bright...distracting! but i still think a 5 is a fair score.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/26/2006 03:57:50 PM
Can't wait to see how this one was done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/26/2006 01:52:47 PM
Most WOW! "how you do that?" pic so far. I'll be watching for the details.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/26/2006 12:37:05 PM
One of favoarites in this challenge! Good luck!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/26/2006 08:07:31 AM
Cool idea and I love the expression on the little girl on the couch. Great job.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/26/2006 03:42:30 AM
Now how did u pull that..........8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/25/2006 09:07:33 PM
hope you paid the models nicely..they did great !!!! awesome set up..gl 10+
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/25/2006 07:50:27 PM
10... VERY cool, and very creative :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/25/2006 01:51:42 PM
Fun shot!!! Love the face on the little one in the chair! Very nice! 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/25/2006 12:10:53 AM
impressed....
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/24/2006 11:22:34 PM
Wicked!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/24/2006 09:45:58 PM
Very well done suspension with great humor. Bump.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/24/2006 09:44:32 PM
Validated! Then this is true magic, congratulations on a very well done photograph! 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/24/2006 12:39:31 PM
crazy shot .. would love to know how this was done!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/24/2006 05:10:24 AM
smart idea, good execution.
if I may - the light emitting from the magic book is too bright, to my taste.
but overall, strong photo.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/23/2006 07:55:47 PM
Nice montage and effect! Funny!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/23/2006 04:28:29 PM
Fantastic! Please explain how you did it.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/23/2006 04:12:58 PM
GREAT concept, great execution on the levitation, and perfect title.

Unfortunately, the rest of the photo is so low-contrast as to be kind of blah, and the floating girl's face is too washed out. 5
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/23/2006 12:39:02 PM
Very convincing magic here. The lighting of the book-holding girl matches the rest of the scene so it looks real.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/23/2006 09:26:54 AM
great pic
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/23/2006 01:13:51 AM
her expression is priceless! i love the concept.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/22/2006 10:35:13 PM
Neat concept and execution. I think the lighting could be improved though. Most the image is pretty flat yet the "magical light" is a little too intense blowing out her face. The models are cute as a button!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/22/2006 09:30:56 PM
lol - love the expression!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/22/2006 05:16:32 PM
Nice picture! I would like to know how you made it
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/22/2006 10:50:24 AM
cute! great idea and title
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/22/2006 06:27:02 AM
Very clever.....
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/22/2006 03:58:06 AM
Great expression from the one on the couch but, the face of the one levitating is almost to the point of burn out.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/22/2006 12:09:43 AM
This ones a winner
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/21/2006 09:39:23 PM
Very cool. Can't wait to hear how this one was done. I wish the highlights were not as strong on the girls face.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/21/2006 09:21:34 PM
How did you do that. Love the expression on the little girl.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/21/2006 09:06:11 PM
Totally awesome!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/21/2006 07:44:24 PM
Love it but I wish there was a more interesting background.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/21/2006 07:10:27 PM
I gotta guess Shannon on this one. Very well done. The face on the girl on the couch is priceless. I'd like to know the trick behind it and hope it isn't a print. Doesn't look like it to me though. 9
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/21/2006 06:31:40 PM
Haha I think this might be Scalvert... though I dont remember how old his children are... he has done things like this before. Its fun, and I like it. 7
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/21/2006 04:38:14 PM
congratulations on your blue ribbon. great concept, great execution. 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/21/2006 03:30:58 PM
Yup, looks like a classic scalvert pic to me.
My top pick.
I am looking forward to your photographers notes...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/21/2006 03:27:48 PM
great idea, but thye lighting on the girl was a bit harsh!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/21/2006 01:51:33 PM
Other then the obvious her expression is fantastic.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/21/2006 01:07:08 PM
Ohymgosh! HOW did you do that! I SURE hope you explained it. I will definitely be going back at the end of the challenge to check it out. Course this one will probably be one of the top 3, so that will be easy to do :) Maybe that's a photo cut out. If it is. . .what a PERFECT job you did with it! Amazing! 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/21/2006 11:16:09 AM
what a great idea ... wish the light in the book wasn't so "hot" ... 6
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/21/2006 08:42:57 AM
wow!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/21/2006 07:41:41 AM
Nicely done! The elevation thing is very clever. The strong light coming out of the book works well too!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/21/2006 03:30:38 AM
I like it, perhaps the light on the "higher" girls face is a bit too bright?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/21/2006 03:08:49 AM
Well-done - very convincing! ...and the light in the book is great! Nice acting too ;)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/21/2006 02:59:45 AM
excellent idea, too bad th lights are blown out
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/21/2006 02:42:52 AM
how did you do this?! that's awesome creativity! I love the look on the little girl's face...the lighting overall looks a little flat, but that's minor 9
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/21/2006 02:25:38 AM
This looks like a Scalvert, well done,top shelf.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/21/2006 01:01:06 AM
well, that's either scalvert or a dern good impression.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/21/2006 12:44:06 AM
you did a great job with this effect, I hope the fact that it was done here recently doesnt hurt your score. hopefully the voters treat you fair. this deserves alot high #.

unless it was done by you :-) Congrats on the Ribbon.

Message edited by author 2006-08-28 11:57:14.
  Photographer found comment helpful.


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