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Lights of the Beyond
Lights of the Beyond

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Free Study IX (Advanced Editing IV)
Camera: Canon EOS-10D
Lens: Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM
Location: Kálfatjörn, SW-Iceland
Date: Nov 3, 2005
Aperture: f/4
ISO: 800
Shutter: 13 seconds
Date Uploaded: Nov 16, 2005

(i) White balance and exposure corrected in Adobe Camera RAW. Imported into Phoshop as a 16-bit image in Prophoto RGB colorspace.
(ii) Neatimage to clean up the noise.
(iii) Shadow/highlight on a seperate layer with mask to bring out the details in the shadow areas in the foreground.
(iv) Created a copy of the image on a new layer and added a high-pass-filter to it with a small radius (1 or 2 I think) and changed the blending mode to overlay. This is to bring out the highlights as in the stars and the grass in the foreground. The effect was then increased by adding a levels adjustment layer onto this layer and changing the input levels to 55, 1.00, and 200.
(v) I used numerous layers and methods to convert the image to B&W.
First of all I used a channel mixer with a mask to convert the sky to B&W using 20% red and 80% green. I also added a curve to to the sky to increase contrast by making the sky darker. (I didn't make the northern lights any brighter though.)
The foreground was converted into B&W with the Russel Brown method.
(vi) I then added a slight amount of color to the foreground by copying the original color image onto a new layer, changing the blend mode to Soft Light and reducing the opacity to around 20% with the northern lights masked out since I wanted them to be completely B&W. If you look very closely you should notice that the house and grass have a slight brown tint. It's not very obvious but I like the effect.
(vii) I brightened a few areas in the photo, the road leading to the ocean in the far right, the reflection of the northern light on the ocean and the area to the left of the house.
(viii) Sharpened after resize.

I think that's it.

Place: 27 out of 519
Avg (all users): 6.6426
Avg (commenters): 7.5882
Avg (participants): 6.4883
Avg (non-participants): 7.0641
Views since voting: 980
Views during voting: 455
Votes: 291
Comments: 20
Favorites: 4 (view)

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12/08/2005 09:16:06 AM
Nice high finish, but I pegged it for the top 10. Congrats.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
12/07/2005 08:52:31 PM
As interesting as this is in black and white, I wish you could see the lights in color...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/06/2005 08:02:46 PM
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/05/2005 11:05:21 PM
This could be in the top 5. Great capture. A 9.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/05/2005 05:23:42 PM
Interesting to see this in B&W. It looks great.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/05/2005 01:38:53 PM
This is eerie and captivating. Great job on this.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/05/2005 11:58:34 AM
Nice to see the aurora in b/w. Very gloomy shot. The post-processing is spot on! Good job!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/04/2005 07:05:21 PM
stark, yet very interesting and well composed..it really is appealing to me.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/03/2005 07:37:52 PM
An interesting presentation - as much for the monochromatic treatment as anything, I think. This free study seems to have been treated as a landscape challenge, and this at least adds more drama. It's striking, but not overly arresting.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/03/2005 08:43:55 AM
I don't see the point of black and white aurora pictures, but nice composition.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/03/2005 06:45:38 AM
For some reason this has an Escher'esque' quality about it. Love the contrast and the graininess. 9
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/02/2005 09:09:59 AM
Excellent night shot. I love the sirl of what is probably the aurora borealis. The building with the scaffolding around it is interesting amidst the natural setting. Very well done! I'd love a print of this!!!! 9
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/01/2005 11:47:19 PM
Interesting...never seen this done in B&W before, but I like it. Well done. 7
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/01/2005 03:26:32 PM
The aurora gets me every time. I've still never seen it as I live a bit too far south. I'd be interested to know what the foreground was illuminated with as it gives a good effect to say the least.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/01/2005 02:25:31 PM
Ok are we shooting the "lord of the ring" again? this photo somehow, made thinking about lord of the ring. Anyway, this is a great photo!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/01/2005 01:27:28 PM
id like to see this in color
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/01/2005 09:53:12 AM
Fabulous capture! The B&W heightens the interest and the mood of this image. Not distracted by color we more readily drink in the shapes, textures, and objects of this shot when normally our eye would have been instantly riveted by the aurora borealis. The weathered look of the old barn and the grass blowing in what appears to be a strong breeze is prominent and gives the eye textures to feel. I also love how you also captured the stars in this shot which further gives this a magical and mystical feeling. The Northern Lights is beautiful, eerie, and takes on the appearance of something otherworldly as we gaze upon this scene. Coupled with the stars in the shot I almost think of the Milky Way is what we see adorning the night sky. Great capture!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/01/2005 01:46:45 AM
New approach to the Northern Lights, must have been a difficult choice for b/w, very effective though. Alltaf eru nú þessir kofar doltið flottir...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/01/2005 12:09:57 AM
Wow glancing through the thumbnails, I am loving your work! Excellent job.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/01/2005 12:06:46 AM
So this is the black and white version!

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