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Challenge: Far Side: Gary Larson Tribute (Advanced Editing IV*)
Camera: Canon EOS-20D
Lens: Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 USM
Location: Micco, FL
Date: Sep 14, 2006
Aperture: F/14
ISO: 200
Shutter: 1/4
Galleries: Humorous, Black and White
Date Uploaded: Sep 14, 2006

Wow! Thanks everyone who voted and commented! I’d like to express my appreciation at your seeing fit to make my highest scoring image one of roaches and my foot! I’m sure it will take me a few years to get this off of my front page. Really, though…this challenge was a great deal of fun.

When this challenge came up, my creative forces swirled into a vortex which pulled it's energy from a variety of ideas and personal fascinations:
1. A deep love and respect for Gary Larson's work.
2. A longstanding private joke about the juxtaposition of roaches and humans.
3. A great appreciation for, and desire to emulate, the work of ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/user_id/17203.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/user_id/17203.gif', '/') + 1) . ' scalvert .
4. A talent for creating miniature sculptures with self-hardening clay.
5. A combined fixation on insects, and repulsion for roaches.
6. A dark and twisted sense of humor.

I started working on this setup immediately after the announcement of the challenge and struggled with quite a few distractions during the week. This version was submitted at the literal last minute; and I was quite disappointed with the shoddy editing. I would have liked to submit it in color; however the only good lighting I have is my "God's lightbox" (in other words...natural light under cloud cover). Since I was unable to capture any roaches until the very last day (One of which I stole from a spider...half eaten), I was under severe time constraints to complete this setup. God decided to complicate matters by filling my ligthbox with rain as I tried to shoot.

I live in an RV, and was forced to create a studio somewhere inside (with only an hour or two to spare), in order to shoot this project.

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The lighting is terrible, and I struggled for quite some time before coming up with this setup:

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Due to the substandard lighting conditions, the colors were very bad, and I could not correct them. At the very last moment, I converted to B/W and submitted. Here is the original, color version:

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Post Processing (all done in 7 minutes!):
Channel Mixer (Desaturate)
Levels Adjustment
Gaussian Blur (BG layer)
Erase (FG layer)
Clone distractions
Blur distractions
Save for web

Inspirations for my setup:
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/494/120/335589.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/494/120/335589.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/20000-24999/20530/120/399403.gif', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/20000-24999/20530/120/399403.gif', '/') + 1) . '
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/544/120/384091.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/544/120/384091.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Place: 5 out of 80
Avg (all users): 7.0717
Avg (commenters): 8.6471
Avg (participants): 6.8387
Avg (non-participants): 7.1342
Views since voting: 7116
Views during voting: 854
Votes: 293
Comments: 39
Favorites: 6 (view)

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01/27/2008 10:53:39 AM
Just revisiting the late and the great... you did a grand job here and thanks for sharing the theatrical expertize.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/04/2007 11:48:49 PM
LOL this one just kills me each time I see it, you have such a great sense of haha I love it :D Grats on the top 5 you sooooo deserve it!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/24/2006 09:08:56 AM
Congratulations on a great score and a top 5 finish. So well deserved. My husband and I had this absolutely pegged during voting as an original Scalvert. So perfectly done. And your lighting setup is genius (not to mention hilarious)! I always use God's lightbox too. So they really were real roaches? I mean they look like it and everything but eewwww! :) What we won't do in the name of art! Rock on sister!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/24/2006 01:32:19 AM
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/22/2006 10:56:07 PM
Just excellent. Oh, yes. And funny too.

  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/22/2006 02:26:21 PM
Thanks everyone for the kind comments! I was absolutely shocked when my score started out so high and stayed there!

Thank you Robin for noticing the details in my setup. I did, indeed make them all from scratch, including the garbage art (which I have decided to keep). The chair, clock and picture frame were sculpted from self-hardening clay. That was the easiest part of the whole thing. Finding and posing the roaches was obviously the hardest. I'll never forget the way my husband reacted when he realized what I was doing! He must really love me to put up with the critters I constantly bring inside.
09/22/2006 02:10:44 PM
Congratulations on your top finish and high score. Thanks for sharing the setup too. You did a fantastic job and I am so impressed that you were able to work with dead roaches and put them cute poses!

Love all the little details...doilies on the chair, cuckoo clock, and the adorable framed garbage-art tilted slightly. I have to wonder if you made everything yourself from scratch.

Hilarious! Original! Creative!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/22/2006 12:12:05 PM
Congrats on your first 7! This is a very creative image in the true spirit of Gary Larson. Hard to believe it has been so long since his comic strip has been discontinued. You captured his warped sense of humor perfectly.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/22/2006 09:21:55 AM
Congrats. Very well done. I personally prefer the color version. The lighting almost gives it the feel of the Sunday Funnies.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/22/2006 07:27:26 AM
Wow Roxanne - congratulations on the finish! Excellent shot! Very true to topic and well executed. I really like the b/w processing - the right choice. Got a laugh from this one which I used as a partial gauge for scoring in this challenge...this scored well with me. Great job! I love it!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/22/2006 06:48:01 AM
Awesome Roxanne!!! Your energy and creativity for this entry is awe-inspiring! Way to go! Very happy for you.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/22/2006 06:29:44 AM
I did not have time to go through this challenge until now. But this one is great! Awsome set up and funnier than heck!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/22/2006 03:24:00 AM
Haha! You pulled a Scalvert! :) Absolutely great job! ...and hardly any effort at all. ;-P

I am so happy this made the top 5 and very happy for you, Roxanne!

Message edited by author 2006-09-22 03:27:07.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/22/2006 12:31:25 AM
you'd better get shooting now! Cockroaches on the top row of your profile page for eternity if you don't start quick!

Loved this - seeing the set up, I want a "making of" shot of you with your foot up there!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/22/2006 12:24:28 AM
I was wondering how this would do since those bugs are ugly! :P Congrats on the honorable mention.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/22/2006 12:15:52 AM
Congrats! This was a great effort and it paid off nicely! :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/22/2006 12:14:55 AM
Congratulations on your 5th place finish. A very fine job with acute wacky humor.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/22/2006 12:09:28 AM
Way to go on top 5. My top pick of the challenge though. Scalvert should be proud. Excellent work!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/22/2006 12:06:33 AM
So fantastic and a great score Roxanne...you just missed out
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
09/20/2006 06:02:05 PM
Very Larsonesque in presentation and style.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/19/2006 02:06:11 PM
LOL!!! How brilliantly perfect. This is not only hillarious, but a superb photo. Nice texture and details, and I like the choice of black and white. I really hope that this ribbons!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/19/2006 05:50:41 AM
Somewhat reminds me of one of Scalvert´s shots, don´t remember wich one but had a mouse in it. For me personally, this is not as good but still good enough for a 7 from me, I think I would have preferred it in color, have a feeling it lost some of it´s punch by going b/w.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/19/2006 05:31:21 AM
omg this is really well done!
amazing crop and setup.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/18/2006 11:29:33 PM
This is a good one. Classic Far Side style. Well done!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/18/2006 06:24:53 PM
Really great
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/17/2006 09:42:16 PM
Holy cow, this is brilliant!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/17/2006 12:00:56 PM
Yes, the smart irony again, what I love in the style of Gary Larson. I remember my HR lecturer showing us a Gary Larson one with bugs and an A-bomb disaster. The point absolutely caught here. Maybe the bug in the armchair could be a little-little bit sharper.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/17/2006 08:27:21 AM
lmaooooo, this is hilarious!!!! Gary Larson would be proud!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/16/2006 05:21:22 PM
Back to comment. A thing of beauty...I could never guess whose this is! :) I can't wait to see if these are real roaches - they sure look like it - eeew! Very nicely set up & executed. I like that you did the thought bubble instead of just working in the title. Perfect. Top 5 for sure...maybe the blue IMO - one for the collection. Good luck!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/16/2006 12:57:15 PM
THis better ribbon. Wonderful.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/15/2006 09:01:32 PM
Umm. Yuck! Roaches make my skin crawl.

But awesome shot and concept. Real neat.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/15/2006 03:05:16 PM
Great photo. The caption and title are priceless. Great creativity! Good Luck. I vote a 9.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/15/2006 01:52:55 PM
eeeewwww! :0P
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/15/2006 04:45:19 AM
Ewwww, I hate roaches! I hope that many roaches were harmed in the making of this shot. Nicely shot and works ver well in B&W.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/15/2006 04:23:37 AM
nicely done, cool to include the speech bubble in the setup
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/15/2006 01:26:12 AM
Wow, this is really well done. I like how this is done 100% with the camera and looks realistic.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/15/2006 12:48:15 AM
Great setup.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/15/2006 12:22:37 AM
Great shot, great editing. Feels like the winner all the way. Would guess this is a Scalvert shot - if it is way to go. If its not then WAY TO GO!!!! Bumping up to the top!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/15/2006 12:13:19 AM
lol WOW great work! 9
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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