DPChallenge: A Digital Photography Contest You are not logged in. (log in or register
 
Challenge Entries
Portfolio Images
This image is not part of a public portfolio.
Circuit City
Circuit City
scarbrd


Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Masters' Free Study II (Advanced Editing VII)
Camera: Canon EOS-5D
Lens: Canon EF 24-105mm f/4.0L IS
Location: Houston, TX
Date: Nov 24, 2008
Aperture: 6.3
ISO: 125
Shutter: 1/25
Galleries: Cityscape, Studio
Date Uploaded: Nov 25, 2008

Borrowed, begged and borrowed some more to get all the parts for this shot.

No Macs were destroyed in the making of this photo, only PCs. ;-)

5 exposures bracketing for increased depth of field.

Used 2 flashes shot through a softbox for the lighting.

PP

Combine RAW images in Helicon Focus
Export as TIF
crop
color balance
Hue/Sat
Brightness/Contrast
dodge and burn

Post challenge:

I wrote this out in response to someone else, so I thought I would past it here in case any one was interested.


First, I did not enter a challenge for the entire month of November due to the preparation and execution of this shot. I spent 2-3 weeks sourcing all the parts. 1.5 weeks shooting it is at least 10 sessions. In fact, I spent so much time and effort on the model that I thought I might get a DQ for taking a photograph consisting of nothing else but a previous artwork.

My goal was to emulate something like a Google Earth shot. If you notice that in Google Earth and other aerial photographs, they are done on cloudless days usually in the morning. I thought some cloud effects would be nice. I tried several shots using smoke and other elements, but nothing came across as realistic to me. I wanted to try dry ice, but didn't have the time or the equipment by the time I had tried other things. Lousy excuse, I know, but the cloudless effect is what I originally envisioned, so nothing really looked anything but distracting in my mind.

These shots in real life also have no fall off from the depth of field, everything is in focus. This makes sense. When you shoot an aerial from that perceived height, F8-F11 will get everything in focus since the focus point is at or near infinity. To get this effect is what is essentially a macro I had to shot 5 exposures at different focus points and combine them as is now allowed in Advanced editing. I think this part came off particularly good. The clarity of the shot throughout the image is one of the more compelling elements. This effect is subtle to the viewer/voter, unlike combining multiple exposures for HDR. I realized even then, that this would not be obvious to the voter, but that was OK with me. Ironically, one of the comments suggested I use a lensbaby or a TS lens to decrease the DOF. Actually that would have been much easier using just one of the exposures!

The light was bit frustrating. I first tried with longer exposures and using just natural light coming through windows. The shadows were not strong enough IMO. I tried several lighting setups, including masking off the light to prevent it from bouncing off the ceiling. I never could get the shadows on the motherboards like I wanted them. The texture of the motherboards just ate up the cast shadows. You can see the shadows in the "water" but they are not as strong on the "land". I got little difference using direct flash that I did with slightly diffused flash.

I did receive a suggestion to go black and white

The inspiration for the layout was Paris. The islands were supposed to somewhat represent the Citi and Ile de St. Louis in central Paris. The colors to me reminded me of a Paris landmark, The Pompidou museum. It has all its inner workings on the outside, kind of a building turned inside out. So the color was always part of the vision.

//www.tellthetruthtravel.com/images/Paris/Pompidou.jpg

My overarching goal was for the viewer, for just a brief moment or two; think they were first looking at an aerial photograph only to then realize that they were looking at a model. Judging from the comments, it worked for at least a few people.

If I had it to do over again, I would try to get about 10-15 additional motherboards so I could go wider and deeper. 6 just wasn’t enough. I toyed with the idea of using mirrors, but while that would get me increased depth I could get anymore image to the right and left. This would have also given me more latitude in the composition so the "river" wouldn't be so centered.

I hope this gives you some insight to the effort and seriousness I had while doing this shot. This is by far the most effort and thought that went into any of my 200+ DPC entries.

I only wish the score reflected that. ;-)


Statistics
Place: 84 out of 170
Avg (all users): 6.2196
Avg (commenters): 7.7200
Avg (participants): 6.1538
Avg (non-participants): 6.2439
Views since voting: 1512
Views during voting: 619
Votes: 337
Comments: 40
Favorites: 6 (view)


Please log in or register to add your comments!

AuthorThread
12/16/2008 03:20:52 PM
Originally posted by dahkota:

If I had been scoring you on the 'thing' you created, I would have scored you pretty high - this is a really cool scene, particularly because of its parts. However, I was rating you on the photograph you took of the scene you created; a completely separate entity.


My sentiments exactly. As a photograph, it seemed like a snapshot to me, with the lighting, focus, and composition. (although from your comments it sounds like it actually took quite a lot of work to get these elements just right), but since this is a photography challenge I gave this a 4. But the subject itself obviously took you lots of time and creativity, and is marvelous and fascinating!
Just my two cents. :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/13/2008 06:52:37 PM
I thought this was an amazing shot worthy of an 8. I didn't mind the high-noon lighting knowing this is a fabricated cityscape... I am curious what a wide angle lens or a perspective closer to the motherboards would look like though.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/13/2008 05:50:42 PM
This is SO brilliant & well done and your explanation is an interesting read. I really like your vision for the google earth type clouds and if you ever try something like this again (because perhaps you're masochistic) then I wonder if some thin, pulled apart cotton batting suspended with fish line would do the trick. Clouds or no clouds, this is really a fun little world to study.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/13/2008 04:55:16 PM
If I had been scoring you on the 'thing' you created, I would have scored you pretty high - this is a really cool scene, particularly because of its parts. However, I was rating you on the photograph you took of the scene you created; a completely separate entity. If the parts were legos and it was shot exactly like this, your score would have been in the fours. The lighting is flat and uninteresting and removes all possible depth from the image. Additionally, you lose depth because there is no depth of field - everything is in focus - our eyes read that as flat because we expect some blurry parts. Kudos for your set up but your execution of the photo itself falls short.

At DPC, voters often vote on the subject rather than the image itself. I think you benefited from that. This guy does some miniature work. At any rate, cool work - it would be great to see it evolve. I scored this a 5 solely on photographic merit.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/13/2008 04:33:16 PM
I scored high on this entry.

the only comment I have for you is this.

if this is a city scene, why is the lighting so flat.

i mean, you are making the sun look like it is directly above at 12 noon when you should of made the sun during sun rise or sun set.

but, if you did that, then you would have to add more detail and depth using lights to hilight the image even more. you know, like a bustling city, street lights, building lights, car lights, boat lights, blah, blah.

the lighting was too flat for me to give you more than a 7.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/13/2008 12:19:19 PM
I'll add another "brilliant" - really enjoyed this one when I came across it in the challenge, and VERY much appreciate the commentary you've added. Oh, and most excellent use of parts I've ever seen.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/13/2008 11:50:33 AM
I thought this was brilliant. One of my 9's.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/08/2008 11:06:11 PM
Laurie just asked me why this didn't score higher, so I'll post my two cents here as well:

It's clever, but too technical- almost cartoonish in execution, and the composition is rather centered and static. He needed to take it a step further into realism with fog, waves or warm "sunset" light from a low angle to be taken seriously enough for this challenge IMO. It might have worked better as a B&W cityscape, since color distracts from the concept. The idea is brilliant, but the execution should be more serious/artsy. Bear in mind that I gave it an 8.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/08/2008 09:45:39 PM
I truly cannot believe this didn't win. I'm adding to my faves like I should have done before. :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/08/2008 07:30:09 PM
Wow I thought I was looking at a Google sat. image at about 3/4 mag. cool
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/08/2008 09:09:59 AM
I'm much more impressed with this now that I know that you built the city yourself. I'd assumed you were at a museum or something. I did give you 7.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
12/07/2008 08:02:47 PM
LOL
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/07/2008 02:17:50 PM
I usually find that photographs of tech objects (circuitry, computer screens, discs) are boring and somewhat lazy on the part of the photographer, but this is very different. For a brief moment I thought it was an aerial shot with post-processing miniturization. Well done.

PS: Back to bump this up a notch. :-)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/06/2008 09:09:14 PM
Expensive legos! (no vote)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/06/2008 12:22:37 PM
Great idea - creative.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/06/2008 11:21:05 AM
great idea, well done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/06/2008 09:45:56 AM
Freaking genius. 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/05/2008 02:39:45 PM
Very sharp and well executed! :) 8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/05/2008 02:25:02 PM
What a great idea...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/05/2008 12:24:55 PM
Tremendously brave in a FS, much less a Masters'......terrific execution. 8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/05/2008 12:00:06 PM
I can't believe I'm voting this high an a "setup" shot, but this is so fun! Great job with everything!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/04/2008 11:29:43 PM
Haha! a 10 for creativity and originality for sure. However I would not concider this a breathtaking photograph, and think it would do better in a specific challenge as opposed to a free study. My suggestion would have been to line up a lot more motherboards and such and take the picture at a lower angle to got closer to the action. This way you could take advantage of a shallow DOF for effect. Great idea though, and well executed! 5
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/04/2008 09:50:17 PM
clever!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/04/2008 08:53:52 AM
Original! And it does look uncannily like an aerial shot of a futuristic city! That's a cool idea that can be expanded and explored further - like shooting with a lensbaby or TS-E lens or just playing with the DOF.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/03/2008 02:25:19 PM
hahhahaha
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/03/2008 01:09:20 PM
Freaking genius.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/03/2008 12:54:26 PM
awesome idea
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/02/2008 11:32:16 PM
If there was a "Most Creative" winning entry, this would be it. For a second or two after rendering on my screen I tried to identify the city. Wonderful!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/02/2008 11:11:09 PM
Exactly what I was thinking as I scrolled down to the title. Very creative. You have lots of computer parts.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/02/2008 06:39:09 AM
ingenious
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/02/2008 06:01:42 AM
i'm skipping a vote on this because i'm too prejudiced. the subject is clever, the title is clever, the technicals are fine. if you made it yourself, i'd want to give you a 10 for effort, even though i don't find it that overwhelming photographically. at least you didn't go to the zoo ;-)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/02/2008 01:26:23 AM
Love it.. 1st glance really looked like a city with a river running thorough , 7
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/01/2008 11:37:36 PM
LOL!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/01/2008 11:10:36 PM
How creative and clever!! This must have taken some time to set up. Nice angle and lighting!
Since I am a geek and work on these things all day, I just *have* to make this a favorite! Great name! Love it!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/01/2008 03:50:45 PM
great idea!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/01/2008 02:03:11 PM
Very creative. Did you make this model? I like the colors.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/01/2008 11:38:28 AM
Great fun and makes a tedious subject very entertaining. Lighting and focus spot on.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/01/2008 04:26:35 AM
I hate photos of circuit boards. I think that they are the most boring thing to shoot macro. But the first thing I saw when I looked at this photo is cityscape. 10 for opening my world.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/01/2008 02:11:37 AM
Lol wonderful :) love it
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/01/2008 12:34:06 AM
Ha! VERY creative! Love it!
  Photographer found comment helpful.


Home - Challenges - Community - League - Photos - Cameras - Lenses - Learn - Prints! - Help - Terms of Use - Privacy - Top ^
DPChallenge, and website content and design, Copyright © 2001-2020 Challenging Technologies, LLC.
All digital photo copyrights belong to the photographers and may not be used without permission.
Proudly hosted by Sargasso Networks. Current Server Time: 12/04/2020 12:50:49 AM EST.