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Apocalypse 2.0 - Into The Fire
Apocalypse 2.0 - Into The Fire

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Best of 2010 (Advanced Editing VII)
Collection: Challenge Submissions
Camera: Nikon D3
Lens: Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VR DG IF-ED
Location: Seattle, Washington (USA)
Date: Aug 6, 2010
Aperture: f/7.1
ISO: 800
Shutter: 1/3200
Galleries: Action, Military
Date Uploaded: Feb 7, 2011

Photographer’s Notes
I’m not a happy photographer at the moment.

While I took a lot of great pictures in 2010, I’ve used the most DPC-Friendly ones in challenges already and, although I have plenty of outtakes, I don’t really want to repeat my self. So here I am choosing from among photos that I like a lot, but doubt will do well in the scoring.

So I’m starting with a favorite subject, military aircraft, and am “making” an image.

The original photo was taken of an F/A 18 over Lake Washington during Sea Fair – one of the Blue Angels. It was a crappy day to be in a boat under the flight line and the sky was all “Seattle Soft Box” white and undistinguished. The Blues did their “low show.” I shot some pictures but wasn’t really happy with them. ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' jbsmithana was with me and I think he felt much the same.

There was one low pass, hard bank, vapor-over-the-airframe series that showed promise and another pass I used in a prior challenge.
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So how did I “make” this image? The steps below up to but not including “colorize” are pretty standard workflow. But the result was cold. What I wanted was for the observer to feel the power of the jet in the turn, to feel the moisture condensing over the airframe and wings. I wanted it to feel like a weapon of war in harm’s way. I wanted an “Apocalypse Now” sort of feeling with a jet, instead of a helicopter.

I grabbed a couple of color samples from an Apocalypse Now poster and laid a radial color gradient over the image with yellow over the jet and orange in the upper left corner. Then I changed the blend mode to color – wow! Some dodge and burn gave the sky a more turbulent feeling. And last, I added some noise to the image masking the jet. War is dirty, dusty, and gritty and I wanted the noise to suggest this aspect of war.

About the Title: My working title, which I reserve the right to change before entering, is Fire Bug of the Apocalypse. The reference to the apocalypse is, of course, to the movie. The F/A 18 has been called the Bug, Super Bug, Plastic Bug and the Rhino. A few of our DPC members are into aircraft, will get that reference, and perhaps appreciate it. Otherwise, what could be a worse bug in the apocalypse than a firebug?

I showed it to my wife and she said, “They’ll either love it or hate it. Don’t think there’s going to be much of a middle ground.” This is the sort of thing she says when she doesn’t like a photo but isn’t in the mood to defend her criticism.

Proud recipient of this:
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Post Processing
• Pseudo HDR from Single Image (Photomatix)
• Crop (PSCS5 Crop Tool)
• Reduce Noise (Neat Image)
• Selective Blur (PSCS5 Blur Tool) Not a favorite.
• Remove Distractions (PSCS5 Clone Layer)
• Dodge & Burn (PSCS5 Overlay Layer)
• Reduce Noise (Masked Neat Image)
• Colorize (PSCS5 Gradient – Color layer)
• Increase Contrast (PSCS5 Masked Curves Layer) Applied Twice
• Dodge & Burn Sky (PSCS5 Overlay Layer)
• Add Noise (PSCS5 Masked Noise Layer)
• Resize (Genuine Fractals)
• Boarder (PSCS5 Stroke Layer)
• Save for Web (PSCS5)

Camera Data
• Date: 2010.08.06
• Camera: Nikon D3
• Lens: Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VR DG IF-ED
• ISO: 800
• Aperture: f/7.1
• Shutter: 1/3200

Place: 77 out of 429
Avg (all users): 6.2065
Avg (commenters): 7.8667
Avg (participants): 6.1579
Avg (non-participants): 6.4375
Views since voting: 1127
Views during voting: 365
Votes: 184
Comments: 17
Favorites: 6 (view)

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 Comments Made During the Challenge
02/20/2011 08:15:27 PM
remarkable effect. well done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/20/2011 02:05:17 PM
The sharp focus on the lower wing shows you had it perfectly focused - which means it doing some serious speed. Interesting stuff.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/20/2011 01:43:26 PM
Sort of impressionistic, but very successful in that.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/20/2011 01:26:46 PM
Like it's about to vaporize. Astonishing.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/20/2011 04:30:53 AM
Super cool shot and processing
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/20/2011 12:51:54 AM
geez that's spectacular!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/19/2011 12:05:45 PM
Really nice PP on an awesome shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/17/2011 10:14:20 PM
Fabulous. The colors and the clouds just make this an amazing capture.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/17/2011 06:19:19 PM
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/17/2011 12:47:52 PM
Good catch.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/17/2011 11:40:47 AM
pretty amazing shot!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/16/2011 08:14:07 PM
I really like what you did with the sky. One of my faves for the challenge.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/15/2011 10:46:15 PM
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/14/2011 11:59:57 PM
Fantastic! 10+fav
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/14/2011 08:23:11 PM
I would have preferred to see this picture flipped 90 degrees to the right.
This does look like an apocalypse though. The colors and processing is very dramatic. 6
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/14/2011 01:07:00 PM
Incredible image, 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/14/2011 08:07:49 AM
nice and dramatic...
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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