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Technology Properly Implemented Is ... Magic
Technology Properly Implemented Is ... Magic
Dr.Confuser


Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Fool the Viewer (Expert Editing)
Collection: Challenge Submissions
Camera: Apple iPhone 4
Lens: Nikon AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 28-70mm f/2.8D IF-ED
Location: Yarrow Point, Washington USA
Date: Sep 14, 2011
Aperture: f/22
ISO: 400
Shutter: Various
Galleries: Digital Art, High Dynamic Range (HDR)
Date Uploaded: Sep 14, 2011

Photographer’s Notes
I’ve been playing around with this concept for a while, now, and this was the perfect challenge to shoot the concept seriously. Stuff I’ve shot lately and liked, with one exception, hasn’t scored very well. Maybe this will break my streak!

The general approach is to shoot the same scene twice, once with the laptop (or any other device you want to be transparent), and once without. In Photoshop, lay the device photo in its own layer, over the non-device layer. Use auto-align to line them up perfectly.

Using a mask, hide the screen of the laptop letting the non-device photo show through and Bob’s your Uncle.

Easily enough said, but background is key to making the photo interesting and believable. This isn’t the greatest background. I had thought to shoot something in a Starbucks … but Starbucks wasn’t keen on letting me set up my camera, tripod in their store … and people in the background are messy. They move around which spoils the effect. And they don’t take direction well. When you yell, “Now hold very still,” they don’t cooperate and multiple attempts is probably what discouraged Starbucks from letting me continue.

In this case, with this background, brightness was an issue. So I ended up shooting a 7-set HDR series for each photo and tonemapping in Photomatis before combining the remaining two resulting images. This creates a bunch of artifacts I needed to clean up in Photoshop. What else have I got to do with my time?

I had also been playing around with a panorama concept that I liked a lot. I shot about 30 photos from unconventional angles and photo-merged them in Photoshop. I played with layer styles. Fun. You can see the results below. Before I flattened and resized, it is a 1.5 Gig image approximately 10,000 pixels on a side. I decided not to use it because I didn’t think it fit the challenge as well. Time will tell.


Post Processing
• Photo 1
o HDR 7 Originals (Photomatix)
o Tonemap (Photomatix)
o Manage Color (PSCS5 Hue/Sat Layer)
o Manage Brightness (PSCS5 Curves Layer)
• Photo 2
o HDR 7 Originals (Photomatix)
o Tonemap (Photomatix)
o Manage Color (PSCS5 Hue/Sat Layer)
• Stack Photo 2 over Photo 1 (PSCS5)
• Mask Photo 2 (PSCS5)
• Correct Lens Distortion (PSCS5 Transform>Distort)
• Reduce Noise (Neat Image + PSCS5 Blur Layer - Masked)
• Contrast (PSCS5 Curves Layer – Luminosity Blend Mode)
• Brighten (PSCS5 Curves Layer)
• Partially Desaturate (PSCS5 Hue/Sat Layer)
• Clean Up HDR Artifacts (PSCS5 Clone Layer)
• Crop (PSCS5)
• Resize (Genuine Fractals)
• Sharpen (PSCS5 High Pass Filter)
• Partially Desat Laptop Icon Bar (PSCS5 Hue/Sat Layer)
• Save for Web (PSCS5)

Camera Data
• Date: 2011.09.14
• Camera: Nikon D3
• Lens: Nikon AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 28-70mm f/2.8D IF-ED
• ISO: 400
• Aperture: f/22
• Shutter: Various between 1/60 and 1/4

Statistics
Place: 6 out of 65
Avg (all users): 7.0775
Avg (commenters): 8.0588
Avg (participants): 6.8438
Avg (non-participants): 7.1455
Views since voting: 3278
Views during voting: 502
Votes: 142
Comments: 31
Favorites: 8 (view)


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AuthorThread
09/24/2011 05:15:17 PM
Magritte for the 21st century! Very cool, really like it
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/24/2011 07:41:58 AM
great smart image and I like the story very much, especially your observations about people at Starbucks (I too had the feeling they do what they want).
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/23/2011 12:08:04 PM
Great to see this in the top ten.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/23/2011 09:36:40 AM
I saw this and thought it might be yours...great picture I loved it...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/23/2011 07:52:31 AM
Congrats on top ten, great job!

I love this technique : ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1354/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_939817.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1354/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_939817.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/23/2011 07:49:59 AM
Congrats on the top 10 Doc!...great score for a great capture...Go Longshots!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/23/2011 05:18:35 AM
This is a fabulous photo. I had most fun reading your notes, though.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/23/2011 05:17:30 AM
Well Done Doc. Strong finish in a tough challenge. Keeping our team in a strong position.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/23/2011 04:33:08 AM
Top ten and second PB, outstanding, Doctor! Congrats!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/23/2011 01:37:23 AM
Great work Dr. Confuser, and congrats on your great finish.

Message edited by author 2011-09-23 01:38:01.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
09/22/2011 11:59:12 PM
Awesome idea and well excuted... looks to be done digitally though.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/22/2011 10:51:38 AM
Excellent example of this technique, although it would be nice to not have that slight tilt.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/22/2011 08:59:26 AM
I want one of those.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/21/2011 05:10:48 PM
well done! I'm guessing it's real.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/21/2011 04:13:16 PM
For me this is the blue, a simple idea completed perfectly.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/20/2011 08:50:13 PM
real
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/20/2011 10:56:41 AM
real
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/19/2011 07:42:45 PM
Hey! I have that same laptop!

Minus the window to your world...and a couple candles.

I know how you could have done this and had it be real, but I'm going to guess photoshop. =)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/19/2011 04:26:45 PM
Very good, but fake :-)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/18/2011 01:16:52 PM
We've seen this before, but this is nicely done. I say it's A.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/18/2011 11:50:46 AM
Well played
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/17/2011 06:56:08 PM
Real. Fake. No, real. Ok, not a real see through laptop, but a well done creation of that illusion. You lined these up really well.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/17/2011 05:40:08 PM
Genuine and very well executed
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/17/2011 05:04:47 PM
Very cool!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/17/2011 10:12:50 AM
Love this ,so well produced 9.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/17/2011 05:07:03 AM
funny great idea for this challenge, I'd guess it's real, took a picture and then set it as the desktop and took another picture.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/16/2011 09:21:58 PM
I'm thinking this is real. I'm guessing you took a photo and are displaying it on the screen, perhaps as the wallpaper image. Very cool effect well done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/16/2011 06:50:56 PM
Not real as clouds would have moved between shots if you had placed the shot on the monitor for the set up.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/16/2011 03:39:12 PM
Excellent
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/16/2011 11:36:40 AM
Nicely accomplished, if not particularly original. The slight tilt to the right is bothersome.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/16/2011 10:52:10 AM
Great concept and excellently executed.
  Photographer found comment helpful.


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