The Shadow Knows

Challenge #2 in the Technology Enabling Art series. Hosted by ProfHankD.
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Tone mapping has been a well-respected artistic tool at least since Ansel Adam's book "The Print" -- but it required a set of darkroom techniques that were difficult to master. Now tone mapping is possible in-camera using contrast and exposure settings, shadow adjustment, etc. Image editing software on a computer allows even more complex transformations: HDR (High Dynamic Range) processing, levels adjustments, retinex, dodge/burn, etc. The challenge here is to use tone mapping to make a photograph express your artistic vision rather than what the camera literally saw.
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Fall From A Plane
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Here's an example of how you can show the transformation with before/after within one image. Between dirt on the plane window and atmospheric haze, color and contrast were gone. The transformation processing was done in GIMP: decompose to LAB, unsharp mask L, compose (improve sharpness); duplicate; uniform retinex and apply as soft light layer (restore colors); flatten; curves (fix tones); and finally GREYCstoration (noise reduction).
Submitted: Monday, 15th June, 2009 14:34 (GMT)
Taken: Friday, 16th November, 2007
Focal length: 36 mm
Shutter speed: 1/200 sec
Aperture: F4
Notes: After the tone mapping, the image was put side-by-side with the original, scaled, and re-compressed using GIMP.
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