Worthless Made Priceless

Challenge #3 in the The Soul Of Things series. Hosted by Capivara.
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Post processing, isn't it great? Did you ever ran into a totally worthless shot, but managed to turn it into something amazing? Then this is your chance to show off your artistic PP skills. Both the original and the final result must be combined into one image.
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Floating Candle
by jezsik
Click here for full size original image
85th place
This young lady was setting a decorative candle afloat on one of the numerous streams running through Lijang, China. I did not expect to find much of an image in this near-dark photo. I duplicated the layer, adjusted the levels/curves/gamma, smoothed out the noise then repeated the whole process nearly a dozen times selectively erasing the brighter portions so as not to overblow her face and the candle. Fascinating exercise in image recovery!
Submitted: Wednesday, 17th June, 2009 15:06 (GMT)
Taken: Friday, 30th January, 2009
Focal length: 135 mm
Shutter speed: 1/10 sec
Aperture: F2
ISO: 100
Views: 328
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