Weekly Assignment #148: Your Worst Nightmare 2010

NikolaiNikolai Darth SLRPosts: 19,033Registered Users Major grins
edited October 19, 2010 in Assignments
We did this in 2008 (#96: http://www.dgrin.com/showthread.php?t=109908).
I promised to get back to it in a year, but the job (or, more specifically, the lack of thereof ;-) interfered and we never had a chance to revisit it.

Now, that we're back in business, I think it's time to try it again, i.e. get a year-old image you honestly consider (one of) your best from that period and tear it (and yourself) a new 'un.

For the basic rules please look at the original thread (link above).

And here comes a twist. Since we concentrate on people's shooting now, it HAS to be a human subject.
With that in mind I seriously advise against submitting images of close family.

And another twist... Along with primary one-year-old entry, please also submit your most recent one, which you also consider your current top work. Mark it "Nightmare 2011". Neither you, nor anybody else is supposed to say a single word about it - now. But - as you have no doubt guessed already - it will be a subject for the Nightmare 2011:-)

Hopefully, this will keep us all busy while we're getting ready for 1-2-3, and sets a good starting point, so in a year or so we can check our progress...

So, Alex, dare to go first again? :wink
"May the f/stop be with you!"
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Comments

  • anonymouscubananonymouscuban Inner Tube Pilot Posts: 4,710Super Moderators moderator
    edited October 5, 2010
    I'm game. It was easy selecting what I feel is my best image from this last year. I know you said it may be better if it's not family but this is my best. It's this shot of my lovely wife:

    741684429_4ELbR-XL.jpg

    LIGHTING
    I think the lighting is pretty good but it would have been much better if I would have used a hair light. As it is, the hair is just a big black blob with no detail. I would have placed the key light on camera right and behind her so it was lighting from head down. I think you refer to this as short lighting since the side of the face that is lit is away from the camera. This would have added more detail to her hair and also created more flattering shadows on the face, giving it more dimension. I would have then used the same light position that I used here as key but as fill.

    COMPOSITION
    From a composition stand point, I thought it was good but if I were to shoot this again, I would probably shoot from a slightly higher position to capture more of her hand and arm. This would have also cause the bed to fill the entire background, getting rid of the distracting window frame in the current BG that I tried minimizing with PP.

    TECHNIQUE
    Focus is just a little off. Hard to tell at this size but if you pixel peep at 100% you'd see that the focus is sharpest on her nose, not eyes. Shot this at f/2.8.... Not sure why. Would stop down lens a bit if doing it over.

    POST PROCESSING
    Lastly, I still feel good about the PP. I think the conversion is nicely done. However, I think I went just a tad heavy on the skin work. There is detail but I was a little to eager to use the new skin smoothing techniques I learned back then. Now, I would go a bit lighter on the skin smoothing.

    NIGHTMARE 2011

    1029058410_Gtn3b-XL-1.jpg
    "I'm not yelling. I'm Cuban. That's how we talk."

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  • mpauliempaulie Making People Grin Posts: 303Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 6, 2010
    Ok, 1 year ago I thought this was one of my best...

    3790739114_467cf3436f_z.jpg

    Lighting
    Uneven, with brights spots on the forehead, cheeks, noses, chins

    Composition
    Hands and arms are cut off, subjects are centered, nothing special here

    Technique
    Focus is soft on both subjects eyes, also learned here to stop down from 2.8 and select my AF point instead of focus and recompose.

    Post Processing
    Some redness in the skin of both subjects and needs a little more pop.
  • mpauliempaulie Making People Grin Posts: 303Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 6, 2010
    Nightmare 2011
    For Nightmare 2011, taken a week and half ago

    DSC_0089-2-edit.jpg
  • anonymouscubananonymouscuban Inner Tube Pilot Posts: 4,710Super Moderators moderator
    edited October 6, 2010
    Micheal... looks like we're the only two "non-wimps" around here.
    "I'm not yelling. I'm Cuban. That's how we talk."

    Moderator of the People and Go Figure forums

    My Smug Site
  • NikolaiNikolai Darth SLR Posts: 19,033Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 6, 2010
    @Alex, Michael: great job, guys, thank you very much! No-hold-back critique, and I like the structure! clap.gif

    @Alex:
    1) no praising, remember? mwink.gif
    2) NM2011: I know the difficulties of selecting the best image, but since we're looking for a "class representative" it doesn't have to be "one and only", so if you have several/many that you like at the moment close your eyes and pick one, no one is going to question your judgement.
    "May the f/stop be with you!"
    Star*Explorer: on Dgrin, home; Master Class: open;
    Class is in session, My Facebook, @DarthSLR, #NiksTips
    member: NAPP, PPA, partner: Adobe
    Comprehending life, universe and everything - one pixel at a time
  • mpauliempaulie Making People Grin Posts: 303Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 6, 2010
    Micheal... looks like we're the only two "non-wimps" around here.

    Looks that way ne_nau.gif maybe this will help give them a little nudge to post, lets see those shots people!
  • NikolaiNikolai Darth SLR Posts: 19,033Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 7, 2010
    NOT @Alex and Michael (you guys are safe:-)

    Ability to self-critique and accept (even the most brutal) critique from others is, IMHO, one of the most important features that differentiates serious photographers from snapshooters.

    IMHO one can't really improve if there is no concept of what has to be improved to begin with, and no ability to identify one's mistakes and learn from them.

    I *really* expect everybody who is serious about participating in this Class to go through this one... deal.gif
    "May the f/stop be with you!"
    Star*Explorer: on Dgrin, home; Master Class: open;
    Class is in session, My Facebook, @DarthSLR, #NiksTips
    member: NAPP, PPA, partner: Adobe
    Comprehending life, universe and everything - one pixel at a time
  • ToshidoToshido Major grins Posts: 759Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 17, 2010
    I am in the process of setting up my new computer with my old photos. Expect mine to be up by the end of the week.
  • NikolaiNikolai Darth SLR Posts: 19,033Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 18, 2010
    Toshido wrote: »
    I am in the process of setting up my new computer with my old photos. Expect mine to be up by the end of the week.
    :lurk Take your time :-)mwink.gif
    "May the f/stop be with you!"
    Star*Explorer: on Dgrin, home; Master Class: open;
    Class is in session, My Facebook, @DarthSLR, #NiksTips
    member: NAPP, PPA, partner: Adobe
    Comprehending life, universe and everything - one pixel at a time
  • ToshidoToshido Major grins Posts: 759Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 19, 2010
    Looks like I did not need all that time anyways, picked on that was already online.

    Nightmare 2010
    592855402_xCpW5-XL.jpg

    Lighting
    Lighting seems flat, lack of shadows means no real show of depth.

    Composition
    Maybe crop just a little looser on the bottom. Allow the complete soother and more important the end of the neck allowing the neck end in frame with the shirt.
    Get reflection of the mother in the glasses as well. Could have turned this into a unique family portrait instead of just father and daughter. Would have been nice to get both actually, with and without mother.

    Post processing
    Remove unwanted elements, such as the polarizing label on the glasses and my knees in the reflection. Also remove green cast behind the soother. Also extra miscellaneous people in reflection.
    White band on hat is looking a bit pinkish, hopefully just because I have not calibrated my new monitor yet, but unlikely.
    CA in VW logo. CA is possibly the reason for the pinkish looking lines on the hat as well.
    Colours on the soother look way off. There is a distinct lack in gradual change of colours and the highlights look just aweful on the soother.

    Technique
    Shooting at f/2.8 on the 70-200 f/2.8L IS tends to leave things a tad soft so it is okay to shoot at something other then wide open and at ISO 100.
    Focus seems to be slightly behind the eyes. But with a DOF of someplace around 1/4-1/2 inch the margin of error is ridiculously small. Bokeh is possible when you are close to minimum focus distance and stepped down.


    Nightmare 2011

    809867178_tSZW9-XL.jpg
  • NikolaiNikolai Darth SLR Posts: 19,033Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 19, 2010
    Toshido wrote: »
    Looks like I did not need all that time anyways, picked on that was already online.
    Thank you! Great entry! thumb.gif
    "May the f/stop be with you!"
    Star*Explorer: on Dgrin, home; Master Class: open;
    Class is in session, My Facebook, @DarthSLR, #NiksTips
    member: NAPP, PPA, partner: Adobe
    Comprehending life, universe and everything - one pixel at a time
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