Monday, August 17, 2009

Fake Sky Real Sky

At the Bay Area Photo Club's August Honor's Night this past Tuesday I got busted for using a transplanted sky in the image below....

The only problem with that is that it was the original sky! I did add an exposure correction layer in PS3 to lighten the mountain bluff and foreground because the original image was under exposed. I then added a mask with a gradient fill to the sky to eliminate hot spots this caused in the clouds. The mask was just a blunt force dark-to-light quickie from the top of the image to about the bottom third. I did not actually take the time to mask the horizon line.

There are no rules in the contest against using composite images in fact it happens quite a bit. I suppose the issue is mainly one of believability, if it looks real the issue is mostly mute.

I'm not faulting the judges for saying what they said, it's there job to report and comment on what they see. I'm just curious about what you think?


Barry Armer said...

I didn't have a chance to take a good long look at this photo on Honor's Night so I only saw it for the two or three minutes that the critique was going on and so my ability to comment is somewhat impaired.

I thought that the sky had a strong look of being an HDR rendering and I didn't get that same feeling with the foreground. So it looked a little like parts of two different photos from that respect. If that wasn't the problem then I really don't know what is...but we've all seen the judges make comments before about things not looking legit when they in fact were, and visa versa!


Larry J. Patrick said...

Butch up! You got busted. Just admit and move on,


As I told you the other night, I saw clouds very similar to those when I was out there in March. So, the cloud formations did not bother me at all. I do think that Barry might have a point about a disconnect between the sky and the foreground. Personally, my mind can reconcile more details in the foreground better than it can reconcile more details in the sky. Skies, to me, should be soft without too much contrast--unless the whole image is pushed in that direction.

I like the photo, but I do wish the angle was a little different so that the tank was used as the foreground anchor.

Good job, Mr. Sky Dropper-Iner!

Anonymous said...

I would comment but can't pull up a large enough photo to check it out. I didn't get time to look at your photo on the table during the meeting. I was too busy looking at Barry's. From the top photo it doesn't appear to be that much of a disconnect between the two features at this size.

You take your chances and go home happy or mad, depending on who sits up front. My statement would be; if you like it and are happy with it who cares?


Wayne Beck said...

Larry, I believe your experience demonstrates how variable the judging can be. The Club imposes no standards or definitions on the judges. What you get is the "likes" and "dislikes" of who ever is sitting in the three chairs. I like Doug's approach. It is most important if you like the image. The judging is not likely to change.

Charlie Gipson said...

The sky does look dropped in to me, even though it's not. Maybe because the bright high contrast sky draws my eye to an area where I wouldn't normally expect to find the main subject of the image.

Perhaps a ND gradient filter appied in camera or in Photoshop would have removed any doubt in the mind of the judges abpout the authenticity of the sky.

More brightness, contrast, and maybe vibrance in the foreground might have helped as well.

Nice image.