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PHOTO ART: Mini-challenge #53 – Twisted Trunk

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  • PHOTO ART: Mini-challenge #53 – Twisted Trunk

    See below for "Information and Guidelines."

    - - - - - - - - - - -
    PHOTO ART: Mini-challenge# 53 – Twisted Trunk

    Here’s another “mini-challenge” to play with in the Photo-based Art category until the next official challenge is posted here.

    The image can be downloaded by clicking the link near the bottom of this lengthy introduction!

    This is a Bristlecone Pine, taken near Bishop, CA, by (now) frequent contributor to the mini-challenge series, Alan Smallbone. This picture was recognized as the November 6, 2002 “Photo of the Day” at

    Alan reports having captured this stunning image with his Coolpix camera set to black and white mode; it was not converted to grayscale in Photoshop. A slight levels tweak plus a little sharpening were the only things done with Photoshop. And what you see is what he shot composition-wise. The image was not cropped. Not bad, huh?

    This is the first grayscale image used to date in the mini-challenge series. It will be interesting to see the creative renditions of it.

    Thanks again, Alan, for giving us such a wonderful image to work with.


    Alan retains the U.S. and international copyright © not only for the original image, but also for any photo-art versions of it. Unauthorized distribution or use of this image without permission is prohibited.

    - - - - - - - - - - -

    Unlike “official challenges” for this forum, which can be found here, this one will be self-contained within this thread. It is intended as an opportunity to engage in this art form until the next official challenge is posted.

    The rules are more-or-less the same:
    * It’s a challenge, not a contest -- intended to provide opportunities to experiment, share methods and/or techniques and, most importantly, have FUN.
    * Everyone who participates is a winner.
    * There’s no expiration date.

    1. Use any method, application(s), style(s) you like:
    . * Convert to sketch, grayscale, abstract, watercolor, oil painting, pen-and-ink, Conte crayon, impasto, van Gogh or any style of your choosing
    . * Add elements from other images (collage) or replace the background
    . * Hand painting? Tracing? Freehand? You bet. Always appreciate entries of this nature.
    . * Apply filters from your favorite application(s) or tweak it with 3rd party plug-ins
    . * Feeling animated? Animated entries are definitely welcome. There have been some really funny ones submitted in the past. Fish jumping, leaves falling, wheels turning. You get the idea.
    . * Any or all of the above

    Bottom line:
    How you create this masterpiece makes no difference. Whatever floats your boat as long as you follow guideline #4 in the process.

    2. When done, reply to this thread and attach your work (don’t forget the 100kb size limit).

    Note: Multiple entries OK if you’re so inspired.

    3. By all means include some verbiage on how you achieved your masterpiece so others will benefit from your skills and experience. Make it as descriptive as you like. Grammar and spelling will not be graded. Priority given to content, not how it is written.

    4. Have fun.

    A special message to those who are new to Photo-art
    … Who may be feeling a little uncomfortable about posting an entry.

    If you’ve read this far, it means you’re at least curious. That’s a good sign.

    But what if you’re feeling a little squeamish about posting your first image?

    From time to time I hear from those who want to participate, but have considerable anxieties about posting their creations in these mini-challenge. “I’m just a beginner. My pictures don’t belong,” “I see the works of others and I know I’ll never get that good,” “How am I supposed to compete with those wonderful creations?” are typical expressions of concern.

    To which I say: Put your fears to rest. This isn’t a competition. You will not be judged in the traditional “art critique” sense. Your honor isn’t on the line. This isn’t about who’s best.

    Don’t hold back from participating and posting your creation because your initial attempts don’t measure up (in your own mind) to images generated by folks with more experience than you.

    This is a no-fault, all-fun way to jump in the pool. Everyone started the same place: The beginning. Everyone who is more skilled and experienced than you got to that point by practicing, experimenting, asking questions, learning from others, and participating.

    Can one learn without interacting with others? Sure. Can one learn as fast? Absolutely not.

    When you participate, others get to know you. That makes it easier to ask them questions. Asking questions leads to learning from those with more experience than you. It just keeps getting better and better!

    By all means give it a go. You’ll be glad you did.

    The pep talk cheerfully brought to you by:

    Danny Raphael
    Photo-based Art Forum Moderator
    Attached Files

  • #2
    here's my try at this one, (my first photo art attempt using PS7!!) I mostly followed along trimoon's sketch technique, adding in some curves adjustments and things.

    - David
    Attached Files


    • #3
      Beautiful David!

      You know, I was going to say that there are some photos better left alone - esp. when they are just great photos as is. I thought this was one of those photos, i.e. that I wouldn't like any of the art versions because the photo was so great.

      BUT, I humbly admit that I find your version fascinating! You've evoked a very different feeling - and I can't help but see an eagle's head near the top of it.



      • #4
        EXCELLENT photo, Alan!

        I was thinking exactly what Jeanie just said about this picture. I don't think I will even work on this one, because it's just too perfect as it is. David has added some color and a misty look, which is pretty nice, actually. So it's hard to say. Guess I'll wait and see if I feel up to tampering with perfection or not.



        • #5

          as someone said, it seems a shame to mess with it!!
          Not sure if I've done the right thing.
          Attached Files


          • #6
            Satans Den

            I could see the snake coming out of the steam.

            David , Frank we think in the same area bring out the erie. Nice works
            Attached Files


            • #7
              Jeanie, Phyllis - thanks, I know exactly what you mean, that photo is so incredible, I really do hate to do anything with it, but I couldn't resist experimenting and decided to post it up.

              Frank and Phili - those are both interesting versions you have come up with!

              a BIG to Alan!!

              - David


              • #8
                Very creative, guys... Well done.

                Ditto the thumbs up for Alan.

                Regarding: "Great photo. Why mess with it?"
                Good question. Fact is you could ask that about most of the photos in these mini-challenges.

                My lame stock answer: "Because we can, it's usually fun and sometimes greater things result."

                In this particular case we get to toy with our first BW base image.


                • #9
                  Alans Picture

                  I agree with you David.

                  So from me to Alan. You in my opinion are a gifted Photographer and the submissions are just fantastic. Its hard to pick one that is best, but I have got to say that in my humble opion Ansel Adams driftwood has nothing on yours. So we are sorry to do such bad things to such a nice picture, but we are having fun.

                  Hey guys I am not kiding I think the picture is great.


                  • #10
                    Phili and Frank, those are both very dramatic pictures. Yes, it sure does look like a snake! I guess it will be fun to work with that photo, even if a bit sacrilegious.



                    • #11
                      Jim's granddaughter

                      Twisted trunk.
                      Attached Files


                      • #12
                        Eye of God

                        Eek! The devil tree ate Jim's granddaughter! Clever, Frank.

                        I finally gave in and did one. Since someone made this poor tree into satan, thought I'd give it equal time as alien god, perhaps.

                        Does anyone else see that horse behind his shoulder? This picture is like looking at the keep seeing things. Or maybe Alan takes enchanted photos!

                        Attached Files


                        • #13
                          David, Jeanie, Phyllis, omeyas, Phili and Danny,

                          Thanks so much for the kind comments on my photo. It has been one of my favourites for a long time. It was a photo that just "was there" for me. In color it just does not have the impact, that it did in b&w and that was obvious on the lcd. As far as the contest win goes it took 11 months of resubmitting it every month, and every month has a different set of judges, before it won the picture of the day. So who knows, I guess it is a picture you either love or hate. My title for the picture is "The Snake Tree" for the obvious twist in the limb, that is what caught my eye.

                          The things you people do with filters and photoshop amazes me, I have no concept how to generate a lot of the effects, I can run a few actions but deciding how to get there is beyond me.

                          I am enjoying looking, lurking and picking up some things to try.



                          • #14
                            Frank great job. I like the eyes.

                            Phyliss. All I can say about yours is God wins out over Satan. Wow that is awsome looking really god like. GreaT Job.

                            Alan I knew it was a winner. Some pictures have no place being color and that is one.

                            I love good Photography so when I see shots like that it makes me love photography even more.


                            • #15
                              Rainbow Snake

                              The snake ate the chicken. I think that my head bobbing up and down is getting to me, I've gone weird.
                              Attached Files


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