moderated Case Study: Colosseum at Night

Dan Margulis

While discussion continues of the Cinque Terre shot, I’ve posted the next case study, again due Monday. This is the first of a pair that deal with images that aren't typical of our daily work, yet come up often enough to be a nuisance. Next time we'll start with a JPEG, but this one is another selection from the MIT study. Therefore, as with the Veiled Bride and Cinque Terre studies, unsharp masking is not permitted.

Here we have a night shot of another Italian tourist attraction, this one almost 2,000 years old (completed A.D. 80). I wouldn't say it’s an enormously difficult correction, but remember that the Colosseum is where Photoshoppers who did not please the authorities were thrown to the lions. 

Damnatio ad bestias will also be the lot of anyone who violates the following instructions, or tries to submit the appended thumbnail as live work.


*This is one of 5,000 images taken from a large MIT study. for which permission is given for educational use. The sponsors solicited contributions of images that were supposed to represent the range that a professional retoucher might receive. They then hired five intermediate retouchers to correct each. The 25,000 resulting files were made public, as were the .dng files they started with. These efforts will be posted along with those of our group.

*In the study, no instructions were given as to what the client wanted. Here, let us assume that it is for promotion of tourism to Rome.

*You can use whatever methods you like to improve the picture EXCEPT AN UNSHARP MASK filter or similar, because the original retouchers in the MIT study were not allowed to.

*Please keep clear records of what you did for discussion. List members find these very valuable.

*In the Photos section, Case Study: Colosseum at Night, 
I have uploaded a version opened with Camera Raw defaults, and another where the settings were much flatter. You may use either, or fetch the .dng as below.

* does not allow .dng format in the Photos section. If you want the .dng, you must download a zipped file from the Files section. NOTE: the zipped file contains the two default images as well, you don't need to download them separately.

*The designated size of this exercise is 3504 x 2336 pixels. If you use the .dng image be sure to open into the correct size. Do not crop, rotate, or alter the sizing, and don't delete any objects, because any of these things will make it impossible to use your version as part of a par assembly. Also, we had reports last time that Lightroom was not acquiring these .dngs in exactly the same aspect as other modules due to a lens correction. Therefore, we recommend that as soon as you acquire, you apply one of the default versions to it to make sure that all pixels line up.

*Your final file is to be sRGB with a proper tag. If you work in a different RGB you must Edit: Convert to Profile>sRGB before submitting the file.

*When finished, save in JPEG form, quality level 9. E-mail it to me, dmargulis (at), with a brief explanation of how you produced it, including what file you used for your original. DO NOT POST IMAGES TO THE LIST.

*Remember that some e-mail clients automatically downsize image attachments. Make sure you’re sending it to me at the original size.

*Entries close Monday morning, 22 June, at 06:00 Eastern/1100Z/12:00 ora italiana.

*Rather than confirm every entrant I've received, I will periodically post the initials of everyone whose file I have.

*As soon as convenient after the deadline, I'll post all the entrants in a random order. Names will not be revealed except for those entrants that I or somebody else has declared to be particularly good, which will come later.

*A discussion will follow within a few days after posting the final files. 

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