moderated Case Study: Bellagio at Night


Dan Margulis
 

After two struggles with the lighting in late afternoon/early evening, we make the logical move on to an outright night shot. We'll tackle one of the most iconic sights in Las Vegas, the fountains of the Bellagio.
 
With 4,000 rooms, the Bellagio was the most luxurious property in Vegas when it opened in 1998, with its own art gallery and conservatory, and a huge casino that attracted the highest rollers in the world. Its biggest attraction, however, was an original art form about which many were skeptical at first.
 
In front of the Italian-inspired hotel is a huge artificial lake, with 1,200 individually controllable fountain hoses. Every half hour during the afternoon, and every 15 minutes at night, music starts playing, and the fountains perform a ballet, programmed for each piece by a staff of aquachoreographers. There's really nothing like it, and people visit it again and again. youtube has plenty of video of the performances, for example, if you'd like to hear Andrea Bocelli accompanying the fountains. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6-FzFhclPc
 
It is unfortunate that cameras don't record the sound of the spray, let alone the music, and that they don't capture motion, either. So, it will be like dealing with a photo of Niagara Falls. So much is necessarily missing that we have to take measures to compensate.
 
Dan
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*This is one of 5,000 images taken from an 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. The best of 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, we're trying to show the magnificence of the scene.
 
*In the Photos section, 2021 Case Study: Bellagio at Night, 
https://groups.io/g/colortheory/album?id=261018
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. DO NOT WORK ON THE THUMBNAIL ATTACHED TO THIS MESSAGE.
 
*groups.io 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. Filename=2021_Bellagio-at-Night_case-study_source.zip
 
*The designated size of this exercise is 3000 x 2000 pixels. If you use the .dng image be sure to open into the correct size. Do not crop, rotate, alter the sizing, apply any lens correction, or delete any tangible objects, because doing any of these things will make it impossible to use your version as part of a par assembly. 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.
 
Except as indicated in the above paragraph, you can use whatever methods you like to improve the picture.
 
*Please keep clear records of what you did for discussion. List members find these very valuable.
 
*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) aol.com, with your brief explanation of how you produced it. 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, 1 March, 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. Once discussion begins, those who wish to identify themselves publicly may do so.
 
*If the filename of your version contains your name or initials, they will be deleted before posting. If you want to be able to identify your version by name once posted, throw in a few extra letters at the end of the filename; I won't delete them.
 
*I will leave discussion of the results to the group for the first two days after posting, and will then weigh in with my own opinion.

Dan Margulis

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