Hello everyone - been really enjoying this - and studying more with each challenge.
Mine was number 618. Some of my goals were to have no blue in the logs and good texture in the lion.
One of the things I wanted to accomplish was a greater sense of spatial depth by darkening the foreground and background. Cool (and dark) colors often seem to somewhat recede while warm (and light) colors seem to somewhat advance (or so I believe). So by darkening especially the foreground, I wanted to put more visual focus on the lion. While at first glance, my lion seems a bit dark (and perhaps it is), it is only about (an average) 5-6 points (measured in Lab) darker than the par. So I still think the par looks a bit spatially flatter than mine. A quick check shows that I like about 40% of par blended into mine.
I also used a small bit of an old darkroom trick - lightning the face just a small bit to put more visual focus on the lion’s face. One thing I often look at: I’ll squint at the image to see contrast - is my primary visual focus the area with strongest (within reason) contrast? (Since eyes seem to focus on areas with the best contrast). In this sense, I like mine better than the par- the lion face has better contrast when compared to the overall image in the par.
And just FYI - number 635 was created by a small group of students in one of my classes. Dan was kind enough to allow its submission, and they were very interested today to see how they efforts stacked up! I personally don’t know any other university level teachers who teach any of Dan’s techniques, aside from me. And I have to say, I’m proud of what they are doing - we all recognize that their critical color skills and ability to see more precisely has already made huge strides this semester. They themselves are rather surprised at how different they are seeing things. So thank you for letting them play along! And I too really appreciate the challenge from so many smart people! Thanks Dan!