Digital Outback Photo
- Photography using Digital SLRs



Digital Outback Photo Contest #025

Contest January 2007: LightZone RAW contest #5

sponsored by LightCrafts (producer of LightZone)

See also our previous contests.

25 posted (contest closed)


1. Contest is open for submission till a maximum of 30 entries

2. Published LZN entries (so that you can start learning and improving)

3. Gallery with current entries open

A Note on Copyright: This image can only(!) be used in the context of this contest and the only site that has the right to publish images is Digital Outback Photo (or other sites that were granted permission, in this case also LightCrafts). If you want to use this image for any other purposes (e.g. marketing) you can acquire a license from us.

Again all of our readers can share all(!) imaging steps (including selective corrections) with other readers. How that? You will just send in a LightZone LZN file and this file contains all steps and operations you performed on this image. If you don't own LightZone please install a demo version. Contact LightCrafts if your demo already expired. Also remember that you can buy LightZone through our banner links and receive a discount. (you help to sponsor our work at DOP).

The main goal is to share imaging techniques and visual interpretations among all our readers.


We provide the original RAW file of the title image:

  • Scene: Bodie (California Ghost Town)
  • Camera: Canon 1D Mk. II
  • Lens: CANON 70-200mm f/2.8 IS


You produce your interpretation (color, B&W, colorized) of this image using only LightZone 2.x or newer. Finally you send in only(!) your final saved LZN file to us (the LZN file should be no larger than just 150-300KB).

Your contest assignment

Your task is to create your interpretation of the following properties:

  • Download the original Canon 1D Mk. II RAW file from here (read the above copyright notice)
  • Only LightZone 2.0 or newer maybe used
  • The photo should be ready for print (including noise removal, dust removal, crop, straighten, sharpening, cloning)
  • You grant the free public use of your instructions used in the LZN file
  • Name the LZN file like: first_lastname_1d2_0750.lzn
  • You may also add a short descriptive outline of your workflow in your email. We plan to publish some selective samples.
  • Do not send images (we will create them via your LZN files)
  • Send only the LZN file and your full name to:

Rules and procedures

  • Contest is open for all people that do not work for or are in affiliation with LightCrafts Inc.
  • We will publish no more than about 30 different LZN files for all readers to download
  • We publish these entries even during the submission timeframe. Don't just copy other entries
  • We also published the LZN files used the create the title images
  • We created a gallery with images that we created using the published LZN files (max 30)

We publish two sample interpretations (LZN files can be downloaded and even used as your starting point).

Both versions were created by Uwe Steinmueller


Have fun!

Reader's Comments

by Antonio Merces

"For this image, I decided to have three main subjects; the left bottom bush, the main building and the building in the background. Although I tried to get rid of the sky in the upright corner, I could not have a satisfying crop. So the approach was:

* Get an overall image contrast
* More saturated colors (reds for the buildings, greens for the fields)
* Lower highlights on all elements apart from the three chosen

The workflow was:

1. Selecting the buildings apply a Color Balance layer in Overlay blend mode to increase the reds. I got the contrast and color saturation needed
2. Inverting the selection I used another Color Balance layer in Color Burn mode to increase the greens. The Color Burn mode decreased luminosity, getting a tone separation between buildings and fields
3. Time to deal with the sky in the upright corner. I went for burning the borders of the image thru a Zonemapper
4. I wanted to emphasize more the tone separation between the buildings and the fields. Using a Zonemapper with only the fields selected, I excluded also the bottom left bush, I burned the selection
5. It was time to treat the third element, the bottom left bush. Using the Contrast Mask with the bush select I opened up the shadows working in the local contrast
6. I used the Hi Radius Low Amount sharpening technique to get more contrast to the whole image
7. Finally I sharpened the image"




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