Posted by: Rick Noll on December 19th, 2005
I was hoping to receive a better image of this picture, but after waiting this long I decided to see what I could do with the picture (see NOTES below).
- The colors match the wood pile, not the leaves on the ground. This and the fact that there is a wood pile in the picture leads me to be believe the two are related.
- I don’t buy the story that this was a wildlife feeding station with a camera trap. The trigger sensor in all the cameras I am familiar with would not of recorded something moving at that distance nor quickly enough to get the subject so close after coming from behind the tree.
- It does appear that the subject is behind the tree.
- I agree that a dangling leaf most likely will not set off most camera trap sensors.
- The quality of this image tells me it is a very low grade camera trap. Not a very good lens, probably plastic… probably a disposable camera.
I am leaning towards this being a picture in someone’s backyard of a tree that came down and was cut up and the pieces stacked in that pile. The wood seems very fresh colored in both the pile and what I am thinking is a shattered stump. I know that a lot of you want to believe it is the very devil himself on fire running through the Va. forests… but you have to stop looking with your mind for the reality checks.
NOTES: I used Photoshop Elements 2.0 on a G5 Mac. I first resized the image copied from here, in Loren’s original posting.
I then resized the image 10 times at 10% increments. This allows subsequent image editing a finer base of pixels to act on without losing resolution.
Next I did an unsharp layer at .7 pixels and then another layer for a Gaussian blur under color only. Then flattened the image.
On to color saturation. I tested each color until the majority of the subject reacted the greatest. I noted that the wood pile acted the same… under intensifying. The color was red.
I then burned in the shadow areas on the red subject at 9% in 63 pixel sweeps. I burned in the highlights at 28% and 63 pixel sweeps as well. This added needed contrast to the subject and implying sharper detail to the human eye.
Next I wanted to see if and emphasize the subjects’ relationship to the foreground tree placed it behind it. I used the embossing function and lit it from the same side as the original light source in the picture (even though it appears diffuse). In the layers tab you can quickly toggle this adjustment on and off, displacing the image with parallax and what I saw told me that the subject was behind the tree.