Ooooo I love it! I love the owl and rat, and the hanging moon in the background. Amazing job. I really love the grayscale here too, it works very well with the image, and the image doesn't seem flat at all.
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I really like this - it's surreal but almost believable - like if you stumbled across this during a midnight walk you may not realise at first that things weren't quite right... The black and white works really nicely too, it creates a lovely eerie atmosphere.
Just reading the comments above about the rat....I like him there especially with the concept of the owl not attacking. The rat looks a bit to me like he's floating on top of the moonlight rather than being in it - perhaps a light smudge of white over the top of him to blend him in a little. Or, like Cynnalia suggested, have the shadow of the post and the owl falling forward and blocking out the light where the rat is so he is sitting in the shadow and can be darker? The only other thing I'd suggest is maybe lowering the opacity of the strings holding up the moon a little (to create a "are they there or am I seeing things" effect.....?) Of course these are all just my opinion - please feel free to ignore it all if it's not helpful Good Luck
I have made some adjustments to the image and hopefully it looks better - I tried reducing the opacity of the strings holding the moon, but it didn't look right - they lost their glow and I wasn't sure how to restore it, so I ended up leaving well alone Please take a look and let me know what you think
Lovely The rat fits in better and I've just noticed the way his tail flops over the edge of the step - I like it! The slight shadow from the post looks good too. I hadn't considered the problem of losing the glow on the string - actually I'm pretty impressed with glow you've managed to get there! Sometimes you try things and realise you were right in the first place. A great piece all round
This is really good! It has a truly surreal quality that is hard to achieve with a monochromatic scene
I do have a few suggestions, but like *Cynnalia's I'm not sure how applicable they are in such a surreal manip. Anyways...
-First, I agree with Cynnalia that the rat looks rather detached from the scene, however, I read your replies and understand that you want it to stand out a bit. I'd suggest putting it under the mist layer but increasing the Contrast a bit so the higlhights and shadows pop out a bit - if it looks bad dont keep it
-Second, the archway looks great - the light effects awesome! The only part that looks out of place is the inside of the arch - the edge looks a little too clean and smooth - try using the Sharpen Tool (not the Sharpen Filter) to sharpen areas under the archway and see if that makes it look rougher.
Otherwise this is truly an excellent entry Nice work!!
I tried your suggestion with the sharpen tool, but it did nothing! I think the area is too flat - it did look better when I added a layer mask and 'jiggled' a small soft brush along the edge. The monochromatic effect was totally by accident - I created a texture that day and decided to try it out on this image - when I set the layer mode to screen, this is what I got - nearly fell off my chair, I was so surprised
I have made some adjustments to the image - once I got the hang of the smudge tool/sharpen tool technique and what it was actually doing I loved it, and hopefully it has worked! I hope the rat looks better and the brighter moon and highlights added to just about everything have improved it over all - please let me know what you think
My only other suggestion - which is entirely your choice - is to add some faint highlights to the background on either side of the arch. The mountains and the trees are just silhouettes and although they look good, they might look better if they had faint highlights. The same for the bats on the right - just a little highlight would look great! But once again this is entirely up to you
Thanks for your comments - all taken on board and I am going to take a look at how it will look applying your suggestions, but I decided when I entered this one that I am leaving it as it is... actually, I didn't think anyone would like it and felt it was quite a risk entering it - so I am very grateful for your positive critique
Great concept! Since this is meant to be surreal, I'm not sure how applicable my suggestions are, but if you'll have them - I would brighten the moon a little for some glow and then add white highlights to the edges of the owl, pillar and underneath the arch where the moonlight would shine up and illuminate it. I'd also create a shadow of the owl and pillar falling forward, too, since the light source is directly behind them. I love the bats, but I'm not sold on the rat. He seems kinda disconnected from the scene. Just MHO...
Thank you so much for your comments... the rat is there to add to the 'unrealness' (any such word????) in that an owl and a rat would not, in reality, be seen in such close proximity without preying going on - just my mind having weird moments I guess, lol. The glow/highlights you mention are actually there - I obviously took the opacity down a little too far I appreciate your honest opinion - I am not sure quite how serious I was being with this manipulation, but I did spend a lot of time on it!!!
LOL Okie dokie - we're on the same page with the "unrealness" (hey, it works for me!) of the rat n' owl's relationship, now! I think it's great you played around and made two different entries...this is neat with the monochromatic look and I love the owl.
I have made some of the changes you sugggested - hopefully the rat now fits into the image better, I have added some highlights around the arch, the owl... in fact, just about everywhere!!! And I have added a faint shadow in front of the owl. I also brightened the moon a little - please let me know if you think it is improved (cos I'm really not sure )