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Winner of this week's "The Eyes Have It" contest on

A young stray cat feeding off scraps under tables at a cafe in a small town in Spain. I placed the camera down on the ground under my chair with the 16-35 at its wide end, and did my best to attract her over. I was hoping for more symmetry, but I quite like how the curious look combined with the offset paws and tail.

A lot of experimental editing here, taking certain techniques a bit further than usual. Rather than a selective partial desaturation, this is actually a selective combination of two different duotone conversions - the majority of the image converted to a manually curved duotone based on pantone warm grey 7U in the midtones, and pantone cool grey 10C in the highlights. The eyes are done with the same process but the opposite way round (with different curves), so the midtones are the cool grey and the highlights are the warm.

Another technique I'm experimenting with here is wavelet decompose, splitting the image into different detail scales and smoothing out detail at some scales only; that allowed me to reduce the coarseness of the fur and bring out the finer fur texture around the cat's face.

Overall, a lot of editing steps here: Starting with dodging and burning to fully blow out the background highlights. Curves to bring up the blues in the shadows (this was originally a colour edit) and raise the overall gamma. Selective curves and saturation adjustment to emphasise the colour and tone of the eyes; partial selective desat on brightly lit parts of the foreground to make the highlights more muted and subtle. Crop to place the eyes on golden sections, and then in a bit further to fill the frame. Cloning to clean up distracting dust from the ground, and a few stray hairs on the cat. Desaturation with a red/orange filter effect manually pulled with channel mixer. Two different duotone conversions as mentioned above, applied selectively. Wavelet decompose, and smoothing out the wavelet contributions from higher scale layers to bring out the finer detail in the fur. Amplify the two finest layers of detail to 200% and 150% respectively. Resize, selective sharpen, and a few spots of selective gaussian blur on the out of focus areas where banding had become visible.

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Okamikiba18's avatar
She has got talking eyes! Perfect shot :D