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30 Impossible Scenes That Actually Happened

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The photos that follow are impossible. But they actually happened. The entries for this week's Shooting Challenge are composites, stacking subjects from the same place at different moments in time. The results will bend your brain in the best ways:

Lead Shot - Black Car, White Car

The photo is taken on top of a tunnel, with white cars going in and black cars coming out, no pollution jokes intended. The main idea I had before I took the shot was to capture contrast and motion, which is why I picked vehicles as a subject. I took well over 100 different photographs and I probably used 25 shots to create this one. I think the hardest part was to estimate the positions of the cars and the amount of white and black vehicles. I made it even harder for myself by accidentally moving the tripod ever so slightly during the session, which was quite annoying later in the post processing.
Canon G11, f/3,2, 1/400 sec, ISO 80
-Loui Nydelius

Double Rainbow, All The Way, Etc Etc


I set up the shot about 20 yards away from the bike path. Because of the angle, I needed a somewhat large depth of field AND a fast shutter speed to have any chance of getting the bikers in focus. I finally settled on f/6.3, with a shutter speed of 1/100", and an ISO of 400. There was still more motion blur than I would have liked for most of the subjects, but I'm still getting a feel for how fast my shutter needs to be to freeze different types of movement. At first, I didn't really have a plan for the composition...but after a few tie-dyed shirts passed by I had the idea of creating a rainbow of colors. I took about 200 shots, and used 26 of them in the final composite. Post processing work in GIMP took about 5 hours...over 4 of which were spent creating the layer masks. Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens, Wireless shutter release
-Chuck DeLuca

Look, It's The Goodyear Blimp!


I was walking back from shooting at various intersections in the city when I looked up and saw the blimp. Immediately I took my tripod out in the train station and started taking pictures of the night sky every 15 seconds or so (and missed a few trains in the process). This last minute idea ended up being more successful than the 700+ pictures I took downtown (of course). Canon T2i, 1/60, f/6.3, ISO 100, 34mm.
-Diego Jimenez

Skate Park

This series of pictures were taken at a skating park near the beach in Barcelona (41.397704ºN, 2.210632ºE if you want to see it in Google Maps). I took about 100 of them, then selected the 15 most interesting ones, which I then proceeded to import into PS for stacking and editing. This brought my computer to a crawl, since the PSD was 600 MB and the photoshop temp file was 8GB! Canon EOS 450D with Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 lens. 1/250, f/8 and ISO 400.
-Ernest Figueras

The Birds


K, so first off I would like to say, I am NEVER going to do this again... I thought this would be fun....Go down to the lift bridge (duluth, mn) and take some pictures of seagulls....Pretty easy I thought. I didn't think there would be enough time to put together anything else. I definitely got some funny looks. I guess it wasn't ideal to place my tripod right next to a busy sidewalk. But I knew this was a popular area for tourists to feed the psycho seagulls. Anyway, I took a few dozen pictures and called it good. Little did I know how much work was ahead of me. I think it's important to mention that I have never used photoshop. So I know it's not even close to perfect. I probably did everything the hard way. Who knows. I was definitely worried about completing this challenge. But I did a little research and found GIMP. I already had it installed, but I never really had the ambition to learn the ins and outs. So I checked out a few youtube vids and off I went. Some 8 hours later and somewhere around 10 layers, I called it good. Honestly I was just sick of it. My head hurts. And for what!? Stupid seagulls....
Pentax K-x, 18-55 lens, 1/500s, f/5.6, ISO 100
-Shawn Nicholas



I was on my way to McDonalds in Innsbrucks old town when i realized the tons of tourists, taking images of our lovely city. Thankfully i had my Eos around. I took shots for about half an hour until my 16 GB SD Card was full. Eos 500D with basic 18-55mm lens on tripod. Creative Auto mode. Post processing took me 7 hours on this Sunday Night—composition of 60 photographers in the Old town of Innsbruck / Austria.
-Roland Renne

Winner - Flight Control


Had a really great idea for a dog-related composite shot, but as you can tell from this pic(s), the weather sucked, and so nobody came out to the dog park :P Then thought I'd try to get something cool with sailboats on the bay, but I guess nobody sails when it's drizzly :P End up with the planes. Shot about 725 pics (every plain I shot rapid fire from entering frame to exit) as I wasn't sure if I was going to do a flight path kind of thing or what... Decided to go for a stack rather than nose to tail tho. Shot with a Rebel XS using a 28-105 lens. ISO 100, f9, 1/400 sec, and cloudy white balance setting (uh, yeah).
-Eric Kornblum

Thanks to everyone who put so much time into this week's challenge. I think the results were definitely worth all the hard work. The gallery is below and full-size shots can be found on flickr.


Gallery (single page view)

If your pricey camera still isn't getting enough use, my site Life, Panoramic would love to publish your portrait of life in your hometown. Or you can just check out the latest photo set from Ponta Delgada.


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