Wikipedia:Featured picture candidates/Vietnam Tunnel Rat

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Vietnam Tunnel Rat[edit]

Original - Operation "Oregon," a search and destroy mission conducted by an infantry platoon of Troop B, 1st Reconnaissance Squadron, 9th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile), three kilometers west of Duc Pho, Quang Ngai Province. An infantryman is lowered into a tunnel by members of the reconnaissance platoon.
File:Vietnamtunneladj.jpg
Edit 1 - removed dust and scratches, improved color, contrast and damaged areas.
File:Vietnamtunnelb.jpg
Edit 2 - Looks like someone else and I were working on this separately at the same time. The histogram looked fine to me, although the sky needed denoising. Fixed dust, scratches, and other artifacts.
Reason
This is a high resolution and intriguing original photograph from the war itself demonstrating the lowering of a 'tunnel rat' into one of the Vietcong tunnels, a highly dangerous job. It is in the public domain as it is the work of a US Army Soldier/Employee.
Articles this image appears in
Tunnel rat
Creator
U.S. Army Signal Corps
  • Support as nominator --MattieTK 16:15, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Original, Oppose Edit 1, Neutral Edit 2. This is a high quality, informative, and dynamic image. It already passes the guidelines in my book. but would someone mind giving it a quick cleanup? NauticaShades 20:35, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
    • I'm afraid that edit 1 has blown the sky, and edit 2 has removed detail from it, so I'm unsure about supporting it. That being said, good job to both of you on the cleanup. NauticaShades 00:14, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Neutral very good image, but needs some cleanup very badly before FP IMO. The top right especially needs some help. §hep¡Talk to me! 20:38, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Excellent enc. and historical value. Could be improved with cleanup. — BRIAN0918 • 2008-06-12 20:39Z
  • Comment Where did this come from? I see the NARA page, but can't find a copy this large. It looks like some ugly noise reduction filters have been run on it before some heavy sharpening, so it's low on detail and high on oversharpening haloes. I'd like to see a copy of the original before processing. Thegreenj 22:38, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Support This image has great narrative, and explains the event as well as any article could. I think the corrections improve without altering it too much. Pedestrian65 (talk) 23:29, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment I've added Edit B and corrected the author listing. DurovaCharge! 23:49, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
    • That's funny that we were both working on this at the same time. Nice job on the edit...you caught more of the debris than I did. But I think the debris in the tunnel rat's hair is part of the scene, not damage to the photo? Pedestrian65 (talk) 15:37, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
      • Good observation. The same thought occurred to me too. Part of my decision came down to whether he's being lowered into the tunnel or lifted out of it. If he were coming back from the excursion we'd see bits of straw in his uniform also, and body positions would be different (he'd be raising his right elbow etc.) Plus the marks on his head lack the yellow tone of the surrounding straw. So the marks that might be straw look more like artifacts of photographic aging in those contexts. DurovaCharge! 16:59, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Original and Edit 2 Excellent image ← κεηηε∂γ (talk) 09:02, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Support edit 1 Much better. §hep¡Talk to me! 17:17, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Support edit 2 per nom. I'm curious, though-- the image page says that the tunnel rat is being lowered, but it looks to me like he's being pulled out of the hole. I wonder what was really happening. Spikebrennan (talk) 18:20, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
    • Lowered, I think. I mentioned a couple of reasons above. A third sign are the freshly lit cigarettes. Suggests these men have just sat down and expect to be there for a while. DurovaCharge! 19:23, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Support only edit without the straw removed from the tunnel rat's hair It probably is sraw on his hair and it looks better on it. Obviously he's being lowered: the tunnels were tiny, and he's bathtub clean. I don't like edits where real processes are cleaned up--it's the sort of photoshopping that wouldn't be allowed in an off-line encyclopedia.--Blechnic (talk) 04:43, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment In order to explain the straw/no straw restoration choice I've selected three sample areas and invite reviewers to examine them, as I did, at 400% resolution. Analysis follows:
    • Example A: Obvious surface scratch. Sharp whitish mark contrasts with out of focus background and seems to float in the air.
    • Example B: More surface scratches. Subtler than the first example, but same basic characteristics.
    • Example C: Two surface scratches on another soldier. The one at left, at the tip of a downward-pointing helmet, has the same basic tone and characteristics as other surface scratches in the image. If it were straw instead of a scratch then it would be expected to fall off as the soldier looked downward. The scratch at right is similar: it exists on the surface of the print rather than on his clothes and wouldn't remain in place as he bends downward at that angle. No soldier had straw in the expected places (at the tuck where their pants meet their boots or in the folds of their clothes).
  • Note also that all of these scratches are nearly identical in color and are deficient in yellow, compared to the actual dried grass elsewhere in the photograph. The marks on the tunnel rat's head have the same basic characteristics as photographic degradation elsewhere in the image and do not match the color of the surrounding grass. For these reasons I concluded that those marks on the back of his head were photographic artifacts rather than a natural element of the scene. DurovaCharge! 07:43, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment I trust Durova's experience w.r.t. the restoration. However, my attention is now being drawn to the helmet of the exhaling soldier. The spikes on it could be evidence of retouching, or part of the vegetation behind him. Since the rest of the vegetation doesn't match the spikes, I'd say it's some kind of blunder or deliberate tampering - possibly an artefact of a despeckling algorithm. Papa Lima Whiskey (talk) 11:45, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
    • Yeah, I'm guessing someone used some sort of automatic denoising filter. I'm still waiting on the original, or someone to reply to my comment above about exactly where this version came from... I'm fairly certain this is noise-reduced version of a high-res oringinal not on WP, given that the NARA "source", which is much lower res, has a very good bit of grain. Thegreenj 18:55, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
      • I sure didn't filter it. There was excessive noise in the sky when I worked on the image so I kind of doubt it went through any automatic filter. My default assumption was foliage, although I'm not 100% confident on that. The mild .jpg degradation had me more concerned. DurovaCharge! 19:46, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
        • There's always the possibility that only part of the image was subject to any such filter. Papa Lima Whiskey (talk) 11:53, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose I'm just uneasy about these various artefacts, and that we don't seem to know exactly what's happened to this picture. Papa Lima Whiskey (talk) 22:28, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Support excellent picture Thisglad (talk) 04:00, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Promoted Image:Vietnamtunnel.jpg MER-C 10:35, 19 June 2008 (UTC)