DPChallenge: A Digital Photography Contest You are not logged in. (log in or register
 

DPChallenge Forums >> Individual Photograph Discussion >> Got a moment to teach me?
Pages:  
Showing posts 1 - 24 of 24, (reverse)
AuthorThread
12/13/2010 04:25:09 AM · #1
I am here to learn, just my luck that I am a slow learner! I think I am killing a lot of my images in the post processing, but I have seen amazing work done here and I would love to learn some techniques.

Here is the original of an image in the : Off-Centered Subject III challenge, advanced editing. I got several comments that it might have been a nice image but...
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/115000-119999/116649/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_924927.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/115000-119999/116649/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_924927.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

I would love to see and hear the steps that this pool of talent would have used instead of the hideous result I created, which if you are curious can be found here.

Show me what you got, but more importantly, tell me how you got there!

Gracias

Message edited by author 2010-12-13 04:27:35.
12/13/2010 05:02:55 AM · #2
Originally posted by PetRock:

I am here to learn, just my luck that I am a slow learner! I think I am killing a lot of my images in the post processing, but I have seen amazing work done here and I would love to learn some techniques.

Here is the original of an image in the : Off-Centered Subject III challenge, advanced editing. I got several comments that it might have been a nice image but...
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/115000-119999/116649/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_924927.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/115000-119999/116649/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_924927.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

I would love to see and hear the steps that this pool of talent would have used instead of the hideous result I created, which if you are curious can be found here.

Show me what you got, but more importantly, tell me how you got there!

Gracias


Here's the image as processed for the challenge: ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1297/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_919497.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1297/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_919497.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

************

My first reaction; you've gone seriously awry here. The color's been pushed into a highly unnatural, aquamarine range, and you've bumped up the contrast then overfilled the shadows to keep from blocking them up. A perfectly goos, interesting image has been pretty much trashed, so you're right about that. I have downloaded the original, and will go to process it after I finish prepping the ingredients for my corned beef hash.

It would be useful to know what program/s you have available for your post-processing, if you see this in the meanwhile...

R.
12/13/2010 05:47:51 AM · #3
Well the one thing you certainly should have done but didn't was level the horizon. The colors are also overdone, as Bear has pointed out. It's a nice image that with a bit of sharpening and minor contrast work would probably stand well on its own without going bananas with the sliders.

Message edited by author 2010-12-13 05:48:14.
12/13/2010 06:05:17 AM · #4
OK, here's a quick stab at it:

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/30000-34999/30861/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_924928.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/30000-34999/30861/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_924928.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

As Bohemka pointed out, job #1 is "Level the horizon".

The original was lacking a bit in contrast, so I added some in, and intensified the blacks, then used a little shadow/highlight to open up the shadows on the tree trunk. I used a warming filter (adjustments>photo filter) to warm things up a tad. I used hue/saturation to bump up the saturation a little across the board. I selected the park bench and grass, inverted the selection, and cloned a distracting light pole in the lower right.

The image got a little noisier when the contrast was bumped, so I used a little noise removal to fix that. I took it into Topaz Simplify and VERY slightly simplified the details, but that was not necessary, just something I often do.

The main thing is, level the horizon, get a little warmth into the tones, avoid the extreme aqua color shift, and adjust the contrast and the shadow values.

R.
12/13/2010 07:35:38 AM · #5
I thought it was quite close when in it's original form. I didn't do that much to it.

Straightened the horizon and cropped (I cropped a little bit too far down, and cloned part of the dark triangle in the upper left hand corner. Others would probably be able to clone the whole triangle and do it well -- that's beyond my capabilities.

unsharp mask 18, 38
unsharp mask 150, .3
(these left a little banding around the tree -- I'd reduce it a tad if I were redoing it.)
shadow/highlights to bring out the trunk and the back of the park bench a bit more
hue/saturation to intensify the colors just a bit -- don't overdo!
selective color to tweak the colors just a tad.
selected the sky and did a curves to darken it.

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/100000-104999/103142/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_924935.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/100000-104999/103142/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_924935.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Message edited by author 2010-12-13 07:36:37.
12/13/2010 08:06:40 AM · #6
You've received some helpful suggestions on postprocessing. And, that IS what you asked for. However, there are a couple of things you could have done with the image capture, which would have prevented the need to "fix in PP". Maybe on a reshoot...

a. Horizons should generally not be placed in the middle of your frame. This leaves an image feeling unsettled compositionally. A much more effective technique is to place them in the upper or lower third of your frame. Compose the shot through the viewfinder, as close to your desired image as possible.

b. The shot is at an acute angle to the sun. Nothing wrong with that, as long as you want the artistic effect of silhouettes in shaded areas. But, if you want to later open up the shadows on a shot with high dynamic range AND details lost in the shadows, it will be a struggle.

c. As mentioned by several good folks above, the horizon needs to be level. Seems easy enough to do a slight CW rotation of a few degrees. What most people forget is that there will be a slight degradation (loss of resolution and clarity) when the image is resampled for any rotation other than 90 degrees or 180 degrees. If you do the corrective rotation in one step, then it will be minimal. But, take three or four stabs at rotation, and the degradation will be greater. A double bubble level on your hot shoe with a tripod mounted camera will help avoid the need to rotate later.

12/13/2010 08:29:05 AM · #7
Very good advice Richard. I would also like to add that the use of a polarizing filtering in this situation could likely bring out a lot of contrast in the photo.

I took a stab at the editing myself. I only had a few minutes, so here is what I cam up with:
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/110000-114999/114225/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_924939.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/110000-114999/114225/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_924939.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

To get this result, I:
* Straightened
* Cropped
* White balance adjustment
* Topaz Adjust for exposure and color
* Topaz Detail for details and tone
* Chromatic Aberration removal
* Increase definition
* Decrease saturation
* S curve for contrast
* Export to Tiff
* Resize to 1600 px wide
* Sharpen Edges
* Resize to 800 px wide
* Save as JPEG

I think I could have gotten some nicer results with a RAW image, as the JPEG copy seems to be limiting. Looks like your camera only has JPEG as an option. That's perfectly fine, but it you would like to really get into the post processing of images, RAW is the only way to go, in my opinion.
12/13/2010 09:22:57 AM · #8
I really suck at editing, but in the spirit of learning here is my attempt in Lightroom:

Crop away some twigs in the bottom
Rotate to straighten horizon
Slightly warmer white balance
+ 0.29 EV exposure
+100 recovery to bring back some color in the sky
+72 fill light to bring out some detail in the tree
+29 black level to get pure blacks
+31 clarity to make the edges stand out more
-29 vibrance for more natural blue and green colors
+29 saturation

Colors:
+100 yellow saturation to bring highlights in the tree
+44 blue saturation to bring out the sea
-48 green luminance to make grass darker
-21 aqua luminance to bring out details in the clouds

Noise / sharpening:
31 sharpening, 1.4 px radius, 25 detail
20 luminance noise reduction, 100 detail
17 color noise reduction, 50 detail

Chromatic Aberration:
-15 red/cyan
+19 blue/yellow

Open i Photoshop CS5, add unsharp mask:
Amount 120, Radius 5, Detail 4

And the result:
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/120000-124999/122591/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_924943.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/120000-124999/122591/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_924943.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Message edited by author 2010-12-13 11:10:25.
12/13/2010 09:50:25 AM · #9
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/50000-54999/53572/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_924946.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/50000-54999/53572/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_924946.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' . ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/50000-54999/53572/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_924945.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/50000-54999/53572/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_924945.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

So, here I did two versions, one in colour as presented, and one showing what I would have done if it was mine. (Pics of the PS layers are in the image details)

I think there are two major problems with the image, aside from the horizon line, which is a simple fix. The first is that the freighters on the horizon line draw the eye from the subject, the man on the bench. The tree frames him nicely, and is a good compositional tool, but those boats really upset the whole image.

The second is that the cyan of the sky and the water are deeply blown out of whack by the curves and other adjustments.

The work I've done on both images is all in Photoshop, with Colour Effex Pro and Alien Skin Exposure.

With the colour image, I was looking to emphasize the guy, and retain the natural sky and water colour. I have deepened it, but have avoided the ultra-cyan look with the Selective colour adjustment, and one of the layers set on Luminosity (a very cood trick for curves layers, stops the colour being warped). One of the CEP layers was set on Soft Light, which boosted the contrast and colour intensity, but again retaining truer colour. The guy was lightened, and everything else darkened.

In the black and white, I really went to town on reducing the prominence of the boats, and focusing the viewers gaze on the bench. In black and white you can play with tone much more, without having to worry about sacrificing colour.

There's a layer of black and white conversion, using Exposure set to TriX (my favorite film when I shot film), then a Multiply layer to deepen the tones on the background, and a Screen layer to lighten the tones on the guy. Both of these layers use masking to target the areas where change is needed.

Hope these help!
12/13/2010 10:04:17 AM · #10
Just a quick tip that I often tell newbies.

Once you think you've gotten your post-processing right, back off of it a bit. It often helps to step away from the coputer for a bit and then come back and start using those opacity sliders.
12/13/2010 11:43:38 AM · #11
Wow! Note to self - get morning corree BEFORE waking to a discussion thread such as this! You guys (a generic term meant with no sexual stereotype implied) are awesome!

That is the second time I have been called on a tilted horizon line that I didn't even notice. More evidence that I am slightly askew! ;)

As to the questions regarding editing software, I run on Macintosh platform, and have Adobe CS3. I admit to being lazy and using iPhoto for a lot of edits, all their tools are allowable under basis editing rules, but need to work on my Photoshop skills. I am playing with GIMP because I like the concept of open source software, have used the demo version of Aperture and like it, but never see it discussed here. I have used up my 30-day demo of Lightroom 3, but the price tag is too high. I hear Topaz mentioned frequently, but am uncertain how to effectively use it or if I need it as a hobbyist. I currently have some free time due to a disability, so I would like to get in as much practice as I can while not burdened by a 9 to 5.

Here are the other choices I had for discussions sake. Thanks again for all the input.
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/115000-119999/116649/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_924951.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/115000-119999/116649/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_924951.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/115000-119999/116649/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_924952.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/115000-119999/116649/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_924952.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/115000-119999/116649/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_924955.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/115000-119999/116649/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_924955.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/115000-119999/116649/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_924953.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/115000-119999/116649/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_924953.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/115000-119999/116649/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_924954.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/115000-119999/116649/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_924954.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

12/13/2010 11:44:26 AM · #12
Perhaps the single most valuable piece of advice here is from ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', '/') + 1) . ' xianart - the first thing you need to decide is what you want your image to portray. What part of your image do you want to emphasize, and what do you want to de-emphasize. Then all the editing you do should support those choices.
12/13/2010 12:19:30 PM · #13
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

OK, here's a quick stab at it:

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/30000-34999/30861/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_924928.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/30000-34999/30861/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_924928.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

As Bohemka pointed out, job #1 is "Level the horizon".

The original was lacking a bit in contrast, so I added some in, and intensified the blacks, then used a little shadow/highlight to open up the shadows on the tree trunk. I used a warming filter (adjustments>photo filter) to warm things up a tad. I used hue/saturation to bump up the saturation a little across the board. I selected the park bench and grass, inverted the selection, and cloned a distracting light pole in the lower right.

The image got a little noisier when the contrast was bumped, so I used a little noise removal to fix that. I took it into Topaz Simplify and VERY slightly simplified the details, but that was not necessary, just something I often do.

The main thing is, level the horizon, get a little warmth into the tones, avoid the extreme aqua color shift, and adjust the contrast and the shadow values.

R.


this was excellently done BEarmusic!
12/13/2010 12:36:42 PM · #14
Originally posted by PetRock:


As to the questions regarding editing software, I run on Macintosh platform, and have Adobe CS3. I admit to being lazy and using iPhoto for a lot of edits, all their tools are allowable under basis editing rules, but need to work on my Photoshop skills. I am playing with GIMP because I like the concept of open source software, have used the demo version of Aperture and like it, but never see it discussed here. I have used up my 30-day demo of Lightroom 3, but the price tag is too high. I hear Topaz mentioned frequently, but am uncertain how to effectively use it or if I need it as a hobbyist.


Ah, a big part of your lack of quality in edits (I don't mean this to be derogatory, I just couldn't think of a better way to put it), is using iPhoto for editing. I used iPhoto in the past for editing, and it pretty much ALWAYS gave horrendous results. It's fine for some quick edits for Facebook or something like that, but it sucks at anything else.

I use Aperture for almost all of my editing needs now. Version 3 is very powerful, and the non-destructive editing is a big key (this means you can make as many changes as you want, and the quality of the original photo will not be degraded). I highly recommend it.

Topaz definitely isn't necessary, but it can do some pretty cool things. You have to be very careful with it, as too heavy of a hand can quickly kill an image (and some voters don't like any Topaz editing at all). I'm just a hobbyist as well, and find it very valuable for adding extra pop to my photos.
12/13/2010 06:54:28 PM · #15
Originally posted by hahn23:

What most people forget is that there will be a slight degradation (loss of resolution and clarity) when the image is resampled for any rotation other than 90 degrees or 180 degrees. If you do the corrective rotation in one step, then it will be minimal. But, take three or four stabs at rotation, and the degradation will be greater.


I didn't know this, thank you! Is this degradation also happening in Adobe Camera Raw, if you do the slight rotation there before opening it in PS?
12/13/2010 07:03:04 PM · #16
Originally posted by tome:

Originally posted by hahn23:

What most people forget is that there will be a slight degradation (loss of resolution and clarity) when the image is resampled for any rotation other than 90 degrees or 180 degrees. If you do the corrective rotation in one step, then it will be minimal. But, take three or four stabs at rotation, and the degradation will be greater.


I didn't know this, thank you! Is this degradation also happening in Adobe Camera Raw, if you do the slight rotation there before opening it in PS?


In a word, yes. In my personal opinion, the degradation is of a laboratory quality; that is, you can measure it, but in practical terms it is not meaningful. That's just my opinion, however, and it goes without saying that it's preferable to nail the levels when shooting and not have to rotate at all.

R.
12/13/2010 07:07:14 PM · #17
Originally posted by giantmike:

Topaz definitely isn't necessary, but it can do some pretty cool things. You have to be very careful with it, as too heavy of a hand can quickly kill an image (and some voters don't like any Topaz editing at all). I'm just a hobbyist as well, and find it very valuable for adding extra pop to my photos.


If I use it skilfully, they won't know it was used. What they don't like is heavy-handed Topaz, and I can't say I blame 'em; a lot of times I go over the top because I enjoy that stuff, but I'm always aware that there's a significant group of viewers who won't care for that approach at all, and will vote accordingly.

In my edit of the OP's image here, I used Topaz Simplify. But it's very subtle.

R.
12/13/2010 11:09:33 PM · #18
There is a LOT more to a photograph than the post processing. No one seems to have mentioned that yet.
12/13/2010 11:26:24 PM · #19
Well, the OP seemed to be ASKING about PP...

R.
12/13/2010 11:50:33 PM · #20
Honestly, I think this photo, as well as all the edits made from it, prove the old saying, "You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear." In other words, no matter how many cool filters, actions, or plug-ins you throw at this, it will never be a good photo. The composition and subject matter just aren't there to begin with.

I realize that's probably not what you wanted to hear, and I hope you don't think I'm being rude. I just thought that you deserved an honest opinion. I suggest spending some time working on the basics before worrying about advanced post-shot editing.

$0.02

12/13/2010 11:53:15 PM · #21
Originally posted by jmsetzler:

There is a LOT more to a photograph than the post processing. No one seems to have mentioned that yet.


Why can't I find the like button here? :D

12/13/2010 11:54:12 PM · #22
Well... I did an edit on this based upon my taste... I'm not sure there is a right or wrong here, but here was my take on it

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/90000-94999/93283/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_925027.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/90000-94999/93283/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_925027.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Here is why I did what I did... I should add a disclaimer here that I have never won a ribbon, and many photographers here may disagree with this edit... So take it for what its worth :) To me, the subject is the man on the bench... He is what you really want the viewer to focus on... So with that said, I cropped the image down, chopping some from the top and the bottom... The next move was to desaturate the image, because the shot appears to be taken in the mid-afternoon hours, and the lighting is still a tad harsh. Either one of two things happened here, either the time of day flushed out the color, or the scaled down image caused deterioration when I added saturation... So I went with Black and White... The horizon in the image was also a tad tilted, So I had to correct it...Lastly, to further push the eye towards the subject, and center of the image, I added a large black border to it... Just my two cents, your mileage may very :)
12/14/2010 01:26:45 AM · #23
Look, it is what it is, and it's not a *bad* picture. It has decent compositional elements and some interesting things to look at. Beyond that, the real issue here is that the OP, by his own statement, seems to have trouble with PP and wanted some pointers.

Now, for education-in-pp it doesn't have to BE a great picture, anymore than the exercises a pianist runs through for dexterity have to be great music. PP is like any other skill, it can be acquired through instruction and practice. It was/is a perfectly good image to practice on.

Can we agree on that?

R.
12/14/2010 09:41:26 AM · #24
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Look, it is what it is, and it's not a *bad* picture. It has decent compositional elements and some interesting things to look at. Beyond that, the real issue here is that the OP, by his own statement, seems to have trouble with PP and wanted some pointers.

Now, for education-in-pp it doesn't have to BE a great picture, anymore than the exercises a pianist runs through for dexterity have to be great music. PP is like any other skill, it can be acquired through instruction and practice. It was/is a perfectly good image to practice on.

Can we agree on that?

R.


I agree completely and here's why. If you look at the original, its clear that the photographer went in the wrong direction with his post-processing. His original image was better than his post-produced shot. So when he received comments telling him that his post-production was off, he came here for help... Nothing wrong with that... Can we take this image and making a ribbon winner??? Most likely no... BUT... and here is the big BUT... We can take his 5.1 image and make it a 5.5... For someone struggling with post-prodction, that is a huge jump in the right direction. I have learned more from this site than all the other photography sites I've visited combined, and the reason for that is people's willingness to help. So yes Bear, I can agree with you on that!
Pages:  
Current Server Time: 11/24/2020 09:49:55 AM

Please log in or register to post to the forums.


Home - Challenges - Community - League - Photos - Cameras - Lenses - Learn - Prints! - Help - Terms of Use - Privacy - Top ^
DPChallenge, and website content and design, Copyright © 2001-2020 Challenging Technologies, LLC.
All digital photo copyrights belong to the photographers and may not be used without permission.
Proudly hosted by Sargasso Networks. Current Server Time: 11/24/2020 09:49:55 AM EST.