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DPChallenge Forums >> Individual Photograph Discussion >> Deja Vu Entry Question
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03/31/2006 12:40:15 AM · #1
I've been dying to ask this all week, but obviously couldn't.

My entry: ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/468/thumb/309919.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/468/thumb/309919.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' scored pretty low. Not a huge deal, there were sooo many amazing entries. :)

Here's my question: What could I have done to make it look more in focus? It's actually pretty well focused, but it doesn't look like it is. The cheese squares were not sharp on the edges, they were rounded and as they got warm, they began to shift... so I had to keep pushing at it. Also, how in the world do you get light to reflect off of soft cheddar cheese? I had several lights on it, plus one behind, but it's like the little buggers just absorbed the light and turned the space around it yellow.
Basically, I'd appreciate some critique/suggestions/etc... I'd like to know how I could have improved this.

Thanks in advance, and I'll be happy to trade comments with anyone who wants me to. :)
03/31/2006 12:42:42 AM · #2
maybe shoot at f11 or smaller?
03/31/2006 12:45:01 AM · #3
You should use Unsharp Mask as your very last editting step before Save. It will make things look a lot sharper.

I see you sharpened very early in the editting process and didn't sharpen after resize.

Message edited by author 2006-03-31 00:46:03.
03/31/2006 12:54:28 AM · #4
It looks too bright to me, the definition is all washed out.
03/31/2006 12:54:50 AM · #5
I thought this picture was funny.

But shouldn't sharpening be the last step in your processing?

Message edited by author 2006-03-31 00:55:46.
03/31/2006 12:59:59 AM · #6
Yeah, I should have sharpened at the end, but when I did it brought out tons of little flecks on the cheese. I thought it made it look over-sharpened. But had I sharpened it at the end *instead* of the beginning, it might have come out better. :)
'preciate the suggestions!
03/31/2006 01:19:18 AM · #7
Perhaps if you'd glazed the cheese by misting it with oil or something?

R.
03/31/2006 01:32:01 AM · #8
Originally posted by Cyndane:

Yeah, I should have sharpened at the end, but when I did it brought out tons of little flecks on the cheese. I thought it made it look over-sharpened. But had I sharpened it at the end *instead* of the beginning, it might have come out better. :)
'preciate the suggestions!

See what you think of this -- I used what's referred-to as "contrast-enhancing unsharp mask" which seems to often bring out detail without that oversharpened, halo-plagued look.

I used the following settings (in Photoshop), and in this case applied them twice, though I usually use these settings once, and then some more traditional settings if more is needed.

USM: 16%/dia = 64/TH = 0

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/1031/thumb/313984.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/1031/thumb/313984.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
03/31/2006 01:36:01 AM · #9
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/30959/thumb/313985.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/30959/thumb/313985.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
Desaturated red to get black back into the shadows, unsharp verly slightly, duplicate layer, made it black and 2%opacity, adjusted levels slightly, added a little contrast. Sometimes appearance of focus is lost in lack of contrast. Any rate, my 2c.
03/31/2006 01:40:07 AM · #10
Originally posted by rblanton:

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/30959/thumb/313985.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/30959/thumb/313985.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
Desaturated red to get black back into the shadows, unsharp verly slightly, duplicate layer, made it black and 2%opacity, adjusted levels slightly, added a little contrast. Sometimes appearance of focus is lost in lack of contrast. Any rate, my 2c.


The cheese does appear more naturally colored this way too.
03/31/2006 12:26:11 PM · #11
Originally posted by GeneralE:

I used the following settings (in Photoshop), and in this case applied them twice, though I usually use these settings once, and then some more traditional settings if more is needed.

USM: 16%/dia = 64/TH = 0


Wow, that does look much better. I took the original and tried doing the same steps, just adding USM like it was suggested, and it was a definite improvement. :)

It's funny.. every time I enter a challenge, I learn one important tip that I didn't know and/or use previously. My last challenge, I learned how to properly save to avoid losing tons of quality. :)

Thanks soo much, guys. I love this site... there aren't many places that a person can go, show off crappy artwork, and instead of getting flamed and ridiculed, they get suggestions and tips. =)
03/31/2006 12:35:49 PM · #12
Originally posted by Cyndane:

It's funny.. every time I enter a challenge, I learn one important tip that I didn't know and/or use previously. My last challenge, I learned how to properly save to avoid losing tons of quality. :)

And isn't that precisely how the site was intended to work? : )
03/31/2006 12:42:58 PM · #13
Yup. But too many sites aim for that and don't get it. I'm so glad this one does. :)
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