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04/19/2006 01:59:23 PM · #276
A big improvement even if a "subtle" one, Dave.

Robt.
04/20/2006 10:20:58 AM · #277
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Originally posted by Prism:


This is the original: ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/40484/thumb/322924.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/40484/thumb/322924.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' And this is what I ended up with from PSP9: ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/40484/thumb/321571.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/40484/thumb/321571.jpg', '/') + 1) . '


Here's a quick stab at it. The blue's a little violent to me, but I am running into problems at low resolution with artifacting in the blue/cyan channels that limit what I can do. It's a difficult image to work with, for sure.

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/30861/thumb/323291.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/30861/thumb/323291.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Robt.


Thanks for giving it a shot Robert. You managed to get some good colour into the foreground. It shows I might be able to pull something more out of it. Guess I'll keep plugging at it and see what else I can do with it.

Thanks again...
Ricky
04/23/2006 05:06:38 AM · #278
It would appear there's very little interest in this learning thread, or at least very little activity currently. Probably because I'm not doing it in a way that people want to see. Is there something I can do to make it more interesting and/or effective?

R.
04/23/2006 05:16:33 AM · #279
I've been following this thread although I haven't participated. I would like to take more landscapes but I never seem to find anything that looks good around Austin. Also, for some strange reason I find myself shooting more in the portrait mode than landscape. Don't know why.

Message edited by author 2006-04-23 05:16:58.
04/23/2006 05:28:08 AM · #280
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

It would appear there's very little interest in this learning thread, or at least very little activity currently. Probably because I'm not doing it in a way that people want to see. Is there something I can do to make it more interesting and/or effective?
R.

I'm still here, but haven't been able to get any real opportunities where there is flat light, although I've got a possible shot from yesterday that I may post later.

Out of curiosity, do you know how many lessons are planned? Depending on the number maybe one each week, or every 10 days. I'm not sure. Sometimes I come back to see if there's a new lesson or not, so if there was a schedule maybe it would help keep momentum? Either way, I'll be here no matter what :)
04/23/2006 05:42:13 AM · #281
I'm certainly interested in this continuing. You're doing this on your own free time and goodwill so I've just been hanging and checking the thread for activity. I've learned quite a bit so far and hope it continues.
04/23/2006 05:54:02 AM · #282
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

It would appear there's very little interest in this learning thread, or at least very little activity currently. Probably because I'm not doing it in a way that people want to see. Is there something I can do to make it more interesting and/or effective?

I got lost at the piece about 'contrast masking' - I went back through the thread but couldn't find the post that describes what it is or how to do it.
04/23/2006 07:48:23 AM · #283
Robert, This is my attempt.
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/27605/thumb/322245.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/27605/thumb/322245.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
04/23/2006 01:19:42 PM · #284
Originally posted by yanko:

I've been following this thread although I haven't participated. I would like to take more landscapes but I never seem to find anything that looks good around Austin. Also, for some strange reason I find myself shooting more in the portrait mode than landscape. Don't know why.


"Portrait mode"? As in shooting more portrait (people) shots than landscape shots? Or shooting vertical pictures instead of horizontal pictures? No rule says a landscape has to be horizontal :-)

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/30861/thumb/214716.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/30861/thumb/214716.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/30861/thumb/307694.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/30861/thumb/307694.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/30861/thumb/222641.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/30861/thumb/222641.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/424/thumb/272314.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/424/thumb/272314.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/408/thumb/258907.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/408/thumb/258907.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

In fact, just for a change of pace, without any new "instruction" or long, elaborate prelude, here's a new assignment:

Free Study VERTICAL Landscape Assignment:

It's time to have a little fun; step outside the box, use any sort of light you want, any sort of compositional device you wish, as long as the shot is done in the vertical orientation like those above. Please make a landscape shot that has a REASON for being vertical; don't be arbitrary, make it a shot we look at and say "Yeah! That WORKS as a vertical! Good Eye!"

Robt.

Message edited by author 2006-04-23 13:31:26.
04/23/2006 01:25:44 PM · #285
Originally posted by jhonan:


I got lost at the piece about 'contrast masking' - I went back through the thread but couldn't find the post that describes what it is or how to do it.


That was posted on 4/07 at 11 AM, if you want to go back and see where it was. Here it is repeated:

Contrast Masking

In PS CS2: use the shadow/highlight dialogue box and play with it. Can't help you there, don't have it.

In PS 7.0 (and maybe CS, if no shadow/highlight there) do this:

1. Open image and save-as a psd file.
2. Key "cntrl-alt-tilde" (tilde is ~) to create a feathered highlights selection
3. Key "cntrl-J" to create a new layer with only the selected areas on it. Name this layer "highlights"
4. Click BG layer to make it active again
5. "cntrl-alt-tilde" again, then "cntrl-shift-I" to invert the selection, and "cntrl-J" to make another new layer with the shadow selection loaded; call this layer "shadows".

To decrease contrast to preserve highlight detail and shadow detail both, in the layers dialogue box set the layer mode of the "highlight" layer at "multiply" and of the "shadow" layer at "screen". Adjust the relative opacities of both layers so it looks the way you want it to.

To increase contrast, screen the highlights and multiply the shadows; this isn't something I do very much, this can be best accomplished in levels and curves usually. However, sometimes I multiply BOTH layers and vary the relative opacities. I'm still playing with this. Also, sometimes I will set the shadow mask at "soft light" instead of "multiply". You need to play around with these settings to find what works and what does not work.

Robt.

04/23/2006 01:28:49 PM · #286
Originally posted by funkin:


Out of curiosity, do you know how many lessons are planned? Depending on the number maybe one each week, or every 10 days. I'm not sure. Sometimes I come back to see if there's a new lesson or not, so if there was a schedule maybe it would help keep momentum? Either way, I'll be here no matter what :)


We've been posting a new assignment weekly, roughly speaking, usually around Monday or Tuesday I think. There's no specific number of them planned, it could go on forever. I just need to see activity, you know, to make it worthwhile to coninue? I have posted a new "free study" assignment today; no "new techniques", just a requirement that it be a vertical landscape :-)

R.
04/23/2006 01:38:31 PM · #287
Originally posted by nova:

Robert, This is my attempt.
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/27605/thumb/322245.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/27605/thumb/322245.jpg', '/') + 1) . '


Thanks for posting this, as I requested earlier. This image has a lot of quiet potential, but it needs post processing to realize it. It is soft and serene, basically, but it's sort of all blocked up and cried out for contrast masking. The biggest problem is in the lack of contrast in botht he sky and the foreground, but the sky still is much brighter than anything else. Multiple passes of contrast masking work well here, with the image glattened to a duplicate layer after each pass, and with the last pass running the "shadow" layer in soft light mode instead of screen mode, to add punch back into the dark areas, which had been brought up too far as we recovered detail and exposure.

Then some work with hue/saturation gave the colors more range and punch as well. A faint gradient was applied to the sky also. There's some artifacting in the sky, but this is a bybroduct of working from a low-resolution copy, and could be avoided if the work was done on the full-size original.

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/30861/thumb/323959.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/30861/thumb/323959.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Robt.

Message edited by author 2006-04-23 13:39:31.
04/23/2006 01:50:34 PM · #288
I'm still here and really interested in continuing with the lessons. I think that a bunch of us who had completed the flat light shot were watching for the next one. Now that it's up, I'll be out to shoot it in the next day or two!

Thank you again for taking the time to share your experience with us!
04/23/2006 01:54:20 PM · #289
As a suggestion, and yes, I've been trying to keep up but am woefully behind - maybe post each new "lesson" as a separate thread? I know that would be more work for you to keep track of, but it allows those who jump in to take things a step at a time. May be worth it, may not, and certainly not for this time around unless you so desire.

And like Yanko says, landscapes in Texas are a bit, umm, dull. But I may just go out and see what I can find. Oddly, the only time I take pics of landscapes around here, they tend to be vertical. I like the old icky trees. :-)
04/23/2006 01:55:03 PM · #290
Sorry we let the thread get bumped down and seemed to forget about it - I was waiting for sunday when you'd post another assignment, with hopes that I could do it well since my flat light one wasn't very good. Will go shoot something today for this one today for sure.
04/23/2006 01:58:33 PM · #291
Originally posted by Melethia:

As a suggestion, and yes, I've been trying to keep up but am woefully behind - maybe post each new "lesson" as a separate thread? I know that would be more work for you to keep track of, but it allows those who jump in to take things a step at a time. May be worth it, may not, and certainly not for this time around unless you so desire.

And like Yanko says, landscapes in Texas are a bit, umm, dull. But I may just go out and see what I can find. Oddly, the only time I take pics of landscapes around here, they tend to be vertical. I like the old icky trees. :-)


The separate thread idea quickly gets chaotic for everyone, with the need to refer back to other threads constantly. I've suggested to D&L that we set up a differently-structured "Learning Resource" forum that would make organization more efficient (Main topics with sub-topics contained within them) but they have a lot on their plate so I don't know when or if this will happen.

R.
04/23/2006 03:33:23 PM · #292
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Originally posted by jhonan:


I got lost at the piece about 'contrast masking' - I went back through the thread but couldn't find the post that describes what it is or how to do it.


That was posted on 4/07 at 11 AM, if you want to go back and see where it was. Here it is repeated:

Contrast Masking

In PS CS2: use the shadow/highlight dialogue box and play with it. Can't help you there, don't have it.

In PS 7.0 (and maybe CS, if no shadow/highlight there) do this:

1. Open image and save-as a psd file.
2. Key "cntrl-alt-tilde" (tilde is ~) to create a feathered highlights selection
3. Key "cntrl-J" to create a new layer with only the selected areas on it. Name this layer "highlights"
4. Click BG layer to make it active again
5. "cntrl-alt-tilde" again, then "cntrl-shift-I" to invert the selection, and "cntrl-J" to make another new layer with the shadow selection loaded; call this layer "shadows".

Thanks for re-posting that. I tried it and it works fine. One small problem I had is that 'CTRL-ALT-~' doesn't work on my keyboard layout.

CTRL-ALT and the numbers '1,2,3' select different highlight/shadow ranges. And the key next to the '1' key, (it's not the tilde, it's this shape ¬ ) selects shadows.

Alternatively the 'Select... Color Range' dialog let me select highlights and shadows.

Message edited by author 2006-04-23 15:35:26.
04/23/2006 03:52:02 PM · #293
This has been a great thread.. thanks for leading it for us! I've been trying to follow along the best I can even though I haven't been posting. I just went back and tried the contrast masking on a shot that I was horribly disappointed with from a few days ago. Not quite a landscape since it was at the lake, but the results were much better than what I'd tried before in ps.

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/47852/thumb/324797.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/47852/thumb/324797.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
Original

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/47852/thumb/324799.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/47852/thumb/324799.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
Edited
04/23/2006 04:59:24 PM · #294
Originally posted by jhonan:

Thanks for re-posting that. I tried it and it works fine. One small problem I had is that 'CTRL-ALT-~' doesn't work on my keyboard layout.

CTRL-ALT and the numbers '1,2,3' select different highlight/shadow ranges. And the key next to the '1' key, (it's not the tilde, it's this shape ¬ ) selects shadows.

Alternatively the 'Select... Color Range' dialog let me select highlights and shadows.

CTRL-ALT and the numbers '1,2,3 and 4' make a feathered selections based on the highlights of the color channels. For instance, in RGB 1 is red, 2 is green and 3 is blue, but in CMYK 1 is cyan, 2 is magenta, 3 is yellow and 4 is K (black).

---

Robert, I'm keeping up with it, but there I haven't had much of a chance to shoot for the assignments. Most of the time it is dark when I have time to myself -- not much in the way of shaping, raking or backlighting when there isn't any. :D

One thing though, since you asked, and I mean this light-heartedly even though I am serious about it. You are doing the same thing many others have done on this site and it is very frustrating. You look at the shots posted and see potential in them that I don't see until after you have done the post-processing to bring it out of them. I look over the images, mine especially, and see dull and boring -- but, having seen others pull the interesting aspects out and make them pop in just a few simple steps has me not deleting any of the dull and boring for fear I might not be seeing the pop hidden within.

So, how do you see it? What are you looking for? I know this is probably something that should just be written off to experience, but that doesn't help. :P

I'll try and find the time to participate more.

David
04/23/2006 05:32:39 PM · #295
Originally posted by jhonan:


Thanks for re-posting that. I tried it and it works fine. One small problem I had is that 'CTRL-ALT-~' doesn't work on my keyboard layout.

CTRL-ALT and the numbers '1,2,3' select different highlight/shadow ranges. And the key next to the '1' key, (it's not the tilde, it's this shape ¬ ) selects shadows.

Alternatively the 'Select... Color Range' dialog let me select highlights and shadows.


What version of Photoshop is this?

R.
04/23/2006 05:34:38 PM · #296
Originally posted by kteach:

This has been a great thread.. thanks for leading it for us! I've been trying to follow along the best I can even though I haven't been posting. I just went back and tried the contrast masking on a shot that I was horribly disappointed with from a few days ago. Not quite a landscape since it was at the lake, but the results were much better than what I'd tried before in ps.

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/47852/thumb/324797.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/47852/thumb/324797.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
Original

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/47852/thumb/324799.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/47852/thumb/324799.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
Edited


Well, isn't that just an EXCELLENT example of pepping things up? Thanks for sharing!

And, BTW, as far as we're concerned waterscapes are landscapes.

R.

Message edited by author 2006-04-23 17:53:00.
04/23/2006 05:38:11 PM · #297
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

What version of Photoshop is this?

Photoshop CS

I've tried it on two different PCs and a laptop. I'm fairly certain it's the keyboard layout (i.e. UK versus US layout) The tilde on my keyboard is above the righthand SHIFT key. But that key to the left of '1' seems to do the trick.
04/23/2006 05:39:32 PM · #298
Some vertical shots:
Original:' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/40355/thumb/324869.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/40355/thumb/324869.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' Edited: ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/40355/thumb/324874.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/40355/thumb/324874.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
These are from the Grand Caynon of PA the other day, I masked the sky and mountains to adjust each on its own.

Original:' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/40355/thumb/324868.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/40355/thumb/324868.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' Edited:' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/40355/thumb/324867.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/40355/thumb/324867.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
An older shot from Ithaca, but the one I like better of the two. Curves, Hue&Sat, Selective Color, Contrast, and Gothic Glow ;-)

Curious to know what y'all think.
04/23/2006 05:52:00 PM · #299
Originally posted by David.C:


CTRL-ALT and the numbers '1,2,3 and 4' make a feathered selections based on the highlights of the color channels. For instance, in RGB 1 is red, 2 is green and 3 is blue, but in CMYK 1 is cyan, 2 is magenta, 3 is yellow and 4 is K (black).

---

Robert, I'm keeping up with it, but there I haven't had much of a chance to shoot for the assignments. Most of the time it is dark when I have time to myself -- not much in the way of shaping, raking or backlighting when there isn't any. :D

One thing though, since you asked, and I mean this light-heartedly even though I am serious about it. You are doing the same thing many others have done on this site and it is very frustrating. You look at the shots posted and see potential in them that I don't see until after you have done the post-processing to bring it out of them. I look over the images, mine especially, and see dull and boring -- but, having seen others pull the interesting aspects out and make them pop in just a few simple steps has me not deleting any of the dull and boring for fear I might not be seeing the pop hidden within.

So, how do you see it? What are you looking for? I know this is probably something that should just be written off to experience, but that doesn't help. :P

I'll try and find the time to participate more.

David


1. That's very interesting information on the alternate selections; I was not aware of this. I will have to experiment with it.

2. You don't have to shoot new pictures to participate; this thread is a good place to dust off pictures you feel you've never been able to optimize and take a new crack at them.

3. Regarding the "potentialization process", for me the process you are discussing falls under the category of "previsualization"; that is to say, when I am shooting the picture I have already in mind a final image I want to realize. In exposing the shot, I take care to expose so as not to blow out highlights OR shadows, often bracketing to be sure. Then I examine the RAW shot (or the out-of-camera jpg) and make some preliminary decisions as to whether I can actually DO what I wanted to do.

Most of the time, I can, assuming I have a correct exposure. Many times I shoot variations on a shot, and these are compositional variations for the most part, so part of my weeding-out process is choosing the best-composed image. But I always believe I can realize my previsualization in post processing, and I'm rarely far off. I'm NEVER "put off" by "dull looking" initial exposures; I actually EXPECT this to happen.

So the only images I toss are the ones that are not sharp enough, or the ones that seem compositionally hopeless (yeah, that happens to me), or the ones where the exposure is just plain off-the-charts.

Up to this point, in these lessons, we haven't even dealt with composition or the aesthetic quality of the image; we are dealing with technical issues here so far. What I'm trying to teach at the moment is two things; first, that the quality of the light is important to the picture (learn to see the light and use it to your advantage), and second, that there are post-processing skills that can radically improve the presentation of a given image.

We have seen, for absolute certain, that apparently "worthless" shots can be processed to a much higher degree of expressiveness; and this is one of the keys to doing great landscape photography. It's not so much that post processing can turn a sow's ear into a silk purse, because it can't, but rather that every image has potential in it that can be unleashed, and this is often more easily taught by working on mediocre images than on excellent ones. But the excellent images can be made absolutely stellar by application of these same principles.

An example of what I'm talking about:

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/30861/thumb/314191.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/30861/thumb/314191.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/469/thumb/310101.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/469/thumb/310101.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Robt.
04/23/2006 06:09:58 PM · #300
Yeah, that first one didn't suck, Robert. :-)


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