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DPChallenge Forums >> Individual Photograph Discussion >> Basic Editing, Before & After
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06/28/2006 03:06:38 PM · #1
For what it's worth, here's the before & after of my "30 Second Exposure" shot. Just to show what can be accomplished in basic editing if you set your mind to it :-)

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To be honest, I'm not even sure I actually PREFER the edited version, but DPC voters seem to like pretty colors :-)

R.
06/29/2006 06:28:53 AM · #2
Like what you did with the greens more than the sky. Matter of taste, I dare say, and if you're posting to voters then you probably did the right thing.

Nice part of the world :)
06/29/2006 06:49:11 AM · #3
On an unrelated note. I seem to have been the only one who commented about not liking the blurred weeds in the foreground. I'm obviously an idiot. I stand corrected. lol :)
06/29/2006 08:13:31 AM · #4
I dunno bear...doesn't seem all the spectacular of a transformation to me...I mean it's decent but not sure it deserves its own thread about what you can do when you 'set your mind to it.'
06/29/2006 08:22:36 AM · #5
What steps did you take Robt? Personal preference is more the original colouring, but I love trying new ideas in ps.
06/29/2006 12:14:55 PM · #6
Originally posted by deapee:

I dunno bear...doesn't seem all the spectacular of a transformation to me...I mean it's decent but not sure it deserves its own thread about what you can do when you 'set your mind to it.'


I agree, it's not THAT extreme a transformation, but bear in mind it's basic editing, so there are no local adjustments made. This is my point, such as it is.

I'd rather not detail my steps (they are loosely spelled out in the photographer's notes) because I had thought others might be interested in seeing if they can replicate this, or what else they might come up with. The goal here was "super-natural" coloring; none of those colors are "false", in the sense that this is what I was seeing with my mind's eye and residual coloration was actually there, but the shot WAS taken in near-darkness...

So, Sue, play with the original using curves, levels, hue/sat, and selective color, all applied to the entire image non-selectively, and see what you can come up with :-)

R.
06/29/2006 08:05:42 PM · #7
I agree with you here Bear! Why doesn't this deserve it's own thread? You are simply showing something that you have done and wanted to share with others!

Thankyou for posting it up!
06/29/2006 10:02:26 PM · #8
Originally posted by deapee:

I dunno bear...doesn't seem all the spectacular of a transformation to me...I mean it's decent but not sure it deserves its own thread about what you can do when you 'set your mind to it.'


How does one define what deserves it's own thread? Please don't take this as an affront; I'm just trying to be honest, like you. There have been times when I recall you posting quite a few threads featuring your images. Although I wasn't always that impressed; I never once thought that they didn't deserve to be seen and discussed.

Perhaps, you could take this opportunity to expound upon a great subject and share your own skills. Personally, I think this is an interesting thread, from which I hope to learn something.

Thank you Robert.
06/29/2006 10:11:22 PM · #9
So ive got a question... How did you turn the blown out portion of the sky to color?

JS
06/29/2006 10:19:29 PM · #10
I find it helpful to see stuff like this, as I'm just starting to learn how to manipulate things using levels and curves adjustments.
Here's a question that I'm up against at the moment - How do you know when you've gone far enough, or better yet, when you've gone too far? I assume it's sort of an artistic eye thing, but I seem to have a hard time with that.
06/29/2006 10:23:44 PM · #11
For instance, how far would you go in bumping up the color in this picture? This is the original as shot:
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06/29/2006 10:24:01 PM · #12
Can I add to this post (images) about what can be done in Basic Editing? Seems like a great place to do it but I don't wanna hijack Bear's thread :)
06/29/2006 10:30:27 PM · #13

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/38496/thumb/355451.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/38496/thumb/355451.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/37893/thumb/355456.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/37893/thumb/355456.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

All done with Basic Editing
06/29/2006 10:49:07 PM · #14
Cool, Rikki!
How did you get the forground so green? When I messed with it I came up with this:
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The forground still looks really dark and dull.
06/29/2006 11:01:09 PM · #15
Hope you don't mind
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Message edited by author 2006-06-29 23:01:22.
06/29/2006 11:29:08 PM · #16
Originally posted by margiemu:

I find it helpful to see stuff like this, as I'm just starting to learn how to manipulate things using levels and curves adjustments.
Here's a question that I'm up against at the moment - How do you know when you've gone far enough, or better yet, when you've gone too far? I assume it's sort of an artistic eye thing, but I seem to have a hard time with that.


I have the same sort of questions. I feel I either stop too short or I turn it into some sort of photoshopped nightmare.
06/30/2006 12:19:28 AM · #17
Originally posted by runin2dson:

So ive got a question... How did you turn the blown out portion of the sky to color?

JS


That's the miracle of "selective color"; Layer/new adjustment layer/selective color, then choose the white channel from the drop down list and dial some colors into it :-)

Robt.
06/30/2006 12:20:16 AM · #18
Originally posted by Rikki:

Can I add to this post (images) about what can be done in Basic Editing? Seems like a great place to do it but I don't wanna hijack Bear's thread :)


Feel free! I made the thread title deliberately non-me-specific...

R.
06/30/2006 12:53:00 AM · #19
Here's a slightly more extreme, and dreamier, rendition of Margie's very nice cloud-and-landscape:

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Still basic editing legal. My approach is similar to Rikki's, with the addition of an overcooked dose of neat image faded in at the end for a slightly misty effect...

R.
06/30/2006 01:13:22 AM · #20
Originally posted by anmldoc:

Originally posted by margiemu:

I find it helpful to see stuff like this, as I'm just starting to learn how to manipulate things using levels and curves adjustments.
Here's a question that I'm up against at the moment - How do you know when you've gone far enough, or better yet, when you've gone too far? I assume it's sort of an artistic eye thing, but I seem to have a hard time with that.


I have the same sort of questions. I feel I either stop too short or I turn it into some sort of photoshopped nightmare.


You know I struggle with that and don't really have an answer either. I think if you look at my challenge entries some I went way too far and others maybe not enough. Although probably more of the former. :P I just do it until it feels right to me.

I also think it depends on the subject matter. Some things like landscapes are riped for hyper processing. The mindset is already there with these types of photos because essentially you're already doing some of the "hyper processing" in camera when you take those longer exposures to produce silky smooth waterfalls or use polarizers, tinted filters or IR filters to produce effects that weren't there to begin with.

Message edited by author 2006-06-30 01:14:57.
06/30/2006 12:07:40 PM · #21
Originally posted by anmldoc:

Originally posted by margiemu:

I find it helpful to see stuff like this, as I'm just starting to learn how to manipulate things using levels and curves adjustments.
Here's a question that I'm up against at the moment - How do you know when you've gone far enough, or better yet, when you've gone too far? I assume it's sort of an artistic eye thing, but I seem to have a hard time with that.


I have the same sort of questions. I feel I either stop too short or I turn it into some sort of photoshopped nightmare.


It's an interesting question in the abstract. Speaking not just of photography but of most endeavors in general, my father (an engineer) taught me long ago that it's better to go too far and then back up than it is to try to "creep up" on perfection, as it were. If you move in small increments, you never know if you have reached an optimal state. If you move past optimum and have to back up, you have essentially defined a limit.

This is why I like to overcook all my processing, each step on a separate layer; then you can fade the layers back, individually and in concert, until you find what seems to be the optimum application of each effect, and of all the effects combined.

That's a fairly abstract statement, as I've said, but it's a good mind-set. Sometimes I'll go so far, when "hyper-processing", as to make separate hue/sat layers for each key color, so I can adjust them all relative to each other in easily-controlled variations, simply by fading their respective layers.

In the end, of course, what's "too much" will be defined by what YOUR taste validates, and then others will chime in thumbs-up or thumbs-down, and you will either adjust your approach or go your own, lonely way...

R.
06/30/2006 01:10:24 PM · #22
Thanks guys! This was super helpful. Of course, now I've spent the morning messing around on the computer instead of getting my kids going on their chores (I'm sure you can hear them all complaining about that).

If any of you has the time to write a tutorial on post processing landscape photos, where you show the steps you take, and the amounts you adjust etc, I would love you forever. Or at least, I'd really appreciate it...
06/30/2006 02:01:56 PM · #23
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

It's an interesting question in the abstract. Speaking not just of photography but of most endeavors in general, my father (an engineer) taught me long ago that it's better to go too far and then back up than it is to try to "creep up" on perfection, as it were. If you move in small increments, you never know if you have reached an optimal state. If you move past optimum and have to back up, you have essentially defined a limit.

This is why I like to overcook all my processing, each step on a separate layer; then you can fade the layers back, individually and in concert, until you find what seems to be the optimum application of each effect, and of all the effects combined.

That's a fairly abstract statement, as I've said, but it's a good mind-set. Sometimes I'll go so far, when "hyper-processing", as to make separate hue/sat layers for each key color, so I can adjust them all relative to each other in easily-controlled variations, simply by fading their respective layers.

In the end, of course, what's "too much" will be defined by what YOUR taste validates, and then others will chime in thumbs-up or thumbs-down, and you will either adjust your approach or go your own, lonely way...

R.


My complaint about that approach, in general and not for Robert's work, is that many people, especially the less experienced among us, aren't very good at deciding what's too much, regardless of which side they approach that point from. That, and the dpc atmosphere in general where the "wow" factor receives such high standing, tells them to err on the slick side. And that in turn leads to a gradual drift in the community's standards toward the images that appear more heavily processed, the flawless being preferred over the genuine if you will. I think my images usually take a slightly different approach, preferring to stop short of being "overcooked", making sure that I don't go too far, and perhaps sacrifacing a bit of potential "wow". I also like to think that the viewers are treated better when they see a more accurate representation while having to contribute something themselves in accepting a few warts.

So for me the question is something like - which is the greater sin, to process heavily and gain ground toward the flawless image (and digital art), or to be content with approaching a pleasing rendention that still tells the viewer what you started with? The conventional wisdom here seems to slightly favor the "overcook and maybe pull back a little" way of doing it. But nonetheless, I live in hope, and am satisfied with my less-than-stellar-but-gradually-improving results in the challenges.
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