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09/26/2009 05:29:02 PM · #26
I'm wondering why people care so much?

Yes, he/she blurred it because nobody glows like that. But... so what?
09/26/2009 06:02:59 PM · #27
Originally posted by Tez:

I'm wondering why people care so much?

Yes, he/she blurred it because nobody glows like that. But... so what?


I don't think anyone is doing this maliciously I think this is just a critique and a chance to ask others about the photo, instead of trying to compare things without bouncing an idea off of someone else. I do agree that what will come of it is nothing more than an understanding of how techniques are used or the subtile nuances of digital photography. I don't think it would be the end of the world if the photo was edited or not. it is still a nice photograph.
09/26/2009 06:13:14 PM · #28
Originally posted by Tez:

I'm wondering why people care so much?

Yes, he/she blurred it because nobody glows like that. But... so what?

I believe the answer to your question is that there are some folks at this site who are legitimately trying to learn photography and it's relationship to image post processing. For them understanding this photograph and why it is the way it is becomes a valuable learning experience.

To those who may still be thinking this image has not been touched up, here is how you can easily tell that it has. In the largest sized image you can download look closely and follow all the way around the gymnist and you will plainly see that there are normal electronic noise artifacts close to her, on her and in her dress but that there are no such artifacts in the BG as you move further away from her. The rest of the BG is as smooth as a baby's behind.

No camera/lens combination in the world will produce that sort of output naturally. It had to come from image post processing. The final look of this image, in all likelyhood, resulted from an attempt at selective noise reduction by the photographer. They wanted to remove noise from the BG to make it nice and smooth, but did not want to blur the gymnast. It is a laudable idea, but they just did not do it very well. Haloing often results from selective application of noise reduction when you have an improperly set boundary feathering value. That is probably what happened here. That is the same reason why you still see artifacts in the BG near the gymnast. It could have been done by "hand" with a blur tool, but doesn't look like it, not rough enough edges.

Gaussian blur, as was suggested early on, is often used for noise reduction and smoothing. Any noise reduction software, such as Neat Image, can produce similar results to what we see if it is applied selectively and overdone. ;)

Message edited by author 2009-09-26 18:19:57.
09/26/2009 06:27:21 PM · #29
Wow! First let me say I am not a professional photographer. I have recently become much more interested in this hobby of mine. I'm looking to get better so this discussion is great! So all of those who guessed Yes are correct. I mean I hope you wouldn't look at that and think it was untouched, at least I wouldnt. I had to do some digging to find these files but looking at the .psd i had 2 layers. The original photo, then the cheerleader herself on top of the original photo. i blurred the entire background layer and cut the cheerleader out and put her onto a layer above. The blur around the girl on the bg layer is what is giving the halo look around her legs. The shot is full frame and was not cropped.

The link below is a untouched jpeg compressed photo of the origional picture for all of you to compare. I was in college at Radford University when I took this photo and VERY fresh to the world of DSLR and especially photo processing in photoshop. Looking back, I agree this photo looks horrible only because it looks so fake. Knowing what I know now, I wouldnt repeat those steps. The origional looks better and I must say I am proud to have caught such a cool shot so quickly. I worked as an intern for the University Relations department and filmed all the games to make highlight reels. So I had access to some pretty decent gear and would walk the court every now and then. I now shoot with a Canon 400D Xti and recently considered upgrading to a nicer lens to get away from this kit crap thats on there now. Seriously considering the EF-17-40mm L USM. Just shopping around for a good price right now.

Anything else anybody wants to know, just ask. Criticism only makes you better at what you do, so thanks... and thanks for the views on Flickr.
The Cheerleader
The blog

09/26/2009 06:34:16 PM · #30
Originally posted by AperturePriority:

Originally posted by FireBird:

Maybe we should try to contact the person and see whether it was altered.

I left a comment on his photo, pointing him to this thread. He also has added me as a Flickr contact, since this debate started.


I added you before I realized all this was happening. I didnt see the comments until today. I like those 10-22mm shots you had. Ive been thinking about getting me one.
09/26/2009 06:51:34 PM · #31
Originally posted by agreenmedian:

Originally posted by AperturePriority:

Originally posted by FireBird:

Maybe we should try to contact the person and see whether it was altered.

I left a comment on his photo, pointing him to this thread. He also has added me as a Flickr contact, since this debate started.


I added you before I realized all this was happening. I didnt see the comments until today. I like those 10-22mm shots you had. Ive been thinking about getting me one.

Ah ha! The infamous photographer, himself! Welcome to the fray DPC! :D

Yeah, my ultra-wide 10-22 is a sweet lens that takes cool photos. I can't decide which I like better, my ultrawide or my 70-200 f2.8 IS L.


Message edited by author 2009-09-26 18:56:56.
09/26/2009 06:54:36 PM · #32
Originally posted by agreenmedian:

Wow! First let me say I am not a professional photographer. I have recently become much more interested in this hobby of mine. I'm looking to get better so this discussion is great! So all of those who guessed Yes are correct. I mean I hope you wouldn't look at that and think it was untouched, at least I wouldnt. I had to do some digging to find these files but looking at the .psd i had 2 layers. The original photo, then the cheerleader herself on top of the original photo. i blurred the entire background layer and cut the cheerleader out and put her onto a layer above. The blur around the girl on the bg layer is what is giving the halo look around her legs. The shot is full frame and was not cropped.

The link below is a untouched jpeg compressed photo of the origional picture for all of you to compare. I was in college at Radford University when I took this photo and VERY fresh to the world of DSLR and especially photo processing in photoshop. Looking back, I agree this photo looks horrible only because it looks so fake. Knowing what I know now, I wouldnt repeat those steps. The origional looks better and I must say I am proud to have caught such a cool shot so quickly. I worked as an intern for the University Relations department and filmed all the games to make highlight reels. So I had access to some pretty decent gear and would walk the court every now and then. I now shoot with a Canon 400D Xti and recently considered upgrading to a nicer lens to get away from this kit crap thats on there now. Seriously considering the EF-17-40mm L USM. Just shopping around for a good price right now.

Anything else anybody wants to know, just ask. Criticism only makes you better at what you do, so thanks... and thanks for the views on Flickr.
The Cheerleader
The blog


looked at the original file.
It looked very noisy (in fact horrible). What iso you used. I think you were shooting at around f4. What cam??
(focus was very good though).
09/26/2009 07:31:51 PM · #33
If you are looking for this kind of info on Flickr, just click on the more properties link. It takes you here: //www.flickr.com/photos/glassperspectivesfromamg/3957112184/meta/

Notice 1Ds Mk2, iso 1000.
09/26/2009 07:48:32 PM · #34
Originally posted by JCDean:

If you are looking for this kind of info on Flickr, just click on the more properties link. It takes you here: //www.flickr.com/photos/glassperspectivesfromamg/3957112184/meta/

Notice 1Ds Mk2, iso 1000.


thank you.
Aperture is more than i expected.
09/26/2009 08:01:54 PM · #35
The photo, according to the EXIF, was taken with an aperture of f/5.6. His lens can go as wide as f/4.5, but not at 400mm, which was his focal length for this capture.

09/26/2009 08:24:38 PM · #36
Originally posted by AperturePriority:

The photo, according to the EXIF, was taken with an aperture of f/5.6. His lens can go as wide as f/4.5, but not at 400mm, which was his focal length for this capture.


i did not check much details, based on how photo looked, i thought 300mm/f4. Was just a guess.

09/26/2009 09:44:21 PM · #37
Originally posted by Artifacts:

Originally posted by AperturePriority:


' . substr('//farm4.static.flickr.com/3322/3256651191_17c92897bd_t.jpg', strrpos('//farm4.static.flickr.com/3322/3256651191_17c92897bd_t.jpg', '/') + 1) . '... ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/5000-9999/5792/120/823636.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/5000-9999/5792/120/823636.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Notice the nice bokeh behind the subject. Do you think it was manufactured in post-processing?

The picture shows very obvious, amateurish tampering with the DOF. That is too bad. It ruins an otherwise excellent, excellent picture. I'm certain, however, the photographer would vociferously argue that it makes the image better. It doesn't. The haloing around the legs is atrocious.

There are several other things also wrong with it that matter...

1-The background bleachers, which define the image "horizon" is not level.
It is off by 3/4ths of a degree and quite easily distracting to a viewer's eye. Making an image level is fundamental photography. There is no excuse for getting it wrong.


sorry it wasnt up to your standards. it was a quick split second of a shot. thanks for the expert advice...
09/26/2009 11:04:27 PM · #38
Originally posted by agreenmedian:

sorry it wasnt up to your standards. it was a quick split second of a shot. thanks for the expert advice...

Remember, it's just one person's opinion. I understand this was taken some time ago -- perhaps it would be interesting for you to go back to the original and start over, taking (or rejecting) any of the suggestions put forth here.

Or, invite other people to take a try at showing you how they'd edit the original -- this is a fairly common practice here. Sometimes people find that what they think would "improve" a picture either doesn't work so well, or can't be accomplished.

Meantime, welcome to DPC -- think about entering some challenges; it's fun and definitely can be "educational" ... :-)
09/27/2009 01:31:41 AM · #39
Here is my shot at it
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/60000-64999/63503/120/823899.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/60000-64999/63503/120/823899.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
09/27/2009 02:08:17 AM · #40
Originally posted by agreenmedian:

Wow! First let me say I am not a professional photographer.


Most of us aren't either. Thanks for bringing the info about the image. I guessed wrong. :) Enter an image in one of the open challenges sometime. It can be a lot of fun and help develop photographic and creative skills. Anyways always looking for a new photog here. :) That image was a nice catch, especially the smile on her face. I live near Wake Forest, there are a number of NC DPC'ers here.

Welcome to DPC!
09/27/2009 02:19:04 AM · #41
Hi Austin! Welcome to DPC.
I hope that you find the site interesting and entertaining.
I lived in Raleigh NC for about a year. I played music there, and worked at a Sunoco station across from the west side of the college in 1977. It was a pretty cool town at that time.
09/27/2009 02:31:09 PM · #42
Originally posted by Artifacts:

Originally posted by AperturePriority:


' . substr('//farm4.static.flickr.com/3322/3256651191_17c92897bd_t.jpg', strrpos('//farm4.static.flickr.com/3322/3256651191_17c92897bd_t.jpg', '/') + 1) . '... ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/5000-9999/5792/120/823636.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/5000-9999/5792/120/823636.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Notice the nice bokeh behind the subject. Do you think it was manufactured in post-processing?

The picture shows very obvious, amateurish tampering with the DOF. That is too bad. It ruins an otherwise excellent, excellent picture. I'm certain, however, the photographer would vociferously argue that it makes the image better. It doesn't. The haloing around the legs is atrocious.

There are several other things also wrong with it that matter...

1-The background bleachers, which define the image "horizon" is not level.
It is off by 3/4ths of a degree and quite easily distracting to a viewer's eye. Making an image level is fundamental photography. There is no excuse for getting it wrong.

Are you allowed to just take my picture and throw it in your "portfolio"? I mean, fine if you want to play with it and talk about it but then to go and make adjustments to it and then call it your own? Sorry I just dont think that is right. Is there a way I can prevent that from happening?

2-The framing is bland and totally overlooked by the photographer. It shouldn't be.
The re-framed presentation above might not seem like much of a change but if you compare closely to the original you will see several improvements. First, distracting BG on either side of the frame has been cropped away to give the image considerably better balance and a tighter, cleaner BG look. There are now only 3 judges balanced nicely across the lower ROT 1/3rd quadrant of the frame. The "bored" judge is completely removed. Also a bit of the bottom was cropped off to make the viewer wonder if the gymnast is being held by just two hands and one leg.

A high interest area of the image, the gymnast's fist and face are placed at the upper left ROT intersection point. Again, it is fundamental photography to attend to details of composition such as this in order to make a good image presented just a little bit better.

3-The image is muddy and dark.
It needs better image tone and color post processing to give the image more presence and attractiveness. You can see that a simple Autocontrast and Autocolor application give the image some more "pop". A real fine art treatment would work wonders with this image.

Much more could be done with this image and it could be done a lot better than just a quickie PP to improve it. And you would start all over with the original and apply the DOF change less sloppy and look more natural... like Yo_Spiff did with his image.

Attention to detail is the mantra of every quality photographer. If you are going to work on an image, then do the job right.
09/27/2009 02:32:34 PM · #43
Are you allowed to just take my picture and throw it in your "portfolio"? I mean, fine if you want to play with it and talk about it but then to go and make adjustments to it and then call it your own? Sorry I just dont think that is right. Is there a way I can prevent that from happening?
09/27/2009 02:46:32 PM · #44
Originally posted by agreenmedian:

Are you allowed to just take my picture and throw it in your "portfolio"? I mean, fine if you want to play with it and talk about it but then to go and make adjustments to it and then call it your own? Sorry I just dont think that is right. Is there a way I can prevent that from happening?


When people post a picture where post processing is the topic. It is normal around here for people to tweak them. However, there is no way that they can place the tweaked image into your portfolio (You're not a paying member, so you don't have a portfolio anyway).

One thing you may not know about where he placed your file...He placed it in his "Workshop" which means the only way to see it is by the direct link he provided as the thumbnail picture. There is no other way to access that photo. He never said it was his, just he wanted to show that there is a way to blur the background without the halo.

I had thought of doing that myself, but I have too much other things to do right now (submitted about 15 photo's to the local newspapers for events this last past week, and have several assignments I still have to work on today for my MBA).
09/27/2009 03:46:04 PM · #45
Agreenmedian, I am sure he will delete as soon as he finds out it upset you. DPC is a great place and there is a lot of learning, tutorials and helpful advice going back and forth on photos here. How to improve them, how to look at them through other peoples eyes, how a different person would edit it. It is a great learning experience. I can understand that this was all a huge surprise for you, to be thrown into this. But we mean well and none of us meant to upset you.

I hope you will stick around, so you can see we really are a bunch of nice people (ok, that was pushing it, but everybody else is 98% nice)
09/27/2009 03:49:46 PM · #46
Originally posted by agreenmedian:

Are you allowed to just take my picture and throw it in your "portfolio"? I mean, fine if you want to play with it and talk about it but then to go and make adjustments to it and then call it your own? Sorry I just dont think that is right. Is there a way I can prevent that from happening?


Well, EXCUSSSSSE MEEEE man !!!! I regret that I gave you the impression that I wanted to take ownership of your picture. I just wanted to show that there is a way to do this without leaving halos behind, in fact, I pm'd you about it pointing you to the edit but either you missed the pm or decided to reply to it in public the way you did.

This is a place where we try to learn from each other precisely doing this kind of stuff, we also have fun doing joke edits of other people's stuff and posting them (this was not one such stunt). It appeared to me, from the previous posts in this thread that you didn't mind or in fact were enjoying the critique; I guess I was totally wrong. Just so you know, I am not in the habit of stealing people's pictures and calling them my own, and even if I was, I wouldn't be so stupid as to do it this way. I never placed your picture in my portfolio or claimed it was mine, but don't worry, I've eliminated every risk by removing the edit. I am so sorry I caused you distress.
09/27/2009 07:17:11 PM · #47
' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Senor_Kasper is an amazing photographer and any suggestions he makes, take with both hands and run with it. I wish he would teach me!

Message edited by author 2009-09-27 19:17:21.
09/28/2009 10:14:42 AM · #48
Originally posted by agreenmedian:

Are you allowed to just take my picture and throw it in your "portfolio"? I mean, fine if you want to play with it and talk about it but then to go and make adjustments to it and then call it your own? Sorry I just dont think that is right. Is there a way I can prevent that from happening?

Of course we can't take your picture and call it our own. Nobody here did that.

You obviously are missing the point here. The purpose of this discussion is teaching and learning photography. Your picture just happens to be the focal point for this discussion. senor_casper showed us all how you could add DOF to your image and have it still look perfectly natural.

This discussion should be continuing with a query as to how or if the image was improved.

Instead of accusing folks of stealing your picture you might consider asking senor_casper how he improved it so that you can learn how to do a better job of post processing and apply that knowledge to your picture yourself. It is a very nice photograph and deserves better post processing treatment.
09/28/2009 07:03:18 PM · #49
Look peeps, obviously i didnt know what the heck this place was. nor what the heck a halo was. ive told you guys im no where near being a professional photographer so I haven't stumbled upon this site before all this. For the record. I did enjoy the critique (some of them) and I didnt accuse anyone of stealing my picture. I simply asked why my picture was in a portfolio. You have to excuse me senorkasper, where I come from a "portfolio" is one's own work and at a glance I just saw my picture there not knowing it was your way of trying to show me tips. I do apologize. No hard feelings. I just enjoy photography as a hobby and am interested in what everyone has to say but find some of these comments completely ridiculous (u know who u are) and others extremely helpful. Not trying to have a forum post battle over all this. I appreciate all the kind words and "pm" everybody sent, thank you. Now that I know there is no excuse for having a picture 3/4 of a degree off level, and halos are bad, I'm out working hard to get it right. I'm glad you guys haven't thrown my other pics in here cause I'm sure you would have a field day with all them.

Now that i know what this site is about I'll stick around but sorry for my ignorance of not knowing what goes on here. Thanks for queuing me in, thanks for the advice, and thanks for the flickr views... Happy shooting.
09/28/2009 07:19:35 PM · #50
Austin-- DPC can be like a dog who grabs onto a piece of old shoe leather. Shake, shake, shake. :) Occasionally it feels like the dog has grabbed one's leg.

What you will find here are friendly people who enjoy photography and are good resources for information. There are many different skill levels of work shown here; we're all learning as we go! Welcome and I think you will enjoy the site. And I'll disagree with JulietNN, only 99% of the people here are nice. ;)
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