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Posts tagged ‘BMX’

Tweaking Your Images – Tutorial

This last week I have had a few people telling me that images shouldn’t need any editing at all.  I find this such a hard thing to understand, since, from what I can understand, images have been edited since the first images were made when photography first started.  I was surprised to find that the first HDR image was done in the 1850’s, so over 150 years ago.  Even Ansell Adams edited his images, he manipulated them to suit what he wanted.  Yet now, with the age of digital, for the first time, the camera is now supposed to be able to take the perfect image.

Then you start reading stuff that digital cameras can’t take images the same way as film did.  I understand this.  When I was using film I would use different films for different types of photography.  You can’t do that with digital cameras.  I have been reading Enmanscamera’s Blog – Kamloops post on 10 tips for to make better prints.  There are a couple of points made about what you need to do to digital images and gives good arguments why.  I suggest you read it.

Two things it speaks about, I thought we would look at today.  The image I am going to use it one that I showed a week or so back, one from the BMX that I had done nothing to.

20121125-0124The image looks pretty good, but I suspect it could look better.  For this tutorial I am going to use the trial version of Photoshop Elements 11 that I have.  I am thinking I might buy this for doing Tutorials.

tweak1The image has been opened in PSE11, this is what it looks like, pretty much.

tweak2So following on from the other blogs tips, I have opened an adjustment layer for Brightness/Contrast.  To open this, go to Layer at the top, click on New Adjustment Layer, then click on Brightness/Contrast.  I haven’t changed the contrast too much.  It is one of those things you have to be careful, too much contrast can really ruin your image.  Have a go and see what it does.

tweak3

Next is the sharpening.  I had a lot of trouble working out where this was.  So to find it go to Enhance, then go down to Adjust Sharpness…

tweak4This comes up, you can move the image around to where you want, I changed it to a face, that is usually what you want to be the sharpest.

tweak5I have changed the sharpness, but again, you need to be careful, it is very easy to go too far.  Though I think you should try it out and see what it looks like when you do go too far.

I have to admit, I can’t always tell when an image is sharpened, though I suspect you would be able to tell more when it is printed.

tweak6Even though these images are okay, I always thought that they were a little light, so I opened another adjustment layer and clicked on Levels.  I have moved the slider so that the image was darkened a little, not much, just a little.  This has helped make the image pop more and the colours start to stick out more.

tweak7The dirt track was very light, and so I used the Quick Selection Tool and selected the dirt track, then opened another Levels, Adjustment Layer and made it a little darker again.

Side by SideHere are the two versions, the original on the left, and the tweaked image on the right.  I have’t done a lot to it, but it has been improved, and, I think, it looks so much better.  If you saw the image on the right without me saying anything, you would think it looked fine and probably wouldn’t have thought anything had been done.

sced20121125-0124Here it is on its own.  I like this version and am very happy with the tweaking.

I still find it strange that doing this is considered cheating.  I have been down to my photo lab where I get all my prints printed and they tweak images as well.  They print them, then go through the images and make adjustments for each one.

Even working in the darkroom, each image had to have the light adjusted, the amount of magenta used for each one could change.  You couldn’t print image after image without making any adjustments.  I have many proof sheets where all the images were given the same amount of time, some were fine, but most weren’t.

So the next time you think that digital editing is cheating, remember that photographers have been cheating in the darkroom for over 150 years in their attempts to get that perfect, wonderful image.  That is, after all what we are all looking for, that one beautiful image that we are so proud of.  Okay, maybe more than one.

Awards 

It has come to my attention that I have been nominated for some more awards.

Blog of the Year 2012, I have received 3 more nominations for this.

Marsha Lee Streaming Thoughts

Bear Tales

My Travels & Photography

I have also received the Sunshine Award from

ARIADNISTHREAD

Also the Super Sweet Award from

the REmissionary

That is enough for today.  I would like to thank all of the blogs that have nominated me for awards and ask that you all go and visit their blogs as well.

Report to the Office on Arrival

It’s Saturday and it has been hot and dusty here, well it was at the BMX racing.  It was a relief to come home.  BMX is quite different to other cycling events I have photographed.

Back to school today.  This is the front door and this door leads to the office.  Most students would rarely use this entrance, except when they were late and needed a note, or if they had to leave early, that kind of thing.

To process this, a HDR image was first created with Photomatix Pro, then I did some simple layers. I only added one blur layer, then masked most of it away.  I added some warmth and did some darkening with the gradient tool.  I’m afraid that I really didn’t do as much as I usually do.  I’m a bit worn out, so I hope you don’t mind.

There are quite a few BMX photos to go through yet.  I’m wondering how they’re going to be.  It’s always really hard taking photos when there’s a bright sun.  I might put some up for you tomorrow.

Day 30 – Photo-Vember Ends

It is the last day of the month and I guess the last day of my challenge.  I thought, instead of finding some new photos to post, I was thinking a recap might be nicer.  Actually, I thought I would post some photos again, the ones I loved.  I am going to do five of them.  You can agree or disagree with my choices.  It is all so subjective, and I do love hearing what you all think.

My first favourite:

This was a surprise for me, if you remember, I didn’t know I had this one until I went looking for it.  It was posted on Day 8.

There is that lovely coloured water again.  This morning was so surreal to me.  This is from Day 13.

I quite liked the treatment of this.  I enjoyed playing with one image and changing it several ways.  I should try and do that more.  This was from Day 19.

Photographing the BMX was fantastic and I just love the photos I got from it.  Really want to do more of it.  This was on Day 22.

This one I like, because I finally got around to taking some photos of it after so many years.  It was careful planning, but got there.  This from Day 1.

I have enjoyed doing this challenge, and I would like to thank those that also participated.  I like a challenge, so I might do something similar next month.  I like posting each day, so might see if I can keep that up as well.  Thanks for reading the blog this month.

Day 21 – Just Quickly

I still aren’t home yet, and was planning on putting some BMX photos today, but on the was back to Ballarat yesterday we drove through a town, Costerfield, and went past this.

I have no idea how old it is, or anything, but I had to go back and photograph it.

The BMX racing in Shepparton was great.  I think I’ve got some good photos but haven’t had time to go through the two and half thousand photos I took.  I got some sunburn, even though I put on sunscreen.  Can’t win sometimes.  Came across a women who was an absolute cow, just because someone carries a camera does not mean they are a friend.  Oh well.  If I get a chance I might post more later.

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