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Posts tagged ‘tutorials’

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.

Entry

Back to the other end of the city today and the Webb Bridge.  I wasn’t totally happy with the image I processed the other day.  I thought the first photo, which is, let’s face it, just a documentary shot of the bridge was much better.  I had thought I wouldn’t do any more “art” photos of it, but when I was looking at them, I had an idea that I wanted to try.

I had this idea that I could make the mouth of the bridge shine and invite you into it.  I wanted to make it warmer than the rest of the image, but I also wanted to be careful because I know I can overdo the warm bit.  I hope this is okay.  I also blurred the sky, and then blurred the background so the sky has been blurred twice.

If it is alright for me to say this, but I am rather happy with this image.  I like the tones and the lighting, though it is hard to believe it was taken at about 2 in the afternoon.  I should just show you the original, well the original HDR image.  Oh, it has also been cropped a little as well.

This image turned out so strange, even in the original HDR the lighting is quite surreal.  I think it suits what I had in mind so much.

Method

  • Photomatix Pro – 4 image HDR
  • Layers on layers
  • Normal layer layered on top of warmed layer and blended
  • Mask added and only certain parts were masked so the warming layer could come through
  • new layer added, then blur added, masked so only sky was blurred
  • another new layer, then more blur, masked so only highlights were not blurred
  • Image darkened with curves, then a certain section lightened
  • finally a vignetting was applied

I didn’t really do a lot, not compared to some, and I think that is probably why this one worked and the other didn’t.  I just wanted the entrance of the bridge to be more.  I think I knew what I wanted before I actually started on this one, and somehow, I knew what I needed to do.  I love that the image also looks like it was taken at night more.

Tutorials

I hope you have been enjoying the tutorials I’ve been doing.  I don’t know if they are helpful, but many of you do seem to enjoy them.

I just wanted to say that I have added a new page at the top called Tutorials and there you will find a list of ones that I have done.  Hopefully that will make it easier for people to find them.

I am behind in everything again, hopefully can catch up tomorrow.  I spent a lot of time today getting some handouts ready for my first real class this Saturday in Eltham at Living Learning Nillumbik.  Still some places if anyone is interested.

Red Wine with Grapes

While I had everything set up yesterday, I tried some other set ups.  I didn’t want to put them all up yesterday,  today I thought I would show you one without so much fruit.  I am going to do the same as I did yesterday, start with the original image and then show the HDR image, followed by two other images where I have tried other things.

I have done some editing with this one.  Had to do a bit of work to the tablecloth because it was too bright.  I am also not happy with how all the glass just blends in and doesn’t stand out.

This is the HDR version.  I am a lot more pleased with this.  I think the glass pops out more.  The cloth didn’t need any  work and I didn’t even notice it too much.  I like how this one works so much better than the original.

I have been doing a lot of reading on how to grunge up images, wondering if that is what I need to do to get the type of image that I’m looking for.  Of course, it doesn’t help that I don’t really know what I’m looking for.  I don’t know if I would continue doing this, but I have learned some new things, and that is never bad.  Often I have to try things, go away, think about them, and then decide how I would use them.

That is what I have done for this image.  I wondered if I followed most of the steps, well just a couple actually and then did something on its own would it work.  I blurred the image, and then added some sharper bits, much like what you would do with a painting.

When you are painting, you don’t give everything the same amount of sharpness that you often get with a photo.  You decide what is going to be your point of focus and then work out from there. I want to do that more.

I don’t know know if you are able to see any differences between the four images.  I hope you can, maybe try clicking on them for a larger image.

The experimentation continues.

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