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07-30-2023, 05:53 AM - 1 Like   #91
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QuoteOriginally posted by kayasaman Quote
Actually I just tested lifting the mid tones on the first image I posted above.... I did it by one square which is probably +1EV. It looks a lot brighter but then the dark areas are all gone??
You really need to be applying any curves or tonal adjustment selectively, not globally.

07-30-2023, 06:03 AM   #92
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QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
You really need to be applying any curves or tonal adjustment selectively, not globally.
By selectively do you mean to specific areas?

So in PS or GIMP it would be by selecting an area then adjust tones. Maybe I need to read up on this as I'm not really sure I understand.....?
07-30-2023, 06:18 AM - 1 Like   #93
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QuoteOriginally posted by kayasaman Quote
So in PS or GIMP it would be by selecting an area then adjust tones. Maybe I need to read up on this as I'm not really sure I understand.....?
I do the adjustments in Photoshop using adjustment layers with masks.

In your image which I edited above I used a curves layer and pulled the curve to brighten the mid tones. I then inverted the mask so that I get a black mask....this means no adjustment shows up. I then paint on the black mask with a soft white brush using an opacity of 14% This means only the areas I select allow the adjustment to show through, and by using a low opacity (14%) I can build up the effect without it looking obvious.
07-30-2023, 06:21 AM - 2 Likes   #94
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QuoteOriginally posted by kayasaman Quote
Thanks @rpjallan :-)

I don't understand what you mean about "unconventional processing method"? If you are referring to the fact that I don't use a Mac or PC and PhotoShop then I guess it is correct. At the end of the day I need to use what works for me and my processing method maybe considered odd by everyone else but it's something that I found I can work with and get results with.

Regarding the HDR processing... there are many different tools out there. I have two installed on my system: LuminanceHDR and HDRmerge
Saying your processing method is unconventional is not a criticism, you have to do what works for you. Having said that, it's a bit hard to get help from others regarding post processing your images if you can't find anyone who uses that method. I'm a bit puzzled by the fact you are using auto levels multiple times (I'm sure you mentioned that previously) for example. I think a lot of your images are crying out for local adjustments. Maybe you're not willing to spend the time doing this. I rarely do any HDR processing these days. If I do, it is in ACR & Photoshop. I tend to do any exposure blending using luminosity masks or even just manually masking or dodging & burning.

Also, as far as your laptop screen is concerned, I get the feeling it may be too bright. You say it is very bright & sharp. Just because it is factory calibrated for CAD doesn't mean it is for photography. For example, I calibrate my monitor every few months & the brightness is set to 17% & the contrast to 77%. This can make a huge difference.

P.S. You should give this weekly post processing competition a go. Unfortunately, it's not as well patronised as it was in the past. There are some way out ideas popping up from time to time but it may be interesting to try processing someone else's image & compare it to others interpretations. This can be a good learning experience. It's probably a bit late for this weeks edition but have a look anyway. I have found it often gets you to have a different look at how you do things.

Post Processing Challenge #472 - PentaxForums.com

07-30-2023, 06:50 AM - 2 Likes   #95
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QuoteOriginally posted by rpjallan Quote
Saying your processing method is unconventional is not a criticism, you have to do what works for you. Having said that, it's a bit hard to get help from others regarding post processing your images if you can't find anyone who uses that method. I'm a bit puzzled by the fact you are using auto levels multiple times (I'm sure you mentioned that previously) for example. I think a lot of your images are crying out for local adjustments. Maybe you're not willing to spend the time doing this. I rarely do any HDR processing these days. If I do, it is in ACR & Photoshop. I tend to do any exposure blending using luminosity masks or even just manually masking or dodging & burning.

Also, as far as your laptop screen is concerned, I get the feeling it may be too bright. You say it is very bright & sharp. Just because it is factory calibrated for CAD doesn't mean it is for photography. For example, I calibrate my monitor every few months & the brightness is set to 17% & the contrast to 77%. This can make a huge difference.

P.S. You should give this weekly post processing competition a go. Unfortunately, it's not as well patronised as it was in the past. There are some way out ideas popping up from time to time but it may be interesting to try processing someone else's image & compare it to others interpretations. This can be a good learning experience. It's probably a bit late for this weeks edition but have a look anyway. I have found it often gets you to have a different look at how you do things.

Post Processing Challenge #472 - PentaxForums.com

Thanks so much :-)

No no, I didn't take your comment as a criticism at all. Rest assured I really appreciate yours and everyone's help and advice :-) :-)

I know I'm very different.... like I explained before I have ASD which is Autism spectrum so in general the strangest and most difficult ways seem to work for me while everything either mainstream or easier I have big difficulties with.

I'll have a look as to the screen and if there actually is a way to calibrate it... apparently I have no brightness control as the Nvidia driver for the RTX A2000 chip doesn't have this feature implemented for ACPI.


One step I can take I guess is to ask either on a RT mailing list or forum as to advice on how to process my images there.

Yes, I do use 'auto levels' for everything..... the problem is without it I have no idea what I'm doing. This is really difficult because I can't tell the difference either.... I mean for example you can raise the black point to extreme levels but who is to say that doing that is right or wrong? It becomes very subjective and a little ambiguous for me as I have no reference point.
Probably something I need to work on in myself and find the 'click' point where things make sense is really hard due to the mechanical and robotic nature of the condition I have.

I'm definitely going to keep working at it though and as @pschlute has just given some advice that I can quantify and actually try out in GIMP which can also do this, I have a template if you like to work from.....


Again I really am grateful and appreciate everyone's time and willingness to try to help get me to understand certain things!!
07-31-2023, 08:29 AM - 1 Like   #96
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QuoteOriginally posted by rpjallan Quote
Last night I replied to DeepSchwartz's post above suggesting this same exact thing but the post seems to have been lost in the interwebs somewhere. (Seems to happen often when I post on here).

I was also rebuffing his view on ETTR but I can't remember exactly what I wrote now. Anyway, ETTR is not perfect for all scenarios of course but in the situations that kayasaman is taking these type of images, I think it is the perfect way to go. Having said that, if the scenes dynamic range is greater than that of the camera then some bracketing & exposure blending will be necessary to record the full range of tones. Unfortunately, I think the op's attempts at HDR processing have left much to be desired. Having said that, it's not an easy thing to always get a good result with HDR & he has a very unconventional post processing method (in my eyes).
once a zone shooter ... always a zone shooter No doubt that ETTR is the "correct" way to get an accurate exposure on digital, every time. I just seldom like the result straight from the camera. I prefer to expose for the shadows to attempt to get the macro level contrast where I want it feelings wise, then snap. And I often tweak JPGs SOOC without bothering to process the RAWS. When I expose with the camera in its best and most accurate recorder mode, it just feels as if I'm ceding all creative license purely to post processing, which I find less than ideal for how I like to shoot - even for landscapes. Different strokes!

cheers
07-31-2023, 09:39 AM   #97
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QuoteOriginally posted by IsaacReaves Quote
once a zone shooter ... always a zone shooter No doubt that ETTR is the "correct" way to get an accurate exposure on digital, every time. I just seldom like the result straight from the camera. I prefer to expose for the shadows to attempt to get the macro level contrast where I want it feelings wise, then snap. And I often tweak JPGs SOOC without bothering to process the RAWS. When I expose with the camera in its best and most accurate recorder mode, it just feels as if I'm ceding all creative license purely to post processing, which I find less than ideal for how I like to shoot - even for landscapes. Different strokes!

cheers

Lots of people that I have spoken to that come over from the old film SLR days also think it best to get things right in camera first and spend as little time in post processing as possible. These people are also of the mindset of capturing what is there and not editing things so much that you create an artificial rendition of the scene....

Like I said, I use bracketing and not in camera HDR but I guess I do rely on what the software does with things. Rather then creativity though I find my approach much more a mechanical style of trying different things to shoot and seeing what I get later on after my 'template' processing has been applied.

Still, it's a great thing to have a lens now that can actually capture a scene and not smudge the content into mush....

07-31-2023, 07:32 PM - 2 Likes   #98
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QuoteOriginally posted by kayasaman Quote
Lots of people that I have spoken to that come over from the old film SLR days also think it best to get things right in camera first and spend as little time in post processing as possible. These people are also of the mindset of capturing what is there and not editing things so much that you create an artificial rendition of the scene....

Like I said, I use bracketing and not in camera HDR but I guess I do rely on what the software does with things. Rather then creativity though I find my approach much more a mechanical style of trying different things to shoot and seeing what I get later on after my 'template' processing has been applied.

Still, it's a great thing to have a lens now that can actually capture a scene and not smudge the content into mush....
Well, I shot with film (B&W, colour print but mostly slide) for 30 years before getting my 1st Digital SLR & that was only 20 years ago when the *istD was released. They are different beasts really. Shooting slide film, you have to get everything right in the camera because there's no alternative. I also used to do a lot of printing, both B&W & colour, so that is not dissimilar to processing RAW images. A lot of work goes in to getting a print correct if you want to get the best out of it. I have seen professional printers at work. It's amazing as you really only have a limited time to do stuff. Processing RAW files is really a doddle compared to getting a good print of a difficult scene the traditional way. I often enjoy processing & printing digital files just as much as taking the images.

I do agree that some people do really over edit their images but that wasn't unknown back in the film days either...
08-01-2023, 04:05 AM   #99
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QuoteOriginally posted by rpjallan Quote
Well, I shot with film (B&W, colour print but mostly slide) for 30 years before getting my 1st Digital SLR & that was only 20 years ago when the *istD was released. They are different beasts really. Shooting slide film, you have to get everything right in the camera because there's no alternative. I also used to do a lot of printing, both B&W & colour, so that is not dissimilar to processing RAW images. A lot of work goes in to getting a print correct if you want to get the best out of it. I have seen professional printers at work. It's amazing as you really only have a limited time to do stuff. Processing RAW files is really a doddle compared to getting a good print of a difficult scene the traditional way. I often enjoy processing & printing digital files just as much as taking the images.

I do agree that some people do really over edit their images but that wasn't unknown back in the film days either...

Looks like you've got lots of experience and knowledge :-)

Totally the opposite of me, as I've had my Pentax for over 2 years and just feel like I'm not getting anywhere. I don't think it's a learnable issue that I have unfortunately :-(

I am not too fond of post processing though I need to do this especially with astro where one needs to stack many images to increase signal. The problem I find with post is that I have no idea what I am doing. Unlike imaging where you can randomly point and shoot, randomly editing things doesn't work in the same way.


I think my next adventure will be to try to get some night shots done with this new lens and see how things work out in that direction. Hopefully something will work out :-S
08-01-2023, 05:43 AM - 2 Likes   #100
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I have done a lot of night time photography. It's another complete ballgame. Even going back to film days, sometimes I would take a whole 36 exp film just on one subject which got quite expensive.

Everything is learnable. I belonged to a camera club for many years. We would often have "beginners" turn up who didn't have a clue but the ones who were willing to put in the effort & learn often got quite good. Some even getting acceptances & awards in international competitions after a period of time.

With post processing I think you need to develop some sort of system. But the steps must be in a logical order. Try not to overuse auto settings. And try not to repeat steps if possible. Processing systems will change over time as software develops & changes. You have access to tools now that just didn't exist 5 or so years ago. There is so much different software available now but most of it has free trials available. There are also loads of tutorials available online also. You just have to have a look around to see what may work for you & give it a go. I have introduced a few new things into my workflow just in the last month that I have recently seen people doing tutorials on. You don't need to do every technique on every image but you might just see something & think 'I know the exact image that would suit that technique'. I have a photo I took in a park in Auckland, New Zealand 4 or 5 years ago & was never happy with how I processed it multiple times. But just a few weeks ago I saw a guy processing an image in Lightroom & thought that would suit this image. So I gave it a go with a few tweaks here & there & I am finally pretty happy with it.

You never know everything. Photography is a big endless learning curve.
08-01-2023, 06:25 AM   #101
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QuoteOriginally posted by rpjallan Quote
I have done a lot of night time photography. It's another complete ballgame. Even going back to film days, sometimes I would take a whole 36 exp film just on one subject which got quite expensive.

Everything is learnable. I belonged to a camera club for many years. We would often have "beginners" turn up who didn't have a clue but the ones who were willing to put in the effort & learn often got quite good. Some even getting acceptances & awards in international competitions after a period of time.

With post processing I think you need to develop some sort of system. But the steps must be in a logical order. Try not to overuse auto settings. And try not to repeat steps if possible. Processing systems will change over time as software develops & changes. You have access to tools now that just didn't exist 5 or so years ago. There is so much different software available now but most of it has free trials available. There are also loads of tutorials available online also. You just have to have a look around to see what may work for you & give it a go. I have introduced a few new things into my workflow just in the last month that I have recently seen people doing tutorials on. You don't need to do every technique on every image but you might just see something & think 'I know the exact image that would suit that technique'. I have a photo I took in a park in Auckland, New Zealand 4 or 5 years ago & was never happy with how I processed it multiple times. But just a few weeks ago I saw a guy processing an image in Lightroom & thought that would suit this image. So I gave it a go with a few tweaks here & there & I am finally pretty happy with it.

You never know everything. Photography is a big endless learning curve.

Maybe you are right. I might need to just start from one angle and let it develop. It's just hard when you have no idea what you want to do and can't really see the difference if the image is a little darker or lighter or the blacks are higher.

Recently I had a chance to use a little friend of mine as an assistant. Again she is on the autistic spectrum but quite eager and enthusiastic to many things. It was so difficult as all she wanted was a "photo"... I don't think she understood or was bothered by the fact that none of the images were in focus. She would take random things like signs and the kitchen (as we were shooting inside a center for people with disabilities). Basically, she just enjoyed using the camera and pressing the shutter.

In a sense I am a lot like this as well but I try to extract as much detail as I can because I can quantify this. The rest gets pretty confusing for me...
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