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09-18-2010, 02:33 PM   #1
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PP Practice on a fire hydrant
Lens: M 50mm f1.7 Camera: K-x ISO: 200 Shutter Speed: 1/45s Aperture: F5.6 

As I am still relatively new to taking photographs over snapshots, this was more a matter of practice on post processing, as opposed to framing, finding good subjects, or simply shooting for fun. It's another gloomy Chicago day and I figured I'd take the afternoon to practice. I realize post process is a "learn-by-doing", however, any input is greatly appreciated. I feel I tend to over process (it's like a new toy), and I'm trying to find the right balance of bringing the image to life, to my vision, and completely butchering it.

Original:




Post Process:




Input is appreaciated.

09-18-2010, 03:38 PM   #2
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You did a pretty fair job bringing it back from the over-exposed photo. I would however, move the crop down some to include the entire hydrant and lose some of the space on the top. That is, unless there's a good reason to Have the top space, which I don't see in your photo.

09-18-2010, 04:31 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
You did a pretty fair job bringing it back from the over-exposed photo. I would however, move the crop down some to include the entire hydrant and lose some of the space on the top. That is, unless there's a good reason to Have the top space, which I don't see in your photo.

Thanks. I was reading that it's better to slightly over expose than under, so I wanted to test the theory.

The reason for the crop on the bottom was any further down, and I got some of the curb. I'd like to have the entire base; however, I found the curb distracting to the overall image. The top crop was to test out a gradient filter along the top to practice bringing focus to an image that is not centered. This may not have been the best example to try it on, but then again, I spent about 30 seconds shooting, and a half hour post processing.

Thanks for the advice, though. I whole heartedly agree that both crop suggestions would make the image better, would it have been a decently framed image to begin with.
09-18-2010, 07:06 PM   #4
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I understand you're 'playing with a new toy' here. As for the curb, cloning works nicely to get rid of such distractions. With respect to slightly over-exposing, I completely disagree. Better to slightly Underexpose. That way, you aren't chasing the recovery tool around in ACR or some other processing tool, to recover lost highlights. The general rule I follow, is expose for the highlights, process (if necessary) for the shadows. I take it the reading you did dealt with ETTR (Expose To The Right). I wholeheartedly disagree. This is the one instance you'll ever see me put in writing, Go to the Left.

I do think you did a nice job of making that red hydrant pop. Nice rich looking red.



09-18-2010, 07:41 PM   #5
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Interesting. Thanks for the tip. I'm reading Vision & Voice, and it was explaining just that. Suggesting that the camera's capability for information retention has an exponential fall off towards the darker end of the spectrum.

It took a while, but I finally got the red I wanted while still showing the degradation at the bottom.
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