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01-05-2007, 06:17 PM   #1
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How Does This Look?

Since I re-entered SLR photography a little over a year ago with a DS2, I've experimented with various PP techniques (starting with RAW or with JPEG) to make prints look much like those 8x10's printed from Kodachrome slides that I'd order from Kodak years (and years) ago. I have a method with which I'm satisfied.

But . . . . I've never been happy with shots I've posted - they all look too "digital". I've seen many of you post stunning images on this and other forums, so I know it's possible to do so - I just don't know how. This evening I tried the following: the shot below, taken this afternoon (K10D/DA 70), was tweaked for exposure in RAW and converted to 8-bit TIFF. The TIFF image was cropped (40% waseliminated) and saved as a JPEG. In PSP X, I resized the image, applied Clarify (thanks Trog for alerting me to this feature), sharpened with USM, uploaded to Photobucket and pasted here. What could I do better? How would you treat a shot like this?

Thanks for the help,

Jerry



01-05-2007, 07:04 PM   #2
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QuoteQuote:
What could I do better? How would you treat a shot like this?

I'm a RAW rookie but I think you should show the pre-processed version as well or we will not have much useful advice.

Looks nice as-is, though.
01-05-2007, 07:10 PM   #3
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I think it looks very fine. I think you have done most of the things I have done to mine including using PSPXI
01-05-2007, 08:19 PM   #4
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just nit picking jerry.. added a little orange boost to the wood in an attempt to make it more brownish..

psp colour hue map..



trog

01-05-2007, 08:21 PM   #5
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G'Day Jerry,
Understand where your coming from, have the same "un-easiness" with my own stuff from time to time. Then I look at other work and think well maybe its not that bad afterall.

That shot looks pretty good to me and I think its from here where photography starts to sort out the wheat from the chaff.

I recently bought a Lonely Planet book on Landscape Photography and it spends a lot of time on composition and what makes a photo interesting versus just techinically competent.

It aint easy mate and that learning curve just keeps getting steeper...or is it our own demands on ourselves that increase..???

Let someone else answer that one!

Cheers
Grant
01-05-2007, 08:25 PM   #6
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What does "Clarify" do? I switched over from PSP IX to Elements so I'm a bit fuzzy, but I don't remember that being an option.
01-05-2007, 09:27 PM   #7
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turn this



into this



pic from a badly fogged sigma 400mm lens..

trog
01-05-2007, 09:45 PM   #8
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Ah, some sort of contrast enhancement.

01-05-2007, 10:00 PM   #9
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Jerry,

I am nowhere close to trying PP my shots yet since trying to move from my P&S. I try too hard to compose and shoot and sometimes I end up missing a shot.

Like SpecialK asked, I'd like to see a resized jpeg of the original shot as well. It would help us rookies who are trying to get our own workflow and creative juices going.

From what I can see of your finished product, I think you did a great job!
01-06-2007, 06:49 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alvin Quote
Jerry,

Like SpecialK asked, I'd like to see a resized jpeg of the original shot as well. It would help us rookies who are trying to get our own workflow and creative juices going.
Alvin, you and SpecialK are right; I should have posted the resized but otherwise unmanipulated JPEG as well. I didn't save this intermediate file last night, but this morning I retraced my initial steps: 1) Tweaked exposure in RAW and converted to TIFF; 2) Cropped TIFF image and saved as JPEG; 3) Resized and saved the resulting JPEG. Here is the image without using Clarify or USM:



The following is the PP'd image in the OP:



The difference between the two posted pictures appears more subtle than when I compare them in PSPX, where the difference is strking.

Jerry
01-06-2007, 06:53 AM   #11
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Thanks

Thanks everyone for your comments, and thanks again Trog for pointing out the Clarify feature in PSP. I have PSPX for over year, but I've never used this handy control.

Jerry
01-06-2007, 07:14 AM   #12
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I have looked at the picture a few times and I know it has nothing to do with the PP work but wonder if you are interested in my suggestion for something in the photo that could use some work? if not I will move on.
01-06-2007, 07:15 AM   #13
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i am not quite sure exactly what "clarify" does jerry its not quite the same as a simple contrast tweak.. but used wisely it does work..

my advice is that the original image in jepg form has to be about right in the first place.. use that as your yardstick.. apply the minor tweaks and compare..

its all to easy just to get lost in the meddling and end up with something worse than what came out of the camer in the first place.. the camera aint as stupid left to its own devices as some would have it..

trog
01-06-2007, 09:51 AM   #14
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QuoteQuote:
its all to easy just to get lost in the meddling and end up with something worse than what came out of the camer in the first place.. the camera aint as stupid left to its own devices as some would have it..
Hi Jerry:

Thanks for posting the original image. Frankly, I can't tell much difference in the samples and would have left it as-is, which I think is very good :-)

I did notice the difference the "clarify" feature made in Trog's examples.

I tend to agree with Trog about getting lost in the tweaks. For me, "less is better", and that's why the basic and clunky Photo Laboratory is perfect - for me. (I did check out Bibble - but results with the identical single tweak of sliding the highlight triangle down was disappointing - I'm out of space here but I have a sample in the "Tests" directory of my photobucket). For a graphic artist or someone who actually enjoys getting the most out of a shot, then by all means - process away.
01-06-2007, 12:46 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by vievetrick Quote
I have looked at the picture a few times and I know it has nothing to do with the PP work but wonder if you are interested in my suggestion for something in the photo that could use some work? if not I will move on.
You bet, Pat. I welcome any and all suggestions (I'm good lookin' but I'm not vain).

Jerry
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