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Thread: 1st try in PP

  1. #1
    manthos's Avatar
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    1st try in PP

    Hi all!

    I recently got my hands on Photoshop Elements and played a little with post processing. The first image I tried to fix was the branches of a big tree I shot against the sky.

    First, I would like to hear your honest opinions about the two edits I have posted.
    And secondly I would like to know if there is any way of dealing with the clipped sky colours.

    Original:
    1st try in PP

    Edit 1:
    1st try in PP

    Edit 2:
    1st try in PP

    Thank you all for viewing and commenting!

    Something off-topic: Every time I take a photograph it seems to have some grey tones all over (I think it can be seen in the original above). Is it my camera? I have a Cybershot PSC-P92.

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    Re: 1st try in PP

    Well first off, I am not the person to comment on your P&P however I would be keen to have a break down on what you did as i am a newbe too, I am guessing there was some colour correction to the leaves and some sharpening to the trunk, I also see that you have applied some sort of shadows/made darker around the edges ???

    As you can see, complete newbe

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    Re: 1st try in PP

    Well, Paul, my goal was to sharpen it and then bring out the true colours of the leaves and the trunk.

    In the first edit I don't really remember exactly what I did...

    In the second, I followed these steps:
    (I found them in a thread where Jiro described his sharpening technique I used some of them. Thanks Jiro!)

    1. Duplicate the primary layer and convert it to B&W.
    2. Increase the contrast to the new layer.
    3. Combine the layers with the B&W under the blending mode luminosity.
    4. Increase the saturation.
    5. Sharpen with unsharp mask.

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    jiro's Avatar
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    Re: 1st try in PP

    Uhhh... you certainly picked a very challenging image on your first pp try. Even some of us would scratch our heads with this one.

    OK. My reaction to your pp effort;

    1. EDIT #1:
    The image was sharpened and also the contrast was changed. I like the changes so far.

    2. EDIT #2:
    Probably same procedure was done with this edit and some darkening of certain areas, too. The blooming around the leaves seems to be more prominent on this edit of which is what you might probably want to control in the first place.

    I am not so certain as to what exactly is the main subject here so I can't pinpoint where to put my suggestions on the edit. Usually here's my basic formula on editing any of my image:

    1. The eyes scans the whole frame of the image and it usually scans the bright areas first. With your image, it would definitely be the small patches of the area of the open sky. If this is not your main subject then you already have a problem directing the attention of the viewer to your main subject.

    2. The eyes also tend to see immediately big objects compared to small ones. For this image, the first thing that grabbed my attention (Aside from the sky) was the big trunk on the foreground. being the dominant object in the frame, I also immediately notice some white balance issue with the color of the trunk so that means in PP you need to deal with white balance correction first.

    3. The eyes tend to favor sharp images compared to dull ones. Not sharp like knives but sharp in details. My impression was that since there was no main subject that you could directly identify you sharpened all the parts in one sweep. It's OK, but not really necessary. You need to understand the balance on where you want your viewers to fix their eyes.

    If this is my image, my simplest thing that I would probably do is to copy the background layer as a new layer and then changed the blending mode of this layer from NORMAL to MULTIPLY. It will immediately made the image darker (because primaily I want to tone down the bright areas first). Unfortunately by doing so, you are also darkening some areas that are not supposed to be darkened. The compromise there or a way to compensate for the global darkening effect when you use the multiply blending mode is to introduce a mask layer on the multiplied layer. By doing this, now, you have the creative option to darken only the areas you need to darken using the brush tool. Color white to apply the darkening and color black to prevent the darkening effect.

    Lastly, I would apply a white balance correction on the image. My last practical suggestion would be to pick a much simpler image to start learning about editing and post-processing work. Pick an image that there are not much blown highlights or too much dark areas so you can develop the idea of editing. I like your effort, that is very good. Continue to practice and soon enough you'll understand it all in no time. Good luck, Giannis.
    Last edited by jiro; 13th June 2011 at 11:39 PM.

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    Re: 1st try in PP

    Quote Originally Posted by manthos View Post
    In the second, I followed these steps:
    (I found them in a thread where Jiro described his sharpening technique I used some of them. Thanks Jiro!)

    1. Duplicate the primary layer and convert it to B&W.
    2. Increase the contrast to the new layer.
    3. Combine the layers with the B&W under the blending mode luminosity.
    4. Increase the saturation.
    5. Sharpen with unsharp mask.
    Thank you very much for the free advertisement for me, Giannis. Hehehe. Just kidding.

    I'm glad you were able to follow the procedure that I did. Unfortunately... SHARPENING an image (or only a part of the whole image) is the LAST PROCEDURE that you need to do to an image. You need to correct the white balance first, the control of the highlights, brightening up the dark areas if necessary, correcting the color saturation and luminance, the contrast, and then the sharpening. I hope this would help you establish your workflow. Good luck.

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    Re: 1st try in PP

    Well, that is some work to be done!
    I will try it tomorrow if I find some time. Thanks!

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    Re: 1st try in PP

    Quote Originally Posted by manthos View Post
    Well, that is some work to be done!
    I will try it tomorrow if I find some time. Thanks!
    Not really. It's only a three step process - 1. Copy the background layer. 2. Change the blending mode to multiply. 3. Add a masking layer and paint away. If I would add a 4th it would be a white balance correction adjustment. if I would compare myself to you when I first started trying out using Photoshop and edit my images, your effort is far better than what i did back then.

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    jiro's Avatar
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    Re: 1st try in PP

    One quick edit, Giannis if you may.

    1st try in PP

    I decided to somehow change the bright areas and clone another image of a sky and place it in there. To do that i use the SELECT > COLOR RANGE function in Photoshop and select all the areas that are colored white. Inverted the selection so now the selected areas are the trees and the leaves. Placed that as a new layer on top of all layers and then placed the sky layer below it. TADA! a new layer with a new sky on it.

    Then some further tweaking on the white balance, color saturation, darken, brighten, some noise reduction, and here is what I came up with. This is only one possible edit. I'm pretty sure others can do better than this one.

  9. #9
    manthos's Avatar
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    2nd try in PP

    I think it has improved a little. Any thoughts?

    1st try in PP

    One question though, does PSE have a white balance slider, as shown in the tutorials here in CiC? I adjusted the hue slider to fix the WB.

  10. #10
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    Re: 1st try in PP

    Quote Originally Posted by jiro View Post
    One quick edit, Giannis if you may.

    1st try in PP

    I decided to somehow change the bright areas and clone another image of a sky and place it in there. To do that i use the SELECT > COLOR RANGE function in Photoshop and select all the areas that are colored white. Inverted the selection so now the selected areas are the trees and the leaves. Placed that as a new layer on top of all layers and then placed the sky layer below it. TADA! a new layer with a new sky on it.

    Then some further tweaking on the white balance, color saturation, darken, brighten, some noise reduction, and here is what I came up with. This is only one possible edit. I'm pretty sure others can do better than this one.

    I will try to add a sky tomorrow. I really like it.

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