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Thread: What a difference some post-processing makes.

  1. #1
    rob marshall

    What a difference some post-processing makes.

    Mathieu asked in another thread...
    Quote Originally Posted by kontrol View Post
    Sorry to interupt into this post, but looking at the work you've made with that photo, I'm amazed of the result of the post-processing. Do you have a list, or a resume of the post-processing you've done on this one?
    As it's a different subject I thought it best to start a new thread. If anyone else has a good example of the significant differences that can be achieved with PP please feel free to post examples here.

    A lot of people make some nice comments about my shots generally, normally along the lines of how vibrant and 'stand-out' they look. I can assure you, that although I have a very good camera (5D Mk2) most of the success comes from editing in CS5, and most of that comes from RAW editing. I don't think I have ever shot a JPEG, apart from example shots etc. If I had a choice between a Canon 30D and CS5, or a 5D Mk2 and some cheapo editing software, I would always go with the former. I know people will disagree, but you simply can not beat CS5 as an editing tool. There is nothing to touch it.

    This was the shot that Mathieu referred to. This is a RAW file, as it came out of the camera, with no edit. You can click on all these images to get a larger view in Lytebox.

    What a difference some post-processing makes.


    Pretty boring. Not much colour, not much dynamic range. I applied the RAW edit changes, and this is what it looked like. The settings are on the right. I was able to push the sliders quite a lot, as i had plenty os scope before I started getting blinkies. I gave it a lot of clarity to make it more gritty, and also more vibrancy to bring out some of the colour.

    What a difference some post-processing makes.


    and this is the tone-curve changes to the same edit.


    What a difference some post-processing makes.

    I then sent the file to CS5. I applied Jiro's luminosity layer by adding a BW layer using Silver Efex Pro 2. I used the 'high structure' pre-set which gives a gritty look. Here's what it looked like at that stage.
    What a difference some post-processing makes.

    And finally, I did some dodging/burning, and sharpening - although it didn't need much.

    Before, and after...


    What a difference some post-processing makes.
    What a difference some post-processing makes.

  2. #2

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    Mathieu

    Re: What a difference some post-processing makes.

    Hey Rob, Big thank for taking the time to answer my question. I wasn't expecting that level of detail, thank.

    As a beginner, of course some question remains, if you have time of course.

    1. Is the histogram different between picture 2 and 3? or is it the size of the picture or the panel that is making it different? Because looking at the third histogram I see that it has less contrast than the one on picture #2? (Or I'm just completly wrong)

    2. What gritty mean? (Sorry not native english hehe)

    3. BW Layer. Doesn't that mean Black and white? This is probably the part I understand the less because I'm not used to Photoshop layers and filters and the use you can make with them. So it apply a layer over your photo that add a more "light reflective effect?

    4. What is dodging and burning? (I know about sharpening tho)

    5. You didn't play with color saturation on this picture? And do you often or never play with color saturation? Because I see that sometime it help a lot to get more colorful grass or sky in the picture.

  3. #3

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    Re: What a difference some post-processing makes.

    Thanks Rob that is really useful.
    Do you use Lightroom at all??

    David

  4. #4
    rob marshall

    Re: What a difference some post-processing makes.

    Quote Originally Posted by kontrol View Post
    1. Is the histogram different between picture 2 and 3? or is it the size of the picture or the panel that is making it different? Because looking at the third histogram I see that it has less contrast than the one on picture #2? (Or I'm just completly wrong)
    They are the same because I just went to a different panel to do a screen print. It must just be the relative size of the different screen prints. But I just checked and they are the same.

    Quote Originally Posted by kontrol View Post
    2. What gritty mean? (Sorry not native english hehe)
    Good question! We could start a whole new thread on that one. I'd say rough, textured, grungy, a lot of sharp detail.

    Quote Originally Posted by kontrol View Post
    3. BW Layer. Doesn't that mean Black and white? This is probably the part I understand the less because I'm not used to Photoshop layers and filters and the use you can make with them. So it apply a layer over your photo that add a more "light reflective effect?
    Yes, black and white. There are two main types of layer. An adjustment layer which adjusts the content of the image below it, but doesn't actually contain image data. And an image layer which does have image data - either a copy of the original, or another different image (if you were doing a montage for example). The process I mentioned uses Silver Efex which copies the image layer and converts it to BW on top of the colour layer. Of course, that then makes the image BW, but by changing the blend mode to luminosity it retains the original colour but adds the adjustment part of the BW layer (ie., the changes in contrast, exposure etc). Have a look at Jiro's thread here My workflow procedure as requested by Rob.

    Quote Originally Posted by kontrol View Post
    4. What is dodging and burning? (I know about sharpening tho)
    Using the dodge and burn tools on the left side panel. Doging makes things brighter, burning makes them darker.

    Quote Originally Posted by kontrol View Post
    5. You didn't play with color saturation on this picture? And do you often or never play with color saturation? Because I see that sometime it help a lot to get more colorful grass or sky in the picture.
    I did change the colour saturation. I altered the 'vibrancy' slider which boosts the colours that need boosting the most, as opposed to saturation slider which is a bit more brutal.

  5. #5
    rob marshall

    Re: What a difference some post-processing makes.

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidGee View Post
    Thanks Rob that is really useful.
    Do you use Lightroom at all??

    David

    No, just CS5 with bridge, and various plugins such as Neat Image for noise reduction, and Silver Efex Pro for BW conversions.

  6. #6

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    Mathieu

    Re: What a difference some post-processing makes.

    Wow thank you for your quick and clear answer Rob. I didn't totally catch the image layer part totally yet, but it will come with test and experience, you gave me the idea behind the mechanic, which will help me understand what I'm gonna do.

    Out of curiosity, why don't you use Lightroom? I found that it has pretty much all (beside the layers) tools that you used. Plus you have the collections and rating, keywording etc.
    When I was looking at tools to manage my photo I found bridge, but even after reading the description I didn't really understood what it does

  7. #7
    rob marshall

    Re: What a difference some post-processing makes.

    Quote Originally Posted by kontrol View Post
    Wow thank you for your quick and clear answer Rob.
    I think you must have got that wrong. According to my wife I'm slow and muddled, like Victor Meldrew.

    Quote Originally Posted by kontrol View Post
    Out of curiosity, why don't you use Lightroom? I found that it has pretty much all (beside the layers) tools that you used. Plus you have the collections and rating, keywording etc. When I was looking at tools to manage my photo I found bridge, but even after reading the description I didn't really understood what it does
    Bridge does those things - keywords, rating, filters, categorising etc.

  8. #8

    Re: What a difference some post-processing makes.

    Rob

    I DON'T BELIEVE IT! I am so glad you have done this. At one point I seriously considered putting this kind of advice into a word document so that I could cut and paste into posts. When I see the letters SOOC (or whatever it is) I am always tempted to say "turnaround walk away and don't come back until you have finished the job" - harsh I know, but simple PP can improve your images tenfold and I am at a complete loss as to why people refuse to learn these basics of digital image production. To me its like T-Cutting your Austin Allegro and saying ...oh I cant be a***d with the waxing Basic PP is not difficult...I can do it....and my wife has to operate the telly controls for me...she raps my fingers with her riding crop if I so much as look at her iPod

    I feel strangely light...as if a weight has been lifted from by aged shoulders..i see a brighter, more vibrant future with dancing girls and beds of roses...tonal curves manipulated of course

  9. #9
    rob marshall

    Re: What a difference some post-processing makes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wirefox View Post
    ... and I am at a complete loss as to why people refuse to learn these basics of digital image production.
    They are not control freaks like you and me!

    Quote Originally Posted by Wirefox View Post
    To me its like T-Cutting your Austin Allegro and saying ...oh I cant be a***d with the waxing Basic PP is not difficult...I can do it....
    Some of our overseas brethren may have trouble grasping the significance of that particular reference to our great motoring history. But I could be wrong - they are probably driving Allegros in India and China for all I know. I think I used to have an Allegro, but I spent so long pretending that I didn't that now I really can't recall if I really did have one or not...



    Quote Originally Posted by Wirefox View Post
    I feel strangely light...as if a weight has been lifted from by aged shoulders..i see a brighter, more vibrant future with dancing girls and beds of roses...tonal curves manipulated of course
    That's another great chat-up line. "Watcha luv, hows about letting me manipulate your tonal curves."

  10. #10

    Re: What a difference some post-processing makes.

    Is that Cleggy out of Last of the Summer Wine driving? You could tell we were tending toward the political left in those days....it looks like a posh Lada or Wartburg

    I think I used to have an Allegro, but I spent so long pretending that I didn't that now I really can't recall if I really did have one or not...
    You are one of the lucky ones. Many have been permanently damaged by the nemesis that was British Leyland. I want to know what was really under the bodywork of that Allegro. From what I remember of all the things that could be said about the Allegro - off roader is not one of them. I was going to mention the Marina but I think I have subjected you to enough trauma for one evening.

    Talking of iconic cars....Brings a lump to your throat dont it. I wept openly and unashamedly when I saw the Spitfire and the Hurricane over the White Cliffs.


  11. #11

    Re: What a difference some post-processing makes.

    Er I may have diverted slightly from the original course of the thread. Sorry about that old chap...duty calls and all that

  12. #12
    rob marshall

    Re: What a difference some post-processing makes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wirefox View Post
    Er I may have diverted slightly from the original course of the thread. Sorry about that old chap...
    Why apologise? Surely going off-thread is the raison d'être of CiC. And no doubt why it's so popular.

  13. #13
    wilgk's Avatar
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    Re: What a difference some post-processing makes.

    Guys!
    You say they are not control freaks, like that's a bad thing?
    I have "Loud and Proud Control Freak" tattooed on my........ never mind

  14. #14

    Re: What a difference some post-processing makes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wirefox View Post
    Talking of iconic cars....Brings a lump to your throat dont it. I wept openly and unashamedly when I saw the Spitfire and the Hurricane over the White Cliffs.

    This is extremely bizzarre! Just this morning, I was whistling about those "blue birds over...." NO Joke! Great minds, etc., etc. .... but, now, it's just getting too weird! Hmm.... don't know which smiley to pick, let's see....Oh! I know!~

  15. #15
    rob marshall

    Re: What a difference some post-processing makes.

    Quote Originally Posted by wilgk View Post
    Guys!
    You say they are not control freaks, like that's a bad thing?
    I have "Loud and Proud Control Freak" tattooed on my........ never mind
    Oh come on, don't be coy (you are after all, Australian) We desperately want to know WHERE!

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