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Thread: Any suggestions on how I may fix this photo, and if it is possible to do so?

  1. #1
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Any suggestions on how I may fix this photo, and if it is possible to do so?

    I shot these today, but being a bit nervous really did not have time to think about my camera settings, but the subject matter is interesting...

    Any suggestions on how I may fix this photo, and if it is possible to do so?

    Any suggestions on how I may fix this photo, and if it is possible to do so?

  2. #2
    Sam Smith's Avatar
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    Re: Any suggestions on how I may fix this photo, and if it is possible to do so?

    No one can blame you for being nervous. I would have shot it but not with a camera.

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    Re: Any suggestions on how I may fix this photo, and if it is possible to do so?

    Hi Christina

    Some cursory (and low level) thoughts: Your top image has a bit of figure/ground ambiguity- my eyes are not immediately drawn to the conflict at hand between the goat and the snake. In fact, the snake virtually flows into the goats legs. Everything above the goat's head is a distraction and can be excluded with your crop. It might contribute to the dynamicity of the image for your crop to use the snake's body as a diagonal-its tale in the lower left and the goat's head at the rule of third's position in the top right. You have 4 elements here- snake, goat, ground and door which could each be placed in its own layer for enhancement of color,brightness. contrast , LCE and sharpening. A lower shooting shooting perspective, possibly to the left, might have helped, but I understand your nervousness- that goat could get loose!! Should be quite fun to play with. I'd like to take a whack at it but am not presently at home. I'm sure our veteran masters will add much. Thanks for contributing.

    kevin
    Last edited by kdoc856; 16th October 2011 at 02:48 AM.

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    epmi314's Avatar
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    Re: Any suggestions on how I may fix this photo, and if it is possible to do so?

    I, like the goat, would just like to know who the hell left the door open!

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    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Any suggestions on how I may fix this photo, and if it is possible to do so?

    I am not sure if the question is asking “how to fix it now that I have taken it?” . . .
    Or “how could I fix it if I had a second go at it?” – i.e. “How would I set the camera up to take the photograph better next time?” . . .
    I’ll give opinion on both:

    On the first shot:

    On Camera Flash for Fill, was necessary.

    Also better framing, avoiding all the near blown white background would benefit.

    Also, it appears you have used an automatic/basic Camera Mode (“Action” Mode or “Sports” Mode) and in that mode the camera most probably automatically selects the metering to be Pattern Metering and I doubt you can override that metering mode.

    So basically the camera is taking into account all the area of white in the background & foreground to ensure neither is blown out – but the down side is the Goat and the Snake are way underexposed: - by at least two stops more likely near 3.

    Now the tragedy of underexposure for the dynamics and impact of a picture, is the loss of mid tone contrast. So that’s why Flash Fill would have been good.

    BUT if we don’t have Flash, because we left it in the car, or we are not sure how to use the Pop Up Flash in an emergency – then we just have to (spot) meter the goat(**1) (the shadow side) or (if no spot meter use CWA) meter the shadow side of the door and shoot at that exposure and let the area behind the goat blow out. (And also the bright area in the foreground, on the earth also) – and ensure that the framing of the shot minimizes those blown out areas.

    (**1) this assumes using "M" Manual Camera Mode



    How to fix it now?

    There will be many interpretations and mine is to make it a “newspaper shot”. Newspapers are old fashioned items that we used to buy at the corner store and read for hours on the train on our way to work – now instead we drive to work with earpieces listening to music and we SMS on our phones . . . (I understand that both practices are breaking the law in many areas – I only report what I notice) . . . I digress . . .

    What the Newspaper Photo Sub-editor would do with this image, would actually kill some of the mid tone range (i.e. DELETE some tonal values) which will have the effect of pumping the mid tone contrast – that seems counter intuitive, but it is not – especially when the end result is a black and white.

    Obviously we need to crop it tighter the get to the action.

    A bit of dodging and burning on the goat to give her some depth and this is a rough:
    Any suggestions on how I may fix this photo, and if it is possible to do so?


    ***


    On the second shot:

    There is nice strong side light.

    I endorse the use of CWA metering in that shooting scenario the Sony will manage that well.

    Noted the Exp Comp +1, and if that was a purposeful decision, then I like that thinking as most of the snake is in shadow – so, good use of the Exp Comp over-ride. To pick nits it appears still a tad under-exposed so Exp Comp = + 1 might have been better.

    BUT ! ISO 100 and Tv = 1/15s (Shutter Speed), indicates to me that shooting in Av Mode (Aperture Priority) the Photographer is NOT always monitoring the Tv (Shutter Speed) in the viewfinder.

    Using Aperture Priority and not monitoring the Shutter Speed in the View-finder is a most common Technical Error.

    Better framing would benefit – to use thirds and also avoid some of the distracting bright areas in the background (but keep the nice side light foreground).


    What would we do now?

    Punch it.
    Pop it.
    Crop it to thirds.
    And loose that bright distracting bit, in the background.

    Indicative:
    Any suggestions on how I may fix this photo, and if it is possible to do so?


    WW
    Last edited by William W; 16th October 2011 at 04:45 AM.

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    Re: Any suggestions on how I may fix this photo, and if it is possible to do so?

    This is a South American Red Tailed Boa. The colors are warm, earthy and reddish, the last edit with the blue hues is off in my opinion. Just my 2 cents....

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    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Any suggestions on how I may fix this photo, and if it is possible to do so?

    Quote Originally Posted by epmi314 View Post
    This is a South American Red Tailed Boa. The colors are warm, earthy and reddish, the last edit with the blue hues is off in my opinion. Just my 2 cents....
    Thank you for that information.
    Herpetology is not one area of my expertise.

    Considering the above advice regarding the Snakes Colours and also the fact that the EXIF reports "Manual" White Balance I add:

    The Manual White Balance appears incorrect, as the sample definitely has BLUE in the Snake's skin.

    Considering the colour description brief - an indicative correction:
    Any suggestions on how I may fix this photo, and if it is possible to do so?


    WW

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    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Any suggestions on how I may fix this photo, and if it is possible to do so?

    I learned later in the day that it is a Boa Constrictor, really a wonder of nature! At the time of shooting I did not know if it was venomous or if it bites; apparently they don't... I'm hoping for another opportunity to see one, but not likely...

  9. #9
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Any suggestions on how I may fix this photo, and if it is possible to do so?

    Thank you. This is very helpful... At first I had my camera in Aperture mode (got a few good shots)... then I switched to shutter speed mode (Wanted to catch the snakes tongue when it was hissing); and then I thought I should try sports mode and auto mode in case the above did not work; and because I was nervous I did not give much thought to framing... At the time of shooting I did not know what kind of snake it was.

    My question was how to fix the photo after, but knowing how to approach it next time, (wishing) is very helpful! Thank you.

    William, thank you... It is amazing to see how you edited the photos... I am just learning photoshop elements (relying on Picasa for back up when I'm lost)... I will print your directions and advice and give editing a photoshop a try, and post the results later this week..

    PS The snake did not attack the goat... They just showed a seemingly friendly interest in each other and the snake headed off in a different direction.

  10. #10
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Any suggestions on how I may fix this photo, and if it is possible to do so?

    The folks who live down the road from us, left the door open. They snake went off in a different direction down the road after encountering the goat, and the goat is fine.

  11. #11
    epmi314's Avatar
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    Re: Any suggestions on how I may fix this photo, and if it is possible to do so?

    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post
    Thank you for that information.
    Herpetology is not one area of my expertise.

    Considering the above advice regarding the Snake’s Colours and also the fact that the EXIF reports "Manual" White Balance I add:

    The Manual White Balance appears incorrect, as the sample definitely has BLUE in the Snake's skin.

    Considering the colour description brief - an indicative correction:
    Any suggestions on how I may fix this photo, and if it is possible to do so?


    WW
    That's better. The scales are somewhat luminescent and that may well have been how some blue got in there or as you said the white balance may have been amiss. I owned about a 4 footer as a pet in college before donating it to a pet store.

  12. #12
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Any suggestions on how I may fix this photo, and if it is possible to do so?

    Thank you.. Your edited photos looks amazingly better....

    The snake kept moving from the shade to the sun, and I had to keep changing the white balance (when I remembered to do so) and in Photoshop elements, I click on the white scale on the snake and perhaps that is where the blue came from.

    Here is one of my shots that turned out a little better; you will see that the colour matches yours... Thank you everyone... Now I have some editing to do!


    Any suggestions on how I may fix this photo, and if it is possible to do so?

  13. #13
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Any suggestions on how I may fix this photo, and if it is possible to do so?

    Christina, Scott,

    Re The Snake Photo:
    In the original posted version, please note in gravel bottom frame right, there are traces of blue.
    Previously I mentioned that the shot appears slightly UNDERexposed.
    One of the "tells" I based that decision upon, was those blue hues in the shadows of the gravel.

    However, now with a second confirmation of the exact colours of the snake, I suspect my analysis apropos exposure error was INCORRECT.
    i.e. I now believe the exposure WAS correct.

    This image now makes better technical sense to me.
    I was indeed a little puzzled by that image.
    I never considered that the WB could have been wrong.

    I just concluded that the exposure was off, because of the shadow area in the gravel.
    But there were other “tells” in the snake (i.e. good range of tones and reasonable shadow detail) that told me that the exposure was “OK” = hence my confusion.

    I now conclude that the setting of the manual white balance was incorrect.
    Manual WB was set too low.
    (i.e. the manual WB was set to a lower K, than the actual Colour Temperature at the scene.
    For example the scene was 6800K and you might have set 4000K or maybe set “Tungsten”, etc)

    Scott’s comment regarding luminance is noted.
    This high luminance(most likely) exacerbated the WB error and enhanced the “blue” specifically, on the snake’s skin.

    WW

    I guess having a boa is a fun pet – there are not too many pets that can give you a big hug, when you get home at night.
    Last edited by William W; 16th October 2011 at 11:34 PM.

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    Re: Any suggestions on how I may fix this photo, and if it is possible to do so?

    I'm not even sure the WB was all that far off either.
    The blueish hues appear in the shadows, and on very shiny parts of the snake, so it looks to me that the blue is in large part reflection from the sky. (the more so as the one with the goat seems to have almost correct colour, and both had same WB setting from Exif data). Christina, I suppose you used the WB daylight setting (not a custom WB)?

    Typically, you see this effect very clearly in photos of snow landscapes, where you can have either the sunny or the shadow parts of the snow shown as white (but not both...). It's a case of mixed lighting, usually impossible to correct completely.

    Remco

  15. #15
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Any suggestions on how I may fix this photo, and if it is possible to do so?

    Yes, I used the daylight setting for WB (not custom)

    Thank you William and Revy, and everyone...

  16. #16
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    Re: Any suggestions on how I may fix this photo, and if it is possible to do so?

    Hi Christina, when I have found that the colors (particularly skin tones) don't respond as expected when changing brightness, contrast, luminosity, etc. in post processing, I look to checking for White Balance issues first. But where to begin? I can't be absolutely certain that regardless of the camera's white balance setting, that it was more than an approximation and I rarely photograph a neutral gray card to get a mid-tone reference for white balance.

    The easiest way Ive found in post processing to get the neutral gray set correctly is to use the following technique in this Photoshop tutorial link. http://studyphotoshop.net/an-easy-wa...y-in-an-image/

    Once I have the neutral gray point set properly in the Levels Adjustment Layer the image should look much better if the color balance was off.

    There are two more steps we can take to further refine the White Balance. First, just as we have set the Gray point for this image we can similarly set the white point and the black point. And second, we can then use these three image points to set the RGB color balance values for the Shadow, Midtone and Highlight you see along the bottom of the Adjustment layer Histogram.

    Please let me know if you are interested in going further with the White Balance adjustment and if you would like me to use an image of your choice as an example.

  17. #17
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Any suggestions on how I may fix this photo, and if it is possible to do so?

    Hi Frank,
    Thank you... The link for the tutorial for finding a neutral grey, looks great, and walks one through it step by step. I'm not sure if Photoshop Elements has the same feature, but I will try it on my photo within the next few days, and post my result here.

    Thank you. Not necessary, as I have to learn all the info on these posts first, and that is enough for me to take in for now. That said, if you wish to proceed so others at a more advanced level than I, you are most welcome to use the photo.

    Christina

  18. #18
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Any suggestions on how I may fix this photo, and if it is possible to do so?

    Here are my edits, trying to follow everyone's advice... I'm new at photoshop so they are not the best, but wanted to show everyone that I am trying to learn... I think learning photoshop will take a little time... Thank you to all...The edits are better than the originals.

    Any suggestions on how I may fix this photo, and if it is possible to do so?

    Any suggestions on how I may fix this photo, and if it is possible to do so?

    Any suggestions on how I may fix this photo, and if it is possible to do so?

    Thank you everyone... I learned alot!

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