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Thread: Ports O Call Harbor and Marina

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    Ports O Call Harbor and Marina

    This is my second attempt,
    after being advised to redo my initial inquirey for C&C, due my inital images were too large. Please disregard any earlier request.
    I am a new photographer and this is my first time for submitting such a request. I would like to get feedback as to if the images are too dark and the composition. I shoot with a Nikon D7000 w/18-135mm lens.
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    Re: Ports O Call Harbor and Marina

    Joe, I like the images but 2, 3 & 4 seem to me to be over cooked. What have you done in post processing?

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    Re: Ports O Call Harbor and Marina

    Yes, as Mark said, we really need to see something straight from the camera, and some information about shooting settings, including any auto adjustment within the camera during shooting.

    In all of your shots you are getting close to over exposing the highlights while the midtones and shadow are a bit too dark. What software do you use and roughly what is your current method of processing.

    In some ways these look like they have had a bit of Auto Adjustment which rarely achieves the best possible results.

    Your basic composition looks quite good.

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    Re: Ports O Call Harbor and Marina

    Mark, thanks for your response. I never expected a reply so quickly. I'm not sure what the term over cooked means but I suspect you may be referring to the darkness of the images, which is why I wanted input from others. These were edited in Photoshop Raw editing prorgram. I wanted to more dramatize the clouds and other colors so I reduced the exposure slider and increased the black sliderto get more details from the clouds and other colors. If I'm not correct with my assumption about over cooked, please let me know. Thanks again.

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    Re: Ports O Call Harbor and Marina

    Hi Joe,
    I think there is nothing wrong with your composition in general; but I must agree the pictures do not have a natural look to them. I guess the end results posted, are what you had conceived in your mind before pressing the camera button and there's nothing wrong with that; however for my personal taste you have gone just a bit to far when making your final adjustments. Making the main subject in any picture 'Pop' (stand-out) using PP techniques is fine but over processing does no normally improve pictures. Perhaps HDR might be something you could play with if you like this type of effect. Picture No.1 looks the best to me. Cheers

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    Re: Ports O Call Harbor and Marina

    Geoff, thanks for responding. I think part of what you asked I may have covered in my response to Mark. I shoot Raw, manual, 400 ISO, auto whte balance, F/19, 1/45, ACR settings: temp. 5750 K, +15 tint, exposure -0.75, black 5, bright +50, contrast +65, clarity, +45, vibrance +44. There were no other auto adjustmensts then the ones I mentioned. I wanted to really dramatize the effects of the pending storm. Thanks again.

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    Re: Ports O Call Harbor and Marina

    Going over your settings/editing very briefly Joe.

    In those conditions I would open up the aperture a bit and increase the shutter speed unless you used a tripod and there wasn't any movement in the scene. Then I would reduce the ISO a bit.

    I can't see any real reason to go beyond F11 here and that will probably be the sharpest setting for your lens.

    With regard to the Raw conversion adjustment. I rarely use negative exposure unless my shots were excessively over exposed due to a mistake on my part. Usually I give it a slight increase of around +0.2 to 0.5. If you shoot with full manual settings are you sure that you are getting correct exposure?

    I would leave the Contrast at 50. For Clarity and Vibrance I rarely go beyond +20.

    Then if I wanted to increase the impact from a photo I would give it a little tweak after converting. A little Local Contrast Enhancement of say Unsharp Mask around 30% and 30 pixels (very roughly) can give it quite a bit of zip without being excessive.

    Another method I often use is to create a duplicate layer and set the Blend Mode to something suitable. Overlay or Soft Light often works well for me. Multiply can be successful if used sparingly but I usually find this is too much.

    The great benefit by editing like this is that I can then use and edit a mask to position the effects exactly where they are required instead of using all over adjustments which can be excessive on parts of a scene.

    Do you have any shots at the default Raw settings which we could see and possibly advise you a little more clearly.

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    Re: Ports O Call Harbor and Marina

    Thank you for your full explanation. I'm really in this to be the best photographer I can be and it looks like I came to the right place to learn. I've attached the photgraph as it came out of my camera (shot RAW). The only thing i did to it was reduce the size in order to send it.
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    Last edited by Joeboxes; 27th December 2011 at 01:11 AM.

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    Re: Ports O Call Harbor and Marina

    Joe:suggest you read about how to post photos, photo you posted no one could do anything it is such poor quality. Suggest you Dave Humphries's "a" How to post pictures inline.

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    Re: Ports O Call Harbor and Marina

    This is the link to which Allan referred HELP THREAD: How can I post images here?

    That is certainly a tricky shot, Joe. The bright sky is over exposed while other areas are too dark. Using a bit of Recovery should help here but whatever you do is going to cause difficulties. I think you will have to make some compromises particularly with the darkness of the sky. Normally I would have used a bit of Fill Light but that would cause the sky to lighten too much.

    Just as an experiment, I have played around with that image to give some ideas of possibilities. This may be a little too bright and I have had to let the boat derricks go a bit dark. And as Allan said this is a very low resolution copy.

    Ports O Call Harbor and Marina

    This used 4 different Curves Adjustment Layers, plus masks which were edited to apply the effects selectively. There are other methods but I thought this was the simplest option.

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    Re: Ports O Call Harbor and Marina

    Great job Geoff! I like what you've done to the image. Sorry for the poor resolution of the image. I'm working on improving the quality of my photo submissions. Your explanation of the challenges of this image are the same as I was faced with but unfortunately, haven't developed the neccessary post processing skills to manipulate it to a more pleasing image as you have done. Thanks to your comments, I've learned I've got to work more with Adjustment Layers and Mask to view optional views of my images to chose from. Thanks again for your assistance. I look forward to learning more.

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    Re: Ports O Call Harbor and Marina

    There is a lot of information on using layers and masks on this site http://www.ronbigelow.com/articles/l...1/layers-1.htm

    Maybe, it is aimed at a rather advanced readership and quickly gets a bit technical but there is a lot of valuable information there.

    In this particular case, I didn't have the opportunity of starting fresh with the Raw adjustments so considered that using Curves Adjustment Layers was the easiest approach. Although I doubt I would have done things much differently.

    There would have been an opportunity to use the Adjustment Brush but although I sometimes use it for darkening simple skies your photo has a rather complicated sky. And the adjustment brush can sometimes produce a few strange and unwanted effects in this sort of situation.

    Much the same applies to the Graduated Filter Tool which is basically just a graduated effect mask. And while the Tone Curve adjustment may be useful, I often find that using an editable mask with Curves (or other adjustment) after conversion produces the same results but in a more controlled fashion.

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    Re: Ports O Call Harbor and Marina

    I agree with some of the exposure, aperture, and ISO advice above, but that is largely separate from the fact that the images have exaggerated color and contrast, which is I think what one poster meant by "overcooked." They have the exaggerated color one often sees with HDR images (which is one reason I always use exposure blending instead of HDR). I don't think any one of those settings alone would do it. Vibrance=44 is fairly high, but I have often gone over that without this kind of effect. My guess is that it is a combination of high vibrance, high contrast, and high clarity. I don't know what you did with tint. What color filter did you use with that? I have never had occasion to use the tint filter at all.

    For what it is worth, here is my advice: Edit sparingly, boosting each setting only as needed. Don't apply some set number for each slider. Set the exposure settings first, modifying them only enough to get a pleasing appearance. Then move on to the others, in each case using them sparingly unless you really need more. If vibrance starts making things look too extreme, back it down some. Same with contrast, clarity, and sharpening. Don't take a set of numbers and apply them to everything. A level of vibrance that is really nice on an image that starts out fairly flat can be awful on one that has a lot of saturation to begin with. Same for the others.

    You wrote:
    I've attached the photgraph as it came out of my camera (shot RAW). The only thing i did to it was reduce the size in order to send it.
    . That can't be. You can't view a RAW image without postprocessing. If you open it in Camera Raw, that software is applying some settings to develop the image. Those settings could be high. You can change them for that image, and you can change the program's defaults. But it is in any event not straight from the camera. In contrast, when you take a JPG from the camera, it as already done the postprocessing for you.

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    Re: Ports O Call Harbor and Marina

    I suggested that Joe might show something which was at the Raw conversion default settings which is as close as possible to straight from camera. So I expect this is what we had.

    Alternatively, he may have shot Raw + Jpeg. Either way it gives us an idea of how the original looked, which enables some comparison; even if it has been slightly processed.

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    Re: Ports O Call Harbor and Marina

    Thanks Geoff for the information about layers, I findly got around to reading it. The surprising thing is that I think I understood most of it. I had been hesitant about getting into it because past articles I read made it seem so complicated, so I stuck to doing all my editing on the background layer in ACR and PS. Reading this article made me realize what I was missing. I believe this new knowledge is going to allow me make a big step up in the quality of my images. Much appreciated!

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    Re: Ports O Call Harbor and Marina

    Geoff, I can't tell you how much you sending me the link to Ron Bigelow's site is helping me. Besides the layer information you suggested I look into, I also discovered, on his site, his plain talk video/transcript information, on other editing subjects to be excellent. I think it's all starting to come together for me. I kind of feel like discarding all of my old images and starting anew with my new knowledge.

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    Re: Ports O Call Harbor and Marina

    I kind of feel like discarding all of my old images and starting anew with my new knowledge.

    That is what many of us do. Initially, when I went digital around 10 years ago, with just a Powershot G2, I was 'taking loads of stunning photos' but now I reject so many, often 90% get ditched. Including many of my early photos which haven't stood the test of what I now require.

    This winter I must catch up on some new topics from Ron Bigelow. But also, don't neglect the excellent advice which is in the CinC Tutorials.

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