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Thread: Project 52 by Dave Humphries

  1. #61

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    Re: Week 5 of Project 52 by Dave Humphries

    Your results were very good dave, but the time involved. Have you ever tried the quick mask feature?

    Trace the squirrel with the lasso tool. Click on the quick mask(the selection will turn red)>>>blur>>>guassian blur, to feather the edges (40-80)>>>click off quick mask>>>layer >>>layer mask>>>reveal selection. Now you have a layer, with a mask of the squirrel, that your can make any adjustment to, without effecting the background. Make a duplicate layer and invert the mask for the opposite. Much quicker and prob. the same results.

    Nice shot by the way, i too liked the holly leaf.

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    Re: Week 5 of Project 52 by Dave Humphries

    I like how you've managed to make the squirrel stand out against the close backgroup, the layers definitely worked in PP. I must open Adobe and work through some of the techniques mentioned as your narrative is very helpful to see how you arrived at the final picture. Very nice shot especially given the light conditions it was shot in.

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    Re: Week 5 of Project 52 by Dave Humphries

    Photoshop is a world that I just haven't quite delved into yet but you keep piquing my curiosity into that domain. The end result looks fantastic, particularly with the poor lighting conditions you had to shoot in.

    At least I know which thread to come back to to get some PP tips if I ever decided to start using Photoshop

    Oh, and for my money, as cute as the holly leaf was, I probably would have removed it as well as I didn't seen a direct relationship with the squirrel and the leaf. And now that I've written that, I'm thinking I might have cloned it into a different position if I could have created a relationship.

  4. #64
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Week 5 of Project 52 by Dave Humphries

    Quote Originally Posted by Wendy Stanford View Post
    Hi Dave , the 3 hours spent on PP paid off well, thanks for the tutorial on how you did this, very clear.
    The squirrel stands out well from the similar coloured back ground, good focus around the eye, looks like he is smiling.
    I liked the holly leaf
    Thanks Wendy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve S View Post
    Your results were very good dave, but the time involved. Have you ever tried the quick mask feature?
    That was 2hr 50 mins thinking, typing, taking extra screenshots, etc., plus some PP trial and error and going back to do bits I missed when cloning

    The erasing really doesn't take very long (big brush in middle + smaller brush at edges), but you might be correct Steve; I may save some time with masks - although in the past I seem to have spent just as long fine tuning mask edges then erasing takes.

    It is ignorance and laziness at work here of course. I really must learn how to do things properly in CS5. I'll give your 'script' a go - thanks.

    Thanks both,

  5. #65
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Week 5 of Project 52 by Dave Humphries

    Quote Originally Posted by beckyhumphries View Post
    I like how you've managed to make the squirrel stand out against the close backgroup, the layers definitely worked in PP. I must open Adobe and work through some of the techniques mentioned as your narrative is very helpful to see how you arrived at the final picture. Very nice shot especially given the light conditions it was shot in.
    Thanks, yes, it is quite a 'stand out' difference between the 2nd and 4th versions isn't it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldcoastgolfer View Post
    Photoshop is a world that I just haven't quite delved into yet but you keep piquing my curiosity into that domain. The end result looks fantastic, particularly with the poor lighting conditions you had to shoot in.

    At least I know which thread to come back to to get some PP tips if I ever decided to start using Photoshop

    Oh, and for my money, as cute as the holly leaf was, I probably would have removed it as well as I didn't seen a direct relationship with the squirrel and the leaf. And now that I've written that, I'm thinking I might have cloned it into a different position if I could have created a relationship.
    Hi Mal,

    As written above, I only tinker with the bits I know in CS5, I too must delve deeper.

    I considered moving it, but not enough shape to do that with, plus; wherever I put it would distract.

    Thanks to you both,

  6. #66
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    Re: Week 5 of Project 52 by Dave Humphries

    Very well done Dave. I have tried to get that detailed into CS5 but have yet to get any were close to that. Thanks for posting the steps.

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    Re: Week 5 of Project 52 by Dave Humphries

    Nice PP Dave, I can see that there is still a lot to learn for me...

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    Re: Week 6 of Project 52 by Dave Humphries

    Another belated entry, I'll try to compress time and get week 7 out this weekend

    Shot in Week 6 at least - when we had some snow, unusual in itself, but this is also my first shot published from the dinky little Canon S100.

    Project 52 by Dave Humphries
    Canon S100 at 26mm: 120mm (FF equiv.), 1/160s, f/5.9, iso400, EC +1 (20120205_0176)
    F11 and click image to see at 1,478px 1,000px

    I don't 'do' landscape and I think this shows why, I think there's too much in it really; two people, two birds, two horses, a lot of fences. I was attracted to the scene of the humans checking their animals after the uncharacteristic weather for the area.

    Fairly standard PP, it isn't monochrome, that's just how it was

    Is the noise too much?
    I didn't do any NR, just a downsize from 3064 across (after a crop from 4000) to the 1478 presented here, I hoped that would be enough, but I'm not sure it is, in fact I went back and raised the threshold (to 5) on the final sharpen to help out.

    PP'ing the Canon's RAW files is all new to me

    Thanks for looking and commenting,

  9. #69
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Week 5 of Project 52 by Dave Humphries

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Smith View Post
    Very well done Dave. I have tried to get that detailed into CS5 but have yet to get any were close to that. Thanks for posting the steps.
    Quote Originally Posted by Letrow View Post
    Nice PP Dave, I can see that there is still a lot to learn for me...
    Thanks both, glad to help if I can, but I'd rate myself as "rank amateur" with CS5
    At most I may be a few weeks ahead of you (in a scale of several years to learn CS5!)

    Cheers,

  10. #70
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    Re: Week 6 of Project 52 by Dave Humphries

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Is the noise too much?
    Hi,

    I don't think it is too noisy at all, the picture has come out very well, especially as it was shot with a point and shoot camera.

    I like the background of the horses, birds etc. I don't think they distract from the picture.

    At first I wasn't sure how level the shot was, but the more I look at it the more I see how there are so many different lines of fences, hedges and the horizon that are all in different directions and angles so there is no 'straight'.

    A great picture overall, although I am glad the snow has disappeared now

    Thanks,

    Rebecca

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    Re: Week 6 of Project 52 by Dave Humphries

    Quote Originally Posted by beckyhumphries View Post
    At first I wasn't sure how level the shot was, but the more I look at it the more I see how there are so many different lines of fences, hedges and the horizon that are all in different directions and angles so there is no 'straight'.


    Yes, I worried about it for a bit and checked a few of the fence posts were vertical, but there is soooo much variation even on those that I decided not to worry afterall

    ... and the ground is a (gentle) hill side.

    Thanks,

  12. #72
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    Re: Week 6 of Project 52 by Dave Humphries

    I don't think you have any noise issues here. You all already know that I'm not great with landscapes so far be it for me to comment on the scene itself. The criss crossing of the lines looks very interesting though.

    I'll be interested to see what you folks up in the northern hemisphere start posting as the snow melts As we head into winter here, I guess I'll be posting, well, more sun, sand, and surf!

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    Re: Week 6 of Project 52 by Dave Humphries

    hehe, I see what you mean, this is certainly my type of shot, so I am going to critique it like I would my own. Firstly I like it as is but agree there seems to be quite busy, and my motto, which I learned here is to keep it simple.

    My first reaction would be to analyze whether I could have shot this from a different angle to try and get all the elements to work together a bit better, leading lines, rule of thirds and all that. I am going to assume though that you did that already or because of the subject matter didn't have time or you did have time and this was the best shot.

    If this was my shot I would try to warm it up a little by changing the white balance just a bit. That's personal though and could also be a screen issue.

    Second thing I would do is think about cropping, and I'm not saying there would be a better crop but I'd be checking and trying things out. I'd try to crop so the subject was on a third - perhaps take off most of the right side just to the right of the tree. That way the horse is on a third and the trees frame the subject on the sides.
    I think I would crop from the bottom to just below the bottom of the left hand tree. This would leave a bit of the bush in the front but I would then clone that out.

    My next step would be to try and provide a bit of contrast or colour. Even though it is a foggy or mono scene, I would try to emphasize the green in the fence and also burn the posts of the rail fence. After I brought up the green on the front fence I would burn the shadows there also and the shadows along the bottom of the fence and also (maybe) the people.

    A little LCE might help too as long as you don't totally remove the fogginess, or maybe just LCE the foreground which usually looks clearer in the fog anyway so it shouldn't look unnatural if that is clearer.

    That's about it Dave, and I'm not saying it would be better, I'm just saying that's how I would approach it. Aren't you glad you taught me all these things.

    BTW, noise doesn't look bad to me, just adds to the fogginess.

    Wendy

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    Re: Week 6 of Project 52 by Dave Humphries

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    .......... I think there's too much in it really
    I agree, but I also think that's it's not as much 'too much' as might appear. It's that hedge/fence in the foregound.

    The one thing I would like you to have done was clambered over that hedge/fence and taken the exact same shot from the the same line of view; i.e. take a line from where you are in this shot to the two people. Stay on that line, but move forward so that you have your back hard against that hedge/fence (or are at least leaning over it so that it's out of the frame).

    As a result you effectively crop the bottom and, also, the right hand side to about the apex of that large bush with the curved top at the right-middle. That takes out that large tree over on the right background, but I think that's okay.

    And then you'll have a real Wendy-esque image.
    Last edited by Donald; 2nd March 2012 at 02:53 PM.

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    Re: Week 6 of Project 52 by Dave Humphries

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    I don't 'do' landscape and I think this shows why, I think there's too much in it really; two people, two birds, two horses, a lot of fences. I was attracted to the scene of the humans checking their animals after the uncharacteristic weather for the area.

    Fairly standard PP, it isn't monochrome, that's just how it was

    Is the noise too much?
    I particularly like it, but then my photos always seem to have too much. I'm having to learn to crop first and then do all my other PP. It's possible you could crop out the first hedgerow and keep the people and horses. I personally don't think the noise is too much. Looks like a snowy day and since it is so monochrome, it reminds me of a really grainy b/w film exposure.
    john

  16. #76
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Week 6 of Project 52 by Dave Humphries

    Quote Originally Posted by johnbharle View Post
    It's possible you could crop out the first hedgerow and keep the people and horses.
    I had a look at that idea as well, but I don't think it works. It means you have no lead-in on the foreground to the bush and those two trees. They sit right, or almost right, on the bottom of the frame.

    That's why I think it needed a re-framing via movement of the feet (i.e. changing position)

  17. #77
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    Re: Week 6 of Project 52 by Dave Humphries

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    My first reaction would be to analyze whether I could have shot this from a different angle to try and get all the elements to work together a bit better, leading lines, rule of thirds and all that. I am going to assume though that you did that already or because of the subject matter didn't have time or you did have time and this was the best shot.
    Time was the critical issue; I had pulled off the road into a lay-by and was out of the car shooting snow scenes with nothing much in them when I heard distant voices and looked around, I missed getting them approaching the horses. While the people were beside the horse saying 'hello', at that distance, it just looked like a six or eight legged horse So I had to wait until they had separated, but the people strode off quite quickly and this was the only opportunity where that wasn't so obvious. Ideally, they would be approaching it from the left, but that wasn't an option.

    I didn't have time to get the Nikon with 70-300mm on (105-450mm equiv.) out of the car, so I was limited to the maximum 26mm (120mm equiv.) of the Canon S100.

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    Second thing I would do is think about cropping, and I'm not saying there would be a better crop but I'd be checking and trying things out. I'd try to crop so the subject was on a third - perhaps take off most of the right side just to the right of the tree. That way the horse is on a third and the trees frame the subject on the sides.
    I think I would crop from the bottom to just below the bottom of the left hand tree. This would leave a bit of the bush in the front but I would then clone that out.
    This is where the bigger lens (and sensor) would have helped - the image as presented above had already been cropped losing 25% of the pixel width and I wanted to retain it at a decent size (circa 1000 tall and/or 1500 wide) and still be able to downsize 2:1 to avoid noise issues, I took it as far as I felt I dared.

    Certainly the crop you describe above (and were kind enough to produce and PM to me - thank you) is a simpler composition. It would just have to be a smaller image.

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    If this was my shot I would try to warm it up a little by changing the white balance just a bit. That's personal though and could also be a screen issue.
    Good call; seems I may have forgotten, or not bothered to check, that in PP
    It was shot AWB on the Canon at 6150 K (and +28), but 'eye droppering' on the snow, or clouds, it comes out at around 6700 K (and +32) - on my uncal. screen, that looks a tad too warm (although the RGB histo shows the peaks overlaid) 6600 (and +28 Tint) seems better and is what I'll use in the updated shot later.

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    My next step would be to try and provide a bit of contrast or colour. Even though it is a foggy or mono scene, I would try to emphasize the green in the fence and also burn the posts of the rail fence. After I brought up the green on the front fence I would burn the shadows there also and the shadows along the bottom of the fence and also (maybe) the people.

    A little LCE might help too as long as you don't totally remove the fogginess, or maybe just LCE the foreground which usually looks clearer in the fog anyway so it shouldn't look unnatural if that is clearer.
    It did have some LCE, but I don't remember how much I applied now, I remember being careful not to over do it as the foreground hedge (the one your crop removes) soon became overpoweringly contrasty. Without that, yes the fence can be burned or LCE'd to be the most contrasty thing as it is then the foreground, as in your example.

    I rarely increase the saturation in my pictures, I have found that Levels and LCE usually provide all the enhancement it may need (at least on the D5000). In this case, I was concerned about increasing the visibility of colour noise, making the whole thing look artificial, but I'll admit this is a scene, and a camera, I am unfamiliar with PPing, so maybe there is more 'room for manouvre'.

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    That's about it Dave, and I'm not saying it would be better, I'm just saying that's how I would approach it. Aren't you glad you taught me all these things.
    Now hang on, you can't pin all that on me (it's a fit up)

    Many thanks for your time on this,

  18. #78
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Week 6 of Project 52 by Dave Humphries

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    I agree, but I also think that's it's not as much 'too much' as might appear. It's that hedge/fence in the foregound.

    The one thing I would like you to have done was clambered over that hedge/fence and taken the exact same shot from the the same line of view; i.e. take a line from where you are in this shot to the two people. Stay on that line, but move forward so that you have your back hard against that hedge/fence (or are at least leaning over it so that it's out of the frame).
    Yes, but if I had done that, counting the foreground one I shot over the top of already, I'd probably be trespassing on two people's land

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    As a result you effectively crop the bottom and, also, the right hand side to about the apex of that large bush with the curved top at the right-middle. That takes out that large tree over on the right background, but I think that's okay.

    And then you'll have a real Wendy-esque image.
    True (Wendy sent me a version )

    Quote Originally Posted by johnbharle
    It's possible you could crop out the first hedgerow and keep the people and horses.
    Quote Originally Posted by Donald
    I had a look at that idea as well, but I don't think it works. It means you have no lead-in on the foreground to the bush and those two trees. They sit right, or almost right, on the bottom of the frame.

    That's why I think it needed a re-framing via movement of the feet (i.e. changing position)
    When I asked SWMBO for her opinion, she prefers the seeing the snow on that foreground hedge, not the fences.

    This is why I don't do landscape, too many possible variations

    Thanks Donald and John for your views, I'll post an updated WB and cropped image soon.

    Cheers,

  19. #79
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Week 6 of Project 52 by Dave Humphries

    My thanks to all respondents, here is the result of your feedback in a new attempt - but it may not be quite what you were expecting

    a) Slightly warmer WB - 6600 K, and +28 tint
    b) +100 increase in saturation of yellows in ACR, no other colour resulted in a visible improvement, the yellow benefitted the foreground grasses (I had you in mind when I saw them Wendy)
    c) Portrait orientation crop - giving greater depth and retaining the hedge, which is now on the lower third - the horse is on top right intersection, I have lost the wasted right hand side
    d) Simplified composition and enhanced emphasis on people and horse by cloning out the fence just in front of them
    e) Cloned out a few other bits and bobs
    f) Local Contrast Enhancement of 15% and 100px radius applied
    g) Duplicated Layer, applied same LCE again, then erased the foreground hedge from top layer - the intention being to improve the contrast on the rest of the image, but not 'over cook' the hedge
    h) Save a psd version
    i) Flatten image (merge layers)
    j) Downsize to 1000px tall
    k) Sharpen with USM; 100%, 0.3px, 3 threshold
    l) Save an 8 bit jpg version

    Project 52 by Dave Humphries
    Canon S100 at 26mm: 120mm (FF equiv.), 1/160s, f/5.9, iso400, EC +1 (20120205_0176_ed3)
    F11 and click image to see at 791px 1,000px

    So, how does it compare with the original?
    Any parting thoughts?

    What else did I learn this week?
    Always get both cameras ready for shooting
    (Although in my defense, I was forcing myself to use the Canon and learn its menus)

    Thanks for your help,

  20. #80

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    Re: Week 6 of Project 52 by Dave Humphries

    Boy, this is a tough one Dave. I like what you have done with the white balance and the cloning of the fence. LCE (or something that you have done) makes that green fence stand out more which I really like. I also like the way the yellow in the grass is more pronounced, but I'm not so sure about the crop. There seems to be too much of the snow left at the front and that is where my attention goes and stays. It's almost like there are 2 shots. One on the top and one on the bottom if that makes any sense.

    I think it has more to do with the perspective and lines than the crop though, and as you said you couldn't do much about that. Somehow or other the horizontals in the front take over the shot and don't lead me to the subject. Maybe it's just me because that's something that I'm trying to concentrate on right now when I'm taking shots is trying to get the right angle and get something leading me to the subject. I'm finding it very difficult to do, and it would be impossible under the conditions in which you were shooting. I'm wondering if anything could be done using the Perspective sliders in PP. I know I don't have much luck with them when I'm trying to correct the lines on buildings, but could they change the point of view in a shot like this?

    Thanks for including your changes and settings. I always find this very helpful, and I'm sure others do also. You're getting pretty fancy with Photoshop using layers and all. I have a lot of catching up to do.

    Oh, by the way, how are week 7 & 8 coming along?

    Wendy

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