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Thread: Old boilers waiting for a face lift

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    ucci's Avatar
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    Old boilers waiting for a face lift

    Rest easy and heave a massive sigh of relief. I promise that these are the very last I will post from our restoration rail yard! Apologies if this series went on for too long. But I have had some very helpful advice feed back from the earlier posts, thank you.
    Again I have tended to steer clear of my nemesis, the old B&W switcheroo trick. But as Goeff commented about some previous shots these also probably would not fly all that well in B&W. I did try one and, as usual, despite my current best efforts, it seems a bit dull, flat and lifeless.
    Thanks for viewing and for any hints/tips/advice/ criticisms or comments.

    Old boilers waiting for a face lift

    Old boilers waiting for a face lift

    Old boilers waiting for a face lift

    Old boilers waiting for a face lift
    Last edited by ucci; 11th May 2012 at 11:44 PM.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Old boilers waiting for a face lift

    Quote Originally Posted by ucci View Post
    Again I have tended to steer clear of my nemesis, the old B&W switcheroo trick. But as Goeff commented about some previous shots these also probably would not fly all that well in B&W. I did try one and, as usual, despite my current best efforts, it seems a bit dull, flat and lifeless.
    Thanks for viewing and for any hints/tips/advice/ criticisms or comments.
    That surprises me Ken,

    I would have thought these; with their simpler and larger forms, shot against these sky and plenty of contrast, would work.

    One trick you could try, which I found necessary on a recent mono conversion I did for someone here, was a huge Local Contrast Enhancement using USM (50%, 100px, 0 threshold) normally, the amount for a colour shot would be 10 - 20%. You might need to look at the levels before applying that much on these though, or you'll compress a lot into the blown sky/highlights.

    These all look a stop too bright to me, especially after the wheelsets (groan).

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    ucci's Avatar
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    Re: Old boilers waiting for a face lift

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    That surprises me Ken,


    One trick you could try, which I found necessary on a recent mono conversion I did for someone here, was a huge Local Contrast Enhancement using USM (50%, 100px, 0 threshold) normally, the amount for a colour shot would be 10 - 20%. You might need to look at the levels before applying that much on these though, or you'll compress a lot into the blown sky/highlights.

    These all look a stop too bright to me, especially after the wheelsets (groan).
    HI Mr D


    Thank you for your very helpful feedback, Mr. D Actually I did use USM with settings of 153%, 1.0 pixels 0 threshold and the fade filter control racked back to somewhere around 30%.
    I have to confess that due to domestic arrangements intended to utilize vehicle deployment to maximize fuel economy and minimize mechanical depreciation, ( ie I dropped my wife off to attend a boring meeting and then do the shopping whilst I buzzed off to take photos. That's what budding photographers normally do, isn't it? ) So these shots were taken in the middle of the day with a very bright sun overhead. Not a good time for light.

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    Re: Old boilers waiting for a face lift

    Quote Originally Posted by RonH
    So these shots were taken in the middle of the day with a very bright sun overhead. Not a good time for light.
    Well you'll just have to go back again at an earlier or later hour won't you? And get some really good close ups of some of the more intriguing mechanical bits as well. [The bolts on those boilers are crying out of some special attention)
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 12th May 2012 at 02:12 PM.

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    Re: Old boilers waiting for a face lift

    Yes, these are amazing beautiful photo subjects. Just need to be there at about 7:00 am.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Old boilers waiting for a face lift

    Quote Originally Posted by ucci View Post
    Actually I did use USM with settings of 153%, 1.0 pixels 0 threshold and the fade filter control racked back to somewhere around 30%.
    Dear Mr K.

    I write to inform you (Mr. K) that by my reckoning, at 1.0 px (not the 100 px I suggested), that will be working as "sharpening", not "Local Contrast Enhancement" and will explain why it doesn't look like I think it could

    Also 1/3 (30%) of 153% is about 50% for the amount, which at least expalins why it doesn't look over sharpened.

    Most of the wheels were not this bright, but then their background was grass not sky. I suspect you may have been spot metering and the camera has exposed for the boilers and let the sky go too high.

    oh and please Ken; why not call me "Dave"?

    Cheers,

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    Re: Old boilers waiting for a face lift

    Sometimes, when I find that LCE is creating a few small problem areas I apply the setting to a duplicate layer then use a mask to selectively apply the effect.

    Works for USM as well, particularly with noisy shadow areas. And sometimes, changing the layer blend mode to Luminosity makes a smoother effect.

    I think that these images would take a B&W conversion, but with care.

    The example shown here almost works for me, the only problem being the bottom right corner which has become slightly excessive.

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    ucci's Avatar
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    Re: Old boilers waiting for a face lift

    So much great information and useful advice. I can't wait to have a go at it. Thank you all so very much for your help.

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    ucci's Avatar
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    Re: Old boilers waiting for a face lift

    Hokee. One more of the rail yard shots I took. Here is a before and after conversion using the black and white filter on the curves layer, playing with the colour sliders, changing mode from RBG to gray scale and then applying the USM settings recommended by Dave. It may not be quite there yet, but for me it has come a long way in a short time thanks to all your help, especially Dave. I am very pleased and am off back to the drawing board, as they say!



    Old boilers waiting for a face lift

    Old boilers waiting for a face lift

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Old boilers waiting for a face lift

    Hi Ken,

    Yes, that's got much more punch to it.

    Now you know as much as I do - because I've only used it once on a monochrome shot and only gave it a whirl last week because, like you, I was struggling to get anything I was happy with.

    Glad to help,

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