Helpful Posts Helpful Posts:  0
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: That professional touch

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Switzerland
    Posts
    63
    Real Name
    Rob

    That professional touch

    Hi all,

    It's been a while ...

    Armed with my camera, I was out hiking in the Swiss Alps last weekend. One of the mornings started out quite misty which made for some beautiful photography. I'm looking for some help with the following picture:

    That professional touch

    I think it has potential to be a really interesting picture, and ultimately one I can use to gain more experience in post processing techniques. I have made some post processing modifications with photoshop to it already, but it's nowhere near the level I want. Here is the result after applying my complete skill set, which includes:

    1) Lighting, contrast, vibrance enhancements
    2) Use of the clone stamp to remove person
    3) Application of an unsharp mask
    4) Crop

    That professional touch

    I'm really interested in advancing in this area, so if someone is willing to take the time to help me achieve this, I can provide the original raw file if it would help.

    Thanks in advance for your support!

    - Rob

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Glenfarg, Scotland
    Posts
    19,707
    Real Name
    Just add 'MacKenzie'

    Re: That professional touch

    Hello Rob. Good to see you here again.

    I'm not on my own computer, so am not seeing it as well as I otherwise would and am not going to make comments on the image itself.

    But what might be helpful is if you were able to say what your thinking was that led you to write, "but it's nowhere near the level I want". What do you feel are its weaknesses? When you compare it to the image you see in your head, what are the differences?

  3. #3
    jiro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Manila, Philippines
    Posts
    3,804
    Real Name
    Willie or Jiro is fine by me.

    Re: That professional touch

    Hello, Rob. I am not a professional photographer (I don't get paid when I take pictures) nor am I a professional adobe photoshop user (just a hobbyist) but I would like to offer some ideas and suggestions on how to make your shot look "better" (in a very subjective way).

    First, my comment about the shot and my first impression about it.

    1. The shot really has a lot of potential to become a good photograph. For one, there is fog in the shot! Fog is a strong photographic element.

    2. The composition seems to be too heavy on the right side with the brick house and the other rock boulders pointing or leaning more to the right while the left side is barren. I think this is the main thing that hurt the shot - balance in composition. I know that your goal is to get better on your post-processing skills so I will not elaborate much on this matter.

    3. The color hue (a little bit leaning to yellowish green) looks very natural but I think given the "mood" of the shot, it would look nicer if you'll give the image a bluish tint to denote coldness, loneliness, or solitude considering that there is a single person in the photograph.

    4. There are minute white elements (bright areas) inside the frame that attracts my attention detracting me to concentrate more on the main subject. I would assume that since you decided to clone out the person on the shot, your main subject is the brick house or building on the right. IMO, the shot would look stronger if you re-position the person to the left to balance your composition.

    Having said these, I decided to do some minor adjustments or edit on the image if you may. I hope you won't be offended if I post my edit on your thread. This is my personal idea on how I would probably edit the image so that means there are many ways to edit the shot and come up with multiple interpretation on the post-processing. Here is the edit if you may:

    That professional touch

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Ariege, France
    Posts
    453
    Real Name
    Paul

    Re: That professional touch

    Hi Rob,

    for me the image was a little on the flat side and sort of lacked a 3D feeling. I had a go at some editing your cropped version to increase contrast in the foreground while at the same time keeping the atmosphere of the fog in the picture. I've no idea if this matches your vision but for me it now gives the image more of a subject or focal point. A very quick attempt mainly using a highlight mask, levels and contrast layers and a little dodge and burn.

    That professional touch

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Switzerland
    Posts
    63
    Real Name
    Rob

    Re: That professional touch

    Donald, Jiro and Paul,

    Thanks a lot for your feedback. I must first appologise for not replying to this post (it must seem quite rude), but I forgot to enable notifications and thus assumed that I hadn't received any feedback.

    Firsly to Jiro: Thanks for your suggestions and I am certainly not offended with the repost, I rather welcome it!. I like your ideas and what you have done maintaining a lonely/cold atmosphere, I just think the final product looks a bit washed out.

    Paul: Again thanks for the feedback. I quite like this version, the colours are strong and the atmosphere is maintained. How exactly have you done this?

    Highlight mask: how & why?
    A little dodge and burn: how & why?

    I notice there is a slight vignetting effect in the bottom corners of the picture which is simple yet effective. I like it, but why do I like it? It sounds silly to ask you why I like something, but it's clearly done to be more appealing to the eye. What made you think it was necessary. It's these small tweaks that I'm lacking in my skill set.


    Donald: It's a really difficulty one for me to put my finger on. Not this particular picture, but in general. first of all; when I use post processing I know my skillset is lacking. I apply _only_the following techniques:


    Exposure correction (if needed) to the whole picture
    Adjust contrast of the whole picture
    Sharpen
    Sometimes clone tool.


    and that's it. Second I look at the final product and I ask myself "Would I see that published in a magazine, respectable photography website or wherever. Most of the time the answer is unfortunately no.


    As with most things it's down to experience and feeling, but as an ASIC designer I know there are techniques one can apply as default in order to kickstart the development. The same must be true in post processing. Take the vignetting idea from Paul, that wouldn't have popped into my head because I don't understand the reasons behind it.

    - Rob
    Last edited by EDGE1; 25th September 2012 at 07:11 AM.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Lake Ambulalakaw, Mt. Pulag, Benguet
    Posts
    1,026
    Real Name
    Victor Nimitz

    Re: That professional touch

    Hi Rob,

    You were asking
    Would I see that published in a magazine, respectable photography website or wherever.
    .

    Just to clarify matters, may I ask while you were hiking, what about the scene made you stop, look at it, shoot it? Was it the fog? the man? the wall? all of the above. And following your question above, what elements of that scene do you feel could've made it a candidate for a magazine, website/etc.

    Or was it to simply test your camera's capabilites. ( which I often do. also , to test my own abilities. ) Like in this instance, you saw the man/wall/fog and wanted to see how it comes out using your cam.

    Thank you in advance for any info you may want to post.

    Vic

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Switzerland
    Posts
    63
    Real Name
    Rob

    Re: That professional touch

    Hi Vic,

    I didn't necessarily stop and think "wow, that'll make me famous", but rather "that looks like an interesting scene...different". With everything I approach in life, I try to do it to the best of my ability and photography is no exception. I want every scene I take a picture of to be "the one", but I'm often left dissapointed.

    I feel slightly frustrated because it's difficult for me to identify if a photograph has been enhanced in post-processing or not, and if yes, what has been done to it. It's impossible, given varied tastes, opinions etc, for someone to give me an equation for producing "that professional touch" in all of my images, but I need some sort of foundations to work on ...

    - Rob

  8. #8
    ajohnw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    S, B'ham UK
    Posts
    3,262
    Real Name
    John

    Re: That professional touch

    As a thought and I like something that I wouldn't normally shoot to practice on I have tried to accentuate the path aspect and adjusted the crop to take out some distractions. Also increased the fog maybe a little poorly over the building. The aim was to try and make it look lower than it was. With more fog above the building I don't think this would needed. Be curious to hear what others think about this approach. I like to shoot and think about composition afterwards. I could make the colouring more intense as per another shot but have tried to keep it natural.

    That professional touch

    -

  9. #9
    ajohnw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    S, B'ham UK
    Posts
    3,262
    Real Name
    John

    Re: That professional touch

    I prefer it this way with the rock a bit more pronounced (taller)

    That professional touch

    -

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •