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Thread: November Doldrums

  1. #1
    rtbaum's Avatar
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    November Doldrums

    Here in Minnesota (Land of 10,000 lakes-All half frozen), we enter a period of leaf-less trees, no flowers, grey skies, and no birds.

    Truly lovely

    Soooo...........As I sit here, with my setup in the window, waiting for hesitant birds to appear at the feeder that setup last week, I have decided to relearn photoshop. I first learned, oh so many years ago, Photoshop Pro. My wife got the itch to take a class, so she signed up at a local community college. Being as she was, and still is, basically computer illiterate; I had to coach her, meaning I had to read Classroom in a book and do the exercises as well. I played around for a few years; cropping photos, making pretty frames, adding items for better composition, that sorta thing.

    Computer died, Photoshop gone. Advance to present. I would like spend this time becoming more proficient with my post processing. Most of my post-processing has been done with Lightroom 3, with sharpening done in CS4. A couple weeks ago, one of you kind folks posted a link to Secrets to Digital Bird Photography, http://www.digitalbirdphotography.com/10.3.html, I can not recommend it highly enough!

    My first attempt is in Local Contrast Enhancement

    November Doldrums
    Original

    November Doldrums
    Selective Sharpening of Crane

    Please Help Me make this So-So Image into Something to be Proud of

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    Re: November Doldrums

    You have done the hard bit well but I think you can improve it by increasing the overall contrast as it seems a little flat and needs some punch. Cloning out the post in the background and adding a small amount of vignetting are the only other things you may wish to consider although a crop off the bottom would stop the bird from being so central.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: November Doldrums

    Quote Originally Posted by pnodrog View Post
    Cloning out the post in the background and adding a small amount of vignetting are the only other things you may wish to consider .............
    I'd go along with that.

    Quote Originally Posted by pnodrog View Post
    .... I think you can improve it by increasing the overall contrast as it seems a little flat and needs some punch.
    I'm finding that my preferences are more towards the more subtle approach, which I find is well expressed in lower contrast images. Again, it's one of these things that's very much down to preference and taste.

    I like it very much indeed.
    Last edited by Donald; 10th November 2012 at 08:07 PM.

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    Re: November Doldrums

    Hi, Randy

    I initially agreed with all of Paul's suggestions till I saw the results of your LCE. Beautiful result, but I think now if you were to increase overall contrast that you might lose some of the emphasis on the bird and possibly mar the excellent improvement of the bird. So I'd vote to proceed with the cloning and the vignette, and leave the contrast as is. Congrats on a very nice image.

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    Re: November Doldrums

    I know I said a bit more punch but that is because if I said a bit more pat nobody would understand me. (I am used to that) Donald used the words subtle approach and I am all for it BUT I still think the whites(highlights) need lifting a fraction so it is exactly right for my viewing conditions. Yes a bit selfish wanting personalised subtlety.
    Last edited by pnodrog; 10th November 2012 at 07:31 PM.

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    Re: November Doldrums

    As an alternative to using LCE I often find that creating a duplicate layer with a different Blend Mode can work well.

    For example.

    November Doldrums

    Slight crop, duplicate layer set to Soft Light Mode at 70% opacity. Curves Adjustment Layer set to Luminosity Blend Mode to brighten the highlights. Using Normal mode will increase saturation particularly on the grass but I also wanted a rather subtle image.

    Increasing the Soft Light layer opacity would also give more saturation.

    Finally a little selective sharpen just on the bird.

    There are several slight alternatives possible here, depending on exactly what you want.

  7. #7
    pnodrog's Avatar
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    Re: November Doldrums

    Thank you - I am at a different computer now so it looks like you may have gone a tad (whatever a tad is) to far but at least you have everything under control even if I don't.
    No I have just had another look at it and the changes are perfect.

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    rtbaum's Avatar
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    Re: November Doldrums

    My thought was to invert my selection and either use noise reduction on background or blur it slightly. I am kind of leaning towards noise redux after realizing that blur would not affect grasses crossing the bird.

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    pnodrog's Avatar
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    Re: November Doldrums

    I am not sure you would imporove it. On the last photo I would just like to see a bit more headroom and maybe a bit of vignetting but that is all.

  10. #10
    rtbaum's Avatar
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    Re: November Doldrums

    November Doldrums

    cropped, cloned, and very lightly vignetted

  11. #11
    rtbaum's Avatar
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    Re: November Doldrums

    Geoff, I will try your method tomorrow. Sorta got involved with setting a friend up with an inexpensive bridge camera at the local brick and mortar. Amazing what 40 bucks will get you.

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    pnodrog's Avatar
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    Re: November Doldrums

    It would be a great life if everyone did what I told them.(and so quickly) Bad luck if you don't like it, I do.

  13. #13
    rtbaum's Avatar
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    Re: November Doldrums

    Well........that's all that matters

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    Re: November Doldrums

    Hi Randy,
    I'm happy that you found the link to digitalbirdphotography that I posted interesting, and hope you don't mind but I did an edit to your photo to see what you might think,
    Best Wishes, Pat

    November Doldrums

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    Re: November Doldrums

    Agree with the cloning out of the post but I think your selective sharpening one in your original post is very good. Subtle colours in the plumage of the bird on a largely monochrome background - very nice.

    You may now have lifeless trees, no flowers and grey skies, but you have Sandhill cranes, that must be some compensation.

    Dave
    Last edited by Tringa; 12th November 2012 at 03:00 PM. Reason: typo

  16. #16
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    Re: November Doldrums

    Agreed, although they will soon flee, if not already gone

  17. #17
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    Re: November Doldrums

    I tried another angle at sharpening; I first converted the photo to Lab in channels, chose lightness under channels, adjusted amount, radius, and threshold sliders. Final settings were amount (318%), radius (2 pixels), and threshold (21 levels). I am certain that the final result was over sharpened, but I think it takes on a rather painterly look

    November Doldrums
    C & C appreciated

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