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Thread: Flower Challenges

  1. #1

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    Flower Challenges

    A few challenges on these orange 'paper' flowers - two images for your C&C. I would like to know if the dark spot in the bottom left detracts from the image and which crop you prefer (or suggest a different one altogether - I have some room but a bud starts to creep in on the right side)?

    My first instinct was the oblong portrait with the tips of the petals missing:

    Flower Challenges

    And my second was the square (preserves the whole flower):

    Flower Challenges

    Any other tips on how I could have improved the composition or post processing would also be welcome.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    kris's Avatar
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    Re: Flower Challenges

    Dear Shane,

    looking at your photo my eyes are captured by the right petal on the right, brighter and more sharp. In the first composition this is partially cropped, with emphasis on the foreground flower. In the second crop you have full view and a nice contrast with the left bottom dark. I definitely prefer the second.

    As PP improvement you could try a bit of sharpening, and reducing the brightness of the highlights spots on the right petal.

    Cheers
    Andrea

  3. #3
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    Re: Flower Challenges

    Yep - another #2 supporter. However the highlights on the leaves at the top should be toned right down and if it was mine I would do a bit of cosmetic cloning and repair the tiny bit missing at the bottom of the right hand petal.

    Colour is vibrant and striking and the photo is defenitly worth working on.

  4. #4

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    Re: Flower Challenges

    Thank you Andrea and L.Paul - so, how to tone down the highlights? I have tried levels and curves but was hesitant to burn for fear of dulling the overal color of the right petal (and also the brighter bits in the background).

    I agree about the sharpening but I guess I need to mask out the bright part of the petal as futher sharpening only exacerbates the highlight problem on the petal?

    I am still learning the finer points of PP editing in CS5 so any tips would be appreciated.

    Thanks,

  5. #5
    pnodrog's Avatar
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    Re: Flower Challenges

    Quote Originally Posted by ShaneS View Post
    Thank you Andrea and L.Paul - so, how to tone down the highlights? I have tried levels and curves but was hesitant to burn for fear of dulling the overal color of the right petal (and also the brighter bits in the background).

    I agree about the sharpening but I guess I need to mask out the bright part of the petal as futher sharpening only exacerbates the highlight problem on the petal?

    I am still learning the finer points of PP editing in CS5 so any tips would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Nearly always with these type of shots I end up selecting the bright coloured flower using the magic wand set to contiguous and the colour tolerance to about 30. Hold down the shift key while you move to a new colour or shade to click on to add to the selection and some times you need to add to the selection using one of the lasso tools. Once the flower is fully selected you can invert the selection so you can adjust everything other than the flower (background). Now the background is selected you can use the burn tool either set to mid-tones or highlights and go over the leaves until the bight parts are toned down. Learning how to make selections and masks is a must for photoshop. If you are unsure just Google it and you will find plenty of tutorials.

    Be careful not to over sharpen. The sharpening in your photo is not to bad - a bit more maybe but not to much.

  6. #6
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    Re: Flower Challenges

    I like the first image better than the second, would crop some from the sides for ratio .. and try going after the image in softer light !!! Like it !!

  7. #7

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    Re: Flower Challenges

    Edited per your suggestions L.Paul - thanks for the tips!

    Flower Challenges

    • I cloned the bit that was bothering you.
    • Put a separate curve layer on the flower and the background.
    • Burned the bright bits on the flower and in the background.
    • While I was at it I dodged the shadow portions of the flower a little bit.
    • Increased the sharpening a tad on the flower only.


    Now I am concerned that I went a bit too far...

  8. #8
    kris's Avatar
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    Re: Flower Challenges

    Dear Shave,
    good work. To my taste the background is too dark. In the original version the leaves in the background gave more depth to the composition. The overall results is, nevertheless, good.

    Cheers
    Andrea

  9. #9

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    Re: Flower Challenges

    Thank you Andrea - I agree. I had some trouble wth determining how dark to make the background and this was especially challenging on my laptop monitor as everytime I moved my line of vision the tones changed...

    A quick tweak of the tone curve for the background should resolve that issue tonight Thanks for following along as I learn and experiment.

    Alfred - thanks for taking the time to comment. Could you elaborate on why you preferred the portait version on this image?

    BTW, my girlfriend tells me these are not 'orange paper' flowers but bougainvillea - plentiful here in Hawaii.

  10. #10
    kris's Avatar
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    Re: Flower Challenges

    Dear Shane,

    this quick summary of the workflow I would use to work on your picture.

    1) under Select choose "Color Range"
    this make color-based selection.
    Use this to select the orange flower.

    2) Once you are satisfied with selection,
    switch to the channel panel and save the selection as the channel.
    Rename it, say "Flower".
    You will use this channel as a mask for adjustments. see 2.1)
    Remove the active selection.

    2.1) By selection only the channel Flower you will have a B&W representation of the selection,
    and you can adjust it by painting with black and white.
    Remember:
    Black: masked (nothing is applied, i.e., unselected)
    White: unmasked (exposed for adjustments, i.e., selected)
    In your case the shape of the flower is white while the rest black.
    There could be some midtones, you can eliminate by painting on them.

    3) Unselect the channel Flower and select the RGB to have back the colour picture
    then move to the Layers panel.

    4) duplicate the background layer and rename the new layer,
    say "Flower Adjustment" or something similar.

    5) Make the new layer active, move to the channel panel, select the Channel "Flover"
    and load it as selection.

    6) Go back to the Layer panel, and with the new layer active select "Add Layer Mask"
    This will load the selection as a mask, so that everything you do is applied only the white
    part of the mask.

    7) You can use this layer to adjust the flower.

    8) To work on the background just create a new copy of the background layer, move on top of the layer stack,
    ad rename it, say "Background Adjustment"

    9) Now add a layer mask as before, the only difference is that one you have loaded the channel as a
    selection you have to invert the selection before adding the layer mask.

    The advantage of using layer+mask is that you can apply localized adjustments and modulate the strength of the adjustment by the opacity of the layer. For example, if the background is to dark, you can reduce the opacity of the layer to have it back.

    Cheers
    Andrea

  11. #11

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    Re: Flower Challenges

    Thank you for your detailed workflow Andrea. While I did not use smart objects I did take a layer approach to my editing as follows:

    Create a mask of the flower and then applying curves.
    Duplicated the layer and invert the mask to apply a curve to that layer.
    Added a layer for dodging and burning and finally,
    A high pass sharpen where I copied the mask of the flower so that I didn't add to the noise in the background by sharpening.

    To create this last refinement I simply adjusted the background curve layer which allowed me to bring back some of the brightness and contrast as you suggested.

    What are the advantages of smart objects over my approach?

    Flower Challenges

  12. #12
    kris's Avatar
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    Re: Flower Challenges

    Dear Shane,

    what you have done is similar to what I would have done. Maybe I was not clear enough. The workflow I wrote is not for creating and using smart objects but on how to create a mask and save it as a channel so you can use it whenever you need.
    Creating a selection can require some work, so having it saved once done, it is not as bad.

    In any case this last version is really nice. Good job.

    Cheers
    Andrea

  13. #13

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    Re: Flower Challenges

    Quote Originally Posted by ShaneS View Post
    Edited per your suggestions L.Paul - thanks for the tips!

    Flower Challenges

    • I cloned the bit that was bothering you.
    • Put a separate curve layer on the flower and the background.
    • Burned the bright bits on the flower and in the background.
    • While I was at it I dodged the shadow portions of the flower a little bit.
    • Increased the sharpening a tad on the flower only.


    Now I am concerned that I went a bit too far...
    very nce, the background has been dropped out nicely and this one with the full flower I find more pleasing than the first one with the flower cut off. Nice detail in the pedals. Very nice, I like it.

  14. #14

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    Re: Flower Challenges

    Thanks Tom - it was captured with our old standby D40X

    Working on another image right now that I will be sharing soon and I'm looking forward to seeing more of yours.

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