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Thread: PP advice please

  1. #1

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    PP advice please

    I took this recently but the end result was not what I wanted. I wanted to capture the shape and contrast of the snow on the trees but as you can see it was all a bit bland and uniform
    I have included the original and my attempt to bring it to life. I am still very much learning how to use Photoshop (I use PS3) and would like some advice. Please be specific as terms like 'adjust the contrast ' etc need further explanation!
    ORIGINAL;
    PP advice please
    MY PP;
    PP advice please
    Thanks for viewing

  2. #2
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    re: PP advice please

    Could you include your workflow for the edit? Do you have the opportunity for a reshoot?

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    re: PP advice please

    Here's my attempt. I duplicated the original photo in order to have a layer to work on. In PS I moved the brightness slider +40 and the contrast slider +100. I then added a levels adjustment to align the cursors with their respective ends of the levels curves. Finally I added a curves adjustment by increasing the midtones cursor and the highlight cursor. I also used a healing brush to daub out a few of the dark spots in the snowy foreground because I thought they distracted from the trees. Not sure if this is the look you were going for, but I hope this helps.


    PP advice please

  4. #4
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    re: PP advice please

    Hi Mat,

    Is the original capture RAW or jpg?

    It looks to be about a stop and a half under exposed, probably because the metering (and you) did not allow for the subject matter being white and the camera exposed it to be grey

    I notice from the EXIF: Canon 5D Mk.II at 28mm, iso 100, 1/25s at f/14

    I don't believe the subject needed f/14's worth of DoF, but if there was a breeze, it probably did need a faster shutter speed than 1/25s to stop the leaves from blurring and losing you fine detail - if this was combined with a jpg capture, then you're starting from a less than ideal place to achieve what you wanted.

    You could try Local Contrast Enhancement (LCE) on it, but you really need to start from a properly exposed image.

    If you can answer John's and my questions, we'll see what's possible.

    Cheers,
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 24th February 2013 at 10:01 PM. Reason: fixed broken url

  5. #5
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    Re: PP advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    You could try Local Contrast Enhancement (LCE) on it, but you really need to start from a properly exposed image.
    Cheers,
    Dave,

    The link didn't work for me. Says it can not be found.

  6. #6

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    Re: PP advice please

    It is always difficult to advise on this sort of scene, Mat, without knowing exactly what you want to achieve.

    However this is what I would do.

    PP advice please

    A Curves edit of highlights to slightly brighten the whole scene. Also reduced the blue highlights fractionally.

    A second Curves layer (with a hide all mask) to give more highlight brightness to suit the snow. Edited the mask (soft edged brush at 30% opacity) so this effect just applied to the snow.

    Slight sharpen. Then LCE at 20% and 30 radius.

    I also had a bit of a go at removing what looks like a large piece of gunge on the sensor. Top right corner.

  7. #7
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: PP advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff S View Post
    Here's my attempt. I duplicated the original photo in order to have a layer to work on. In PS I moved the brightness slider +40 and the contrast slider +100. I then added a levels adjustment to align the cursors with their respective ends of the levels curves. Finally I added a curves adjustment by increasing the midtones cursor and the highlight cursor. I also used a healing brush to daub out a few of the dark spots in the snowy foreground because I thought they distracted from the trees. Not sure if this is the look you were going for, but I hope this helps.


    PP advice please
    There was also a dark spot above the tallest tree on the right. What did you do to correct that?

  8. #8

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    Re: PP advice please

    Not sure what Jeff did; possibly adding extra brightness to the sky simply overcame the darkness.

    I cloned it out. Would have probably used the Healing Brush but that isn't available with the more limited software on this computer.

  9. #9
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    Re: PP advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff F View Post
    Not sure what Jeff did; possibly adding extra brightness to the sky simply overcame the darkness.

    I cloned it out. Would have probably used the Healing Brush but that isn't available with the more limited software on this computer.
    Going back to Mat's initial shot, its clearly visible in the original image and becomes more apparent during post processing and could make a difference in how much or how little he post processed this image.

  10. #10
    pnodrog's Avatar
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    Re: PP advice please

    All adjustments used are available in PS3

    Tend to use adjustment layers so can go back and forth for fine tuning

    Adjusted levels (black 7 mid 1.13 white 186)
    Made hue/sat layer and set saturation to max -looks horrible but easy to see corrections needed
    Back to levels adj layer and adjusted Red Green and Blue channels for preferred colour balance
    Back to hue/sat layer and reduced saturation to 60

    Flattened image
    Did some burning on trees with shadows set exposure 8%
    Did some dodging on trees with highlights set exposure 8% (This dodging and burning is a way of local contrast enhancement)
    Final tweak using curves
    Unsharp mask Radius 1.0 110% threshold 3

    Takes longer to write about it than do. Probably needs the contrast increased a little bit more or the curves pulled down a fraction and the saturation set a bit lower.

    PP advice please
    Last edited by pnodrog; 24th February 2013 at 08:30 PM.

  11. #11
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    Re: PP advice please

    Hi Mat,
    here's how I would have processed your picture.
    As already said above, it takes longer to write down what I did than do it; if you like this version I'll send you my workflow.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Cheers John

    PP advice please

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    Re: PP advice please

    Matt: O have been shooting alot in conditions like this. With your image I did not changes and it amounted to this, increased exposur +1.6 stops (remember to to that in camera next time with weather coditions like this) and then in raw I went to the colour sliders and reduced the saturation -25, that got rid of the blue overcast. Just give it a quick try and see the difference that it makes.

    Cheers:

    Allan

  13. #13
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: PP advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by orlcam88 View Post
    Dave,

    The link didn't work for me. Says it can not be found.
    Thanks Orlando, something went wrong with my link - it had the http bit twice - fixed now.

  14. #14
    Jeff S's Avatar
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    Re: PP advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    There was also a dark spot above the tallest tree on the right. What did you do to correct that?
    As near as I can recall, the brightness and contrast adjustments were enough to get rid of it. I didn't clone out or heal away anything in the sky, only some in the foreground snow.

  15. #15
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    Re: PP advice please

    HI, Mat
    One’s workflow is very subjective, so I’ll give you no advices but will try to tell you what I have done with the photo instead.
    1. It is underexposed. When you shoot snow, try some positive exposure compensation.
    2. I see it B&W, so I processed it with this idea in mind.
    From the original file I made two copies in ACR, one with +0.75EV and the second with -0.80EV.
    I also played a bit with the Basic sliders in ACR with the idea that the snow should be white in the overexposed copy and the darkest areas should be black in the underexposed one.
    Then I zoomed to 100% and applied sharpening to both.
    With both files opened in CS as layers I choose “multiply” blending mode with opacity of about 50%.
    Since in my case the darker layer was the one on top, I used a white mask and painted with black (30%) brush over it to reveal the lighter show from the layer below.
    The goal of the actions described above was to obtain three distinctive zones in the photo, the white snow, the gray sky and the dark gray trees.
    After that I used Quick selection brush to select the snow and played a bit with the sliders in Image>Adjustments>Shadows/Highlights.
    I did the same with the trees, only this time I made my selection with Select>Color Range.
    I left the sky as it was, using only Spot Healing Brush for the dark stain near the tree to the right.
    Voila! ;-))
    PP advice please

  16. #16

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    Re: PP advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    Could you include your workflow for the edit? Do you have the opportunity for a reshoot?
    John, the trees are still there but the snow has gone. Partial reshoot possible ! my workflow isn't something I pay a lot of attention too, I just mess about untill I think it looks better. I know it's not very professional but I have no real experience. I tweaked the contrast/exposure/tones/shadows and sharpened abit plus I tried to clone out the 'smudges' which were in fact snow flakes which had landed on the lens (it was quite a snow storm !)
    Sorry it's taken a while to reply but there has been some internet problems. . .

  17. #17

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    Re: PP advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff S View Post
    Here's my attempt. I duplicated the original photo in order to have a layer to work on. In PS I moved the brightness slider +40 and the contrast slider +100. I then added a levels adjustment to align the cursors with their respective ends of the levels curves. Finally I added a curves adjustment by increasing the midtones cursor and the highlight cursor. I also used a healing brush to daub out a few of the dark spots in the snowy foreground because I thought they distracted from the trees. Not sure if this is the look you were going for, but I hope this helps.


    PP advice please
    Jeff, Thanks very much for taking the time. I like what you've done the snow looks better all cleaned up and you have managed to get some more colour into the trees which was much more how I saw the scene. I will follow your moves on another version to see what and how you did it. Again appologies for not getting back to you sooner.Snow and storms = no phone or internet

  18. #18

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    Re: PP advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Hi Mat,

    Is the original capture RAW or jpg?

    It looks to be about a stop and a half under exposed, probably because the metering (and you) did not allow for the subject matter being white and the camera exposed it to be grey

    I notice from the EXIF: Canon 5D Mk.II at 28mm, iso 100, 1/25s at f/14

    I don't believe the subject needed f/14's worth of DoF, but if there was a breeze, it probably did need a faster shutter speed than 1/25s to stop the leaves from blurring and losing you fine detail - if this was combined with a jpg capture, then you're starting from a less than ideal place to achieve what you wanted.

    You could try Local Contrast Enhancement (LCE) on it, but you really need to start from a properly exposed image.

    If you can answer John's and my questions, we'll see what's possible.

    Cheers,
    Hello Dave, some answers; It was a Jpeg unfortunatly. Your comments about the exposure are (of course) spot on, and I really don't know why I chose those fstop and shutter speeds. Sheer madness perhaps?
    I have resolved the JPEG issue by downloading a DNG converter so can now use, and therefore shoot in, RAW. Lessons about underexposing snow have I hope been learnt (though next winter will probably see more of the same). I know not one thing about LCE so will see what the CIC tutorials say and will look at that.
    Thanks for the info and time. .

  19. #19

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    Re: PP advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff F View Post
    It is always difficult to advise on this sort of scene, Mat, without knowing exactly what you want to achieve. . .

    I also had a bit of a go at removing what looks like a large piece of gunge on the sensor. Top right corner.
    Geoff, Thanks for the clear and consise step by step. I am learning so much just by reading and following everyones actions!
    I truley appreciate your input. In case you didn't see I've had no Internet so couldn't reply sooner.

  20. #20

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    Re: PP advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    Going back to Mat's initial shot, its clearly visible in the original image and becomes more apparent during post processing and could make a difference in how much or how little he post processed this image.
    John, the spot/ smudge was a snowflake on the lens ! i removed it from the lens and cleaned it up, by which time the storm had intensified and I was unable to take more shots.I tried to remove it with the clone tool in PS3

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