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Thread: Requesting feedback on my processing

  1. #1
    terrib's Avatar
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    Terri

    Requesting feedback on my processing

    Ok, I've watched the training tutorials on Lightroom 4 and am trying to put what I've seen into practice. I started with what I thought was a fairly good photo but then what do I know? I'm not confident that I'm able to spot what is wrong with a photo, which seems to be the most important thing. Otherwise it's just trial and error. Anyway, on to the photo. I've posted the unprocessed image - well except for what Lightroom does by default - and its corresponding histogram. Below that is what I've ended up with.

    The major things I did were to bring up the whites, clarity and vibrance. I then brought up the "lights" on the tone curve to make it steeper over the lights. I did local control over the wing feathers to bring up the shadows. I also increased the sharpening above the default and added some noise reduction. There's also a slight vignette.

    I'd love feedback on what else you see wrong with the image, i.e. what needs to be fixed. In addition if you can say how you'd go about fixing things in Lightroom, that would be appreciated.

    Original image
    Requesting feedback on my processing
    Requesting feedback on my processing

    Processed image
    Requesting feedback on my processing
    Requesting feedback on my processing

  2. #2
    PBelarge's Avatar
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    Pierre

    Re: Requesting feedback on my processing

    Terri,
    Great original image.
    Processing is not only assessing what may be needed to work on it, but first comes what is it I want out of this image.

    I am not an expert, but I have been experimenting.
    For my taste, maybe you went a little too far on the Clarity/Blacks. I would see what happens when you experiment with the sliders, maybe even bring up the shadows a little (not a little like they do online tutorials), maybe like 10-15.

    Also, now it the time to experiment - try taking the Clarity slider the opposite direction (-) and play with that. I know most birders are looking for tack sharp, but you never know until you have tried.Taking another look, maybe bring the Highlights slider to the left and bring up the whites. If you like the blue cast in the image that is fine, if not slowly move the temperature slider to the right a little at a time. Pay attention to the number it is at so you can get back to it, or if it is as when you opened the image, just double click on it if you do not like your adjustment. I don't really know but these are the things I am doing with most of my images when I am not sure where to go.
    Good luck and have some fun.

  3. #3

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    Allan Short

    Re: Requesting feedback on my processing

    Terri: very nice work, I do not use LR4 instead CS6, six of one half dozen of the other. when working on a raw file. I do not think that I could do much more with the image in my raw program. There is something that I might do in Photoshop CS, however you can not do it in LR4 unless you also have CS. The item I might do is to add a layer, apply a blur filter or use the clarity slider to add unclarity to only the water and hope that the duck will stand out more. To do the second (unclarity) you have be be able to make a copy on a new layer, then take it back into raw and apply negative or unclarity. Again a very good image.

    Cheers:

    Allan

  4. #4
    jeeperman's Avatar
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    Re: Requesting feedback on my processing

    Terri, you have done well here. Just to help you learn I took things a bit further {maybe a hair to far} but to show some of what I might do here, it works. I will write out what I have done. All of which really comes down to personal choice. I will write it in order as I did it. You will notice I did not sharpen.....the file was rather small and already fairly sharp.

    LR 4
    Whites +58
    blacks +6
    Exposure +.20
    Shadows +64
    Highlights -58
    Temp +4
    Tint -2
    contrast +20
    Clarity +2
    Vibrance +6

    I then felt that the water had lost its blue due to the warming and other actions that lighten so I used the adjustment brush.....painted the water only and slightly lowered the temp to bring back some blue.
    I did not just use the regular slider because I did not want to cool the duck as there is a slight blue to the shadow. I actually did not want that blue in the shadow and that would worsen it.
    To take care of that blue in the shadow and not effect the rest of the image....again I used the adjustment brush and with a new brush painted only the shadow area of the birds body. I then slightly warmed it by adding a touch of +temp slider.

    This outcome is just one possible outcome and one I would likely tweak slightly if mine.....backing off in brightness possibly.

    Requesting feedback on my processing

  5. #5
    dje's Avatar
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    Dave Ellis

    Re: Requesting feedback on my processing

    Terri I think this is a case where you've got a good quality image to start with and the post processing is not really critical. It comes down more to personal taste than anything else.

    Just out of interest, I had a play with your original image in ACR independantly of what you've done. But I like your result and I prefer it to mine !

    Dave

  6. #6
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    John

    Re: Requesting feedback on my processing

    Nice image. Have you considered removing the ripple of water directly behind the birds head? The tone competes with the subject.

  7. #7
    terrib's Avatar
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    Re: Requesting feedback on my processing

    I just wanted to respond to let y'all know I'm not ignoring your responses. I'm just still working through your suggestions, trying to see what's going on. Thanks to all of you for responding.

    Pierre and Paul - one of the things common in your responses was bringing up the whites and bringing down the highlights. Does this effectively add contrast in the brighter areas of the image? What problem were you addressing with this?

    Paul, I especially appreciate the details in your response. I like the additional detail that you got on the birds wings. Working on the RAW file rather than the jpeg you had to work with, everything seems to be even brighter so I've not gone up quite so much on the whites to avoid blowing out around the head.

    One thing I've already figured out is that I need to be more aggressive with the sliders, then back off, to better see what's happening.

  8. #8
    Downrigger's Avatar
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    Re: Requesting feedback on my processing

    I agree with Dave...
    The image you start with is awfully important.
    There are thousands of combinations of post process steps and setting available and many of them will yield results that area pleasing to one eye or another. It's a regular candy store!

    So I think Pierre is saying something important when suggesting that you think about what you want to accomplish with the image, before you start - how should it look? How should it feel?

    I wonder if one of the greats (Adams) has spoken about how your question is systematically and usefully broken down. With all of the tools available, it is a big one. Thanks for bringing it up.

  9. #9
    jeeperman's Avatar
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    Re: Requesting feedback on my processing

    Hi, Terri. In answer to your question to me. The two {whites & Highlights} are not something I use together for a purpose. One of the first things I do is to set my Black and white points.....this sorts a few things right off the bat.....adds some contrast, adjusts color and effects overall brightnes.

    Once that is done some of the very brightest areas may need to be pulled down some. You may lose a little contrast from doing this. We can then get it back with the contrast slider.

    As said above, there are several ways all of this can be done. You are working through what we all do and will come to what works best for you.

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