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Thread: Meet Gus

  1. #1

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    Meet Gus

    My granddaughter gave her fiance' a 9-week-old German shorthair retriever for Christmas. I couldn't resist a double portrait:

    Meet Gus

  2. #2
    RobO's Avatar
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    Re: Meet Gus

    Tom Hi
    I like the shot a lot two charismatic photogenic subjects. Well captured, I hope you won't mind be playing with it in PS [not very expertly - sorry].

    Meet Gus

    Well done

    Rob

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    Re: Meet Gus

    Don't mind at all. Thanks.

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    Re: Meet Gus

    Hi Rob,

    I like what you've done there.

    Mind you, it was a nice portrait to start with Tom.

    Cheers,

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    Re: Meet Gus

    RobO, I sorta know what you did, but could I trouble you to explain the process? I'm not really good at getting such effects (I usually lose hair or other details).Thanks for any help you can be in this. Regards, Tom

  6. #6
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    Re: Meet Gus

    Hi Tom

    I'll try to be as helpful as I can, but my PS/CS skills are limited [note to self - must do better].

    Firstly - my personal viewpoint was that your Grandaughter and the dog [yup, I just love retrievers ] are very photogenic, but the DOF on the shot was too great drawing attention away from the main points of interest. Essentially IMHO the background was rather cluttered. So .......

    1) I used the lasso tool to select the background area, doing it rather quickly I didn't get too close and didn't set the feather correctly.

    2) I used Filters>Gausian Blur - to blur the background

    3) I found that the incorrect feather selection had left a band around the image and so I rather crudely used the clone tool to infill the surrounding band that should have been done properly first time!

    4) I then used a combination of fading/smudging & healing to give the impression of the same colours that were in the background and "pulled" them around the subject[s] t make it "flow."

    5) From the OnOne software suite I used Photoframes 4 Professional Edition and hunted around until I found a frame I thought complimented the subject[s]. It was supposed to have a black frame BUT the software screwed up and twice came out white which I thought was just too bright.

    So .....
    6) I opened the frame layer and used Fx>Effects>Bevel & Emboss>Satin

    This "greyed off" the white border and added the bevelled edge to the frame.

    Finally, I went back to the original image [background Layer] and used the Sharpen filter trying to sharpen the eyes without overdoind the sharpen. To me if the eyes are sharp the draw you into the image. I wasn't satisfied with the first Sharpen, so I used it again and that is where I ended the PS work!

    It was a long way around to doing the job, much simpler if I'd done the Lasso Tool correctly first time .

    The two faces are very pleasing and I hope that the PS/CS work has stopped the background from distracting from them.

    Please remember it's just my interpretation - as Dave says your original image is very good. This is just my interpretation of your hard work.

    I hope that's OK.

    Regards

    Rob

    PS - Thanks Dave for your kind comments - I'm no expert as you can see above, but "trust me" playing with Photoshop beats the hell out of trying to do the same in the darkroom = multiple exposures > fade this bit > darken that > add some cloud etc etc. That's why it makes me smile when I see the comments about Photoshopping images. My Dad put two Triplanes in the same picture in the darkroom "dogfighting" - there was only one of this aircraft left in the world - a bit of a give away !

  7. #7

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    Re: Meet Gus

    Hi Robo: Love what you've done with the frame, but is it just my screen or is there a problem with the girls teeth and the inside corner of her right eye does not look right. I'm thinking I kind of like the softer focus in the original, but that's just me, or the way my screen shows it.

    Wendy
    Last edited by ScoutR; 10th January 2010 at 11:00 PM. Reason: correct mistake

  8. #8

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    Re: Meet Gus

    Quote Originally Posted by RobO View Post
    Hi Tom

    I'll try to be as helpful as I can, but my PS/CS skills are limited [note to self - must do better].

    Firstly - my personal viewpoint was that your Grandaughter and the dog [yup, I just love retrievers ] are very photogenic, but the DOF on the shot was too great drawing attention away from the main points of interest. Essentially IMHO the background was rather cluttered. So .......

    1) I used the lasso tool to select the background area, doing it rather quickly I didn't get too close and didn't set the feather correctly.

    2) I used Filters>Gausian Blur - to blur the background

    3) I found that the incorrect feather selection had left a band around the image and so I rather crudely used the clone tool to infill the surrounding band that should have been done properly first time!

    4) I then used a combination of fading/smudging & healing to give the impression of the same colours that were in the background and "pulled" them around the subject[s] t make it "flow."

    5) From the OnOne software suite I used Photoframes 4 Professional Edition and hunted around until I found a frame I thought complimented the subject[s]. It was supposed to have a black frame BUT the software screwed up and twice came out white which I thought was just too bright.

    So .....
    6) I opened the frame layer and used Fx>Effects>Bevel & Emboss>Satin

    This "greyed off" the white border and added the bevelled edge to the frame.

    Finally, I went back to the original image [background Layer] and used the Sharpen filter trying to sharpen the eyes without overdoind the sharpen. To me if the eyes are sharp the draw you into the image. I wasn't satisfied with the first Sharpen, so I used it again and that is where I ended the PS work!

    It was a long way around to doing the job, much simpler if I'd done the Lasso Tool correctly first time .

    The two faces are very pleasing and I hope that the PS/CS work has stopped the background from distracting from them.

    Please remember it's just my interpretation - as Dave says your original image is very good. This is just my interpretation of your hard work.

    I hope that's OK.

    Regards

    Rob

    PS - Thanks Dave for your kind comments - I'm no expert as you can see above, but "trust me" playing with Photoshop beats the hell out of trying to do the same in the darkroom = multiple exposures > fade this bit > darken that > add some cloud etc etc. That's why it makes me smile when I see the comments about Photoshopping images. My Dad put two Triplanes in the same picture in the darkroom "dogfighting" - there was only one of this aircraft left in the world - a bit of a give away !
    RobO, Dave, thanks a million. I'm going to copy this and print it out and give it a try. I have plenty of studio equipment, etc., but no darkroom anymore, and most of the portraits I take these days are informal family shots (like this one at the Christmas party). At age 71, I'm trying to keep the brain active and explore this digital thingie. I like the idea of being able to switch out the background but this process seems equally effective. All your help is much appreciated.

  9. #9
    arith's Avatar
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    Re: Meet Gus

    The puppy is definitely posing for the camera; I can see a smile on its face. I like the picture because of that.

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    Re: Meet Gus

    Another point: I have found the APS-C-size sensored Canon 30D used for this shot (as all other such, I'm sure) gives more DOF than my 35mm film cameras. I imagine a switch to a full-frame digital SLR would help. I continue to prefer the rendering I get with film (I get the film processed and scanned to CD at the same time, these days) largely because of the ability to get limited DOF. It is very difficult to get limited DOF with my Leica D-Lux2 or my Canon PowerShot S5IS. I assume you all have the same experience, yes?

  11. #11
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    Re: Meet Gus

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    Hi Robo: Love what you've done with the frame, but is it just my screen or is there a problem with the girls teeth and the inside corner of her right eye does not look right. I'm thinking I kind of like the softer focus in the original, but that's just me, or the way my screen shows it.

    Wendy
    Hi Wendy

    Thanks for your kind comments, I was just "playing" with Tom's excellent shot!

    I see some lipstick on the young ladies teeth and I wonder if some of the issues are pixellation? I took the image off the web and failed to convert it before working on it, so guilty as charged if it's pixellation you see. Other than that, I haven't worked on that area of the image, except for overall sharpening. Perhaps I should have used selective sharpening for the eyes?

    I think one of my next investments is going to be a bigger screen - I work off a laptop at the moment and am sure I need a better screen.

    Thanks

    Rob

  12. #12

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    Re: Meet Gus

    Hi Rob: No one else has mentioned it, so it's possible that it's just my screen. If I look very closely, I can see the same things in the original, but the sharpening just seems to have brought them out more especially at the bottom edge of the teeth. (very possibly lipstick)
    I've copied your method for blurring the background (hope you don't mind) That is a very handy thing, and really improves on what is already a great photo with 2 very photogenic subjects from Tom.

    Wendy

  13. #13

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    Re: Meet Gus

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    Hi Rob: No one else has mentioned it, so it's possible that it's just my screen. If I look very closely, I can see the same things in the original, but the sharpening just seems to have brought them out more especially at the bottom edge of the teeth. (very possibly lipstick)
    I've copied your method for blurring the background (hope you don't mind) That is a very handy thing, and really improves on what is already a great photo with 2 very photogenic subjects from Tom.

    Wendy
    I pulled up the original RAW image and there is no red at the bottom edge of the teeth. Clean as a whistle. It must be "stray" pixels or some other artifact of processing.

  14. #14
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Meet Gus

    Hi Tom,

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Barry View Post
    I pulled up the original RAW image and there is no red at the bottom edge of the teeth. Clean as a whistle. It must be "stray" pixels or some other artifact of processing.
    From what I see above, I agree; I think it is jpg artefacts due to their large, blocky nature.

    What quality setting was the jpg saved as?
    Although that may be irrelevant, depending on the answer to the next question.

    Did you upload it at the 663 x 700 pixel size, or has Photobucket done something to it?

    Hi Wendy,

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    If I look very closely, I can see the same things in the original, but the sharpening just seems to have brought them out more especially at the bottom edge of the teeth.
    It will, if you sharpen someone else's jpg, I recommend setting threshold to 10 or more to reduce the chance of this happening.
    This is also (mainly) why Colin and I almost insist on having a RAW if we're gonna spend more than 30 seconds on a make-over, because your just can't win starting from a jpg, even if it is a fairly big one

    Cheers,
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 11th January 2010 at 06:17 PM.

  15. #15

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    Re: Meet Gus

    I uploaded it at the 663X700 size.

  16. #16
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Meet Gus

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Barry View Post
    I uploaded it at the 663X700 size.
    OK thanks,

    .. and the jpg quality?
    This is usually a percentage, or a number on a scale of 1 (grossly awful) to 12 (super high).
    9 is what I use, which I assume would also equate to 75%.

    and the PP software?
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 11th January 2010 at 08:02 PM.

  17. #17

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    Re: Meet Gus

    I use Photoshop Elements 7. When I "save for web," after converting from RAW in the editor and make my final adjustments and cropping, etc., I then always downsize to "maximum" quality JPG, which comes up as "100" in the PSE7 lingo. Then I save that version in a file within the folder especially for web use. I pull that downsized version up in Photobucket.

  18. #18
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    Re: Meet Gus

    Oooops!

    Seems I've opened up a whole line of discussions here from just a quick doodle in Photoshop!

    Sorry all, I didn;t mean to hijaack the thread and take attention from Toms great shot.

    Rob

  19. #19

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    Re: Meet Gus

    Quote Originally Posted by RobO View Post
    Oooops!

    Seems I've opened up a whole line of discussions here from just a quick doodle in Photoshop!

    Sorry all, I didn;t mean to hijaack the thread and take attention from Toms great shot.

    Rob
    I'm finding the discussion most interesting. No Ooopsies needed, sir.

  20. #20
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Meet Gus

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Barry View Post
    I use Photoshop Elements 7. When I "save for web," after converting from RAW in the editor and make my final adjustments and cropping, etc., I then always downsize to "maximum" quality JPG, which comes up as "100" in the PSE7 lingo. Then I save that version in a file within the folder especially for web use. I pull that downsized version up in Photobucket.
    Hi Tom,

    Sounds like you are doing most things right, with the possible exception if you are using the Save for Web dialog to do the downsize as this usually reslts in soft images. I have to say though, I wouldn't have expected it to do this to them though.

    If you have a full size version saved, or can easily go from RAW, try doing the resize to 663 x 700 manually, then a final sharpen, then just a Save As (jpg). Then upload that to Photobucket and compare the two.

    Cheers,

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