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Thread: Help in enhancing a pic

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    Help in enhancing a pic

    This is a shot of a performing cat, taken at Mallory Square, Key West, FL.

    The mechanics are, Canon 500D, EF-S 17-55 1:2.8, 1/160, f/5.6, ISO 3200, lens at 45mm, speedlite 430 flash fired, raw file. I had ISO 3200 because it was getting dark, and I wasn't that close.

    I use PSE 8.0, sharpened it at the raw stage, then cropped, then used NeatImage to reduce noise. This shot is the result.

    Help in enhancing a pic

    The picture looks a little strange until you notice that the cat is trying to catch a piece of fish that's flying through the air. So I tried to bring it up. I lassoed it, and brightened it. It looked as if it was pasted in, so I put a box around it, and did a gaussian blur, which helped some. Here's the result.

    Help in enhancing a pic

    Any suggestions on how to bring up the raw fish better? Maybe it's just a matter of the image being kind of noisy to begin with. If I really got ambitious, I might also try to downplay the logo on the yellow shirt behind the action, which is distracting. But that may just be a matter of getting the right shot in the first place.

    Thanks;
    Rick

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    Re: Help in enhancing a pic

    Quote Originally Posted by rick55 View Post
    Any suggestions on how to bring up the raw fish better? Maybe it's just a matter of the image being kind of noisy to begin with. If I really got ambitious, I might also try to downplay the logo on the yellow shirt behind the action, which is distracting.
    Hi Rick:
    That's one mean looking cat!
    Your brightening of the fish did help considerably. However there are some things you might try in addition:
    1. Clone out the black strap on the man behind, and yes, the logo also.
    2. Not sure what the black object is on his shoulder (somebody's head?)but it's right behind and extending from the fish so it's distracting. Careful cloning might work, or perhaps painting it a different color?
    3. The left side of the fish lines up perfectly with the right side (her left) of the lady's head which makes it look like the fish is behind her which really throws off the image. Depending on how much manipulation you're comfortable with, either extend the fish to the left to cover part of her head to make it obvious the fish is in front by careful cloning, or otherwise separate the fish from her head.
    4. You might also consider toning down the bright blue leash since it is quite distracting.

    I hope this helps,
    Roger
    Last edited by rogerb; 28th January 2010 at 12:32 AM.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Help in enhancing a pic

    Hi Rick,

    I would urge using the Noise Reduction in ACR and NOT the sharpening, do that with USM in Elements.

    a) because if you sharpen first, you risk enhancing the visibility of the noise, and
    b) because the NR in ACR is good, and
    c) because the sharpening in ACR is not good - it is too coarse (0.5 px minimum radius is too much)

    You may still need Neat Image for iso3200, but do this before the USM too.

    Roger's advice is good too for the 'fishy problem'.

    Cheers,

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    Re: Help in enhancing a pic

    Thanks, Roger - I will go back and rework it, using those suggestions. I've been afraid to over-process, but this is exactly what I was looking for: the reasonable steps I can take to make the image what I want.

    Dave, I thought doing noise reduction in ACR was "capture noise reduction." Am I just confusing the stage of the post-processing with the tool used to do it? I'll definitely try it.

    Cheers!
    Rick

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    rogerb's Avatar
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    Re: Help in enhancing a pic

    I am quite perplexed by the fact that the man in the yellow shirt appears to have his right upper arm raised high (slope of his shoulder, folds in his shirt) behind the lady's head but we can't see his forearm or hand???

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    Re: Help in enhancing a pic

    For a more drastic approach, have you considered removing / replacing the background altogether?

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    Re: Help in enhancing a pic

    Quote Originally Posted by rogerb View Post
    I am quite perplexed by the fact that the man in the yellow shirt appears to have his right upper arm raised high (slope of his shoulder, folds in his shirt) behind the lady's head but we can't see his forearm or hand???
    That's a darned good question - I'll have to look carefully at that on the raw pixels (I'm on my work computer now). If what I enhanced as the fish is actually his arm, I think it would have to be physically different somehow, like missing a hand. I don't remember someone like that in the crowd, but I wouldn't necessarily have noticed. By the same token, it could be someone with his arm truncated above the elbow.

    I know there was fish flying through the air, and I don't think it's out of the frame, because the image shows quite a bit more before crop.

    But I'll definitely look at it and try to figure it out. Wonderful observation, thanks!

    Cheers!
    Rick

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    Re: Help in enhancing a pic

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    For a more drastic approach, have you considered removing / replacing the background altogether?
    No, I hadn't. I do have a number of other shots at about the same time, so they'd have similar light: they might be good candidates.

    I'll give it a shot!

    Cheers;
    Rick

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    rogerb's Avatar
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    Re: Help in enhancing a pic

    Quote Originally Posted by rick55 View Post
    If what I enhanced as the fish is actually his arm, I think it would have to be physically different somehow, like missing a hand.
    Yes, I think the man is reaching up and touching/grabbing the strap on his right shoulder. This appears to be the case in your unmodified version. So, that being the case, where's the fish?
    Roger

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    Re: Help in enhancing a pic

    Quote Originally Posted by rogerb View Post
    Yes, I think the man is reaching up and touching/grabbing the strap on his right shoulder. This appears to be the case in your unmodified version. So, that being the case, where's the fish?
    Roger
    I'm afraid you're right, and I'm afraid the fish is out of the frame. And I really like the cat. Maybe I'll try Colin's suggestion, and switch in another, less distraction background. I can steal part of the guy's arm to be a piece of fish.

    I wonder if I need a model's release for that?

    Cheers,
    Rick

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Help in enhancing a pic

    Quote Originally Posted by rick55 View Post
    I wonder if I need a model's release for that?
    Not if you can't tell what species of fish it is

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Help in enhancing a pic

    No chance of a re-shoot for a sharper cat?

    Is the performer a regular somewhere you can get to?

  13. #13

    Re: Help in enhancing a pic

    When looking at the second picture, I thought the guy's arm was actually a fillet that the cat was trying to catch!

  14. #14

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    Re: Help in enhancing a pic

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    No chance of a re-shoot for a sharper cat?

    Is the performer a regular somewhere you can get to?
    Actually, I'm looking forward to doing that. The guy (Catman) is a regular performer on Mallory Square, and my wife and I try to get to Key West a couple of times a year. It seems as if I learn more every day, so I'd really like to try better. I think I should have set the flash to manual, or used FEC: I don't think I needed to crank up the ISO. Plus, I got a Speedlite 530 for Christmas (I had a 430), so I'll have a little more light to project.

    Cheers,
    Rick

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    Re: Help in enhancing a pic

    How about this?

    Help in enhancing a pic

  16. #16

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    Re: Help in enhancing a pic

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    How about this?
    LOL - this is great, Colin. I notice you even cloned out the leash.

    I need to go to the limits with PP, although I'm still working at getting "realistic" processing right.

    Cheers!
    Rick

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