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Thread: Nap time

  1. #1

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    Nap time

    Nap time

    Key West, FL, looking out at Sunset Key.

    Canon 500D, EF-S 17-55 1:2.8, lens at 55mm, 1/500, f/7.1, ISO 200.

  2. #2
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Nap time

    Hi Rick,

    Nice capture, may I make a few (mostly PP) suggestions?
    - The composition has the bird dead central, I would have panned left a little when framing/cropping.
    - It would have been worth some cloning out of the rubbish in the background.
    - Same for the dribbles of bird poo on the wall in foreground, they are quite distracting.
    - The bright white side of the building, also in background top right, could do with toning down a bit so not as bright as bird.

    You could do all this with Elements 8.
    Hope that helps, Dave

    BTW, I see you used the new TinyPic hosting* for this and would like to note that the EXIF data is intact
    * replaces ImageShack (at least for now)

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    Re: Nap time

    Thanks, Dave: I'll try some of those suggestions in the PP.

    On the framing, I did think a lot about the dead central, but it felt very unbalanced in other framings. Because of the curve of the egret's back, if I moved the right edge in closer, it felt as if the right edge was pushing against the bird.

    I'll try adjusting the PP: maybe with the background more subdued, the subject will be balance better.

    Cheers!
    Rick

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Nap time

    Hi Rick,

    I had a play ...
    Nap time

    Hope you don't mind,

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    Re: Nap time

    Awesome: of course I don't mind.

    I went back, cleaned up the pier, cut down the brightness of the one building, and decluttered it. Then I expanded the crop, which now includes an gull in flight. Of course, what you were working with didn't include that gull at all.

    Nap time

    The thing I like better about yours is that the subject is more central. What I like better about this is that there's more there, although the subject doesn't exactly jump out at you. The composition changes from being centered around the egret to being more about the overall space.

    Cheers!
    Rick

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    Re: Nap time

    I would rather prefer background LENS BLURRED

    Nap time
    Last edited by Ashwin; 28th January 2010 at 12:34 PM.

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    Re: Nap time

    [QUOTE=ashwin;32657]I would rather prefer background LENS BLURRED

    I like that a lot! Thanks, Ashwin. That's a way to make a better DOF after the fact. Excellent suggestion.

    It's also something I should remember the next time I see a composition like this: open the aperture, or if given time, take it with a couple of different apertures.

    Cheers!
    Rick

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    Re: Nap time

    Quote Originally Posted by ashwin View Post
    I would rather prefer background LENS BLURRED

    Nap time
    Just remember that, when simulating shallow dof in post-processing, it needs to look realistic. There should be a gradual loss of focus with distance. The waves should start getting blurry half way down and the shoreline should be about as blurry as the trees and houses.
    You might also experiment with the amount of blurring at maximum distance. It can be very difficult to emulate the bokeh that you would get from a lens at large aperture.

    Also, when shooting, the lens is always wide open when looking through the viewfinder so if you have selected an aperture smaller than the largest aperture of the lens, the dof in the picture will be greater than what you saw through the viewfinder.
    You can use "dof preview" on your camera to close down the lens to the selected aperture which will then show the actual dof. However the viewfinder will darken due to the smaller aperture letting in less light.

    Roger
    Last edited by rogerb; 28th January 2010 at 12:57 PM.

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    Re: Nap time

    Nap time

    Thanks for the suggestions and guidance. I'm much happier with this image, with the white spots on the pier cleaned, clutter cleaned on the island in the background, and the background blurred.

    Roger, your points are well taken: I went through a couple of iterations, because the blur across the edge of the selection created a halo around the bird. The basic workflow I ended up following is: select the bird, ocean, and foreground, invert the selection, contract by 1pixel, gaussian blur 2 pixels, contract by 1 pixel, gaussian blur 3 pixels. The two iterations of contracting the to-be-blurred selection and blurring let me increase the blurring without getting the halo, and didn't leave a visible band of in-focus background around the bird.

    And of course, it's a less static crop (subject looking into the frame).

    Cheers!
    Rick

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    Re: Nap time

    Good improvement..

  11. #11

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    Re: Nap time

    Quote Originally Posted by rogerb View Post
    Just remember that, when simulating shallow dof in post-processing, it needs to look realistic. There should be a gradual loss of focus with distance. The waves should start getting blurry half way down and the shoreline should be about as blurry as the trees and houses.
    Roger
    Thank you for pointing out my mistake

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    rogerb's Avatar
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    Re: Nap time

    Rick:

    Yes, this version looks much better. Dave's and Ashwin's recommendations were right on.
    I've always had difficulty simulating shallow dof in post-processing when there is a very prominent subject in the foreground. It takes a lot of effort to get all the edges right and even then it's not possible to do a perfect job. Here the bird has some hair/feathers in line with the shoreline so it's a challenge!

    However it's a very worthwhile exercise to go through because now you will remember to set dof in camera so as to avoid the agony. I wish I could remember to do it every time

    Oh, and Ashwin, I know you did this quickly just to illustrate the effect. That worked.
    Roger

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Nap time

    Quote Originally Posted by rogerb View Post
    I wish I could remember to do it every time
    I'll second that

    I find it is helpful, when doing many PP jobs, to be zooming in and out from full size to 200% and vary brush size accordingly as you work; do the majority first zoomed out with a big brush, leave a good sized margin around any subject.
    Then zoom in a bit, make brush smaller and go a bit closer to the subject, repeat at least 3 or four time until you're at 100, or even 200%, and (almost) tinkering with individual pixels

    Zoom right out every so often to make sure you're not doing something different close in and making a halo.

    Cheers,
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 28th January 2010 at 06:21 PM.

  14. #14

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    Re: Nap time

    Quote Originally Posted by rogerb View Post
    However it's a very worthwhile exercise to go through because now you will remember to set dof in camera so as to avoid the agony. I wish I could remember to do it every time
    That's for sure: it's much easier when the camera is doing the blurring based on distance, rather than me click-click-click-click.

    Quote Originally Posted by rogerb View Post
    Oh, and Ashwin, I know you did this quickly just to illustrate the effect. That worked.
    Roger
    I really appreciated that work, too. It's one thing to have someone say, "Why don't you try blurring the background?" But Ashwin took the trouble to show what it looked like, and it really had an impact.

    Cheers;
    Rick

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    Re: Nap time

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    I'll second that

    I find it is helpful, when doing many PP jobs, to be zooming in and out from full size to 200% and vary brush size accordingly as you work; do the majority first zoomed out with a big brush, leave a good sized margin around any subject.
    Then zoom in a bit, make brush smaller and go a bit closer to the subject, repeat at least 3 or four time until you're at 100, or even 200%, and (almost) tinkering with individual pixels

    Zoom right out every so often to make sure you're not doing something different close in and making a halo.

    Cheers,
    Thanks, Dave: that helps me understand the workflow. Can you expand on how that would work for this task (blurring the background)? I spent most of the time getting the selection right around the bird. Once I had that, I moved the selection edge away from the bird, blurred once, and moved the edge farther away, and blurred some more.

    If I wanted to look at haloes step by step, would I select a large area of the background, blur it, then work in toward the subject, blurring at each step?

    Cheers!
    Rick

  16. #16
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Nap time

    Quote Originally Posted by rick55 View Post
    If I wanted to look at haloes step by step, would I select a large area of the background, blur it, then work in toward the subject, blurring at each step?
    Hi Rick,

    No worries.

    Doing the majority first, and working towards the subject is my preferred method because you get most done first, then keep at it until the 'law of diminishing returns' kicks in and further pixel peeping isn't making enough difference to be worthwhile (when viewed as a whole).

    Cheers,

  17. #17

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    Re: Nap time

    Quote Originally Posted by rick55 View Post
    I really appreciated that work, too. It's one thing to have someone say, "Why don't you try blurring the background?" But Ashwin took the trouble to show what it looked like, and it really had an impact.
    Cheers;
    Rick
    I am glad..... you have got the point.... and done yourself...
    this is the way to improve the work

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