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Thread: My first post, as well!

  1. #1

    My first post, as well!

    Ok, I'll take the plunge...here are some new attempts for me - I love photographing flowers. Any feedback would be appreciated. Thank you

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    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 20th March 2010 at 09:11 PM. Reason: added images inline

  2. #2

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    Re: My first post, as well!

    Hi Annette,

    See, it wasn't hard now was it?

    First question - just wondering what post-processing you're doing on these, and what software are you using?

  3. #3
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: My first post, as well!

    Quote Originally Posted by Annette View Post
    Ok, I'll take the plunge...here are some new attempts for me - I love photographing flowers. Any feedback would be appreciated. Thank you
    Hi again Annette,

    These look pretty good to me.

    Sadly, I can't see the EXIF data (f-stop, shutter speed, etc.) to advise on shooting and I don't know what PP software you have.

    I think #3 is the strongest of the bunch (groan), I can't think of anything to improve it.

    #1 and #2 might benefit from a bit more Depth of Field (DoF), especially #2 as the main subject is really the whole flower head, but only the stamen and a bud behind are truly sharp.

    #4 is quite pleasant, but I would clone out the petal tip top left.

    Your standard is quite high, the shots all have good composition and are not noisy, well done.

    Hope that helps,

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    arith's Avatar
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    Re: My first post, as well!

    I don't photograph flowers much; I like them in the pic though. For me I like #4 because the focus seems to be on the one behind and it has a lovely colour. cheers

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    Re: My first post, as well!

    Congratulations Annette - you've qualified for a free Photoshop 30-Second Makeover (TM!)

    My first post, as well!

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    Re: My first post, as well!

    I find that photographing flowers in the wild is tricky. You need a windless day, or use a windbreak, and try to avoid harsh direct sun. A tripod is essential. Depth of field is always a problem and I frequently use F16 although this can mean having to increase the ISO. And if possible, I prefer to focus manually.

    I have tried, with little success, taking multiple photos at different focus points then combining them into one image with extra depth. But it only takes the slightest wind movement to scupper this method.

    As others have said, more information about settings and camera/lens would be useful.

    No. 3 works best for me; Nos. 1 & 2 would prove very difficult to get sufficient sharp focus from one shot. I may have considered doing a touch of selective sharpening on the centre of No. 4. Something similar to Colin's example.

    Next test: How about one with a bug on the petals!

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    Re: My first post, as well!

    Hello ,Annette, I'm new, too. GREAT forum and site. Your flowers are lovely. Number four draws my eye the most.
    Colin, you should include a primer for your 30 second makeovers. How do you wheedle out such rich, vivid colours?

    Myra

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    Re: My first post, as well!

    Quote Originally Posted by Maritimer1 View Post
    Colin, you should include a primer for your 30 second makeovers. How do you wheedle out such rich, vivid colours?

    Myra
    Hi Myra,

    This one was probably the easiest makeover yet ... Annette had already done all the hard work. As usual I opened in ACR - used a heap of fill light and a heap of black clipping point adjustment (don't ask!) - little bit of vibrance. Open is PS - sharpen - border - "job done" - too easy

  9. #9

    Re: My first post, as well!

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hi Annette,

    See, it wasn't hard now was it?

    First question - just wondering what post-processing you're doing on these, and what software are you using?
    Thank you - and thank you, Colin, for the wonderful redo of my #4 shot. I am a rank beginner - I am using iPhoto's limited editing tools, and that's it. I have access to Photoshop, but don't have a clue how to use it. I so want to learn! I am amazed at how much sharper the image was after your makeover, I had no idea PS could do that.. I have so much to figure out!
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 21st March 2010 at 07:50 AM.

  10. #10

    Re: My first post, as well!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Hi again Annette,

    These look pretty good to me.

    Sadly, I can't see the EXIF data (f-stop, shutter speed, etc.) to advise on shooting and I don't know what PP software you have.

    I think #3 is the strongest of the bunch (groan), I can't think of anything to improve it.

    #1 and #2 might benefit from a bit more Depth of Field (DoF), especially #2 as the main subject is really the whole flower head, but only the stamen and a bud behind are truly sharp.

    #4 is quite pleasant, but I would clone out the petal tip top left.

    Your standard is quite high, the shots all have good composition and are not noisy, well done.

    Hope that helps,
    Thank you for all of your comments, Dave. I will post the EXIF information next time I put up photos. I didn't even think of doing that - lesson #1 for the newbie. I can tell you that I shot all of them handheld. The first three were with a 100mm lens, the fourth with a 75-300 zoom, but I don't remember at what focal length. Shutter speed on the fourth was rather fast, as it was quite breezy that day. The others were shot on a still morning. I am working on DoF issues, and I agree with your observations!

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    Re: My first post, as well!

    Quote Originally Posted by Annette View Post
    Thank you - and thank you, Colin, for the wonderful redo of my #4 shot. I am a rank beginner - I am using iPhoto's limited editing tools, and that's it. I have access to Photoshop, but don't have a clue how to use it. I so want to learn! I am amazed at how much sharper the image was after your makeover, I had no idea PS could do that.. I have so much to figure out!
    Hi Annette,

    If you have access to Photoshop then you're well on your way to great looking photos

    People spent thousands of $$$ on equipment - but seldom spend even 10% of that amount on training materials that teaches them how to get the best out of it ... and I think that's just crazy. With that "frame of reference", I'd suggest popping along to amazon.com and grabbing these for starters. Also - if you can let us know what version of Photoshop you have access to then I'll send you a link to a good all-round text on using it too.

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    Re: My first post, as well!

    Annette, I have the Kelby books volumes 1 and 2 and love them. They are written at a level that is understandable for those starting out (me), but as you learn and re-read them, they make even more sense. Does that make sense?

    Colin, thanks for sharing! What, though, is fill light in photoshop or ACR? I tried to find it (looked in the help menu of ps2) but it is eluding me still.

    TC!
    Myra

  13. #13

    Re: My first post, as well!

    Collin - thank you for the link! I am going to purchase the set, and get started. And, like Myra, I am wonding what ACR is also.

    Myra - thanks for the recommend, and it makes perfect sense!

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    Re: My first post, as well!

    Myra & Annette
    Fill light is in ACR.
    Walshy

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    Re: My first post, as well!

    Quote Originally Posted by Walshy View Post
    Myra & Annette
    Fill light is in ACR.
    Walshy
    * In CS3 and above versions.

    PS: ACR is "Adobe Camera RAW" ... sorry if we get a bit carried away with the abbreviations sometimes! (force of habit I'm afraid)

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    Re: My first post, as well!

    Quote Originally Posted by Maritimer1 View Post
    Annette, I have the Kelby books volumes 1 and 2 and love them. They are written at a level that is understandable for those starting out (me), but as you learn and re-read them, they make even more sense. Does that make sense?

    Colin, thanks for sharing! What, though, is fill light in photoshop or ACR? I tried to find it (looked in the help menu of ps2) but it is eluding me still.

    TC!
    Myra
    Myra, "Fill Light" is an adjustment in Adobe Camera RAW (ACR for short, as Collin mentioned) that is used to add detail to the shadows. What's nice about Fill Light is it does not shift the highlights and midtones.

    As with any adjustment, use sparingly. I intentionally exaggerated the adjustment in these images for demonstration purposes.

    Maybe these samples will help (Clicking on the image will open the image full size, making the text easier to read.):


    As shot, image opened in ACR Fill Light at 0

    My first post, as well!

    Fill Light slider moved to 75.

    My first post, as well!



    Note the difference in the shadow area in the foreground. Looking at the histograms, the midtones and highlights remain unchanged.

    While we're discussing books to read, I, along with several of the regulars here, would highly recommend "Real World Camera Raw with Adobe Photoshop CS4" by Bruce Fraser and Jeff Schewe. Even if you don't have Adobe CS4, ACR works with Photoshop Elements (PSE). I know for sure it's used in PSE 7 & 8, not sure about earlier versions. I'm not too familiar with Adobe Lightroom, but I believe Lightroom has similar controls as ACR, but with a slightly different interface.

    Moderator addition: PSE 6 has it too.

    Hope that helps.
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 25th March 2010 at 12:21 PM. Reason: add PSE 6 info

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    Re: My first post, as well!

    Thank you, Teddy for the picture and explanation. Colin explained it to me a week or so ago... I can be a bit thick... but now that I see the picture... my PS2 doesn't have those options. It has:White balance, temperature, tint, exposure (auto/default), shadows, brightness, contrast and saturation. I think there are some options with the Canon Zoombrowser that came with the Rebel. I tend to use Bridge and then ACR; maybe I should check the Zoombrowser out. I had PS8 on trial a few months ago but didn't really have time to play around with it before the trial time expired.

    OK, deep breath time. I can learn all this. Eventually

    Thanks!
    Myra

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    Re: My first post, as well!

    Hi Myra,

    The version of ACR that comes with PS CS2 doesn't have it - but - Photoshop does have the next best thing ...

    ... look under Image -> Adjustments -> Shadow/highlights

  19. #19
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: My first post, as well!

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hi Myra,

    The version of ACR that comes with PS CS2 doesn't have it - but - Photoshop does have the next best thing ...

    ... look under Image -> Adjustments -> Shadow/highlights
    In Elements 6 (and above) this is found under Enhance > Adjust Lighting > Shadows/Highlights
    and the control is called "Lighten Shadows"

    Elements 6's ACR has Fill Light anyway - or can have ACR upgraded to 5.4 include it.

  20. #20

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    Re: My first post, as well!

    Thank you! Annette, did I not tell you they were great?


    Myra

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