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Thread: Now what? (post processing)

  1. #1

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    Now what? (post processing)

    I'm stuck. I took a shot yesterday (see the first one that is straight out of the camera) and then tried some PP in PS2 when I got home. (Took out an arena rope line, adjusted the colour a bit to get rid of a greenish tinge, applied USM and a few other little tweaks.) It still looks lacking. I'm not too bothered about the untucked shirt as the rider is in a lesson and this is stricly a practice photo. Any and all CC greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!
    Myra


    Now what? (post processing)

    Edited to Add:
    Above Practice shot - 1) Focus on moving object. 2) Fine tune in PS2
    Straight conversion to Jpeg. (Taken late afternoon)
    Rebel xti
    1/2000 (shutter priority)
    f/6
    ISO 400
    Focal length 300
    Lens EF75-300 f4-5.6 USM (kit lens)

    Below- Some PP with PS2

    Now what? (post processing)
    Last edited by Maritimer1; 5th April 2010 at 01:13 PM.

  2. #2
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Now what? (post processing)

    Hi Myra,

    The processed version without the green tinge is defintiely better, but the biggest problem I see is actually the composition; it's too tight.

    Even if we ignore the rider, because, well who needs them , the horse's belly is not visible, let alone the legs.

    Focus isn't ideal either, the stirrups and numnah (sp?) are sharper than the poor horse's head/face.
    This is difficult to get right, especially if they're coming towards you even at just a trot, particularly with this horse, there's very little contrast on the head and bridle for AF to latch on to, compared to say the stirrups.

    It would stand more sharpening, you might want to apply some with a brush to the head too.

    The cloning work is good though, so don't get dis-heartened, in a week or too, you'll have it gripped.

    Could you refresh my memory with what camera and software you use (no EXIF to check).

    Cheers,

  3. #3

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    Re: Now what? (post processing)

    Thanks, Dave. I should have added the info. Here it is (plus just added it to the post):


    Practice shot - 1) Focus on moving object. 2) Fine tune in PS2
    Straight conversion to Jpeg. (Taken late afternoon)
    Rebel xti
    1/2000 (shutter priority)
    f/6
    ISO 400
    Focal length 300
    Lens EF75-300 f4-5.6 USM (kit lens)

    It was handheld - maybe manual focus. I was trying to see if I could get a sharp shot of the action without a tripod. Think I'll stick with the tripod I find, this is just for me, that I want all the legs to show or none at all. Partial legs just don't work for my eyes. (Obviously, I don't mind cutting off the rider, though )

    This fellow had a rhinestone studded brow band that I had hoped would capture the light at just the right moment in a close up -no luck. I was kind of surprised to see that I had the lens all the way to 300 on that shot. You've got a great eye. I could tell the head was not in focus, but couldn't really pick up on the sharpest point.

    A week or two!? Now, that is a good chuckle

    Thanks!

    Myra

  4. #4

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    Re: Now what? (post processing)

    Hi,
    Although I am not Myra I try to show you that the angle of shot and the long focal means the decreasing the lenth of the neck.In such condition the horse looks as an ordinary emploee who does what the boss says without enthusiasm.
    In my opinion it is much better to say what a beautiful horse, I'm so sorry it is not too sharp horse from the world because a horse looking like a beaten dog could be the sharpest it will be the sharpest beaten dog looking like a horse.For me,as onlooker, the colour or other pp are not important in front of the beauty of a horse.
    Thank You
    Radu Dinu

  5. #5

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    Re: Now what? (post processing)

    Wow, if this lad looks like a beaten dog then I have really created a bad photo! I see a relaxed horse on quite a loose rein with ears pricked in interest. He is wearing no gadgets to crank him into a frame. His neck is a bit elevated and verticle; he's carrying himself quite well- all good for a young horse just beginning his dressage training.

    I felt so bad to make you think this of the horse, Radu, that I put another shot of him (also from yesterday) in my album. I hope you will see that he is a very happy and laid back boy

    TC!
    Myra

  6. #6

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    Re: Now what? (post processing)

    Quote Originally Posted by Maritimer1 View Post
    Wow, if this lad looks like a beaten dog then I have really created a bad photo! I see a relaxed horse on quite a loose rein with ears pricked in interest. He is wearing no gadgets to crank him into a frame. His neck is a bit elevated and verticle; he's carrying himself quite well- all good for a young horse just beginning his dressage training.

    I felt so bad to make you think this of the horse, Radu, that I put another shot of him (also from yesterday) in my album. I hope you will see that he is a very happy and laid back boy

    TC!
    Myra
    Don't be upset,please!
    The horses are very hard to photograph.Hundred of shots for one good image.
    Radu Dinu

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    Re: Now what? (post processing)

    I see a relaxed horse on quite a loose rein with ears pricked in interest. He is wearing no gadgets to crank him into a frame. His neck is a bit elevated and verticle; he's carrying himself quite well- all good for a young horse just beginning his dressage training.
    That's what I see too Myra. Sorry Radu, but this is a horse in training, he is supposed to look like he is paying attention and he does. Perhaps to you that looks like a beaten dog or unenthusiastic employee. To me he looks like an employee who is concentrating on his job and trying to do well. I think the lack of focus on the head is the only problem here, which migh also add to what you see as the lacklustre expression.

    Radu: Please do not be offended with my comments. I think this might not be the type of horse that you would like, but I do not see him as a beaten puppy or oppressed employee, but rather as attentive and aiming to please. He's not a rebel, but not beaten.
    I hate work too, but there is a time for work and a time for play. This shot is of work, so I would not want him looking like a wild uncontrollable stallion. It might make a good picture and you may like the horse better for his high spirit, but it's a totally different concept.

    Myra. I noticed that this was at 1/2000s. I'm wondering if you really need such a high shutter speed. If you could drop that a bit and stop down the lens, then you would have a larger focus range. Of course then you would not get the nicely blurred background which really makes the horse stand out. Everything is a trade off. but having more range might help, because your focal point would not be so critical.

    I don't do the math of this kind of thing (maybe someone else will help out), but I know that you should be able to calculate the fstop needed to get the whole horse in focus based on your distance from the subject.

    My method would be to mark off a specified range for your shot, have the horse and rider pose in the sweet spot, set up the camera and settings, and then when horse and rider got within the specified marks start shooting. Review the shots and then zoom in or out and make adjustments as required. Or do the same as above at different settings for each pass of the horse and rider and then review and analyze the differences between the different settings. This will give you a pretty good idea and starting point for most of your arena shots.

    I'm sorry if I'm telling you things you already know, which is probably the case, because I see giant steps forward in your most recent arena shots compared to the first ones you posted.
    Nice work on the PP too, very natural and not overdone.

    Again, Radu do not be offended, in many cases I like what you do and am always interested to see what you have to say, but on this one I have to disagree.

    Wendy

  8. #8

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    Re: Now what? (post processing)

    Such great advice. Thanks, Wendy! I really do have a list of items that I take with me from this forum when I go off to practice. 1/2000 was my attempt to get a shot with handholding. If 1/600 is OK, then 1/2000 should be great, right? No, false logic Good idea to try a pose with different settings. I so appreciate the time you take to forward the pointers!

    Radu, I don't mind taking a bad picture. I just really didn't want you to think that this horse was poorly trained or not looked after well. That would be such misrepresentation on my part. You always have good comments to make about photo quality and how to look at things from another angle.

    TC!
    Myra
    (I might get to try my hand at some hockey photos tonight. We are in the Great White North, you know!)

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    Re: Now what? (post processing)

    Hi, Myra,

    Does this look like an improvement to you? I added a vibrance layer at +10/+10, and a curves layer. In the curves layer, I did "linear contrast," then pulled the left-hand control a little darker. Very similar to Colin's 1-minute PS Makeover, but he has that trademarked, so I can't do it.

    Cheers,
    Rick

    Now what? (post processing)
    Last edited by rick55; 6th April 2010 at 09:02 PM. Reason: Fixed wording

  10. #10

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    Re: Now what? (post processing)

    Rick, that is the "shine" I was looking for. Thank you! Sometimes the natural light will do it, but usually not. I've wondered where that extra bit of pizazz comes from, and now I know - a vibrance layer. In the ACR (PS2) curves box, I "think" I chose the strong contrast option for curves. My choices are clicking on linear, medium or strong. After that, I have to pull on the curve itself or change the numbers at the bottom to make a change - no sliders. Kind of the same thing in PS. I'm beginning to think that I would be better off with a version of Elements than I am with PS.

    I just went searching. PS4 has a vibrance adjustment layer. I'm going to keep looking for the way to work around it in PS2.

    TC!

    Myra

  11. #11
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    Re: Now what? (post processing)

    here's something you might want to consider: tone mapping. it's usually used to compress luminosity in an HDR image, but i normally use a very slight amount in some of my images. even the smallest amount can sometimes bring out an extraordinary amount of detail - something i could never get the "fill" slider in ACR to do very well. anyway, here's my application of tone mapping using photoshop's "shadows/highlights" function:
    Now what? (post processing)

    i also added vignette and some sharpening

  12. #12

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    Re: Now what? (post processing)

    Quote Originally Posted by Maritimer1 View Post

    I just went searching. PS4 has a vibrance adjustment layer. I'm going to keep looking for the way to work around it in PS2.
    Hi, Myra;

    I looked around, and found an article here, with some explanation of what vibrance does. There seems to be some similarity to the relationship between brightness and exposure.

    Anyway, I think that if you try boosting saturation, you'll see the kind of improvement you're looking for. I just tried a +15 saturation on this image, and it looked pretty similar to the vibrance adjustment.

    I like Troy's idea of creative sharpening, too: it does good things for the horse's coat.

    Cheers,
    Rick

  13. #13

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    Re: Now what? (post processing)

    Thanks Troy and Rick. Great ideas that I will try to incorporate in PP as closely as I can. Now that I have seen your two verions, I look at mine and can really see what's lacking. I can see that being happy with my photos just might be a thing of the past<BG>.

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