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View Poll Results: Which do you like the best?

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Thread: Poll - Which one do you like best

  1. #1

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    Poll - Which one do you like best

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    Poll - Which one do you like best

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    Poll - Which one do you like best

  2. #2
    David's Avatar
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    Re: Poll - Which one do you like best

    Wendy - #1. Seems brighter to my eyes with better colour distribution.

    David

  3. #3

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    Re: Poll - Which one do you like best

    Hi Wendy, both butterflies in #1 look brighter with more colour differences in their wings. picture #2 is rather flat. Of course I don't know what the original scene was like

  4. #4
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    Re: Poll - Which one do you like best

    Hi there
    zacery same comments as Phil from me down here

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    Re: Poll - Which one do you like best

    I agree with the others, Wendy: the colors, and the spots on the bodies and blacks are better in #1.

    Cheers,
    Rick

  6. #6

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    Re: Poll - Which one do you like best

    No. 2 has deeper/darker reds but the black is less dense than the first photo.

    But which is closest to a real life specimen? I don't have any knowledge of this species.

  7. #7

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    Re: Poll - Which one do you like best

    Thanks everyone. It is unanimous #1 wins.

    Geoff #1 is closest to the real life specimen. These are Monarch butterflies. The air was full of them, but they are hard to nail down and this is one of the better shots, but I found the background too distracting and was trying to tone it down. The difference is actually not as apparent here as it is in my Lightroom screen. When I look at them here, I agree and like #1 the best, but when I view in LR the butterflies in #2 seem to stand out more. The orange is much darker than real life though.

    Thanks everyone for taking the time. I just started playing with the colour sliders in both LR and Elements and whenever I try something new, I get caught up in the effects and loose my objectivity. When that happens it's good to have other's opinions to get me back on track, and point out things that I've missed while concentrating on something else.

    Poll number 2 Poll #2 Which one do you like the best is more extreme as I completly changed the background colours trying to get the butterfly to stand out more and besides that, I really did not like the greens and yellows in the background. When I start playing around like this many times I introduce problems that I am not even aware of, so I like to get as much feedback as possible from the good eyes here at the forum

    Wendy

  8. #8
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    Re: Poll - Which one do you like best

    Hi Wendy,

    No.1 for me too, for the reasons stated already; brighter, more contrast.

    There's 'a lot going on' compositionally though, if more than a test shot, it might take some significant cloning to simplify and a fairly severe vignette to get a good image from it.

    EDIT:
    Looking at #2 again, I can see perhaps that it is an attempt to subdue the many competing picture elements and concentrate the viewer's gaze on the butterflies. If that is so, I don't think it works

    EDIT2:
    Ah, I see while I was procrastinating you posted the answer and I didn't even notice! AT least I guessed right

    HTH,

  9. #9

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    Re: Poll - Which one do you like best

    Thanks Dave: You confirm my original thoughts that there is too much clutter too make a really good shot. I was quite happy with the butterflies, but not the background. I suppose I could try some cloning, but I think it would get pretty messy. A vignette is something I did not think of, that might be the answer for this one. I have quite a few others, some with more subdued backgrounds, but of course this is the one where I was able to get nice and close.
    HINT: when chasing butterflies, don't let them see your shadow or they will be gone.

    Thanks for your honesty. I don't think what I've done so far works either. I like the butterflies, I like the colours, but it's just too busy. I like it enough not to bin it, but it's back to the drawing board to see if I can clean it up, or I'll just move on to one of the other shots.

    Wendy

  10. #10
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    Re: Poll - Which one do you like best

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    Thanks Dave: You confirm my original thoughts that there is too much clutter too make a really good shot. I was quite happy with the butterflies, but not the background. I suppose I could try some cloning, but I think it would get pretty messy. A vignette is something I did not think of, that might be the answer for this one. I have quite a few others, some with more subdued backgrounds, but of course this is the one where I was able to get nice and close.
    HINT: when chasing butterflies, don't let them see your shadow or they will be gone.

    Thanks for your honesty. I don't think what I've done so far works either. I like the butterflies, I like the colours, but it's just too busy. I like it enough not to bin it, but it's back to the drawing board to see if I can clean it up, or I'll just move on to one of the other shots.

    Wendy
    Clutter maybe, but it is natural clutter and can be forgiven. The only edit that would probably pass the test would be if you totally changed the background to the sky. But that would show as wasted space and you would be better off with a tighter crop.

  11. #11
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    Re: Poll - Which one do you like best

    Hi Wendy.
    Have you thought about introducing a graduated gaussian blur to the background to help lose your 'clutter' and emphasise the flutterbies. You might also try to either desaturate it slightly or alternatively a vignette.
    It seems a shame to consider binning such a colourful shot.

  12. #12

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    Re: Poll - Which one do you like best

    Hi Mike: I was thinking something along the lines of blurring the background, and I will probably try it. I'm very bad at Post Processing when I have to make a selection though, so it will be more practise than anything else. I don't really expect to end up with very good results. I don't want the antennae to get blurred (the one one the right anyway, the one on the left does not stand out much anyway) so I'm not sure how I would be able to blur the background without blurring the antennae on the butterfly. I don't think I would be able to select anything that fine.

    I like this shot enough to keep practising on it. I was trying to adjust the background by picking specific colours and lightening, darkening, or desaturating, but because the background colours are related to the butterfly colours, this (for me) ends up affecting the butterflies too.

    Wendy

  13. #13
    Clactonian's Avatar
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    Re: Poll - Which one do you like best

    Do you have the facility to use layers on any of your editing programs? If so, by positioning the blur layer under the required butterfly image you can paint out the area around the butterfly to expose the blur layer using a finer brush around the antenna.
    M

  14. #14

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    Re: Poll - Which one do you like best

    I have Elements 8 and I'm pretty sure I can do what you suggest, but I've never used layers for anything other than my border. Winter is coming and I plan to get better at a lot of these things by spring. Thanks for the tip. I have copied and pasted it in a seperate document with the shot, and will work on it when I have read up a bit on layers and brushes and have a better idea on how to do this. I'm sure it will come in handy for a lot of shots.

    Thanks again
    Wendy

  15. #15

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    Re: Poll - Which one do you like best

    Wendy. There are a couple of simple edits that I often use on macro photos.

    If the background is a bit cluttered and/or noisy I just go over the problem areas with the Blur Tool. Change brush sizes and opacity as required.

    To sharpen up just the main subject, I draw a rough freehand selection around the main subject (this doesn't have to be exact as long as your selection isn't inside of the required area) then feather the selection by about 5 pixels.

    Apply a little Unsharp Mask to the selected area. Usually I don't go beyond 100%, 1 pixel, 1 level of threshold. Feathering the selection and using a little threshold prevents obvious edges between sharpened and not sharpened areas.

    Then sharpen the whole image to suit the background. This means that the main subject will always appear slightly sharper than the background.

    I often use both methods on the same photo.

    Working on layers is the correct method, but I find these two simple work arounds usually give me a sufficient beneficial effect with very little effort.

    Your photo, however, does have considerable problems with a complicated background. I often get similar problems and usually just regard those photos as only suitable for identification and recording of the species. I keep shooting different angles and scenes until I eventually find an image with good subject position and a reasonably clear background. But I do get a lot of rejects.

    Keeping detailed records of species, some of which are passed on to the relevant organisations, keeps me interested while I am waiting to find a perfect scene. Well perhaps, acceptable instead of perfect!

  16. #16
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    Re: Poll - Which one do you like best

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff F View Post
    If the background is a bit cluttered and/or noisy I just go over the problem areas with the Blur Tool. Change brush sizes and opacity as required.
    To sharpen up just the main subject, I draw a rough freehand selection around the main subject (this doesn't have to be exact as long as your selection isn't inside of the required area) then feather the selection by about 5 pixels.
    Apply a little Unsharp Mask to the selected area. Usually I don't go beyond 100%, 1 pixel, 1 level of threshold. Feathering the selection and using a little threshold prevents obvious edges between sharpened and not sharpened areas.
    Then sharpen the whole image to suit the background. This means that the main subject will always appear slightly sharper than the background.
    Good to know that I'm not alone in avoiding layers (in my case quite a lot), and I also find that your described work around is very effective.

  17. #17
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    Re: Poll - Which one do you like best

    Quote Originally Posted by Clactonian View Post
    Good to know that I'm not alone in avoiding layers (in my case quite a lot), and I also find that your described work around is very effective.
    Add one more to the membership of the "aw, do I really have to use a layer?" club

  18. #18

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    Re: Poll - Which one do you like best

    Many thanks Geoff: I will try this. Like you say it might not work on this one, but I'm sure I will find others to use it on. With selections, I usually try to get a very tight outline on the subject and then try various methods of refining the edge. However, I usually end up with a very obvious edit. I like the sounds of what you have suggested, and would never have thought of trying something like this. Your post has been copied and pasted to my Monarch document, and I will certainly give it a try.

    Thanks again
    Wendy

  19. #19
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    Re: Poll - Which one do you like best

    Have a look at the before and after here Wendy. I think you'll tell the difference!!
    I used exactly the same method as Geoff described, but a much larger feather on the selection to get a better graduation of the blur. By inverting the selection I was able to tweak each part of the image until I achieved the result I was after.

    Before
    Poll - Which one do you like best

    After
    Poll - Which one do you like best

    ... and not a layer in site. Not for the purists then, but it works for me.
    Had I used layers, there would have been less trial and error, as I would have been able to adjust the opacity of the layers to achieve a real time view, but this way I didn't have to be so precise with my selection tool.

  20. #20

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    Re: Poll - Which one do you like best

    Great example Mike, and my eyes do not see any indication of processing. You pick up on things fast Hope I can get this to work for me.

    Wendy

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