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Thread: C&C Kite Snowboarder

  1. #1

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    C&C Kite Snowboarder

    C&C Kite Snowboarder

    I used every trick I currently know in this pic, and am not overly happy with the sharpness. Played with levels and curves to bring up the contrast.

    I sharpened twice, once at about 50% at a .7 radius, and once again at about 50% at a 3.2 radius. I backed off when I started to see oversharpening artifacts, which is where the numbers came from.

    There was some color noise in the armpit area of the kite boarder, so I used an artistic effect (paint splatters) on just that little area to kind of smooth out the noise. I also brought up the blue in the sky, which was a very dull grey, to a color that I thought was both believable, and worked with the kite and the boarder's clothes.

    I didn't crop it at all, so that cropping was not an issue in the sharpness. I was using autofocus, which worked a lot better on the kite than the boarder.

    F 8.0
    Shutter 1/500
    Focal Length 250 mm
    ISO 400
    Raw - Bit Depth 16

    So here it is, any criticism and comment welcome.

  2. #2
    RockNGoalStar's Avatar
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    Re: C&C Kite Snowboarder

    That looks like serious fun!

  3. #3

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    Re: C&C Kite Snowboarder

    "That looks like serious fun!"

    C&C Kite Snowboarder

    He was doing a roll here, but I only caught this part of it. There were several guys out there. There are people doing this every weekend here January thru March. Supposedly, it doesn't cost that much to get into, and does not have to be that demanding. They cover a lot of ground fast.

    Edit:
    Is it me, or is this one a little sharper? I read the thread on file formats, set this one to 78 dpi and shrank it using CS5's image size comand, bicubic sharper.

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    Re: C&C Kite Snowboarder

    With regard to sharpness. Is the original sharper than the image which appears here? I often find that my photos print sharp but look a little disappointing when displayed here; inspite of following all of the recommended resizing methods.

    However, there are a couple of things which I would suggest. Was this auto focus? If so has the camera focused on the trees which has left the snow boarder just on the edge of sharp focus? Was 1/500 fast enough? Possibly the action in the second photo was a little slower which would cause less motion blur. Live action shots like this are very difficult to get sharp.

    I don't think that there are any firm rules about sharpening but I would have probably done the second sharpen more like 100% and 1 pixel (maybe 1.5 maximum) with perhaps 1 level of threshold. If slight oversharpening effects occur, I sometimes use the Blur Tool very carefully to smooth out small localised problems.

    And I wonder if cropping the first photo a little tighter might concentrate the eye on the intended subject which would actually make it appear a little sharper.

    But these shots are never going to be easy so I think you are doing well with your current results.

  5. #5

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    Re: C&C Kite Snowboarder

    C&C Kite Snowboarder

    I think you are right about the shutter speed. I also think I have to read a book on sharpening. The snowboarder looks like a CGI game image to me. There was enough sun to shoot a lot faster. I also think that the background trees are never going to look sharp because of the nature of them. Millions of little branches, bark full of high contrast rough layers. It looks CGI to me when I look at the pics, but they look the same way in real life.

    Edit:
    I started from scratch with your advice, and being careful to properly save the image for display here, and I am happier. The autofocus was on the kite, since the boarder was so small it was hard to get, and I think the kite looks pretty good in this one, and the boarder, better.

    C&C Kite Snowboarder
    Last edited by tameigh; 17th January 2011 at 11:35 PM.

  6. #6

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    Re: C&C Kite Snowboarder

    If you want to revise your sharpening skills, Tim, have a read of the CinC Tutorial then give this series a go http://www.ronbigelow.com/articles/s...1/sharpen1.htm there are 6 sections there. I keep intending to reread it myself!

    That second version does appear a little sharper. It just needs a little colour boost now.

    But never forget the worst destroyer of sharpness - haze and poor light angles. I went for a little cliff top walk today and tried a couple of shots which I promptly ditched. Facing east or west just gave dull results with poor sharpness; but facing north (with the sun behind me) was fine and clear for many miles.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: C&C Kite Snowboarder

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff F View Post
    But never forget the worst destroyer of sharpness - haze and poor light angles.
    Absolutely, and the way to mitigate that in PP is Local Contrast Enhancement (LCE), using UnSharp Mask (USM).

    C&C Kite Snowboarder

    It was hitting the white clip point, so initially, in levels, I brought that down to 240 in order to save the foreground snow detail, which was otherwise lost by the next step.

    Then applied USM at 30%, at a large radius; probably about 100px and 0 threshold.

    Then USM again to give a sharpen 90%, 0.3px, 3 threshold.

    I may have overdone it to prove a point

  8. #8

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    Re: C&C Kite Snowboarder

    I will try to re-create what you did later today, I know about levels, but what does "It was hitting the white clip point" mean?

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    Re: C&C Kite Snowboarder

    Put very basically; the highlights (snow areas) were verging on overexposure. If your software has the ability to show RGB values as numbers then a reading of 255 (maximum) means that colour is overexposed.

    Resetting the maximum value to 240 prevents further loss of details due to the extra editing. But I'm afraid that any detail which has already been lost cannot be recovered, it is gone for ever.

    Can anybody explain this in greater detail, and more coherently than me?

  10. #10

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    Re: C&C Kite Snowboarder

    I understand what you are saying. I thought you were referring to clipping by sharpening. The picture is overexposed, which was a shame, because I could have stopped it down a bit, and gotten more depth of field and so better sharpness as well. But hey, that wasn't clear to me then and it is now. Next nice day I will head down there again and try to get a better capture. Faster shutter and more DOF, I had plenty of scope for both in the lighting conditions. Any suggestions for what the aperture should be under sunny conditions with so much snow to get good DOF?

    Also, there are two places to shoot from that are reasonably accessible, I will choose the one with the sun more directly behind me, as I think that will help too.

  11. #11

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    Re: C&C Kite Snowboarder

    Just a couple of quick ideas, Tim.

    When faced with problem areas, like sky, snow, etc. (but we don't get much snow here) and if I have the time, I like to spot meter on the potential problem. I may then switch to evaluative metering, plus exposure compensation, if there are conflicting areas of brightness; or even use manual control. But doing the spot meter gives me a 'base line' to work from; and to avoid crossing the line.

    Best aperture will depend on the actual conditions. Always try to keep the ISO as low as possible although I would sooner risk a bit of background noise than to compromise the other settings.

    The only general advice would be that most lenses have an optimum range around F 8 to F 14, but don't regard that as a fixed rule.

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