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Thread: Before and after

  1. #1

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    Marie-Josee

    Before and after

    Hi, I would like to see pictures as Originals then Finished with basics info on how you achieved that...I'd like to see your pix exactly how you found them the first time you looked at your computer then the finished products...that would help me with the postprocessing ' mind' of mine...

    thanks

  2. #2

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    Sahil Jain

    Re: Before and after

    oh! We had a similar thread, started by me.. Its here

  3. #3

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    Re: Before and after

    The trouble with this idea is that different subjects require substantially different editing techniques and every image is slightly different so we don't really have a constant starting point. And various software has alternative options and standard methods.

    However, as I was attempting to explain using layers and masks on another post I will have a go at talking through a before and after example here.

    Firstly, this isn't a particularly good photo but it is one that I took today. The light conditions were difficult but it was an unusual angle of scenery so I just took a quick snap without bothering to set up the tripod. And for some reason, although the actual image is reasonably sharp the internet resizing hasn't worked well; I think I will have to doubly check what I did.

    However, I took 5 images and deleted 4 of them - lesson #1

    Original

    Before and after

    Edited

    Before and after

    So here we go; editing started with a Raw file and did some very basic edits. Increased white balance slightly to give a warmer feel (from 5600 to 5800). Added a very little Fill Light, Clarity, Saturation, Sharpness and Noise Reduction. Transferred the image to the main editor.

    Re edited the original Raw file to give a better sky colour. Changed white balance from 5600 to 4000. Transferred this image to the main editor and placed on a layer above the first conversion.

    I only want to use the sky area of the second conversion so I added a Hide All Layer Mask to the layer (layer now hidden) and used a soft (white) low opacity brush (around 30%) to paint over the sky area and gradually (with several passes) reveal the bluer sky; remainder of this layer is hidden. When correct, merge layer with background.

    Next, I wanted to brighten the overall scene but avoid some potential 'hot spots'. Added a Curves Adjustment Layer and adjusted as required (ignore any over exposed areas like the sky and a few rocks for now).

    Used a soft (black) brush to edit the Adjustment Layer Mask. Painted over the exposed areas to 'hide' the over exposure. Note, some software automatically adds a Reveal All Mask to Adjustment Layers while some software requires that you manually add the layer from the Layers Menu.

    Finally did a little sharpen with the Unsharp Mask (120%, 1 radius, 1 level of threshold).

    But other people may well edit this photo in different ways. There isn't one 'must use' method.
    Last edited by Geoff F; 19th January 2011 at 05:36 PM. Reason: images added

  4. #4

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    Marie-Josee

    Re: Before and after

    thanks,

    Sahil, I took a look at the previous thread...thanks !

    Si, I understand that many persons could do different stuff and we can go on and on...but I'd like to see just a few of your before and after ( even if we don't specify what post processing was done) just so we can learn that many shots CAN look good...I'd like to practise my ' brain' to see beyond the first image...to train my eyes to see what i could do with the shot...

  5. #5
    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: Before and after

    Hi Marie- Jo,

    You are correct with your approach. Pre-visualisation on how an image will turn out is very important and it takes two forms – one is the framing and composition of the shot and the other is what can be done in post production. As you learn more post production you ability to understand how an image will turn out will also improve.

  6. #6
    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: Before and after

    Here is one that was a quick grab shot as we headed back to the vehicles after it started to rain. It was pretty well under exposed.

    Before and after

    Before and after

  7. #7

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    Re: Before and after

    Just a ps.

    I have replaced my 'after' photo with an alternative version. The first one was resized using a one stage reduction and BiCubic Sharpener. The replacement used a 2 stage reduction with the basic Bicubic Interpolation followed by a little USM (50% and 0.7 radius).

    Although this version is far from perfect I am much happier with this result.

  8. #8

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    Re: Before and after

    thanks!

    it's good to see that wounderful pictures are not coming without any work...LOL ! Nice examples....thanks so much for showing it to me... greatly appreciated...

  9. #9

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    Re: Before and after

    I will give you another example, of a different type of shot.

    I was asked to attend a fashion show, in aid of the local Regatta, and to bring my camera. When I got there and saw what was required I thought 'Oh . . . I don't have the equipment or expertise to deal with this'. But I was their only option so I had to do what I could.

    This was a test shot before the event started. Here, I managed to bounce the flash off the ceiling.

    Before and after

    And after editing.

    Before and after

    My method was: Shot Raw; basic Raw conversion editing, Rotate to straighten and crop; Exposure +0.80; Clarity +10; Fill Light +10; Saturation +6.

    Opened image in main edit window: A little bit of extra brightness was needed but overall adjustment would produce some 'hotspots'. So I used a Curves Adjustment Layer to mostly increase the highlights then reduced the over bright areas using a soft 'black' brush (30% opacity) on a Reveal All mask. As this was a somewhat 'craggy' male face I left a few spots slightly on the bright side to give a little natural 'glow' effect. For a very delicate skinned female I would have done a bit more.

    There is a bit of 'noise' in the background and the table (behind his ear) was a bit distracting so I used a Blur Tool to improve this.

    Sharpening was clearly going to be a problem as I wanted to vary the amount over his face and shirt, and with nothing on the background. I created a duplicate layer from the background and sharpened this layer (Unsharp Mask at 100%, 1 radius, 1 threshold) then added a Reveal All Layer Mask. Once again, I used a soft 'black' brush at 30% opacity to gradually 'remove' the problem areas and allow the background to show through. Mostly parts of the right side of his face and the neck area plus background.

    Finally I drew a selection around his eyes, with the freehand lasso tool, feathered it by 1 pixel, and added a tiny bit of extra sharpening (USM) and brightness (with Curves) to just his eyes.

    But I don't really do portraits, I'm more into boats and insects, so the portrait experts may do some things slightly differently; particularly with fine textured skin.

    ps. Some of the actual Fashion Show photos are here http://www.pbase.com/crustacean/regatta_fashion_show but this was definitely outside of my normal 'comfort zone' so I really struggled to achieve this result; which falls a long way short of what I would have wished.
    Last edited by Geoff F; 25th January 2011 at 07:16 PM. Reason: photo added

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