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Thread: Golden

  1. #1
    solitarylady's Avatar
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    Golden

    Meet Snarf the Somali cat - portrait taken yesterday, on what felt like the first nice day since forever. C&C invited.

    Golden

    Nikon D3000, Nikor 55-200mm, 1/30s, f11, ISO 250, 200mm.

    Still no post processing software, but tweaked the highlights a little in I-photo. Had not really thought of using a telephoto for portraits, but Snarf was more relaxed as I he didn't have a camera stuck in his face. Just love his thoughtful expression in this shot.

  2. #2

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    Re: Golden

    He's a beautiful cat.

  3. #3
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    Re: Golden

    Great capture. Rich color, good focus, excellent pose. I hope you delve into the post processing software soon..Snarf deserves it There's definitely nothing wrong with the photo as is...but its like a diamond wanting to shine, it will bring out what is already there.

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    Re: Golden

    Nice work, Lisa. If I may suggest, a small amount of sharpening on the face area will make him more come alive. Ooopppss, sorry. I didn't notice the lower post that you don't have any post-processing software yet. My bad, sorry.

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    Re: Golden

    Love the focus and the colors of the cat! great shot!

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    solitarylady's Avatar
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    Re: Golden

    Quote Originally Posted by djg05478 View Post
    Great capture. Rich color, good focus, excellent pose. I hope you delve into the post processing software soon..Snarf deserves it There's definitely nothing wrong with the photo as is...but its like a diamond wanting to shine, it will bring out what is already there.
    Hi Debbie

    Thanks for taking the time to comment - so I can take it on this occasion my choice of camera settings were pretty good and that PS or equivalent would enhance it - in what way? not sure my eyes have quiet adapted to recognising what improvements could or should be made.

  7. #7
    solitarylady's Avatar
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    Re: Golden

    Quote Originally Posted by jiro View Post
    Nice work, Lisa. If I may suggest, a small amount of sharpening on the face area will make him more come alive. Ooopppss, sorry. I didn't notice the lower post that you don't have any post-processing software yet. My bad, sorry.
    Hi Jiro

    You're forgiven, considering I wouldn't be able to recognise one word of written Japanese, never mind being able to write any I really appreciate your effort to reply. Sharpening you say, there is a basic sharpening tool in i-photo, just had a play and yes, I agree there is improvement. The moral of this story I see is practice, practice and more practice, both with the camera and software.

    Lisa

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Golden

    Quote Originally Posted by solitarylady View Post
    The moral of this story I see is practice, practice and more practice, both with the camera and software.
    "By Jove, I think she's got it!"

    Quite agree, with your statement above and that it is a lovely capture - one of those that made me say 'oooh that's nice' the moment I saw it - so to do that without (much/any) PP makes it excellent.

    Well done,

  9. #9

    Re: Golden

    Lisa

    Gorgeous shot and a gorgeous cat too. 55-200 is an ideal range for portraits. For PP try GIMP. Its open source, very stable and free.

  10. #10
    solitarylady's Avatar
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    Re: Golden

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    "By Jove, I think she's got it!"

    Quite agree, with your statement above and that it is a lovely capture - one of those that made me say 'oooh that's nice' the moment I saw it - so to do that without (much/any) PP makes it excellent.

    Well done,
    Why thank you kindly Dave, think I was on the verge of being slightly overwhelmed by my chosen task, your comment just made my day.

  11. #11
    solitarylady's Avatar
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    Re: Golden

    Quote Originally Posted by Wirefox View Post
    Lisa

    Gorgeous shot and a gorgeous cat too. 55-200 is an ideal range for portraits. For PP try GIMP. Its open source, very stable and free.
    Hi Steve

    Well now you've gone and done it, just downloaded Gimp (all very easy and straight forward) - er, where the hell do I start?

    Lisa

  12. #12
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    Re: Golden

    Gimp is a very strange beast - I tried it once! Might have another go, if my brain allows.

    Lovely image. We used to have Abyssinian cats - the short-haired version of the Somali. All images are in 35mm film, though, and I have no means of converting them at present. Unfortunately, we had to re-home the cats as hubby was allergic.

  13. #13

    Re: Golden

    Hi Steve

    Well now you've gone and done it, just downloaded Gimp (all very easy and straight forward) - er, where the hell do I start?
    Lisa

    I felt exactly the same way. How you start depends on whether you shoot raw or jpg. If you are shooting raw you will need to download UFRaw (also free) and designed to work seamlessly with GIMP. Once installed simply go to your file in explorer and right click your image file to open with GIMP. Your image will be opened in UFraw. manual is here

    If using jpg open your image as described above. Obviously you can set GIMP to be the default app for that file extension if you wish. Your image in this instance opens directly into GIMP.

    We all use different workflows but a very basic and simple starter for a jpg (or image adjusted and opened via UFRaw) would be as follows;

    From the toolbar; Colours/Levels - a pane will open depicting the tonal histogram associated with your image. You will see a histogram that usually drops to zero at either end or one or the other ends of the y-axis. Drag the slider on the x-axis to the right to meet the point where the histogram just intersects with the x-axis. If the image looks to dark drag the slider back until you are happy with the result. Repeat with the white slider at the left hand end of the x-axis. Sometimes you image will be represented by a histogram that is all bunched up against one end or the other of the y-axis. In these cases only move the slider that is free of the histogram. You can move the slider at the bunched up end but you have to be careful since clipping can occur. You can also select your grey point by clicking the auto grey point dropper on a neutral grey area of the image but the grey slider on the histogram chart gives far more control.

    Then from the menu bar select Colours/Curves again you will see a chart with a diagonal line rising from left to right. The left hand end represents the blacks and right hand end the white end of the spectrum. On the line select a point about a 1/4 way in from the left hand axis and drag downwards (a couple of mm will do to start). Repeat at the right hand end this time a 1/4 way in from the right hand axis but drag upward by the same amount. This creates a shallow S-curve. You will see that your image has much more vibrance immediately. Experiment with dragging at different points and at different distances from the datum line.

    These two features both manipulating the tonal curve are probably the single most powerful tools available to you in PP.

    Finally, sharpen. From the the menu bar Filters/Enhance/Unsharp Mask. The default values are Radius = 5, Amount = 0.5 & Threshold = 0. Try this, it is not a bad starting point. If things look over sharpen reduce radius and amount by 0.5 and 0.05 increments respectively until you get the desired result.

    There is obviously much much more and the values I have suggested are typical for a 'photo' finish. I often stretch these values to get the effects I want but the above is a reasonable starting point. By playing around you will soon see what GIMP can do for your images.

    For the next stage I suggest you play around with Hue and saturation, colour balance and contrast. If you get stuck give me a shout. There are a few other CiC members who use GIMP and I am sure they will chip in when I am talking rot

  14. #14
    djg05478's Avatar
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    Re: Golden

    Quote Originally Posted by solitarylady View Post
    Hi Debbie

    Thanks for taking the time to comment - so I can take it on this occasion my choice of camera settings were pretty good and that PS or equivalent would enhance it - in what way? not sure my eyes have quiet adapted to recognising what improvements could or should be made.
    Hi Lisa - I see by the growing thread that you have indeed started to venture down the path to post processing. You are definitely in good hands. I would put my post processing skills at a 3-4 out of 10 and someone should warn you, that once you get going, it can become addictive. Some people just use it to make minor adjustments and for others its a form of artistic expression. And on that note post processing is sometimes all about personal preference and using the tools and techniques to get the photo to the way you desire. Since you asked, I opened Snarf (LOVE that name !) in Photoshop and just gave him a lil sharpen and level adjustment, you may not think the photo is any better (as I said before there is absolutely nothing wrong with it to begin with ) sometimes its simply personal preference.

    Golden

  15. #15
    Loves Borders's Avatar
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    Re: Golden

    What a handsome boy he is - brings back memories of our late somali boy trouper who we sadly lost at a very young age. They are such gentle and photogenic big cats.

  16. #16
    solitarylady's Avatar
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    Re: Golden

    Golden

    Not really sure if it's the done thing to go back to an old thread, however, I just wanted to express my appreciation of CIC in general. I haven't posted for a while and if I'm honest this is due to the negative way I felt after originally joining the group and being totally overwhelmed by how very amateur I was.

    I came to realise that although being paid to do something I love would be fantastic, photography is purely I hobby and the more I learn the more I enjoy it as a pass-time.

    The above shot is what I hope you'll agree an improvement from my "Golden' shot. It was used in the 'In Focus' feature of the October edition of 'Your Cat' magazine - they have now used 4 of my cat shots and paid me for the honour - this came about by them viewing my Flickr stream and has in turn re-imbursed me for the cost of 'Aperture'.

    So thanks CIC, not only have you helped improve my photography skills, I've actually profited from your help and advice.

    Lisa

  17. #17
    Kris V's Avatar
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    Re: Golden

    Quote Originally Posted by solitarylady View Post
    Golden

    Not really sure if it's the done thing to go back to an old thread, however, I just wanted to express my appreciation of CIC in general. I haven't posted for a while and if I'm honest this is due to the negative way I felt after originally joining the group and being totally overwhelmed by how very amateur I was.

    I came to realise that although being paid to do something I love would be fantastic, photography is purely I hobby and the more I learn the more I enjoy it as a pass-time.

    The above shot is what I hope you'll agree an improvement from my "Golden' shot. It was used in the 'In Focus' feature of the October edition of 'Your Cat' magazine - they have now used 4 of my cat shots and paid me for the honour - this came about by them viewing my Flickr stream and has in turn re-imbursed me for the cost of 'Aperture'.

    So thanks CIC, not only have you helped improve my photography skills, I've actually profited from your help and advice.

    Lisa
    That's just fantastic! And you got a beautiful cat!

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