Friday, June 29, 2007

photoshop for flowers

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I know, i promised camera raw stuff and believe it on not i am half keeping my promise. The image above was shot by myself tonight with a lensbaby and a macro lens adapter. This version has not been tweeked and is how it looked out of the camera. So what would i do to improve it.
First of all i opened it in camera raw and set my exposure and black settings to get the contrast looking right with no blown out highlights. I moved the recovery slider to 7, the clarity to 15, vibrance to 15, and saturation to 3. I then went under the lens correction tab and set the lens vignetting to an amount of -24 and the midpoint to 18 to apply the vignette i wanted. I then opened the image in photoshop.
I used the healing tool to take out a few blemishes and then smart sharpened about 50 amount with a radius of 1. I did not need to use curves as i had already did all the work in camera raw so i moved to my apply image effect to add some information into the red channel to give some depth to the flower. I wrote about this in detail in an earlier post which you can find on this blog.
The results of all this work are subtle but when compared side by side the tweeked version looks much better.
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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

more camera raw

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The photo above really does not mean anything to this post, it was just one i was playing with and thought i would add it for eye candy.
I have been experimenting with the new vibrance and clarity sliders in camera raw and have found these settings work good.
Clarity at 12 - 15
Vibrance at 12 - 15
Saturation at 3
I also played with the spot retouch tool in raw and it worked great.
To use this you click and drag a circle over the dust spot and then drag the other circle that appears to the spot you want the heal to sample from. If you want to resize the circle just put your curser over the edge of the circle and click and drag your mouse. I took a flash spot out of a guys glasses that i did a head shot for. I retouched about 20 images of him in a matter of minutes.

Monday, June 25, 2007

highlight clipping view button thing

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I have hit a very busy workload recently and felt bad about not posting something for those of you that have been following my blog. Here is a neat little piece of info that should help some of you with your highlight clipping.
First and foremost i will just assume that you are shooting raw. If not, slap yourself now as you have been very bad. The advantages of raw far outway the disadvantages, which really are limited to file size in my mind. Rant over.
In photoshop cs3's raw plug in (see photo above) there are two little arrows at the top corners of the histogram window. The one on left is the shadow clipping view and the one on the right (see my pink arrow pointing to it) is the highlight clipping view. If you click on this the highlights that are clipped, or too bright, will turn red. This means that these areas are pure white with no detail which may not be the best, especially if they show up in the middle of someones forehead. To bring some detail back to these areas we could lower the exposure slider or even better, move the recovery slider to the right. This is a highlight recovery slider and when you move it you will see the red areas start to dissappear. Too cool.
I will spend some effort in making my next few posts about the camera raw plug in window.

Friday, June 08, 2007

book review

I did not open photoshop today and therefore have no images to show but i thought since i have been making more regular postings to this blog that i would at least put something up tonight. I was at chapters tonight trying to spend a $20 gift card that someone gave me and since there was mostly crap on the shelves i still have the card. I looked through all the photography books (too expensive for what you get), and also all the photoshop books. Cs3 books are starting to trickle out but nothing really good yet.
Here however is my book suggestion list for those of you that need some reading material.
I guarantee that you will learn something from these:
- "camera raw" by bruce fraser (amazing book for learning the raw process, a must have).
- "retouching and restoration" by katrin eiseman (she really knows her stuff and shows it well).
- "the channels book" by scott kelby (channels are very powerfull and very under appreciated).
- "adobe classroom in a book" if you are just learning photoshop.
- "photoshop cs2 studio techniques" by ben willmore (very good overall book)
- "professional photoshop, a guide to color correction" by dan margulis (more than you will ever need to know about color correction)
As you can see, most of these books are on very specific parts of photoshop and i find them much better than the overall photoshop books.
There is also one more that i want to get but i cant find it locally yet which is called "the dam book" by peter krogh which is all about digital assett management (how do you find that photo you took of the kids 4 years ago when you have 100,000 photos in your collection).
Happy reading, and if you have any books that you feel should be on this list then please comment. I have had 584 visitors to this blog so far this year and no comments. You could still be the first, now theres some bragging rights.

Thursday, June 07, 2007


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I put up a hummng bird feeder last week and have been looking at it often in hopes to get a photo of the little critter. It is in shade which really give me two options photographically, silliouette or light it. In this shot i chose the silliouette and shot it using a 200mm lens and a 2x converter.
This first shot is the original, shot in raw and opened and saved in photoshop. Nothing else was done to it.
Not sure if i like the photoshopped file better but here is what i did.
I tweeked the raw adjustments a bit more, clicked on the convert to greyscale box first, added more exposure and added lots in the blacks. I also moved the highlight recovery slider close to the middle of the scale to get a bit of the background to show.
I then cropped it and rotated it a bit to straighten the base of the feeder. To rotate it i went to the rotate canvas menu under arbitrary and typed in about 5. I then changed the mode to rgb so i could add some color. I then went under the image menu - adjustments - photo filter and chose the yellow filter. I smart sharpened the image and thats it.
Here is the final image, still not sure what one i like.
Im going to try lighting it this weekend.
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Monday, June 04, 2007

more desaturation

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I was fooling around with some photos i took on the weekend and thought i would post another desaturation idea.
I wasn't crazy about this shot but a little photoshop time can often make something out of nothing. I'm not saying that happened in this case but i tried.
First i duplicated the background. I used image-adjustments-black and white in cs3 and converted the layer to black and white. This adjustment in cs3 is really cool. Just place your mouse over the image when the control panel comes up and a slider appears. If you just play with the sliders in different areas of the photo you could get lucky.
Then in the layers pallate i created a layer mask and painted in black over my daughter.
This resulted in her being in full color and the background being in full black and white.
I then lowered the opacity on layer 1 to 50 percent which let a bit of color back into the background. I used my burn tool set to midtones and darkened the edges a bit and some of the lighter parts of the ground. I used the dodge tool also set to highlights and set the amount to a very low setting and dodged her face just a bit.
I flattened the image and sharpened it using smart sharpen set to motion blur, as i was hand holding at a very slow shutter speed and it was blurry. I finished by cropping to a pano and i was done.
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