Post processing John

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  ajroyle 6 years, 1 month ago.

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    HI John I asked you the other week what it is you dontonyour images and how you do it. Your response was ask on the forum. So here we are.

    i like the effect you do to some of your images and i would like to learn what and how so I can try it out on a couple of my shots



    The Medic picture you may be referring to just grew gradually into what you finally saw.

    It started with what I thought was a decent enough shot at Crich of the guy leaning on a jeep. The background was full of people although quite blurred and I first of all blurred the background a bit more. There were still distractions so I next darkened the background. It was looking OK but this was about the time I bought the complete TOPAZ suite of software and I decided to use the cut-out plug-in (Re-Mask) to isolate the man and jeep a bit more. It was not really necessary to use Topaz on this – when your cut out is going to be placed against a dark background a fairly rough and ready job is good enough. I used Topaz Adjust to add the grittyness to the image. By now the background was looking dark and getting featureless so I added a texture, actually the orangery wall at Calke Abbey. The texture is added as an additional layer and then masked out where the man and his jeep are. Finally I did a straight black and white conversion.

    Fishing Tackle was another image where I worked to produce something which went beyond a “straight shot”. Here I think the effect comes as much from the fact that it is printed on one of the textured papers – possibly Museum by Permajet – as anything. It is hard to recall exactly what I did to this image but I do remember two things which are useful tips:-

    1. As I worked on the image the red flag was looking too prominent so I desaturated it using the sponge tool.

    2. After its first outing Ian Whiston said he thought the clouds at the very top of the picture were too bright. I agreed, but I liked the clouds. I tried cloning them out but it was difficult. Then I had an idea – paint over them. I used a soft brush, picked a blue from the surrounding sky and painted over the clouds. Perfect! I had my nice shapes but no brightness to distract.

    When I say “paint over” I would always do this on a separate layer – never do anything to your original picture if you can avoid it. Working on a new layer gives you full freedom to erase, start again, adjust the brightness and colour or even scrap the idae altogether without having any effect on your image. This is the approach with cloning too – work on a separate layer. I’ll cover this in the stuff we do on November 1st.

    Sorry you’ve had to wait a bit for the answer, I didn’t spot the post until now.



    Do you not use a lot of HDR in your work? i would like to know more about that



    I don’t use HDR as such but some of the Topaz effects are HRD-like, as is the effect of using “Shadows and Highlights” adjustments in photoshop, or even, for that matter anything where you are brightening shadows and/or darkening the highlights.

    True HDR is achieved by combining several exposures of a scene so that the dark bits, medium bits and highlights all get the correct exposure and it gives a richer effect than simply working on a single image where the dark bits will be underexposed and therefore reveal noise when they are artificially brightened.

    Full blown HDR can look absolutely awful. The skill comes in combining the several images and a skillful job may not look  like HDR. I am thinking of a picture by Geoff Robinson of NCPS  of the Millenium Bridge in Newcastle – a night shot. Superb job, you would never say Oh, HDR, but it was 5 images combined.

    You can use a special program to help you combine the images and the longest established one is Photomatix. Nik have just released one too which has had good reviews.

    One photographer who is making a speciality of all this is Captain Kimo. He did a tutorial for Topaz which you might like to watch.

    I thought I would just edit this and post Medic at various stages.



    • This reply was modified 6 years, 1 month ago by  ajroyle.
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