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Photography ConCrit Interested amateur photographers can post photos and receive constructive critiques from others. Please read the guidelines thread before posting any photos.

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Old Jan 17 2009, 08:25 AM   #1
Kath
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Default Photoshopping the Luisenpark

I've been having fun recently (well, this morning) messing around with some of my recent (well, last September...) Luisenpark photos in Photoshop.


As well as opinions on the photos themselves, I'm also curious about the following questions, on a VERY general level, not just specific to my photos

- how much 'shopping is too much?
- what effects work best for what style of photo?
- are some of the filters just for fun, not serious photos, or can you get something genuinely artistic out of them?
- Should photoshop exist at all? Is it a crutch that a good photographer should avoid?

Anyway, here are some of the results of my mucking around.

Cactus #1 - very minor crop and colour/level adjustments



Cactus #2 - desaturated #1. with some further tweaking of the levels.

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Old Jan 17 2009, 08:27 AM   #2
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Default Re: Photoshopping the Luisenpark

Vine #1 - minor cropping, and a bit of playing with the levels around the edges.



Vine #2 - same shot, but no edge adjustments. This time, I threw the colours right off to one side, going deeper blue and bronzing the leaves.

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Old Jan 17 2009, 08:38 AM   #3
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Default Re: Photoshopping the Luisenpark

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kath View Post
- how much 'shopping is too much?
- what effects work best for what style of photo?
- are some of the filters just for fun, not serious photos, or can you get something genuinely artistic out of them?
- Should photoshop exist at all? Is it a crutch that a good photographer should avoid?
How much? I'd say "to your taste" and it will be different per pictures. But any which way, it is personal (or not if you are doing something according someone elses wishes or demands).

The filters are mostly for fun. For serious matters you use other settings, not the presets. Having said that I have downloaded many actions (scripts for photoshop especially, that can be anything) that I use professionally and regularly. If you are having fun with photoshop I advise you to go register on Adobe's Studio Exchange (it's free) and browse around in their photoshop section. You'll soon see what I mean

As a photoshop enthusiast and as someone who uses it professionally every day I am of the opinion that not the serious photographer not the fun photographer can do without photoshop or a program like it. I have to admit that for the professional a program like Adobe Lightroom or Apple's Aperture (for working on pictures taken in RAW format) is probably even more important but for the fun photographer photoshop (or somethig like it) is of paramount importance.
For my personal pictures I don't even use Aperture but just go right to photoshop to play with settings and such.
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Old Jan 17 2009, 08:39 AM   #4
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Default Re: Photoshopping the Luisenpark

Trees.

All I did with this one was crop it - I can't improve it at all.



What I did do, for fun, was make this using the patchwork filter. Makes it change from a lovely real image to a cheesy, chintzy tapestry that wouldn't be out of place on a cushion in your great-aunt's front room, doesn't it?

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Old Jan 17 2009, 08:41 AM   #5
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Default Re: Photoshopping the Luisenpark

Well that's one way of doing a tapestry. I wonder if you could try it on book covers?
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Old Jan 17 2009, 08:46 AM   #6
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Default Re: Photoshopping the Luisenpark

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Originally Posted by P'ter View Post
Well that's one way of doing a tapestry. I wonder if you could try it on book covers?
Almost certainly - and you could probably set it up to restrict the colours to known embroidery threads, and before you know it, you've got yourself a pattern.

If you were into that kinda thing, of course...



I once saw a Moreta (the Steve Weston cover) bedspread, when my parents were househunting about 15 years back.
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Old Jan 17 2009, 08:56 AM   #7
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Default Re: Photoshopping the Luisenpark

I don't like the B&W reproduction of the cactus, it is like the picture isn't made for that. It seems to lack contrast in the B&W version and I am, of course, spoiled having seen the colour one with the excellent contrast between yellow and green. The you use the automatic colours o that catus pic yet? If not, do try and let photoshop have its way initially and start tweaking from that. I also like the crop (even when you say it is minor) of the cactus photo. Not totally sure of the light/shadow. I'd certainly try it with a more even ligthing (read: less shadow).

I don't like either of the red leaves varieties but like #1 more than #2 because in the last one you lose the so beautiful detail of the leaves. Maybe a total darkness of the subject would give you something to work with in the second, provided you have a use for it.

And there I accidentally hit the crux and an additional answer to your questons. I realise I don't often try variations of fiddle around with pictures if I haven't a reason or an order or idea. Thus my answer... if I wouldn't have a use for it, for an invitation or something, I would never have come up with that last red leaves variation

Could you post the originals, too? So I can see if I also agree with the cropping (I think I do).

Hmm, if there are more photoshop enthusiasts here maybe we could have some sort of contest at one time. Not for skill but for fun, a bit like Worth1000 (if you don't kow what that is, visit their website worth1000.com).

Oops, you weren't finished posting yet Me an my quick big mouth...
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Old Jan 17 2009, 09:13 AM   #8
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Default Re: Photoshopping the Luisenpark

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kath View Post
Trees.

All I did with this one was crop it - I can't improve it at all.
I'm assuming you are on Windows here)

Kath, if you use the automatic colour possibility in photoshop (CTRL-SHFT-B), you will discover a slight change in colours because your original has too much yellow in it which is why the green is almost non existent (it should be there, check) and the red in the foreground looks too orangy (logical).

Then you should check levels CTRL-L and you will see that there isn't much data in the lightest part of the picture, logical again, it is a dark one. So in this window you lighten up the photo a littel bit (I would use the slider or set the midtone level to 1,00).
In the red channel you will see there is no data at all in the light segment, that should go and here I would set the tone darker (0,85 instead of 1,00). The green and blue channels are OK.
Then I (personally) would light up the tree on the right with the dodge tool. Set your brush about as wide as the tree is. But be very careful with this and do it preferable on a new layer.
Then I'd go in and up the luminance and the colour intensity a little.
Last I'd get rid of the bricks in the lower right hand corner without cropping (use the clone tool).

Uhm... do I get carried away a little here? I'd better stop

Here is your picture:



Oh, your JPG setting is 6 (highest is 12), was that intentional?

Last question: there's no picture/EXIF data but the picture is 300dpi. Is it a scan? Not a digital photograph?
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Last edited by Hans; Jan 22 2009 at 03:38 PM.
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Old Jan 17 2009, 09:27 AM   #9
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Default Re: Photoshopping the Luisenpark

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans View Post
Uhm... do I get carried away a little here? I'd better stop
No, thanks for the suggestions!

I paticularly like the way you cloned away the brickwork.
Quote:
Oh, your JPG setting is 6 (highest is 12), was that intentional?

Last question: there's no picture/EXIF data but the picture is 300dpi. Is it a scan? Not a digital photograph?
I just tweaked things (badly/wrongly, I'm sure) to slim down the image size without losing too much information...

Anyway, the originals are here:

http://i541.photobucket.com/albums/g...p/P9250234.jpg
http://i541.photobucket.com/albums/g...p/P9250253.jpg
http://s541.photobucket.com/albums/g...p/P9250260.jpg
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Old Jan 17 2009, 07:32 PM   #10
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Default Re: Photoshopping the Luisenpark

I Enjoyed both the catus photos...each one having such an interesing look.
The read leaves I liked the 1st one better...as it has an interesing quality about it.
I loved the garden photo...you were right about it, its just perfect the way it is.
As far as knowing about how to accopmlish any of this...I have no idea...but I do like what you've done.
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Old Jan 22 2009, 12:10 PM   #11
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Default Re: Photoshopping the Luisenpark

I think I'm with Hans on this - my philosophy in Photoshop (as in Adobe Lightroom) is that, if you can notice the tweak, you've gone too far. Less is more.

Most vital stuff can be done in Menu>Image>Adjustment.

I find little use for most filters unless I'm going for a deliberate effect. Then it can be fun - I mean, real FUN!
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Old Jan 22 2009, 05:48 PM   #12
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Default Re: Photoshopping the Luisenpark

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans View Post
Here is your picture:
Er, apart from the cloned brickwork I prefer the picture the way Kath had it. But perhaps our appreciation depends on the kind of monitor we're using to look at the photograph? Kath's colours look richer on my screen.

I have noticed that I need to tweak a photo differently for printing than for display on a screen. Perhaps your tweak would print better?
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Old Jan 23 2009, 04:54 AM   #13
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Default Re: Photoshopping the Luisenpark

True, Steven and it esecially happens with the LCD flat screen of today becase they emit so much light by themselves. I might have unconsciously tweaked the pic so it would be lighter, knowing it will be darker when printed

And this is, of course, my personal iterpretation, not something somebody else would like necessarily
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