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Critiques Requested - Again!

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Old 08-08-2001, 12:21 PM
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Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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Critiques Requested - Again!

By Ed Ladendorf on Tuesday, July 31, 2001 - 06:57 am:

Okay, I finally got the link to work. I removed my wife from a photograph, and put her into more of a portrait setting. Positive and negative feedback are acceptable, although negative feedback is what I really need. I'm here to learn. Click on the photo to make it larger. Thanks.


By kathleen on Tuesday, July 31, 2001 - 01:35 pm:

hey ed

that's a pretty lady you have there. if you want negative feedback, you should submit poorer work. = ) i was looking at the shoulder on the left, checking how you got the hand out, good flip. i prob would have spent hours trying to rebuild it, that is a much better how you got the glare out of her glasses. you did a good job on her hair, too.

you know i am no ps pro, but the only thing i think i would like to see changed is the color of the backdrop, i don't think it's as flattering as it could be, i actually think the colors behind her in the first shot work better, sort of pinky/taupey, but that prob. wouldn't look as good with her jacket, but you could change her jacket color after you found the best shade for the background, if you needed to. maybe a little more texture in the background . also, the light in the first one must be coming from the right, the backdrop looks like it's from the left upper corner, not sure how much difference that would make, expect you prob played around with it.

how does the client like it? ; > didn't you say you have 9 kids? she is an excellent adv. for motherhood, looks great.


By Ed Ladendorf on Tuesday, July 31, 2001 - 03:15 pm:

Hi Kathleen,

Thanks for the feedback. I was wondering what kind of feedback I would get about her hair. That was pretty tough (Katrin's method wouldn't work on that one), but it turned out a little better than I thought it would. Gotta keep working on that. Many moons ago, I heard that women's perception of color was much better than a man's. I can't disagree with that at all. Sometimes I almost wish I were color blind so I could have an excuse . As per the direction of the light - I can't believe I let that slip by. I don't usually do that. Texture in the background would probably have been good also. The client hasn't seen it. She hates to have her picture taken, and really isn't very interested in it at all. It's just for the kids and me. Thanks again for the help.

By DJ Dubovsky on Tuesday, July 31, 2001 - 06:52 pm:

Hi Ed,
I agree with Kathleen, you did a GREAT job with the photo. I also agree with the color of the background may be a bit overpowering to the subject but that is really all I can see. You mentioned a textured background, good idea. They seem to help blend the subjects in better than a flatter surfaces. You can even soften the edges with the blur tool a bit to blend any hard edges. You got the hair in real well. Did you use the extract tool to get that? OH, and one more have a very pretty wife.

By Ed Ladendorf on Tuesday, July 31, 2001 - 07:48 pm:

Thanks for the comments DJ. No extract tool - I'm using Photoshop 5.0.2 I started out trying to see if Katrin's technique would work at all, and I guess it helped some. What was left to do, I pretty much did with the rubber stamp set at low opacity, and also used the blur tool to soften the transition of the subject into the background. Thanks to both of you for the comments on my wife. That photo was taken about 10 years ago - and yes, we had 9 kids at the time. I'm a lucky guy - she's a hell of a cook too!

By DJ Dubovsky on Tuesday, July 31, 2001 - 08:00 pm:

Nine kids and she cooks great too. Yes you are a lucky guy.

By paulette conlan on Sunday, August 05, 2001 - 04:05 pm:

Dear Ed,
Couldn't resist working on your wife's photo-hope you don't mind.It's another rainy day in the sunshine state. All of my friends are starting to run when they see me with a camera.Alot of woman are really hesitant about of being photographed and I can't say I blame them from alot of the snapshots I see.It's the wrinkles that bother them.Your wifes skin appears to be very good. Anyway, I'll delete her photo after you get to see it.The other picture in the album is my sons mother'in'law who I am trying to make glamorous. That's my goal-make my friends look as good as any of the woman in the magazines.Here's where the picture is
If it doesn't open up go to (the album is digital darkroom and the password is the word open

By Ed Ladendorf on Sunday, August 05, 2001 - 04:38 pm:


I *REALLY* like what you've done with that. Much better than what I did. Gonna have to keep you around so I can learn something! I forbid you to leave - ever!! Thanks for the effort. I'm going to see if I can come close to matching that. What technique did you use on the hair?


By Alan Rubin on Sunday, August 05, 2001 - 05:36 pm:

Paulette and Ed,

The image looks very good. I’d like to offer a personal comment in the spirit of this web site. I think that the darkness that outlines the head takes the eye away from the subject. Do you think that a softer look up there might add to the overall image?


By mig on Sunday, August 05, 2001 - 05:53 pm:

Pretty good.
Other than the background lighting not fitting the lighting on your wife, the only other criticism I have is the blocky hair. For better hair, make two new layers (call them hair layers), one above and one below the layer of your wife that you've already selected, copy/pasted to its own layer, and after sampling her hair colour, take a one pixel brush and draw in the wisps of hair on these two hair layers. Merge it all when it's done.
A really good alternative to this for catching all her natural hair is to make the selection around your wife, especially around her head, several pixels too big, feather it by two pixels, then copy/paste all this to a new layer. To make the background for this, sample colours 'just' around the body/hair, which in this case would be grayish, black, etc, and then paint in the background on a new layer using these sampled colours. This way you catch all her hair and change the background, albeit limiting the bg colours somewhat. You can see this technique used in a lot of fashion mags and advertisements.

By Ed Ladendorf on Sunday, August 05, 2001 - 08:50 pm:


I liked Paulette's work much better than my own. Personally, I think there is enough light area around her head to easily distinguish it from the background, and the darkened corners might provide a frame for her head (I think this is what she had in mind - comments Paulette?). I intend to do more work on this one based on Paulette's version, but I might try using the color she used on the background, minus the black, and add lighting effects behind her head. Just a thought. I don't know which I'll like better until I actually try it. Thanks very much for your comments. I like food for thought (even though it sometimes hurts ).


By Ed Ladendorf on Sunday, August 05, 2001 - 08:54 pm:


Thanks for the comments, as always. The technique you mention is ground I've never walked on. It does sound interesting, and I'm going to print out your suggestions so I'll have something to go on. Obviously you're much more advanced than I, so don't expect much from me for a while.


By kathleen on Sunday, August 05, 2001 - 11:43 pm:

hey ed,
don't be discouraged. if a professional tells you you're pretty good, that's pretty good, in my book.

i think paulette has it going in a better color direction in the background. i had hoped to work on it myself this wknd, a certain challenge seems to have taken a lot of time . . . she also looks a little like she has a halo, which is probabally appropriate . . .

i do hope you show your wife after the photoshop fairies are through . . .

By Ed Ladendorf on Monday, August 06, 2001 - 04:36 am:


Just the opposite - I'm encouraged. I think I'll learn a lot from this one. It kind of reminds me of when I had a darkroom. I would make a print, and be relatively satisfied with it until I found another technique. I've worked on prints like that for a year, and still was not really done. Yes when the Photoshop fairies are through, she'll see it for sure. I'm hoping she'll be impressed enough to have enough guts for another picture to be made.

One big lesson I learned from this one - never flatten the image without saving a copy first - even if you're done because you might not be done!


By paulette Conlan on Monday, August 06, 2001 - 10:24 am:

Hi Ed
Happy that you liked what I did with the picture.We had 10 inch of rain in our area and it's a good excuse for me not to have to go out and have fun?? with some kind of sports activity. Now if I can get out of playing bridge! Yikes!! The joys of a gated community.Anyway, I put the extracted image up if you want to see that It's
Anyway, what I did with the hair was basically use the dodge tool to lighten parts of it and then use the swatched of hair tones (color mode-low opacity to add tone)- strongly advise anyone doing retouching to develop a palete of skin and hairtones. Start with the one on this site.
Concerning the background, I did some playing around with color and keep coming back to the one I used.I preferred a warm background.I also liked a black background with a little backlite. You have to really watch the backlite I find because if it's overdone the subject looks like they are radioactive!The background was a vertical gradient with a circle of light added to where the head is. I found it in Scott Kelby's book. Then I added a rectangular mask to finish off the picture.Oh, something else I did was use the transform tool to straighten her up a little. I also lifted the shoulder on the right side.I think that the whole trick is to make someone look like they think they should look without them figuring out what you did. Paulette

By Ed Ladendorf on Monday, August 06, 2001 - 11:30 am:

Hi Paulette,

Thanks very much for the description. When I get something like this, I copy it to keep in MsWorks. I just hope I don't have to buy another 20 gig hard drive to keep all my notes on.

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Old 08-14-2001, 08:48 PM
airubin airubin is offline
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flat Prague images

Hi All,

These are some of the images taken on vacation in Prague last June. The only adjustments that I did were with the level and curve tools.

They need some more work, but I wanted to get some comments before I made the effort. I find that most of them are flat and have a picture post card look to them. They printed about the same as the look on the web.

I’d like to get some more body to the images. One of my thoughts is to work with the color saturation tools.

If the link does not work from the message, just give the correct code for it.

Your thoughts—please.


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Old 08-14-2001, 08:58 PM
vogonpoet vogonpoet is offline
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remove the '.' after the 'htm'

the link should work ~Vp~
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Old 08-14-2001, 10:22 PM
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DJ Dubovsky DJ Dubovsky is offline
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I never knew Checklosovokia was so colorful. I am no photographer but I don't see what you mean by flat. To me they are vivid in contrast and detail and from what I can see you are an experienced photographer. Beautiful photos.

I have to show them to my husband. His family is from Checklosovokia and he will love these.
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Old 08-14-2001, 10:46 PM
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About the only thing I'd fiddle with is some of the perspectives. Some of the buildings appear to be leaning a bit (although they're old, maybe they are).

I don't know how your budget is, but Andromeda makes a filter called "lensdoc" which would fix those up in a jiff.
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Old 08-15-2001, 07:54 AM
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thomasgeorge thomasgeorge is offline
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Alan, Those look REAL good. A little "boost" to localized color would be a nice "tweak", like you indicated. Overall though excellent in my opinion. Tom
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Old 08-15-2001, 12:15 PM
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kathleen kathleen is offline
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mmmmmmm. makes me want to travel. i thought they were beautiful pics alan.

and, as the descriptions load before the pix do, my heart lept when i saw "elvis". i have been wanting a good one of him to insert as a wedding guest in my daughter's memphis wedding. he couldn't make it himself because, i guess, he was in Prague.
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Old 08-16-2001, 07:42 PM
Lilla Lilla is offline
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Ed, judging from the lines in the curtains, and also the angle of her shoulders, I think she would benefit from straightening the photo. I tried it here, and it did look better to my eye.

Just a thought,
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Old 08-16-2001, 09:09 PM
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Ed_L Ed_L is offline
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Hi Lilla,

Thanks for the feedback. I did try that since that one was posted, and yes - it did improve it a great deal. Thanks again.

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