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Old 10-16-2001, 08:49 PM
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Ed_L Ed_L is offline
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Excellent thread! Chris, I like your thoughts on the largest room in the world. That's the first time I heard that one.

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Old 10-16-2001, 09:21 PM
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Roger Roberts Roger Roberts is offline
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Location: Dallas Texas
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Thanks Vikki, for starting this thread. I am hearing a lot of words of wisdom here and it has mind mind jumping through hoops to think about it all. I have been at this a short time and when I finnish most projects I have the feeling that it is incomplete,over worked or to fake looking (even though I am amazed at what Photoshop can do ). I will always be grateful for any critiques,suggestions,tips or different ways to achieve a better result (so don't worry about hurting my feelings,I'm here to learn and enjoy).
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Old 10-16-2001, 09:56 PM
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kathleen kathleen is offline
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wonderfully rewarding as restoration work is, I think it's still basically a repair service, and not open to personal interpretation.
I have a lot of old stuff that makes me cringe when I look at it. If everyone had told me it looked great, I probably would never have had reason to try and improve. Of course, it hurt a bit, at the time, I thought it was my best work.

The idea of only praise seems unfair. Sort of reminds me of the story, "The Emporer's New Clothes".
well said, well thought. set the bar high, everyone will benefit.
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Old 10-20-2001, 06:56 AM
Matt Elder Matt Elder is offline
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Location: Sydney, AUSTRALIA
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An interesting topic. About 10 years ago I was surprised to see someone digitally fixing up a photo for a magazine cover on TV (I was young and didn't understand the whole fashion industry). Until recently, I haven't been able to pick photos that have been touched up. Now that I've read about some techniques and played around with them, generally I can pick what has been altered, to what degree and probably one way that it was done.

What is the point of all of this ramblings?! Basically as you go along, you develop a knowledge and what might be a 'difficult' concept to one person, might be common knowledge to another. After having a good look around your site you are obviously well versed in what you are doing and able to pick this overall 'blurredness' to images, probably in people's images that have only done a handful of retouching jobs. That's great cause then you can guide people and share your wisdom and experience and say "hey I know what you are doing, try this cause your image will turn may better". Or maybe that 'newbie' will stumble upon a technique they can then share with you. Thus everyone can benefit. Even being able to 'pick' in other people's work what you would consider 'mistakes', you become more conscious in your own work and try to avoid doing the same.

You don't teach someone how to be the fastest runner over 100m's before they can walk. Constructive critisim is part of the reason that we are all here and is healthy.

One day after doing something for long enough, we look back to the beginning and think, "ah that's terrible, I can't believe I did that and was proud of it". Someone like yourself can help people get to this point faster but just remember, this blurred effect may have taken someone hours to do cause they are only just starting out.

Hopefully this makes sense.
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Old 10-20-2001, 08:20 AM
Vikki Vikki is offline
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Matt, that makes sense.
And brings up another good point. Time.
In many cases, this work takes a lot of time. And it can be very frustrating to spend hours on something, and still not get it to look the way you wanted, or how it should. This can happen if you're not using the right tools or methods. (been there, done that). My objective is to offer some alternative methods, that work for me, after years of experimenting.

As an example, if one uses "Dust & Scratches" to blur out a defect, it's going to look blurry. Now one can leave it like that (but it won't look natural), or one can spend another hour ,or two or three, trying to make that mess look right. Or, one can start off using the clone tool, in small increments, which helps keep the original qualities.

I think some of the filters such as Dust & Scratches, were meant as quick fixes, for the average user/dabbler. I don't think we're average users. It's one thing to be happy with a quick fix of a personal photo, but it's not something a good restoration artitist would give to a customer. The customer themselves, could do a quick fix with Dust & Scratches! They're paying you, to go the extra mile, and do it the right way.

Ok, enough rambling for now. As you all may have guesse, I could go on forever....
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Old 10-20-2001, 09:18 AM
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Richard_Lynch Richard_Lynch is offline
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Dust & Scratches...better techniques

While I realize this is not all about Dust and Scratches, I think it is a good focus.

When I first used the Dust & Scratches function, I was working on professional images for a book publisher. The images were always full of dust because the scanning people were sloppy. At the urging of my employer, I tried to use the D&S and found it a useless tool. Not only did it blur the image, but there was ugly loss of detail. I swore off it.

A retoucher's goal always seemed to me to be to retain detail while fixing what was broken...If you damage part of an image while fixing another, you aren't fixing -- you are making more work. While I agree that the new user must learn tools and make errors while using them, I don't think the goal is ever different, and the key is to find a solution that works -- be it a quick or slow one. I'd say quick comes after quality...and if there is a choice, the time is probably better spent putting in extra effort to compensate for any lacking of experience in the tools.

Not long after swearing off the Dust&Scratches, being one who likes to experiment with the tools, I found that combining Dust&Scratches with other tools could produce acceptable results in some cases. For example, much like the Sans Clone Tool tutorial, one could duplicate the layer, apply D&S, then limit the application to light and/or dark areas of the image (using Blend If) and then erase areas where the blend was undesired. This was a quick solution to a lot of problems in some images, so long as it was used selectively and with some restraint. For example, white specs on a black velvet skirt can be removed quickly, without blurring the same subject's pearl brooch.

There are always creative uses for tools, even ones that "don't work". I am very careful not to put down tools, as often I don't see the intent immediately, and haven't thought of how it might be better applied. Very often (and really with few exceptions) I find tools are almost always better applied in combination. This requires first experimenting with the tool and knowing what it can do in conjunction with other tools...It is the sort of catch 22 that you can only overcome by first making the mistakes of using it by itself to see what happens.

There are a million ways to do anything in Photoshop, and the best way isn't the easiest or quickest...It is the one that works.

Hope that helps!
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Old 10-20-2001, 11:43 AM
Vikki Vikki is offline
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Richard, very good point.
A balanced combination of tools and techniques, with a knowledge of when and where to apply them is the best bet.

I don't mean to trash certain tools entirely, but rather suggest that, until one has developed the above mentioned skill, some tools are better suited for certain jobs. I think this is important to someone just starting out. Especially when they choose to use only one technique or tool.
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Old 10-21-2001, 12:52 AM
hawkaye hawkaye is offline
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Just my 3 cents worth, from past experiance. While taking a digital photo class, one of the assignments was a photo restoration. In order to fix a really bad spot, I moved a shoe from on area of the image to cover the spot. The instructor was less than pleased. He was quite emphatic that it was a restoration project and not a manipulation project. He made me put the shoe back, and just clone from the surrounding floor area. The class was split about 50/50, but I understood his point. I guess what I'm saying is that there is a deffinate line between restoration and manipulation. A restoration should be just that, restoring to original (or better?) condition. Much like restoring an old automobile or home. Manipulation is changing the original, but it moving a shoe, or coloization, or background change, etc. But even I am guilty of manipulative restorations :-) Client wants the cluttery background cleaned up :-) Take the laundry off the clothes line, heck remove the clothes line :-) Any way enough rambling for tonight. Cheers everyone, and keep up the wonderful work and constructive conversations!

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