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Birds in the Snow - levels, curves, something else?

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  #11  
Old 01-27-2005, 03:53 PM
Duv's Avatar
Duv Duv is offline
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Location: Nanaimo, British Columbia
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Hi Again Cher

You're absolutely correct. There's too much blue. So to change that, what would you do? Either increase Red or decrease blue, right?

With your info palette open and Sampler tool selected, move around the dark crest. Your readings will show a lower red value. As before, go to Threshold to find the darkest spot. If you assume the crest is black or nearly so, all R,G and B values should be equal. Put a marker on the crest where it's darkest. I get readings of 2/8/11. (Generally you want your darkest overall value to be about 30 but don't worry about that now.) Open Curves and go to Red Channel. In the input box put 2. In the Output box put 11. Go to Green Channel. Input 8 output 11. Your readings should now show 11 for R,G, & B. Do the same procedure for the white snow.

To keep in mind:
Color cast exists when the areas that you know or are pretty sure are black, white and/or grey values are not equal. Equalizing these values eliminates or reduces color cast.

Although we didn't do it here, generally you would change black values to the lowest number, whites to the highest number and greys to the middle number.
Often this results in blacks too black and whites too white. Try to keep blacks at an equal value around 30 and whites around 240.
Further tweaking of Curves in LAB mode, Luminosity channel with elimate the chance of color shifts.

BTW, what lens are you using?

Cheers
Dave
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File Type: jpg D-Sparrow-original.jpg (98.6 KB, 17 views)
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  #12  
Old 01-27-2005, 05:40 PM
BluebirdNut BluebirdNut is offline
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Unhappy Totally lost

Dave, your correction turned out great. Unfortunately, I'm totally lost. I'm trying to follow your directions, but my menus seem somewhat different, and being unfamiliar with how they work, I can't translate. It's like trying to translate from German to Italian when all you speak is English. Are we using two different versions of Photoshop? I'm using CS -- 8.0 Your instructions are great, I'm sure it's either me being dense, or just a slight difference in menus. For instance, when you said in your first post "Go to Layer: Mode: LAB" -- my menu doesn't have "Mode" on the Layer menu. It's in the Image menu, but no option for Mode/LAB on the Layer menu. And when I tried using it in the Image menu, things just didn't work the way you described. And that's just where the differences start. I have a headache, and I feel queasy. I'll try again tomorrow ..... If you have the time, or the patience I'd like to learn this, but if it's too much of a pain to walk me through the baby steps, that's OK. I feel like when I used to watch Bert Monroy on The Screen Savers and I was going, "Wait! Don't go so fast! Slow down! How'd you do that again?" He never did -- slow down, that is --

Cher
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  #13  
Old 01-27-2005, 09:49 PM
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Duv Duv is offline
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Hi Cher!

I'll only say this once. You are not dense. It's my instructions. Sometimes when we flit thru stuff we know second hand, we miss tiny steps that make the difference between understanding and getting totally lost.
In addition, I have all the time in the world. You would probably learn a lot by picking up some good books but in the interim I'd be happy to try to help. I know I'm not the greatest communicator so feedback like this is good for me.

Let's try to simplify. First, private email me, the forum doesn't need to see all our back and forths. Second, delete everything I said about LAB mode. There's value to it, but waaaay down the line. Let's go for good images right now, not perfect images (which I don't produce anyhow).

So, forget LAB. ERASE it from your email. Where are you at and what do you need to know? Remember. I've got all the time in the world. Isn't that cool!! Click on my name and private email me back.

Cheers
Dave
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  #14  
Old 01-28-2005, 02:00 AM
amtb amtb is offline
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Shadows and Highlights

The first of Bluebird's two bird photos gave me a surprise. I sometimes use the highlight/shadow command to get more of a "feel" for the tonal range when things aren't quite working. On this occasion, even on the default settings, the birds popped out at me. I'd like to know if the red bird's plumage really was that colour.

The snow kept its detail but took on some odd shades which I have mostly removed. I think I have managed to attach the file - hope it has a thumbnail and you can find it.

John
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File Type: jpg 2 birds.jpg (82.8 KB, 12 views)
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  #15  
Old 01-28-2005, 06:28 AM
amtb amtb is offline
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Sparrow

I wanted to keep texture in the snow so used Shadows/Highlights again to get it in to a tonal range where it wouldn't blow out so easily. I can't remember exactly what I did after that but it went something like this:

In LAB I made a Curves adjustment layer. I used the a and b curves to neutralise the blue cast to a large extent. On the Luminosity curve I put an anchor point on the darkest part of the snow and the lightest part of the bird (just below it) and a third on the darker feathers. I moved the anchor points on the bird so the curve between them was steeper to get a little more contrast. I wasn't bothered if the curve between the lighter feathers and snow got flattened, I didn't think there was anything important in that range. I desaturated the reds a fraction because some of the feathers looked a bit gaudy for a sparrow. And that was about it. If it was my photo I would change the background to something more interesting but that's something else again.

If you try doing it this way I hope it works. If it doesn't I may have forgaotten something. (Happens to wrinklies)

John
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File Type: jpg Sparrow.jpg (95.9 KB, 8 views)

Last edited by amtb; 01-28-2005 at 06:34 AM.
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  #16  
Old 01-28-2005, 07:14 AM
BluebirdNut BluebirdNut is offline
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Good stuff ....

John, yes, that male cardinal is one V-E-R-Y red bird. Almost hurts the eyes to look at him! I'll go through your instructions for how you did those corrections once I've got the LAB thing down a little better. I may have inadvertently wandered into the wrong forum -- I just noticed that the name of the forum is Retouch PRO. Maybe I should look for the "Retouch PRO Wannabee" Forum! Dave, you're too kind. Look for a PM from me. (Edit: Make that THREE PM's -- A 1000 character restriction on PM's is somewhat limiting when you're trying to describe the problems I'm having!) And sorry for the repeated "read receipt" requests. I only wised up by the third one. I use so many different forums, I can't remember all the bugaboos of each one!

Last edited by BluebirdNut; 01-28-2005 at 08:38 AM. Reason: Needed to add something
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  #17  
Old 01-29-2005, 02:14 PM
cinderella cinderella is offline
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What an interesting discussion this is. I have also taken photos of birds thru my door with very unsatisfacatory results. What kind of camara are you using? Zoom?? How close are the birds???? Neat photos with great detail and the improvements are impressive.
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