RetouchPRO

Go Back   RetouchPRO > Technique > Image Help
Register Blogs FAQ Site Nav Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Image Help Got a problem image? Don't know where to begin? Upload images and ask our users what they think or if they can help

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 01-26-2005, 08:58 AM
BluebirdNut BluebirdNut is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 7
Question Birds in the Snow - levels, curves, something else?

I'm having trouble with some photographs I've been taking of birds in the snow. I've been playing with the digital camera's settings to try to get the exposure settings optimal, but in the meantime, I've gotten some really good shots that are underexposed. I'm trying to correct the underexposure with PS 8, using different methods, but the results are not completely satisfactory to me -- I wonder if there's something I'm doing wrong.

The first example I corrected using a "curves" adjustment layer.

The second example I corrected using the "levels" tool. In order to get the bird's breast as white as it should be, I feel I'm being too heavy handed, and the photo "looks" retouched.

Could I have done better? How? Details, I need details. But simply stated, I'm somewhat of a novice with these tools.

Thanks for any help you can give me.

Cher
Attached Images
File Type: jpg CardinalAndSparrowB4.jpg (98.3 KB, 34 views)
File Type: jpg CardinalAndSparrow-with-cur.jpg (98.7 KB, 23 views)
File Type: jpg TitmouseB4.jpg (96.0 KB, 23 views)
File Type: jpg Titmouse-levelsAdjustment.jpg (98.5 KB, 24 views)
Reply With Quote top
  #2  
Old 01-26-2005, 09:17 AM
Janet Petty's Avatar
Janet Petty Janet Petty is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Mid-South
Posts: 2,164
Blog Entries: 1
I had a very quick go at your two wonderful bird pics. It is great you can get that close without a glass door or such in the way. I'm jealous.

Adjusted levels using a gray point as the initial start setting and lightly adjusted the RGB after that. Added a Hue/Sat adjustment to end.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg CardinalAndSparrowB4.jpg (98.0 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg TitmouseB4.jpg (95.0 KB, 23 views)
Reply With Quote top
  #3  
Old 01-26-2005, 03:30 PM
Duv's Avatar
Duv Duv is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Nanaimo, British Columbia
Posts: 1,213
Nice shots Cher!

My feeling is that you have used too much contrast. On the Titmouse I originally came up with exactly the same results as Janet..but I don't think it's correct. I pulled out my birdbook and the Titmouse is suppose to have a black beak. Also, the general coloring looks muted as if it were female but I don't think it is.
What I did was open Curves. Put a marker dead centre. Then pull down the lower half slightly to get a reading in the input/output boxes of 93/74. This gives you a darker beak, some detail in the eye and better overall coloring for a male Titmouse.

For the Cardinal, the black of its mask looks fine. You want to increase brightness but retain some snow texture.
Make sure your info palette is open. Buried in the Sampler Tool Box is Color Sampler Tool. Select it. Go to Image: Adjustments: Threshold and move the slider all the way to the right. Now slowly bring it back until some white starts to show. Remember where it is. Cancel out and then click your Color Sampler Tool in that spot. Should leave a circled #1. When you hold your cursor over this spot you should get a reading of about 230. We want to raise that to about 245. Are you with me? Let me know if you not OK to here.

Go to Layer: Mode: LAB and select. In the Layers Palette click on Channels and click on the Lightness channel. Go to Layers: Adjustments: Curves and drag the upper right corner ever so slightly to the left. With your cursor take a reading of your marker. Keep adjusting until you get a reading around 245. (Note: In LAB mode, your info palette may be showing LAB values. Just click on the arrow to the right and change the flyout menu to RGB)
Click on the LAB channel to bring the image back to color. It should look a lot better. Go back to Layers: Mode: RGB.

You can forgo changing to LAB mode and make your correction in RGB. The problem is that when you use Curves or Levels in this mode, you also cause Color shifts. Working in LAB avoids this.

Janet, one small point. When you save your images could you save to a different name? ie put a J in front of it. Otherwise when I save your pic it overwrites the one by Cher.

Anyhow Cher, let me know if this works for you.

Cheers
Dave
Attached Images
File Type: jpg D-TitmouseB4.jpg (90.1 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg D-CardinalAndSparrowB4.jpg (71.4 KB, 21 views)
Reply With Quote top
  #4  
Old 01-26-2005, 04:41 PM
Janet Petty's Avatar
Janet Petty Janet Petty is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Mid-South
Posts: 2,164
Blog Entries: 1
"Janet, one small point. When you save your images could you save to a different name? ie put a J in front of it. Otherwise when I save your pic it overwrites the one by Cher."

Really? I didn't know that at all. Thanks for telling me. From now on I'll be more careful.

Janet
Reply With Quote top
  #5  
Old 01-26-2005, 06:54 PM
BluebirdNut BluebirdNut is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 7
Thanks!

Thanks to you both for your input! Dave, your instructions were wonderfully detailed, and I will have to try them out first thing tomorrow. I printed them for quick reference. Since I'm so new to using these tools, it's helpful to have some actual numbers and descriptive text on HOW to use them. I'll try retouching some of my less-than-perfect shots tomorrow, will let you know how I make out.

I should have lots more birds here tomorrow to practice on getting my camera's exposure settings more precise -- wind chills here in Central NY are supposed to be -15* to -35* overnight and tomorrow morning. Oh, and Janet -- there IS glass between me and those birds! I'm crazy, but not crazy enough to sit outside in weather like this in order to get those pictures!
Reply With Quote top
  #6  
Old 01-26-2005, 07:08 PM
Neve's Avatar
Neve Neve is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 836
In PSP8.1

With the titmouse...

Dupe bottom layer
On L2
Auto Contrast Enhancement
Bias=Lighter/Strength=Normal/Appearance=Flat
Auto Saturation Enhancement
Bias=Normal/Strength=Normal
Duped this layer
L3 - Screen 100%
Duped this layer
L4 - Overlay 28%
Merged all.

With the Cardinal and Sparrow...(had to have two goes at this one...)
Levels to Lighten slightly
Dupe this layer
L2 - Auto Saturation Enhancement
Bias=Normal/Strength=Normal
Dupe this layer
L3 - Overlay 18% - Dupe this layer
L4 - Screen 30%
Merged all
Increased Brightness 5 Contrast 7

Thanks for letting me have a go at these, I learn something each time!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg TitmouseNeve.jpg (24.0 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpg CardinalAndSparrowNeve.jpg (18.2 KB, 20 views)
Reply With Quote top
  #7  
Old 01-26-2005, 09:06 PM
Janet Petty's Avatar
Janet Petty Janet Petty is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Mid-South
Posts: 2,164
Blog Entries: 1
My object when doing this was to NOT blow out the snow. I guess I should have done two levels corrections with one of them masked for just the birds. I could have gotten better/truer colors that way I'm sure. I only spent about 5 minutes on the whole thing just to see if it could be done.

And Bluebird, your glass is much cleaner than mine. Mine has cat nose prints all over it.

Janet
Reply With Quote top
  #8  
Old 01-26-2005, 10:25 PM
Duv's Avatar
Duv Duv is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Nanaimo, British Columbia
Posts: 1,213
[QUOTE=Janet Petty]My object when doing this was to NOT blow out the snow.

Janet, I'm not sure if you are self critiquing yourself but when I take measurements of the snow in your cardinal pic, nothing seems to be blown out and there is detail in the snow. Are you seeing something different on your monitor or something?

Cheers
Dave
Reply With Quote top
  #9  
Old 01-26-2005, 10:39 PM
Janet Petty's Avatar
Janet Petty Janet Petty is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Mid-South
Posts: 2,164
Blog Entries: 1
I didn't make myself clear. Everyone else got such good results for the birds but not the snow. Sorry for being blunt. I got ok for the snow but not the birds. Hows that?

Keep smilin'

Janet
Reply With Quote top
  #10  
Old 01-27-2005, 09:50 AM
BluebirdNut BluebirdNut is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 7
Another challenge

I'm making good progress with the hints I've gotten so far. Here's another challenge - I've played with this one, but I'm not making much progress. This is rather underexposed, with a bluish cast. I'd like to know how you would go about fixing this one.

The second one doesn't really need any work - I just thought you'd like to see one that was almost perfect right out of the camera. I just did an auto contrast correction.

Janet -- I have the kitty noseprint problem, too - FOUR of them! That's a relatively easy problem for me -- a sprayer of Glass Plus and a piece of newspaper are always within reach. The bigger problem is getting all set up for the perfect shot, then having one of the little monsters jump up on the windowsill, scaring away the subject!

Cher
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Sparrow-original.jpg (99.0 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg TuftedTitmouse.jpg (99.1 KB, 14 views)
Reply With Quote top
Reply

  RetouchPRO > Technique > Image Help


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Change Curves from levels to Percentage athegn Hidden Power Support 3 02-20-2006 10:39 AM
Layer Tutorials..again? zip022 RP Tutorials 21 11-18-2004 11:10 PM
Curves (or Levels) and the "L" Channel in Elements 2.0 Patrick Cox Photoshop Elements Help 6 07-06-2004 08:00 PM
yellow cast mpskin Image Help 4 01-20-2003 09:16 PM
Feedin' the squirrels, er, birds! Ed_L Salon 10 11-04-2002 03:32 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:45 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.
Copyright © 2016 Doug Nelson. All Rights Reserved