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Photo Retouching "Improving" photos, post-production, correction, etc.

Salvaging A Bad Shot? Critique time.

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  #1  
Old 02-05-2007, 02:51 PM
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cardmnal cardmnal is offline
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Salvaging A Bad Shot? Critique time.

The following photo (first below) was taken along Slide Lake Rd in early October. Many of the photos I shot that day came out well but this one obviously has issues as I think I just shot without checking any of my cameras settings. The more I look at it, the more I believe it can be salvaged and turned into a nice print.

I made various corrections to increase light, contrast, color etc. (second below)

The image still looks a little flat to me so I applied an extra curves layer (third below). This made it pop a little more but does it look over saturated now? Is it beginning to appear unnatural?

Something about it still bugs me but I cannot put my finger on it.

I would like critiques/suggestions for this photo and the digital darkroom results. Thanks in advance


The fourth version is an oil painting made in alien skin snap art I thew in for those of us who think every photo makes a good photo art subject.



Alan
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File Type: jpg hot-springs-rd-original.jpg (95.2 KB, 109 views)
File Type: jpg hot-springs-rd-flat.jpg (95.8 KB, 79 views)
File Type: jpg hot-springs-rd-curves.jpg (97.9 KB, 93 views)
File Type: jpg hot-springs-rd-oil.jpg (91.5 KB, 95 views)
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Old 02-05-2007, 03:14 PM
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Re: Salvaging A Bad Shot? Critique time.

Hmmm, if you think your version is OVER-saturated, what will you think of mine!

Only you know what you saw that day, but it looks to me like there are some lovely yellows and reds with the greens and browns, and the sky should have some color. OK, now I see you've already starting cropping the image, which is probably a good idea (even tho it takes away the contrasting blue in the sky) - let me see what I come up with as far as a crop...
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Old 02-05-2007, 11:12 PM
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Re: Salvaging A Bad Shot? Critique time.

Version two -- I used curves in LAB with masks to see if I could add drama to sky while retaining colors that I think are in the meadow. Decided that there were sunlit areas and shady areas and used Overlay blend layers to paint in more sunlight.

Well, I wasn't there, so I can "see" it that way...
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Old 02-06-2007, 06:44 AM
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Re: Salvaging A Bad Shot? Critique time.

Hi Alan
I love these photos you are taking, what a beautiful area.
The colors seem to be a little too yellow/orange for me.
But mostly I think if you tried to do some paint with light effect and bring out the river and the road, that would help with composition.

Cathy
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Old 02-06-2007, 10:03 AM
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Re: Salvaging A Bad Shot? Critique time.

Lovely scene--Thought I would give it a try.

dc
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Old 02-06-2007, 10:53 AM
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Re: Salvaging A Bad Shot? Critique time.

Everyone did such a good job with the photo that I had nothing to add...sooo I went another way... just for fun

Butch
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Old 02-06-2007, 11:41 AM
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Re: Salvaging A Bad Shot? Critique time.

Here's my try- First picture post-

I first went in and adjusted the curves, added a duplicate high pass on overlay, and then added a photo filter, and played around with with a few other adjustment layers- mostly color and brightness/contrast, added some highlights and shadows- and this is what I ended with. It is a little over saturated to me, but I liked it
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Old 02-06-2007, 11:46 AM
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Re: Salvaging A Bad Shot? Critique time.

Okay, I think you all have me going in the direction I want.

First let me say thanks for the suggestions. Now let's see what we got.

There are two reasons for the crop I used. First I wanted to bring the mountains in the background as close as possible. Second, when I used a wider crop I felt as though I was looking out a car window...which I wasn't. For these reasons I decided to sacrifice the blue sky.

CathyH, I think you were dead-on about the yellows. I can't believe I didn't notice it in the sky and the snow on the mountains. I am not sure I understand what you mean by "paint with light effect and bring out the river and the road". I would sure appreciate it if you expanded on the suggestion. Maybe you could post an example.

CJ Swartz, I do agree with you that the image needed more drama in the sky. I selected it and added a medium blue photo filter at about 90% opacity. I am much happier with it now.

While I still had my selection active I inverted it and added a little levels adjustment to the midtones and shadows. it was very small but I suddenly saw that pop I have been looking for.

DCobb, Taking a cue from your rendition I did sharpen the photo just a bit. On shots like this I often prefer the focus to be just a bit soft to give it a painted feeling but, after looking at yours, I felt maybe just a tad more detail may help. I think it did.

You guys all rock!!

Thanks,

Alan
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Old 02-06-2007, 12:25 PM
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Re: Salvaging A Bad Shot? Critique time.

cardmnal,

i think the only thing you've wrong on the first set, is you've enhanced the reds a bit much, and maybe the yellows just a bit. and this also applies to your last post. those reds are jumping out too much for the rest of the image. otherwise, i really like it.

i took a shot at this also but toned down the colors a bit and raised the contrasting somewhat.

dupe background.
brightness/contrast layer to bring levels up
curves layer for same reason
histogram adjustment
masked the 'crater' portion
color balance on selected area
hue/sat layer on selected area in the blues and yellows
invert selection
brightness/contrast layer on new selection area
hue/sat layer on selection
killed the selection
clarify on whole.
another brightness/contrast layer to lower lighting a bit.

done.
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Old 02-07-2007, 09:30 PM
unimatrix001 unimatrix001 is offline
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Re: Salvaging A Bad Shot? Critique time.

I like what everyone has done. It is amazing how many ways there are to do the same thing with these photos. I duplicated the background layer, add a levels adjustment layer set blending mode to screen, added a Hue Saturation level adjusted the master saturation to about +19, selected the sky and added a selective color adjustment layer, used these settings on the white color, cyan +39, magenta +22, yellow +14 and black -2. these are just my vision of the colors.
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