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can anyone share good mid tone contrast technique

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  #1  
Old 05-28-2010, 11:46 PM
Thomass Thomass is offline
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can anyone share good mid tone contrast technique

Hi everyone,

I am really not satisified with the results that i am rendering from trying to punch up materials such as woods and metals. I have been emplying the following techniques:

High contrast channels selections to light or dark tones
softlight and overlay blending modes
highpass overlay technique

if anyone knows of any better techniques that they are willing to share, it would be very interested in trying them out.

Thanks

Thomass
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Old 05-29-2010, 05:16 AM
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Der_W Der_W is offline
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Re: can anyone share good mid tone contrast techn

Just an idea, that I haven't tested so far, but you could try to select the mid tones by [Ctrl]-/[Cmd]-clicking on the composite-channel's thumbnail, inversing that selection with "Select"-"Inverse" and finding the intersection with the positive composite ([Ctrl]/[Cmd]+[Alt]/[Opt]+[Shift]-click on the composite-channel's thumbnail).

That'll give you a selection of the mid tones that you can further modify with e.g. curves.
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Old 05-29-2010, 05:39 AM
mulluz mulluz is offline
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Re: can anyone share good mid tone contrast techn

What I do is, I make a luminousity mask, by ctrl-klicking(I have a PC) on the RGB channel. I then save that selection as a channel. Then I invert the same selection, and also save this one as a channel. Then I make a selection of the entire image. Ctrl A. With that selection active, i then go to the channels palette and ALT-click on the channels I just created earlier. Look for the cursor having a minus-symbol around it when clicking on the channels, then you know that the channels are being subtracted from the selection of the entire image. When this i complete(I've made an action for the process) you have a good luminousity-mask of the midtones. Then you can use this selection as a mask in soft-light, overlay, or whatever blending mode you like. I find overlay almost always give me the punch in contrast that I like.
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Old 05-29-2010, 06:06 AM
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gene_spark gene_spark is offline
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Re: can anyone share good mid tone contrast techn

I Think the best Way to gain as much Contrast as possible is the Picture Postcard Workflow shown by Dan Margulis on Kelby Training..
in Part 2 he shows all the Contrast Tricks you can do....

lg.
Gene
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Old 05-29-2010, 06:52 AM
Thomass Thomass is offline
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Re: can anyone share good mid tone contrast techn

Thanks Jonas and Mulluz for sharing your techniques. I tried both and got satisfactory results with both.Cheers!

Gene, Thankyou for introducing me to Kelby training. It looks impressive and I may well subscribe.
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Old 05-29-2010, 09:42 AM
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0lBaldy 0lBaldy is offline
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Re: can anyone share good mid tone contrast techn

Thomass, Welcome to RetouchPRO Hope you enjoy your stay here and make lots of friends. Poke around, ask questions, offer help, have fun!

Tony Kuyper has a great explanation and tutorial on the use of Luminosity Masks (HERE) and Amica has provided an action (HERE) that puts all 12 Luminosity Masks (The 4 lights, 4 Darks, and 4 Midtones) into the Channels folder for your selection and use... (While the action is plays, it will say "no pixels are selected" several times)...... just keep clicking OK because they are!

Using the Midtones as the mask with an extreme Curves layer gives some excellent results.

If you would like to post some samples of the problems and you use Photoshop, you can post fairly large pictures which are under 100k using the 'save for web' function in Photoshop as described here: Size, Quality and/or Format your Attached Images.. (Click here)

How to attach Files/Images to your Posts or Threads: (Click here)

If you want to post a larger resolution that is over 100K then you can host your image elsewhere and attach a link in the thread, but also please attach an under 100K version (so the thread remains useful in the future, regardless of external links).

Other Hosts if you do not have your own site: ImageVenue.com (3Meg max, free) pixentral.com (2Meg max, free) photobucket.com (1 Meg max free, 5 Meg PRO) mediafire.com (100 Meg per file, free) post a link in the thread to the site that is hosting the larger image.

Good Luck!
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Old 05-29-2010, 09:48 AM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
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Re: can anyone share good mid tone contrast techn

Thomass, if you want to fully select the mid tones, try Select>Color Range and just select Midtones from the Select pull down menu.
Jonas and Mulluz, with your methods your results will yield a low opacity version of the above. When you select the Highlights with a Ctrl+Click (also a Ctrl+Alt+2 in CS4 or later; Ctrl+Alt+~ in all earlier versions of PS) you are selecting the highlights down to the midtones(non linearly), not just the highlights. You can try both methods and overlay them to view the difference (either difference blend or set atop a white layer).
Regards, Murray
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Old 05-29-2010, 10:58 AM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
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Re: can anyone share good mid tone contrast techn

Thomass, I have a couple of other comments on midtone contrast. One traditional way of adjusting the midtone contrast has been to use a conventional S Curve, typically raising the 3/4 point on the curve and lowering the 1/4 point. This sometimes give a fairly flat image some punch but often polarizes the luminosity in a manner that is not pleasing. Another way to treat the problem is with Clarity for which you can use the Clarity slider in Adobe Camera RAW. The Clarity slider is described as increasing midtone contrast however it does not do it in the manner described above, Rather than increasing edge contrast, clarity isolates the midcontrast areas (similar to Select>Color Range>Midtones) and then it adjusts the tone of those midtone areas. The attachments below illustrate the difference.
1. Orig image
2. Selected Midtones via Select Color Range
3. Clarity Slider applied to Orig +100%
4. Difference between 3 and 2
5. Conventional S Curve to increase midtone contrast
Regards, Murray
Attached Images
File Type: jpg _DSC3360S.jpg (166.6 KB, 34 views)
File Type: jpg Selected Midtones.jpg (176.9 KB, 32 views)
File Type: jpg _DSC3360S Clarity 100.jpg (181.6 KB, 27 views)
File Type: jpg _DSC3360S Clarity Difference.jpg (145.3 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg _DSC3360S S Curve.jpg (138.4 KB, 32 views)
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  #9  
Old 05-29-2010, 08:25 PM
Flashtones Flashtones is online now
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Re: can anyone share good mid tone contrast techn

Another option is the Midtone Contrast slider in the Advanced section of the Shadow/Highlights adjustment.
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