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

Regarding the retouching done on these pics...

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  #1  
Old 02-02-2017, 12:09 AM
beefhitler beefhitler is offline
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Regarding the retouching done on these pics...

http://www.cavallivapore.it/wp-conte...r-1024x683.jpg

http://www.missionredpla.net/motoblo...franbolu-1.jpg

http://www.missionredpla.net/motoblo...ti_xbhp-41.jpg

Looks like very subtle retouching done. Probably some curves, hue/sat etc.

But if you notice closely, there is some HDR kinda feel to it. The guy says he never uses HDR. How exactly can this kind of an effect be done? If, let's say, he has used Nik Color Efex or any other plug in, what have they done in them and how?

The sky looks dramatic too, how is that done?

I understand this is very very basic, but I am getting curious.
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  #2  
Old 02-02-2017, 12:47 AM
klev klev is offline
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Re: Regarding the retouching done on these pics...

The backgrounds have a lot of adjustment. You can tell they loosely masked out that sky by the halo. It's not consistent with a typical sharpening halo. I also wouldn't call this subtle at all.

You get this stuff by figuring it out bit by bit. Eventually a lot of it becomes obvious, but if you try to assign an exact recipe to it, you will end up frustrated.

These shots appear to use a pretty wide lens. You will probably need to make things a bit yellow green to get this tint (mainly yellow). You need to count on some masking to get the key elements to the right brightness level. Sky/mountains/road/subject don't totally match. My advice on that part is to first separate the subject. Adjust. If necessary isolate the mountains. Adjust. If necessary isolate the road and sky. I think the photographer did something like that here, but his masking leaves a lot to be desired.
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  #3  
Old 02-02-2017, 01:12 AM
beefhitler beefhitler is offline
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Re: Regarding the retouching done on these pics...

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Originally Posted by klev View Post
The backgrounds have a lot of adjustment. You can tell they loosely masked out that sky by the halo. It's not consistent with a typical sharpening halo. I also wouldn't call this subtle at all.

You get this stuff by figuring it out bit by bit. Eventually a lot of it becomes obvious, but if you try to assign an exact recipe to it, you will end up frustrated.

These shots appear to use a pretty wide lens. You will probably need to make things a bit yellow green to get this tint (mainly yellow). You need to count on some masking to get the key elements to the right brightness level. Sky/mountains/road/subject don't totally match. My advice on that part is to first separate the subject. Adjust. If necessary isolate the mountains. Adjust. If necessary isolate the road and sky. I think the photographer did something like that here, but his masking leaves a lot to be desired.
Thanks.

So, what I can see. I would first isolate the sky and then probably use a clipping mask and lower highlights, lighten the shadows, and maybe play around the blacks a little bit. After that the regular dodge and burn. After that, maybe new clipping masks on it for Hue/Sat or Color Balance or whatever chosen method for playing with the color.

Same bits to be done with separate parts of the photo.

I have a tendency to go the Camera Raw way through a Smart Object in Photoshop CC. So maybe I would use that with a clipping mask on the masked out parts.

Is that a correct way to approach it?

That gets me to the part where I need to sharpen the image a bit. I guess he did some sharpening in the end too? What exactly do you think is the correct way to approach sharpening for subject/landscape pics like these?
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  #4  
Old 02-02-2017, 01:19 AM
beefhitler beefhitler is offline
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Re: Regarding the retouching done on these pics...

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The backgrounds have a lot of adjustment. You can tell they loosely masked out that sky by the halo. It's not consistent with a typical sharpening halo. I also wouldn't call this subtle at all.
Would you say he manually went around masking it out with a brush? How can we ascertain if a halo is from masking or sharpening?
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  #5  
Old 02-02-2017, 01:40 PM
klev klev is offline
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Re: Regarding the retouching done on these pics...

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Originally Posted by beefhitler View Post
Would you say he manually went around masking it out with a brush? How can we ascertain if a halo is from masking or sharpening?
There's no way to ascertain that perfectly, but its shape suggests masking. There's virtually no way to do this without some masking. Masking is really the most fundamental aspect of retouching. It gives you more control than anything else. You would not get that background without messing up the subject if you avoided masking anything.
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  #6  
Old 02-03-2017, 12:56 PM
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ray12 ray12 is offline
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Re: Regarding the retouching done on these pics...

There is an enhancement in the blacks... and the whites... which also affects the color.. in your images.

How do you do this in Photoshop??
One way to do this is to open your image... go to the bottom of the Layers Pallet... and choose the "Levels" adjustment layer under the 1/2 moon looking icon. These are adjustment layers and they are totally transparent and do not destroy any pixels...they just cleanly create powerful visual adjustments!

On the new layer that pops up... go to the levels property panel and pull in the black and the white adjustment handles right under the histogram. This will brighten your image and darken it at the same time. This makes your image look like a poor mans true HDR... it makes the blacks, whites and colors POP alot more than regular. This adjustment layer adjustment will affect the whole image equally... this is fine for starters in some cases. BUT...sometimes you may want to be able to artistically apply this enhancement to just parts of the image!

How to Selectively Apply visual effects
If you want to be more of a masterful artist... look at the white mask on that levels adjustment layer. A white mask reveals all of the adjustment... a black mask hides all of the adjustment you just created. So it then becomes possible to SELECTIVELY apply this visual effect to just parts of the image anywhere you want and however strong you want without people being able to tell you are boosting parts of the image. You do this by selecting the levels adjustment layer by clicking on the layer... Click on the Mask to Select It (you will see an outline appear around the mask part of the layer...then... do a Command or Control "I" to Invert the mask from a white mask to a black mask. As soon as you make the mask become black...your HDR looking effect will disappear! NOW, here is the powerful part...get a pure white brush, make it soft, and change its opacity to 6%. (6% makes it so that your brush strokes dont become noticeable). This will allow you to paint on the mask with a white brush. Everywhere you paint on the mask with a white brush...you will get this kind of image HDR enhancement to begin to magically appear... where ever you want... and however strong you want. The more you paint on the black mask with a white brush the stronger the effect will be. If you want to "paint away" the brightening effect...just paint with a black brush... this is like a non destructive erasing brush... which will begin making your brightening disappear.
White brush to paint on the effect...the black brush to erase the effect!!

So if you have a sky that needs darkening...just create a New "Layers" adjustment layer...drag the black slider toward the center of the histogram... make your sky or other part of the image as dark as you want the new effect to be ( you can over adjust the effect...and then not use all of it... by just painting less with your white brush). You can also "Open Up" shadows and detail in the real dark areas of an image...like the details in your motorcycles and tires... by adjusting the center slider under the histogram. This is a great way to take very dark parts of your original image...and open them up so you can see details in the very blackest parts of your image. You can see that the "Levels adjustment layer" is a very powerful tool to control the darkest parts of your images...and make the hidden details appear again...all under your artistic control.

So now...you can add in any brightening, contrast, HDR, color pop, color change, or enhanced saturation in your colors...and now you can paint this effect "anywhere in the image" so it looks great but is not noticeable. Make the sky double dark by using several darkening layers on top of eachother...make the red motorcycles POP by using the same technique with the Hue/Saturation layer instead of levels. (The HSL adjustment layer, for example, can change colors for you, make your saturation pop, or make the image darker in a different kind of way). You can selectively and artistically increase the saturation of the reds in the motorcycle frame and gas tank only...for example...and paint it in... and then only these parts of the image will POP with beautiful HDR-like enhanced color!! You can "shoot in HDR with your camera" to get even greater HDR obviously... but we are looking here on how to make a "regular flat image" look more HDR-Like... and to selectively POP only certain areas of your images... that you really wished were emphasized.

Your pictures will be darker than usual...exactly where you want it to be... your whites will POP exactly where you want it to happen... and your colors can be extra vibrant... just in certain small areas that YOU the photographer/artist choose!

"Selective Artistic Enhancement" and using "Adjustment Layers with a Black Retouchers Mask"... is what this is technique is sometimes called.

SO... Go POP your images... and amaze us with your exceptional photography... and selective retouch artistry!!!

Ray

Last edited by ray12; 02-03-2017 at 04:51 PM.
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  #7  
Old 02-03-2017, 01:16 PM
Sara86 Sara86 is offline
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Re: Regarding the retouching done on these pics...

I'd say it looks like high local contrast, low broad contrast.

If you go into Adobe Camera Raw and turn the contrast down, Clarity up, you might find you can get quite close to the look. Maybe a touch of bleach bypass too.
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  #8  
Old 02-08-2017, 12:59 AM
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Aladdin Aladdin is offline
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Re: Regarding the retouching done on these pics...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sara86 View Post
I'd say it looks like high local contrast, low broad contrast.

If you go into Adobe Camera Raw and turn the contrast down, Clarity up, you might find you can get quite close to the look. Maybe a touch of bleach bypass too.
You got it, I like people who think and experiment. Thank you, you can accomplish a lot in just ACR

Anyway, while at it, take vibrance down a tad, works well in some situations.
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  #9  
Old 02-08-2017, 08:52 PM
beefhitler beefhitler is offline
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Re: Regarding the retouching done on these pics...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sara86 View Post
I'd say it looks like high local contrast, low broad contrast.

Can this be done with Luminance Masks?
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  #10  
Old 02-08-2017, 09:46 PM
klev klev is offline
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Re: Regarding the retouching done on these pics...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sara86 View Post
I'd say it looks like high local contrast, low broad contrast.

If you go into Adobe Camera Raw and turn the contrast down, Clarity up, you might find you can get quite close to the look. Maybe a touch of bleach bypass too.
I can't see how this would work. The contrast on the subject is actually much lower than the background, and the contrast on the background isn't entirely random or uniform.
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