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Old Sep 15, 2005, 1:11 AM   #11
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Hi John,

You've executed a very well thought out composite image! I think you have an 'eye' for this type of work. Excellent job!!
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Old Sep 15, 2005, 7:44 AM   #12
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Thanks again for all the comments, it's good to know I'm on the right lines with this.

granthagen wrote:
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Well, since I offered the opinion, I guess i don't have to clarify my position. This is good work, and I think that it is more interesting than the original.
I find myself having to replace blown skies more than I would like, and the real bugger with that is getting rid of selection artifacts in intricate spaces -- like around and between foliage.
Any of you Photoshop wizards have a good method to either avoid such artifacts or a good fix if you've got 'em?
Grant
It's a common problem, all the magazine articles I've read make this sound really easy, but when I copy their techniques it doesn't work for me at all !

The best I've been able to do so far is based on the technique described here http://www.arraich.com/elements/pse_rreal2.htm, (scroll down to the August 3rd update).

The trick is to create a luminosity-based layer mask: past a copy of the image into the mask, then adjust the levels so that the blown out sky is white, and everything you want to keep is black: pixels that are part sky part foliage will be grey, and get partly selected. When you're happy with the mask use it to select the blown out sky, and then delete it (the sky that is), so that whatever layer you have below it shows through. Even so you need to be pretty subtle in your choice of new sky, or it won't work at all.

Here's a before and after example, I think it kind of works, but it's still far from perfect, let me know how you get on.

HTH, John.
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Old Sep 15, 2005, 10:44 AM   #13
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granthagen wrote:
Quote:
I find myself having to replace blown skies more than I would like, and the real bugger with that is getting rid of selection artifacts in intricate spaces -- like around and between foliage.
Any of you Photoshop wizards have a good method to either avoid such artifacts or a good fix if you've got 'em?
Grant
Hi there Grant,

I know blown out skies are a real pain. Do you shoot in RAW? If not, you just might want to try it. Shooting in RAW gives you so many more options than shooting in JPG. When I'm shooting something I think might blowout, I underexpose by 2/3 stops. Sometimes more. Use your histogram as it shows you when you've blown skies or highlights....a very handy tool! Since I'm underexposing to avoid blowouts, I can then open my images in camera RAW in Photoshop and then adjust my exposure if it ended up too dark. Try it, it really works! :idea:
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Old Sep 16, 2005, 12:19 AM   #14
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Hey, John...Thanks for thinking of me!
Unfortunately, the link you posted just gets me a 404 error.
I might be able to do it just from your description and a little guesswork.
We'll see.

StitchBabe!
I've shot RAW a few times, but this last trip was kind of long for the memory-challenged. (Flash memory, not my own wetware.) I didn't shoot any RAW 'cause I don't have a portable method of downloading my memory cards, and even sticking to JPEG I ran dry.
Usually, I underexpose enough so that a grayish sky retains some charactor, but, unless the shot has an unusually smooth transition at the horizon, I still have to select out the sky so that I can lighten the foreground without blowing the sky after the fact. Same problem with weird, bright little artifacts as if I replace the sky entirely.
Using the expand selection and Feather commands after the selection is finalized helps, but thin little branches and foliage always seem to be Federally insured repositories of artifacts.
Grant
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Old Sep 16, 2005, 4:55 AM   #15
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granthagen wrote:
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Hey, John...Thanks for thinking of me!
Unfortunately, the link you posted just gets me a 404 error.
I might be able to do it just from your description and a little guesswork.
We'll see.
Looks like there was an extra "," at the end of the URL for some reason, it should be http://www.arraich.com/elements/pse_rreal2.htm

The only point of the link was to show how to create a layer-mask in photoshop elements, if you already know how to create masks then it won't help.

John.
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