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Old Jan 25, 2007, 6:44 PM   #1
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Now that I have gotten used to all the NEW functions and buttons, well at least familiar, on my K10D, I have decided to make my settings for natural mode and do MORE photoshop Post Processing to get those AWESOME shots I know the camera does capture and me the photographer occassionally flukes. :lol::lol:

So having said that and I know there are forums for Photoshop, this is more for the adjustments we make specific to OUR Pentax cameras.

In relation to USM, what settings do you use? I know that will vary from shot to shot, but as a starting point or as a "most used" setting.

Also what other adjustments do you make, (i.e. contrast, shadows/highlights, layers)

What are your mosty commonly used adjustments and more importantly commonly used settings.

I have read books and bought magazines where you get the original image on a CD that they used in the maganzine and can replicate the step by step processes they used so as to learn about the settings and so forth.

I know I have tried many variations of USM and seemed to have lost my original settings and lost my way, I hardly do any USM now as a result.

So anyone want to share some of their secrets, as we who have selected to use the natural mode and more PP work flow, would like some tips and tricks. :G:G:G:G I know there must be others out there who are waiting to hear too.



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Old Jan 25, 2007, 7:08 PM   #2
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hey crash. you still in the solomons??
i use different settings. try these as a start
for general sharping 0.2-1.2, 200-350, 0
for a contrast boost 10-40, 60-80, 0
i don't sharpen untill the end.
after you finish make a dupe layer and either change the blending mode over in the layers palatte to soft light or under the ''image'' tab hit ''apply image'' and change the blending mode to soft light. after you've done either of these you may want to lower the opacity of the layer to what you like before flattening.. of course this is after you convert from raw.

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Old Jan 25, 2007, 9:35 PM   #3
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I usually start the sharpening (done at the end also) at .4 and around 80%, then go up or down from there. I read a magazine about using smart sharpen instead of USM, but didn't particularly like it - thought I got too much edge sharpness for my taste. I also have started using the sharper version when resizing - if the picture is sharp that might be all I use.

I always check the levels for everything, but don't use it all the time(depends on how well I did the raw conversion). I used to use this for white balance until I started using raw. Now I just check the right and left sides of the histogram and then move the sliders to where the jagged part starts - sets the bright and dark and usually does a good job adjusting the contrast. Occasionally I'll make additional changes to the midpoint - just depends on the picture and how off I was on the exposure. I've found that I don't like CS2's auto levels setting - think it usually throws the WB off.

I've never been able to figure out how to properly use curves in CS2 - I had no problem with the version of it in PhotoLab or Lightroom, but the extra capabilities in Photoshop throws me for a loop.

P.S. - I saw that you had bought a K10 - what's your first impression (other than "good heavens, look at all those buttons and levers!").
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Old Jan 25, 2007, 10:27 PM   #4
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for the last few years i too have been struggling with curves.
it's magic as far as i'm concerned. do you know of a site that actually helps. it'll have to be good because i've been to most sites.
occasionally it works great for me and then.........

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Old Jan 26, 2007, 4:41 AM   #5
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mtngal wrote:
I've never been able to figure out how to properly use curves in CS2 - I had no problem with the version of it in PhotoLab or Lightroom, but the extra capabilities in Photoshop throws me for a loop.
I adjust the Histogram at both ends to bring such that the pointers are roughly at the start and end of the curve.

I also tend to adjust the mid tones to nominally 0.95 as this tends to enhance the saturation.

Occasionally, I force the black level to darken down the background in some shots.

I use USM sparingly

Shadows/Highlights are useful to bring out detail in the shadows and darken down skies to bring out the cloud detail - much like using a polarising filter - don't overdo it & keep the settings near to the left side
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Old Jan 26, 2007, 4:58 PM   #6
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If you want to get the most out of your camera, definitely shoot in RAW. They are bigger files, but you preserve so much more detail, and you can save all your adjustments without having to save new files, and without losing the data of your original.

What I like to do is bring the image into Adobe Camera RAW and make all the typical adjustments first, the white balance, exposure, contrast, etc... I have a custom setting that undoes all the auto settings and puts it all back to how the camera took it, and then work from there.

Then I go into detail and adjust the sharpness and noise reduction, usually depending on the ISO setting I used. On my K100d, I find that ISOs 200-800 usually look good with a bit less noise reduction than default (7-15) and the default or higher sharpness, depending on the scene. At 1600, I use the default noise reduction and no sharpness. At 3200, I usually need to play around quite a bit. Shots that are underexposed usually need to be treated like higher ISO photos.

If I'm going to do curves adjustments, I tend to do those in ACR as well. The trick in both ACR and within Photoshop is to use anchor points. For example, if you took a photo of a room with a window where you can see out the window pretty clearly but everything inside is dark, you would start with a linear curve, then alt-click (I think it's alt...) on the bright window, usually on a darker area, to anchor that brightness down. Sometimes it helps to create a few points at some brighter spots too. Then, raise the curve of the really dark area and it should brighten the interior without blowing out the window.

I like using the sharpening in ACR, even if I I'm going to use USM as well. At lower settings, it has a nice way of bringing out details that doesn't produce visible edge artifacts.

Once I get the image into Photoshop, it's usually all set to go and I just resize it. When resizing for web, I tend to get the best results by using bicubic sharper. It has a nice way of creating a sharp looking image that doesn't look like it was sharpened. Sometimes it doesn't go far enough though, then I use regular bicubic or smoother and then manually sharpen.
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