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Old Apr 7, 2008, 1:42 PM   #601
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In the protester photo (posted a few pages back) i flipped the image (mode) into grayscale (photoshop) - I'd say this retains detail (less noise) better than ~manually desaturating.

In a situation where i've taken a large amount of shots (such as of the moon) of the same thing. Sometimes making a copy of the photos & converting them to grayscale can make it easier to determine which are the cleanest.

When colors are shot grayscale can save a picture. In fact your colors can be completely out of whack & sometimes converting it over to gray is a bit surprising.

Sometimes saturating colors or tonemapping/HDR pays off a bit in more interesting detail prior to converting to grayscale (if that's the plan)

If grayscale isn't pulling the ~old 'effect' that you're looking for, then deal with that after being converted, when you adjust an image (color) too many times noise starts becoming obvious. Keep the amount of adjustments (steps) to as little as possible to pull off what you're looking for.

Although i've not had any motivation to pull off an 'old' more 'true' b&w looking photo i'd imagine that after converting to grayscale just essentially darkening the shadows would be a good start.

---------------

A method i've used to age photos is laying a grayscale version ontop of the original color version with about a ~50% blend. (layering in photoshop)

This dulls down the colors & almost gives it a late 60's to 70's 'look' to it. It also does a couple other things that may make this method more preferable than others.



There's a lot to be said about adjusting images individually & then layering them (back) together.

Part of what plays the decision on whether to go b&w, ~gray or aged color is the subject of the photograph. Pictures of boats, ~general machinery, cabins, are good candidates. Things that are 'modern' not so much.

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Old Apr 7, 2008, 11:48 PM   #602
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BGL - I like that effect. It really does give your pic a 70's Kodachrome kind of feel.

A few years back I did something similar with pics from our local car show. Only I used a mask to apply the desaturated look to the backgrounds while leaving the vehicle itself at full detail. The result gave the car spectacular POP out of the image. Trick was to not change the background so much that it became noticeable/distracting.

I've spent several hours today researching cameras, trying to find something that gives me what the S700 would. The new S1000fd is a nice unit, but loses the zoom during movie mode that I like. Although it's panoramic stitching function is cool. Looked at an Olympus 550UZ. Wicked zoom, but uses xD cards only, which I don't own (extra cost), and gets poor reviews for speed. Plus the movie mode leaves something to be desired to me. 15 second limit at max resolution? COME ON!!

So tonight I took my wife to Wal-Mart, where they have an s700 on display. Let her look at it, showed her the zoom and super macro, etc, and have the okay to spend our cash to pay full sticker for it. And according to their website, our local Source by Circuit City store has one in stock, on sale for $199.99 until Sunday. I think I'm going to stop in there tomorrow and buy it. I DO lose the big discount I could have used a couple of weeks ago if I'd have acted faster, but I will also get the camera that offers me everything I'm looking for from the 10x optical to the zoom in movie mode to the available manual settings to the EVF to the GORGEOUS lcd on the back to the use of SD/SD-HC memory cards. (I already have a trio of 2GB cards on hand and have no desire to move to xD.)

Short of something unexpected, by this time tomorrow night I'll be playing with my new s700. Wish me luck!
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Old Apr 8, 2008, 12:53 PM   #603
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Hello to all-

Just thought that I would add a photo from last summer. Because it was taken in San Juan, PR, it will give you a little flavor of the Caribbean.

Sarah Joyce


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Old Apr 8, 2008, 2:31 PM   #604
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Wow. Nice shot!

I GOT MY S700 TODAY!!! I can't wait until work is over in 3 and a half hours to go snap some pictures. :| The clouds cleared out and the sun shone through just after I made my purchase ... I'm sure it's a sign. No matter if that was what was forecast or not. I'll cling to that. LOL :blah:
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Old Apr 8, 2008, 10:52 PM   #605
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Here's one of my first shots with the S700 tonight. I could NOT get the AF to focus on anything but the ice/dirt/rocks behind the 'cicle ... so I had to go manual focus too. Not spectacular ... but not bad since it's been almost 16 years since I've used a camera with manual settings. It's slowly coming back to me.


And here's some post-production in The GIMP using a quick mask, desaturation, and some level adjustment.


In this case, I really like the black and white image over the colour one.

Anyway, gotta play some more ... I'll post a few more shots later.
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Old Apr 8, 2008, 11:06 PM   #606
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Here's another one from tonight's session. The cone came out really sharp.


I love the way the snow is all crystalized right now as it melts. Can't wait 'til the ice starts breaking up on the lake.
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Old Apr 8, 2008, 11:20 PM   #607
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You'll get sick of me eventually. LOL I think this is one of my favourite shots of the night. I caught this goose JUST as it was touching the water on it's way in off the edge of the ice.

In this shot, I desaturated all the colours except yellow, which really pulls out the sunset against the bird.


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Old Apr 8, 2008, 11:37 PM   #608
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Okay, I swear, only one more after this. LOL Here's a shot of some gulls picking at the ice from a fast food drink someone dumped on the street. Original plus the desat+yellow trick ... which I really like tonight. Can you tell?



Just one more to come tonight ... a low light shot of deer on the side of the road taken from the driver's seat of my car.
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Old Apr 9, 2008, 12:02 AM   #609
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Okay, last one for tonight. Here are the settings from the shot - driver's window down, across the road and into the trees at dusk. Not the easiest/best conditions, but what a way to try a higher ISO setting.

Camera Model: FinePix S5700 S700
Date Taken: 2008:04:08 19:57:18
Exposure Time: 1/99 sec.
Aperture Value: 3.60 EV (f/3.5)
ISO Speed Rating: 800
Flash Fired: Flash did not fire, compulsory flash mode.
Metering Mode: Spot
Exposure Program: Manual
Focal Length: 63.3 mm
Software: GIMP 2.4.2

I did a fair bit of tweaking in The GIMP to despeckle and clean the image up, but it came out alright.



Still a bit noisy, but better than I expected!

Three things became apparent to me tonight though.
1) The shots look better on the LCD of the camera than my LCD monitor.
2) I think the digital zoom, while pulling things in close, doesn't improve the end result much/at all/any. I think I'm going to try turning it off next time and see what a simple crop pulls out vs the digitally zoomed shots ... which looked good on-camera, but left me going "meh" on-screen.
3) A tripod is in my future.

Cheers!!
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Old Apr 9, 2008, 1:49 AM   #610
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Instead of digital zoom you may as well recrop in photoshop. Use Genuine Fractal before you do so the quality will be about the same. Digital zoom should only be used as a last resort because the grainy noise is pretty bad. For your first shots you are well on your way to some spectacular stuff ahead. Looking forward to it.
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