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Old Dec 5, 2005, 6:19 PM   #31
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Caelum, no need to be sorry everyones view is valid, and eveyone is entitled to their opinion!

In your case you prefer subtlety,
Maybe I've gone over to the dark side, I haven't taken an image for personal reasons in months.
And unfortunately due to time constraints I rarely get to vist Steves anymore, kind of miss that.

I applied only the following steps to the image.

crop
defog
basic_portrait_action_set
oval vignett with 75pixel feather
frame stepup

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I'm really sorry to say thisPeterP but while I find the original charming I find your touched up version a little disturbing. I think the trick to touching up is subtlety. Myfeeling is thatthe natural humans faces have been turned into plastic masks.
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Old Dec 5, 2005, 10:10 PM   #32
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I didn't mean to imply I actually know anything about touching up; I should have just left it a personal impression. Glad to see no hard feelings.
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Old Dec 5, 2005, 10:15 PM   #33
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You've mentioned "selecting the edges" several times how. How do you do that? NI still removes a little sharpeness, but it has a sharpening setting which puts it right back in (and some times produces an even sharper image afterwards.) So that is what I do. But masking out the edges sounds like an interesting technique.
I like this little freeware plug-in because it allows more control over the selection: http://photoshop.pluginsworld.com/pl...amp;plugin=576 It is the first one. Read the PDF or you will be looking for it in filters. You have to inverse the selection to apply noise reduction.

It also does a better job sharpening edges IMO – you wouldn't inverse the selection of course.

Find an image like my first one with something dark in the background. Apply your normal noise reduction and then bring up the background with Shadow/Highlight. Or a selection with levels or curves if you prefer. I would be surprised to find a noise reduction level sufficient for the unmodified image would take the noise from the dark areas. And the amount necessary for the dark areas would degrade the image if applied to the full image.

Does NI sharpening do a better job than unsharp mask? Grain Surgery doesn't and I don't use it. My favorite sharpener unfortunately isn't a plug-in. Dr Mitchel's sharpening toolkit does a nice job, but there is a learning curve: http://www.thelightsrightstudio.com/photoshop-tools.htm His stuff comes with good PDF instructions. There are two sharpening toolkits and the professional is script compared to actions in the newest one. He posts here as gmitchel.

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Old Dec 5, 2005, 10:15 PM   #34
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Multiple post - sorry.
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Old Dec 5, 2005, 10:15 PM   #35
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Not worth saying twice, much less 3 times- was getting a "page cannot be displayed" message when I hit the Send button.
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Old Dec 6, 2005, 12:30 AM   #36
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:crazy::-?:? :G
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Old Dec 6, 2005, 7:59 AM   #37
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http://www.thelightsrightstudio.com/photoshop-tools.htm

Good Link, slipe! There's some really useful stuff there. Thanks!


PS Forum Mods: I'm also getting the 'page not displayed' error when sending a reply.
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Old Dec 6, 2005, 6:07 PM   #38
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Thanks for that link. I know what I'm going to be doing this evening. Digging through those links!

The sharpening in NI isn't a replacement for USM or Smart Sharpen. But I find that if I do it and noise reduction at the same time the image is almost always better. A touch sharper than before an less noise. It works well so often that it's on in my default noise reduction settings. It seems to bring out the touch of detail that can be lost when I do noise reduction.

I've never tried turning off the noise reduction and only applying the sharpening it provides.

Eric
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Old Dec 6, 2005, 9:53 PM   #39
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Slipe, interesting links.

I got the selection filter and it looks very interesting, but isn't working too well on my bird images. It missed hole sections of the feather detail even when I have it select fine detail. I'll play with it some more, though.

There looks to be loads of stuff on the lights right page. I noticed there are two sharpening packages there ("Sharpening Toolkit" and "Professional Sharpening Toolkit"). Have you tried both? I'm going to at least download both and take a peek. But the "Professional" has a warning about using lots of memory and time. My system isn't slow, but by modern standards it isn't great (Athlon XP 2000+ 1G ram.) That is the bare minimum RAM they suggest for a 20D file. So things don't look good for that action set.

Eric
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