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Old Feb 6, 2010, 6:22 PM   #11
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also, when you are viewing something on the web or a computer monitor you can get away with alot more sharpening than for a nice print. so the way it is presented may be a bit heavy-handed for print, but for web could be fine. for the print i think John' suggestion of a halfway would probably work out good.
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Old Feb 6, 2010, 6:37 PM   #12
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John - there's a control to preserve detail in shadows, I just didn't use it for this (didn't look at the shadows as much, was paying more attention to the detail and textures). And I agree that this particular processing settings wouldn't work for prints (and you should have seen the over-the-top look I got using one of the presets - didn't work for this picture at all!). However, much of what I do is for viewing on a monitor, even more than for printing, so I'm always looking for ways of getting something to look good on-line.

I did a couple of other threads under the photo critique that are other pictures I've been playing with today. Three days ago I took the picture above, and all afternoon I've been watching it alternate between snow and rain (and the sun is out now - interesting light), one of the reasons for playing with new software.. The other threads are: a flower picture at http://forums.steves-digicams.com/ph...-software.html and a portrait at http://forums.steves-digicams.com/ph...-software.html . As all of you know, portrait photography isn't my thing (while flowers are), but I thought the program did a nice job of softening things. You can see a couple of different looks you can get with this program.

I'm going to continue playing with the program and see what other looks I can get from it.
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Old Feb 6, 2010, 6:40 PM   #13
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Much as I hate giving a plug to Adobe, I have found that the high-pass sharpening in PS Elements (and CS, of course) gives very nice results. Unless you overdo it, you don't get much in the way of haloes or artifacts. Since it is a separate layer, if you plan on print as well as monitor viewing, you can easily adjust for each.

There is a stand-alone program called Sharp Control, which does away with haloes, while still allowing pretty heavy sharpening. Unfortunately, I don't think it is supported by the author any more, but may still be available as a download. Would be nice to see something like it as a plugin.

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Old Feb 6, 2010, 10:39 PM   #14
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I agree that #1 is sharper. But more than that, i really like your photo! At first I thought you were leaning over, shooting straight down at the guy who I thought was sitting on the ground, leaning against a wal. But something didn't look right. it took me a few moments to realize that he was actually lying on his back with his legs up against the wall. Great photo!
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Old Feb 6, 2010, 11:25 PM   #15
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LOL! That's the story - there was a perfectly good, empty bench right there, and the guy chose to lie down on the cement, putting his feet up. I think it would have been a better/more story-telling shot if I had been able to get the whole bench in the frame, but I didn't have the right lens on the camera (this was taken with the K-7 and DA*200).

Brian - I use high-pass sharpening quite often, but its easy to over-do it. I find it harder to control when there's a lot of texture, instead of clearly defined lines against an otherwise plain background. The nice thing about it is that it doesn't affect contrast at all, which both smart sharpen and USM can, depending on the settings use.

Does anyone have any recommendation about the portrait picture (see link above)? This is by far my weakest area, even more so than sports (which I have practiced a couple of times, though not recently or very often). No one has ventured a comment so I suspect that the picture must be complete rubbish and the processing didn't work at all. If so, let me know that and give me some ideas how to make it work better. I'm really senseless when it comes to people photography.
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Old Feb 7, 2010, 10:59 AM   #16
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I like #1 better as well. The second image shows the visible effects of aggressive noise reduction, a look of everything being smeared and smoothed. The first image has lots of detail, and even with the high contrast, looks much better. I also really like the image, the sense of ambiguity of point of view gives it character.
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Old Feb 7, 2010, 11:28 AM   #17
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The ambiguity of the point of view is interesting - I have another shot that I took that didn't include the bench, maybe I should post that in the photo critique section and see if it gets the same reaction - it doesn't have the bench to anchor it, only the book.
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Old Feb 7, 2010, 12:16 PM   #18
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On first glance, #1 stands out - on looking more critically, it stands out too much - by that I mean the sunny side margin of each leg has a cut-out look, which seems artificial. It is there in #2, but is less obvious. Maybe less contrast in #1 would help lessen that effect.
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