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Old Feb 27, 2007, 11:40 PM   #1
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Hey everyone.i'm kinda new to the whole photography thing, and something i've kinda been having trouble with is judging photographs. Such as what is or isn't wrong/right about a photograph. I can usually look at something and tell it just isn't right, but i have trouble editing it because i don't really know what is not right about it. waht are some tips as to how to get going in the right direction?
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Old Feb 28, 2007, 9:39 AM   #2
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Surf can post a few of your photos to give you a better answer. Gives straight from the camera and one of your edited shots.

Thank you MLP.
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Old Feb 28, 2007, 10:33 AM   #3
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ok here is something. This is with a simple point and shoot, nothing fancy. I realize editing software can only change whats there, not work miracles. But you have to know what to look for to know what to fix i guess.
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Old Feb 28, 2007, 10:34 AM   #4
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Old Feb 28, 2007, 10:37 AM   #5
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Old Feb 28, 2007, 12:54 PM   #6
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For starters don't use a program to downsize that strips the EXIF. People can be a lot more helpful if they can read the EXIF. If you "save for web" even Photoshop will strip the EXIF. Tell us what program you are using for editing.

I don't see anything wrong with any of those photos. Many people feel that enhancing photos interferes with the scene as it was seen. I tend to mess with them.

There is a function in Photoshop CS and higher and also in Elements I think called Shadow/Highlight. What is does is increase the shadows without blowing the highlights. If you don't have an editor with shadow/highlight you can do pretty much the same thing with a technique called contrast masking. Look up a tutorial for your editor or adapt one – it is pretty simple.

This is the house with shadow/highlight. I wouldn't mess with the color balance. It looks better with some sharpening but the aliasing on the roof is terrible with the tiny image so I didn't do it.




Many shots taken with a P&S benefit from defogging. That is done in USM with a high radius and small amount. I use radius around 100 and amount of 16. I think the first shot looks a little better with some defogging, levels, sharpening and a small amount of shadow/highlight. I lightened the clouds with selective color. It is fine the way you took it though. The aliasing in the gunnels and antennae are a result of the image being so small. It wouldn't happen working with the full image.



The third shot is like the first. I don't think it really needs anything. But if you want a little more sparkle you can try defogging and then messing around in selective color or whatever your editor calls that function. This is really overdone. I wouldn't go so far in increasing the contrast except as a postcard type demo. Never use the contrast control to adjust contrast. Defogging, levels, curves, selective color and such are a much better way. The Contrast control just moves the white and black point the same amount toward or away from each other. You seldom want to do that. Photoshop help says the contrast control is not for advanced editing, and that is an understatement.



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Old Feb 28, 2007, 1:51 PM   #7
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Hello. Although I rarely frequent this forum, in my opinion all water shots should be checked for horizon adjustments.
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Old Feb 28, 2007, 2:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Hello. Although I rarely frequent this forum, in my opinion all water shots should be checked for horizon adjustments.
Good point. And if the camera is in the PTLens database it is good to run the photo through that so you don't get the curved horizon.

PTLens is now $15. My cameras are in the old database so I still use the free version. But if I get a new camera I won't hesitate to pay the $15 as it is the most painless way to correct for lens errors. It looks at the EXIF and adjusts for barrel and pincussion based on the camera and zoom. You can do it for free with PT Tools or even a good recent image editor. But it is nice to just batch the images with PTLens.

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Old Feb 28, 2007, 3:31 PM   #9
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Wow guys. Thanks for all of the input thus far, i appreciate it. As i said, im kinda new to this so some of the things mentioned above are sorta greek to me. First "EXIF," what is this andwhat does it do? What isdefogging? What is USM? Also what do you mean by selective color? As far as editing programs go, i basically just have a variety of shareware (PhotoFiltre, GIMP,basic Picasa stuff)programs. I haven't got to buying anything, but it looks like that will be neccesary. Again i thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge.
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Old Mar 1, 2007, 11:04 AM   #10
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i am soooo bad at horizon-leveling. I don't know what it is... i must have some sort of inner ear balance problem when i'm looking through the viewfinder!

but yeah, keeping the horizon level in a shot is really important, because it's just one of those things that pops into your eye and you can't forget about it till you rotate the picture those 1.8773 degrees to the left (speaking about my own stuff, not yours!).

I think that the main thing i would think about with your shots is the cropping. I think you have some really nice shots that suffer from a lot of dead space. Don't be afraid to get in there and give the excess the boot. keep your photos like a steak you wouldn't want to eat - lean.

Consider this - i simply cropped the photo and did a moire pattern removal to get rid of those JPG artifacts around the details of the trees. I also tried a little filter called "fade correction" in paintshop pro (underrated program, by the way!!!) which seemed to make the colours pop a bit more. What do you think?
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