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Old Feb 6, 2010, 9:47 AM   #1
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Default Trying new software

I'm trying a new plug-in for Photoshop and was pretty pleased with the way this one came out. I'd be interested in what others think of it - does it look over or under processed? I sometimes can't tell as my monitor will make things look sharp when they aren't quite as sharp on other monitors.

The original is underexposed, and I should have shot with with f8 instead of f5.6 - the dof isn't quite big enough as the stamens are just a hair out of focus. But I thought the program brightened the flower nicely (using photoshop seemed to clip detail in the closest petal, which this program didn't) and sharpened it without going over-board (at least it looks pretty good on this monitor, even in daylight).

What do others think of this picture, just the way it is? I'll post the original if others are interested, but I wanted people to judge this one on it's own merits as a picture, without seeing what I started with.



A link to a larger version of it: http://mtngal.zenfolio.com/img/v7/p287557352.jpg .
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Old Feb 6, 2010, 11:33 AM   #2
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Sheesh! I think it's gorgeous. What is the name of this plugin? What does it actually do?

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Old Feb 6, 2010, 1:11 PM   #3
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This one looks amazing Harriet!! Can you tell me what this plugin's called?
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Old Feb 6, 2010, 2:15 PM   #4
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The plug-in is Topaz Lab's Detail. It is supposed to be for sharpening details, but it also has some tone and color saturation adjustments. Some of the pre-sets are way over-the-top (probably on purpose as that look can be used effectively), but it has a bunch of sliders where you can control things yourself. I boosted the detail (sharpened) and then adjusted brightness and contrast, so that the black background stayed black while the flower became lighter. The adjustments I made aren't huge ones - but I wasn't able to get it the same using my usual methods in CS4, and it only took a couple of minutes of playing with sliders to get what I wanted.

Here's the original, to give you an idea of what changes I made. I used CS4 to clone out the bits of spider web that caught the sunlight, the plug-in doesn't do anything like that.

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Old Feb 6, 2010, 2:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtngal View Post
The plug-in is Topaz Lab's Detail. It is supposed to be for sharpening details, but it also has some tone and color saturation adjustments. Some of the pre-sets are way over-the-top (probably on purpose as that look can be used effectively), but it has a bunch of sliders where you can control things yourself. I boosted the detail (sharpened) and then adjusted brightness and contrast, so that the black background stayed black while the flower became lighter. The adjustments I made aren't huge ones - but I wasn't able to get it the same using my usual methods in CS4, and it only took a couple of minutes of playing with sliders to get what I wanted.

Here's the original, to give you an idea of what changes I made. I used CS4 to clone out the bits of spider web that caught the sunlight, the plug-in doesn't do anything like that.
Actually I played around with saturation, unsharp mask, and and levels, and got similar results. Bad Mountain Girl, bad Mountain Girl...

I ain't buying the plug-in. On the other hand, the image is worth buying!!!

Dave
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Old Feb 6, 2010, 2:51 PM   #6
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i think it looks great mtngal.

the processing does look good. and the picture itself is quite lovely. i like the black background and the lighting looks good. i like the angle of the flower, quite nice!

i have played around with various Topaz products and they are all quite good, their denoise program is quite good.
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Old Feb 6, 2010, 4:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtngal View Post

Here's the original, to give you an idea of what changes I made. I used CS4 to clone out the bits of spider web that caught the sunlight, the plug-in doesn't do anything like that.

Hi,

First off, your image, after using Topaz is simply beautiful. If you hadn't attached a link to the larger image, I wouldn't have seen the ever so little blur in the stamens.

Since you use CS4, have you ever tried using Adobe's ACR5.6 RAWplug-in?

You don't have to shoot in RAW to take advantage of it, as it works quite well with jpeg images. I find myself using it do most of my pp work and just use PSE8 for cropping and printing..

I find the clarity and vibrance sliders do the bulk of the sharpening in my images without adding noise.

And, oh yes, it's free.

Zig
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Old Feb 6, 2010, 4:18 PM   #8
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The shadows from the stamen on the left side petals is a nice touch. Good lighting.
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Old Feb 6, 2010, 4:50 PM   #9
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Thanks - glad to know that others like this picture, too. I was quite pleased with how it came out, especially since this was a quick snapshot taken on a 5 minute walk around my office building at lunch. There are lots of lilies planted around the buildings where I work, so I can usually find something blooming and takes lots of flower pictures.

Zig - I use Lightroom with CS4 and usually shoot raw, so I'm familiar with ACR's controls. I sometimes find myself getting a bit frustrated trying to get enough sharpening without getting halos, which is why I decided to try this program. I already use their deNoise program - I like it much better than Noise Ninja (and I just discovered their little free program that allows you to use their programs as plug-ins/external editors with LR, very cool!). I may end up downloading the trial version of their other plug-ins - when I looked at them before (while researching noise reduction software) I thought the samples created a popular look that I'm personally not crazy about, but now I'm thinking that it might be worth at least taking a look at the others. If they allow you as much control as Detail does, I might have to consider the whole suite instead of just adding Detail to deNoise.
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Old Feb 6, 2010, 7:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtngal View Post
I'm trying a new plug-in for Photoshop...

With all due respect, can you tell the difference between your Topaz version and my "five minutes in photoshop" version?



Well, maybe there is a tiny difference, caused mostly by translating for the Web...


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