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Old Nov 30, 2012, 11:13 PM   #1
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Default Making the most of what you've got

With all the digital postprocessing tools at our disposal (for a price) we can do some amazing things with a ho-hum shot. Here's an example of a photo I took coming down a very dark passageway into a bright downtown fountain scene. A few years ago I would have tossed it.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 11:16 PM   #2
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Using Adobe Camera Raw I was able to pull a great deal of detail from the shadows. A few tweaks in CS6 and then some further PP'ing in Topaz Adjust resulted in this:
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 11:18 PM   #3
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Then I saw the oval nature of the shot and decided to try an add a vignette effect, again in Topaz Adjust. Sort of pulls your eye into the street scene, right?
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 11:21 PM   #4
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Going in another direction, I applied an effect in Topaz Simplify with this result. Just goes to show what we can now do with our less than stellar photographic results. C&C appreciated.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 11:23 PM   #5
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By the way, this was shot with a 15mm lens on a full frame Canon 5D Mk II...thus the distortion which, in this case, isn't really objectionable.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 9:05 AM   #6
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Hi Walter,
i like the variations and in particular i like the oval look of the shot caused by the 15mm lens. i hope you dont object but i had a little play with it too and added some "denoise" from topaz. and smoothed it a little manually with topaz also.

just a shame the small portion of visible sky holds such little detail. just one cloud would have given you something to work with in topaz or tone mapping maybe.

definately a keeper though mate.

all the best
John
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 1:24 PM   #7
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Walter, John,
The two of you are out to get me.
Very informative showing what can be done to a photo using some software additions. As of now I have Lightroom 4, CS6, Portrait Professional 11 and soon to add Topaz bundle. Guess I shouldn't complain much about the price of software (adding Topaz), as it a lot cheaper than buying high end photo enlargers and lens for the enlarger, plus software takes up a lot less space.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 1:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FITCIP View Post
Hi Walter,
i like the variations and in particular i like the oval look of the shot caused by the 15mm lens. i hope you dont object but i had a little play with it too and added some "denoise" from topaz. and smoothed it a little manually with topaz also.

just a shame the small portion of visible sky holds such little detail. just one cloud would have given you something to work with in topaz or tone mapping maybe.

definately a keeper though mate.

all the best
John
Thanks, John.
Actually, I considered applying DeNoise and some smoothing as well but, to my eye, the result I got doesn't look as flat. I agree on the sky issue, but it was what it was. Maybe I'll go back another time, since its just up the road from my house.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 3:45 PM   #9
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Hi Walter,

Great example of your artistic skills aided by the right software. Modern software has helped to make us more creative and accomplished because it provides us with so many options on how to make that final image work. I use Topaz Adjust and Topaz BW as well as NIK HDR Pro2, in addition to CS5, as part of my workflow.

Regards, Dan
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 11:49 AM   #10
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Concerning the undetailed/colorless sky, these photo programs all have cloud rendering and it's often worth a try to see what happens. I still only use PE2 & used the magic wand to select the sky then render some clouds (takes only a second). The sky color is fully adjustable. You can even attempt a gradient fill.

In this rendition, I probably used a bit too much or too dark blue. (Also it would be better to work from the original.)
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