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Old Oct 12, 2005, 3:26 AM   #1
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greetings all,

ok, judging from quite a few of the photos we have been seeing lately, i thought a little general advice would be warranted, involving processing your shot.. in today's digital era, it is simply imperitive that we all post-process our shots.. the dynamic range of a digital sensor is nowhere near that of film, therefore we need to account for this, the AA filter in front of the sensor, while necessary to prevent moire, will soften your shots, making unsharp mask and sharpening a must.. and most camera manufacturers leave colors a bit muted on their dslrs, to give you control over your image..

**so a few bottom line things to note**

-buy a copy of photoshop (elements or cs/cs2) or paint shop pro.. both work fine

-do take some time in reading up on it or taking a course or some kind of tutorial on how to use the basic features

- you absolutely need to know
-unsharp mask
-levels
-shadow/highlights
-how to boost contrast/saturation
-resizing
-cropping/changing aspect ratio
-blacknwhite conversions

you will all be much happier with your pictures after learning these few simple things..

cheers and best of luck to everyone

-------------------
dustin

www.hardwickphotos.com



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Old Oct 12, 2005, 9:50 AM   #2
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Thanks for the advice. I think newbies (and I'm just a tiny step or two beyond that stage) often are so awed by what digital cameras can do that we expect photos to be perfect right out of the camera. And to be honest, a lot of them are pretty good right off the bat. The auto, program and scene modes are usually so well-programmed that it's tough for newbies to recognize what needs to be tweaked. That knowledge only comes with lots of experience, study and feedback from forums like those available here.

I think another thing many folks don't realize is how much post-processing work the great film photographers do in their darkrooms. Ansel Adams's shots never came out his camera exactly as they look in the posters. Our computers are the digital equivalent of the darkroom. We have to get used to the idea that using software as part of our "developing" or photo-finishing process is not "cheating," it is simply using the tools that are appropriate for our photographic format.
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Old Oct 12, 2005, 9:44 PM   #3
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just wanted to thank dustin and everyone who has given me advice as a newbie to digital...and also add, for those using photoshop the scott kelby books are extremely helpful in developing a workflow and staying organized, as well as explaining all you need to know in the "photo-finishing" department.
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Old Oct 12, 2005, 11:23 PM   #4
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Me too, thanks to Dustin, LadyhawkVA, Julies517 and many more kind hearts on this forum who are really helping a newbie like me. Indeed I am overwhelmed by wealth of knowledge on this forum. Notwithstanding the breadth, depth and width of photography I am convinced I am better off today than when I began a couple of month ago.

Question: I don't know whether there are differences in computer darkroom software. I do not use photoshop, I have photostudio shipped with CanonD 350D. Are there any major differences in these products? In general do theycontain the basics that Dustin has mentioned above?

Dustin's comments are important. When I started posting, I just posted my photos without any post-processing and as LadyhawkVA points out, feeling a bit that I was "cheating". But I have seen a remarkable difference if i do a bit of retouching: croping, resizing, contrast and colour saturation, etc, etc. Still learning the software but indeed it makes a difference.

All you kind heart, keep that spirit up and great to have you on this forum.

kind regards

Jaki
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Old Oct 13, 2005, 12:26 AM   #5
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While we are in the thanking mode I would like to say thank you too!

Ihave askeda lot of questions here and you all have been great in getting me lined out. It is nice to have a place where I can go to get help from people that have been there before and not someone that is trying to sell me the next great thing.



Thanks Too All
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Old Oct 13, 2005, 4:11 AM   #6
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Just have to agree with Dustin about learning how to use the software to get the best results.

I had Paint Shop Pro for over a year and did little but crop pictures.Then I got a couple of books with tutorials and examples and it makes a huge difference.

Then once you know the basics, forums like thisnot onlyhelp with technique but give ideas and inspiration. I've recently been experimenting with different types of framing after seeing Dustins site.

Dustin, what happened to your one photo a day blog? Too busy helping us I expect!
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Old Oct 13, 2005, 8:50 AM   #7
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malinstreak wrote:
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Dustin, what happened to your one photo a day blog? Too busy helping us I expect!
yea.. realized that was impossible to do w/ grad school.. so now its picture when i can photoblog... haha... afterall, i don't want photography to become a chore.. but still it served its purpose, i am shooting more, just everyday doesnt work with my schedule..
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Old Oct 13, 2005, 2:44 PM   #8
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Well, now I will ask maybe a no-smart question but whatdid you mean when you mentioned "shadows and highlights" exactly.????:?

I use only Photoshop, version 7.
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Old Oct 13, 2005, 3:20 PM   #9
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ZAKD wrote:
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Well, now I will ask maybe a no-smart question but whatdid you mean when you mentioned "shadows and highlights" exactly.????:?

I use only Photoshop, version 7.
zak,

i have never used photoshop 7.. so it may be that the shadows/highlights tool was added in a newer version.. but basically it is an adjustment tool that allows you to lighten the shadows or to darken the highlights..

even if you do not have this feature, you can still do these types of things using the "levels" tool though..

---------------
dustin

www.hardwickphotos.com
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Old Oct 13, 2005, 11:03 PM   #10
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Ditto to the above posts from newbies... the advice from the more seasoned photographers is just SO helpful andvery much appreciated!!

I do understand that it must seem tedious at times noting the SAME errors thatmost of us fledgling photographers seem to make at the beginning! ;-) But, let me assure you that it is really helping us to learn!! It's also easier to "get it" when you hear people's personnal stories and advice, rather than trying to dig up the answer to your question in a book or online. (Of course, that said, the books and classes are obviously also vital for growth...I myself can't wait till I manage to find the time & money for a class!! (Guess I just have to stick with my "dummies" book in the meantime!) ;-)

Anyway...keep up with the (sometimes repetative) advice!! (And Dustin, I have to admit, I do learn a lot from your replies to peoples' posts & questions. I like the fact that you are very straightforward and specific on advice to improve, or points to notice.)

I think I can improve quickly and look forward to learning more every day from the forums!

Thanks, -mel-

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