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Old Nov 16, 2006, 9:23 AM   #61
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Thanks a lot, Nicholas

This is now making a lot of sense and suddenly highlights the usefulness fo the info pallette to me.

Best wishes

Glyn
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Old Nov 16, 2006, 10:28 PM   #62
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Hi, Nicholas -

Thank you so much for all the time you have devoted to assisting me. The think the levels fog is starting to clear (I hope ... )

I appreciate your patience. I'll give it another go later this weekend and see if I have learned actually learned anything, or not. Ria
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Old Nov 19, 2006, 10:31 PM   #63
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Hi all ...

I managed to repeat the protrait shoot with my friend Paul today.

I had the advice of both of you in my mind as I set up and got on with it.

There were quite a lot which were working better than the last shoot.

This time I allowed the flashto do as much work as the tungstenand this time used the tungsten no more htna about ten degrees off to the right.

I set the camera with a lot more distance from the background. indeed, i think on som eI took, the background is invisible because all the exposure was rad from Paul who was very close .. about 2 meters. The background was about 4 meters away.

I have done no PP apart from cropping. Tomorrow when I am restedI will get on with a bit of that.

All the best

Glyn
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Old Nov 19, 2006, 10:32 PM   #64
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And here is another one
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Old Nov 20, 2006, 12:55 AM   #65
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Hi, Glyn:

There is much improvement over the previous posts of Paul, IMO. Not only in technical issues such as the lighting and background, but in what to me is more important ... the "feel" of the series is so much more natural and animated. This time, Paul comes across as very relaxed and likeable man.

(Is it just my imagination, or does he seem to actually be enjoying himself?!) Ria
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Old Nov 20, 2006, 1:23 PM   #66
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Hi Ria

Thanks for the feedback

Again I used manual focussing so I could set it and forget it and get minimal shutter lag. I found even then, it is useful to have button pressed half way ... then the picturing and the flash ar instantaneous.

I think the only tech parameters which were changed was a greater distance between Paul and the background, and no second tungsten to half-fill shadows on his right side. Flash was still 2 stops reduced. without flash, then exposure would have needed to have been about 1/3 of a second. With flash, I just set it 1/50th. Tungsten might have just given a bit of warming and modelling. I am going to practice with that setup for a while because it would be nice to get it 'predictable'. I don't always have lots of chances to redo a sitting.

Paul was definitley enjoying himself ... partly because I was going through the tech process with myself .. and with him for a second time ... I was able to get him to forget the camera becauseI was forgetting it myself. It was suddenly 'no big thing'. Also, I was taking shots from more heights and angles .... your comments about his ears remained with me and I was varying angles to see what change it would make. I did do some three quarter views of him .... I'll post one of those a bit later.

On your Renaissance Faire thread you mentined you did some sharpening ... please tell me what you did.

I'll explain my interest ... I have been getting the camera to default to soft sharpening ... When I know more of what I am doing, then I will want to work more with Raw ... so I want to get now to minimal in-camera processing.
Up till now, I have been doing mainly landscapes and urban scenes and Low Light Action Shots. And I am sure I have been over-processing.


Some of the shots of Paul as toimpressed me as tothe good job that R1 can do ... and I want to get out of my over-sharpening habit ASAP.

Your portraits were veryclose in to two of the subjects .... theViking and the boy ... and you achieved clarity without losing reality .... Iam wondering what kind of sharpening you did and how much.


All the best

Glyn
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Old Nov 20, 2006, 11:12 PM   #67
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Hi, Glyn:

Basically, the sharpening is a combo of blur and sharpen filters in PS. I don't use high settings of either; but the borders between the two make enough contrast that what I want sharpened looks sharp without being overdone. Like you, I turn off the in-camera sharpening. If there is any "secret" to my method, I think this is it. That way, I can sharpen a lot more if I want without introducing jaggies. It has worked very well for me. I am used to pin-sharp, highly detailed images because I used medium fomat cameras for many years.

To tell you the truth, the RF pics looked very good without any sharpening at all. So waht I did was pretty minor. I used the Smart Sharpen filter in CS2 with the remove Lens Blur option. I like it better than USM; but then, it could just be that I don't know how to use USM well. Smart Sharpen is a dream come true after using USM for so long. It is easier for me because there is no threshold level to fuss over. (I understand the textbook definition of threshold, but I cannot ever seem to get it to come out right. When I use it, I just seem to loop around in endless circles adjusting the amount, radius, and threshold sliders.)

I have found that I have to sharpen very little if the exposure, light and focus were spot on. The R1 lens is extremely sharp; afterall, and sharpness is not always flattering to every part of an image. I never sharpen an entire portrait; it just depends on what I want to emphasize in that particular face.

Usually I sharpen the eyes just a bit, and mask out the other things I don't want sharpened. I don't know how to tell you how much; I just kinda look at it and move the slider until it looks right, but it is almost always under 42 with a small radius between say, 1.8 and 2.5? I know I could sharpen a lot more and still have it look good, but I usually don't on portraits. On non-portraits, I start at the extreme end, then go down from there until there are no halos. On portraits, I start at the low end and go up.

I used to spend a lot of time selecting what I wanted sharpened, blurred, etc., but lately, I process the whole layer then mask out what I don't want sharp (backgrounds, shadows, etc.). I seem to get smoother edges using a soft brush and masking out than I used to do with selections.

On an adult I have to do a skin blur, too, most of the time. I use Blur/Surface Blur for skin in CS2. I don't have a reason to use that particular filter, really, I just like the way it looks on skin. Then I create a mask so that only the skin is affected.

I am pretty tired at the moment, but I will try to post what I did on each individual RF picture later on, ok? My PS skills are very, very rough - but hopefully it will help some, even if it shows you what NOT to do! Ria
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Old Nov 21, 2006, 2:06 AM   #68
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Hi Ria:

Thankyou ... this is an education. You have helped me pinpoint my 'crisis' concerning sharpening. Apart from childhood days of working with old-style 127 in an ancient Exacta B and 120 in a Russian TLR with basic home-processing of negs and occasional access to darkroom for enlarging, I have been using 35mm and in all events, the processing has been either local chemists or in more recent years, 'specialist' developing houses who were still basically doing 5inch by 7inch prints whose claim to fame being that they were individually exposed in the enlarger rather than being set to generic ball parks.
So .... after my initial introduction to digital photography with the GX8, I am in a new world of sharpness. The R1 ... I am still not quite being able to believe my eyes when I see what it produces.Sharpening is becoming much more a creative choice rather than a remedial necessity so I am well out of my previous leagues and am floundering.

You've set me on a very interesting track whereby 'sharpness' isachieved by the relationship between blur and sharpen.
I will need to learn masks properly. To process the whole image then mask out what is not wanted ... I can feel a different way of thinking with that. I have been using selections when working with brightness/contrast and hue/saturation, I have never thought of doing that with sharpness. This is going to make things very different.

Tomorrow I will try what you say with some of the Paul pictures ... it will be a challenge because I believe that what needs to be done to them needs to be subtle. The incredible sharpness of some of the eyes in your Renaissance Faire pictures was amazing and also it was embedded within the picture rather than bulging off the page. I remember overprocessing a cat a few months ago and next morning looked and 'Ohmigosh what have I done!'.

Best wishes

Glyn


I will work on some of the images of Paul in that way. It will be a challenge, because though I can see some adjustments to make,
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Old Nov 23, 2006, 9:33 PM   #69
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Hi

OK ... this is just one example .... I hopeI have been learning the lesson of 'less is more'

This time, I used masks to give the eyes a bit of brightening and sharpening [smart sharpen], and then a mask to desaturate the teeth .... I left a tiny bit of colour so they were not just totally white. I also gave a very gentle sharpening to the rest of the picture.
I do know that if I had been using the Caplio GX 8, I would have had a lot more work to do. I am beginning to wonder whether I over-brightened the eyes. I will need to examine the manual more effetively, because I attempted to create full adjustment layers and then mask ... as in the above advice, but I could nto work out how to do this, so I remained working with quick mask.

Ria .. Hi. I thought those pictures of the belly dancer were ace. There was action ... not particularly brightly lit, yet there was sharpness as well as sense of motion/vitality. That is something I look forward to capturing one day with my ballroom dancers! And I'm certainly going to note that nice advice about drag/copying the adjustment layer in order to equalize some settings across pictures.

All the best

Glyn

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Old Nov 23, 2006, 9:43 PM   #70
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AWESOME pic! Much improved. Showed it around the family Thanksgiving night table and all agree: Print and frame this one.

Has Paul seen it yet? Ria
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