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Old Nov 20, 2006, 10:32 PM   #1
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Hello:

(Feel free to skip the fine print. Hope this isn't too much irrelevant detail, but another forum member asked me to explain what I did so here goes!)

This picture was the second I took and was shot about mid-morning on a cold, clear sunny day, one of the few in which I didn't use the on-camera flash as fill. (I have an external flash but was worried about the weight so didn't bring it with me.)

The light was harsh and bright most of the day, so I used a lot of open shade when possible. After I saw this frame, I turned on the flash and never turned it off after that. Even though I took over 850 shots, I only changed the battery at the very end of the day. That is just amazing ... but probably because I resisted the urge to review every shot on the LCD. In hindsight, that was a mistake because if I had, I would have seen the overexposure and not ruined so many well-composed shots.

I have no idea where the strange color shift came from in the original image. This was one I overexposed +.7. I do so wish I had kept on my histogram view; since I was using the viewfinder to conserve battery; I turned it off. A big mistake!

The first picture is straight from the camera except for using the "Save for Web" feature of CS2.


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Old Nov 20, 2006, 10:43 PM   #2
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#2

1) Levels Adj. Layer - Blending mode on the default (Normal). I usually change the blending mode to Luminosity so that I don't mess up the color - but in this case, I decided to see if it might improve the color cast and it did.

2) Very slight S curve in a Curves Adj. Layer.

3) Made a new Duplicate background layer, named it "Clone." I cloned out some small blemishes, hair ribbons, (I liked them a lot but the color competed with the eyes) and a stray hair.

4) Duplicated background layer, named it "Dodge eyes and undereye circles." I dodged the circles caused by not using fill flash and the whites of the eyes a bit. (I might have overdone it a bit, though?)

5) Saved as jpeg and reduced size. Cropped.

6) Sharpened eyes a little.

7) Saved for Web.

Any and all comments are most welcome, the pickier the better! Ria
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Old Nov 20, 2006, 11:28 PM   #3
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#3 -

Basically same as #2, although I think this one was sharpened overall. I think I should have used a mask on the hair, shadows, etc. - overharpened in those areas??


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Old Nov 21, 2006, 12:17 AM   #4
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Hi Ria:

These pictures are unutterably sweet. Especially the duet.

I promise I will get picky in due course but I am more aware of what I need to learn than of what can be improved in those pictures - Tomorrow I amgoing tofollow those steps you have described. Atep 1, for example ... blending mode to luminosity ... that is a totally new one to me. I am looking forward to trying that.

I might have sharpened the jewels in the little girl's collar to balance the sharpning of her eyes, but I'm having crisis of confidence about my old ways of sharpening.
Your point about maybe masking the hair of the children is close to the area I have been especially concerned with these last few days. I like the overall sharpening, but, imagining the hair being slightly softer gives me a sense of more internal [emotional] depth, which might have highlit their relationship with each other rather than their 'squeaky-clean-ness'. I'm on the edge of my competence trying to put words to link my impressions the links between feelings and visuals here. Softening their hair might have 'blended' them a bit more.

Hey ... in contrast, the pixie girl ... something about her jaggedness against the soft background ... indeed her overall sharpness - I'm not talking about PS, but about her inate boniness and angularity of posture and the sharp raggedness fo her hair ... she did indeed have a pixie-like other worldiness about her which took her away from senses of warmth of relationship and, indeed, reminded me ofanorexics I have worked with ... a kind of bright 'outness' but an element of pulled-back too.
Shame abou the highlght on her arm and shoulder, because, though the pic is saved by the close crop, the original composition had a lot to say which depended on the rest of her body.

All the best

Glyn
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