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Old Dec 26, 2006, 11:05 PM   #1
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I see so many pictures in this catagory that have a great WOW or POP factor to them. They have some great color and almost look 3D. I know a lot of that is just great lighting and Photographers but is there any plugins that you use that I should try? Any Photoshop tricks? I have Elements. Some of the pictures I am refering to are Frank D's and I know I will never get the results he does but would like to get beter than I do now.
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Old Dec 27, 2006, 6:54 AM   #2
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I purchased PhotoShop Elements 5.0 and Premiere 3.0 as a bundle a few months ago. Having NEVER, EVER worked with any photography tools before, I read as much as I could. But, the thing that helped me the most are the online tutorials from Adobe. They have a series of them, some for Elements, and some for CS2. I've taken the "Portrait retouching" and "Using layers" tutorials, and they're great. But, remember, I'm VERY new to this, so your mileage may vary. Anyway, here's the link:

http://www.photoshopelementsuser.com/training_courses/

Before taking these courses, I could crop, remove red eye, remove a chromakey background and replace it with a digital background, and a few other thing (You know, things under "Quick Edit" of Elements). After these classes, I can do SO much more.

I, too, truly admire Frank's pictures. But, I seriously doubt I'll reach his level of expertise, as my time is very limited, and I'm far from the creative type. Heck, I'm still learning the difference between butterfly, loop, and Rembrandtlighting!
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Old Dec 28, 2006, 10:43 AM   #3
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to get the WOW factor from your shots you can increase the sharpness and color saturation in your camera, you will get instant better results as I understand you are not interested in the super creative work but just getting better pics out of your camera.
second and best thing is Photoshop, or Photoshop elements. you can do plenty things but you need to learn some tricks. for instance this shot was worked on with photoshop using some simple retouching techniques



your other VERY GOOD bet is .... Picasa, which I use for most ofmy stuff that I do not have to create artwork out of.

Picasa is a FREE application from google.com.

Simple tasks like red eye removal, crop, saturation, color balance (I make my pictures look warmer most of the time with just 1 slider there) sharpness .. "I am feeling Lucky" feature there works like AutoLevels in photoshop and makes many pictures pop right away.
I use Picasa to store, manage, and tweak my photos. I love it. It is lacking PhotoShop featureset but is good enough for 99% of what most of us need anyways.
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Old Dec 29, 2006, 8:23 AM   #4
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RP33,
Any chance you'd post a picture to this thread that shows an image you aren't happy with? Then tell us what you don't like?

Then we could look at it and make suggestions.
I generally agree with that others said. The things that I always consider doing (I don't always do them, or I back them out after I don't like them) are:
1) Increase contrast.
2) Increase saturation.
3) Fix the greens. I do a lot of outdoor shooting and I find the greens are some times flat, so I enhance them directly.
4) selective sharpening
5) USM contrast adjustment (yes, even after I do regular contrast enhancement.) This is a trick using the UnSharpen Mask sharpening tool in PhotoShop (I don't know if its in elements) using the settings 20,50,0.

And definitely learn about layers, specifically Adjustment Layers (I'm assuming that is what they are called in PS Elements.)

Eric
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Old Dec 29, 2006, 11:16 AM   #5
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to make photos pop in the way i think u mean is quite easy, but u do need to set out and take them in the correct way to start with...the pop or high dynamic range what im thinking u mean is when 2, 3 or 4 pics are taken with different exposure settings and blended together to get the best of everything in a photo, i nearly allways take 2 of an image one with sky exposure and one with ground/land exposure this ensures that sky wont be washed out when they are "blended" in photoshop

photomatix make software specificly for the purpose

Gary
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Old Dec 29, 2006, 3:50 PM   #6
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Here is a small sample. I have given the originals.

They just dont seem to jump out?
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Old Dec 29, 2006, 4:02 PM   #7
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2.00
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Old Dec 29, 2006, 4:09 PM   #8
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3.0

I know these are not the greatst but maybe you can gice me a few hints.

I know #1 is a little blown out.
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Old Dec 29, 2006, 5:16 PM   #9
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here goes - quick and dirty.
photoshoped a little - color shue/aturation, unsharp mask, shadow/highlight, levels

I am by no means a master of photoshop just know a few things one can change to possibly pull out the image somewhat


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Old Dec 29, 2006, 5:18 PM   #10
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