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ptrjong
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Editing Case Study

Sat Jan 06, 2007 4:52 am

Hi all,

In reply 8 from this thread: Help With A Quality Rej (by LIPH Jan 5 2007 in Aviation Photography),

LIPH argues that airliners net should do more to extend the photo editing skills of us photographers. I don't think that is a.net's job, but it did get me thinking. Perhaps we ourselves could organize 'Editing Case Studies' in a forum thread, especially if a few of the screeners would be willing to participate. All it would take is some discipline and a willingness to have others 'look in your kitchen', as the Dutch say.

As follows:

1. Someone, preferrably a screener, selects a raw photo that has some potential but needs a thorough edit, and makes it accessible for all through the thread. Only the crop of the photo would be predetermined, as it would probably wise to concentrate on colour, lighting and sharpening issues.

2. A deadline of a few days and a maximum number of participants is set (perhaps a dozen) to keep this manageable. Until this deadline or number of participants is reached, all photographers are invited to post their edit of the photo. It's very important that they also post a detailed description of their workflow and how they've put it to work with this photo, with numbers, percentages and/or screenshots. It's not a contest for the best edit - well, in a sense it is, but you must be prepared to reveal exactly how you did it.

3. The comparison of the edits and workflows would be interesting enough in itself, but it would be even better if some of the screeners would be prepared to comment on the edits as if they were screening them.

Does anybody think this is a good idea?

Peter wave 
The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
 
bmibaby737
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RE: Editing Case Study

Sat Jan 06, 2007 5:10 am

I think it sounds like a great idea, however would need some work and no childish comments are posted.
 
Avsfan
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RE: Editing Case Study

Sat Jan 06, 2007 6:59 am

Very good suggestion. I would be up for it.
"Oh I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth...Put out my hand and touched the face of God"
 
oly720man
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RE: Editing Case Study

Sat Jan 06, 2007 7:13 am

Good idea.

I don't claim any expertise in editing so I have to start off with a pretty reasonable shot in the first place and have to be rather selective about what I think about uploading. I also don't have photoshop so the subtleties of that program, discussed variously around here, will be lost to me. (I've got Serif photoplus 10 that claims to be an alternative to ps, and the Gimp that's free anyway.)

An alternative to the "competitive" approach above would be to have a collection of different photos showing the various steps to improving them... sharpening/USM, shadow/highlights, levels, use of layers, masks, etc, with the intermediate stages showing the effect of each until you get to the final product.

For example there could be a photos for sunny, dawn/dusk, cloudy, rainy, snowy, backlit, etc, since lighting is one of the bigger issues.
wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
 
codeshare
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RE: Editing Case Study

Sat Jan 06, 2007 7:22 am

I'm not so sure about that. If the original RAW or NEF file is good then I go ahead and process it. If it's not suitable I don't edit and keep it.

What's more everybody won't get the same results. However, this idea could prove a good guide for everybody and could only give additional tips and tricks for editing the photos.

So.... go ahead with it  Smile

KS/codeshare
How much A is there is Airliners Net ? 0 or nothing ?
 
Stealthz
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RE: Editing Case Study

Sat Jan 06, 2007 7:55 am

Peter,
I agree it is not the role of A.net screeners to train the members in photography or PP skills, something like you suggest has merit.

Having said that perhaps the Masterclass series of threads provided some of this learning experience for members. If these threads were not archived then they could grow and continue as an expanding resource for the community.

An aside, a "Site related" question I asked sometime back that went totally unanswered-....

Quoting StealthZ (Thread starter):
Why is it that Photoforum threads are archived almost as soon as they roll off the first page yet other forum threads stay open for years?

It is not uncommon in forums such as Tech/Ops or Mil/Av to find a thread brought back to life when someone has new information(or just by accident)
There would be many threads in AvPhoto that had useful information that could contribute more to the community with new additions, as I tried recently.
Thought about restarting one but having suffered the wrath of the mods for doing so previously I am reluctant to walk that plank again.

Perhaps it is just a means for this "photo" site to keep those pesky photographers in their place!!

Cheers

Chris
If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!....well that might have changed!!!
 
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acontador
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RE: Editing Case Study

Sat Jan 06, 2007 8:15 am

ANYTHING that can help us all to improve our editing is welcomed, so let's go for it!  bigthumbsup 
Just sit back, relax and have a glass of Merlot...enjoy your life!
 
D L X
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RE: Editing Case Study

Sat Jan 06, 2007 9:44 am

I think it's a good idea. You know, I don't think it has to be a screener-selected photo even. If one has access to the unedited version of any shot that has been accepted, then it should work for this project. We know it's editable to acceptance.
 
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JeffM
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RE: Editing Case Study

Sat Jan 06, 2007 9:49 am

Quoting Acontador (Reply 6):
ANYTHING that can help us all to improve our editing is welcomed, so let's go for it!

You all should be working on your photography skills more, if you did, your editing skills wouldn't be such a big deal.
 
eadster
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RE: Editing Case Study

Sat Jan 06, 2007 9:54 am

yep count me in too...
 
D L X
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RE: Editing Case Study

Sat Jan 06, 2007 10:34 am

Quoting JeffM (Reply 8):
You all should be working on your photography skills more, if you did, your editing skills wouldn't be such a big deal.

While I agree with the sentiment, I've had a good number of shots get rejected the first time and accepted after a re-edit. So, the shot was technically sound in camera, but I did something to screw up the edit. If one's goal is to get a shot uploaded here, he or she needs to be thinking about getting it right in both the camera and on the computer.
 
flyfisher1976
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RE: Editing Case Study

Sat Jan 06, 2007 1:11 pm

Quoting JeffM (Reply 8):
You all should be working on your photography skills more, if you did, your editing skills wouldn't be such a big deal.

I tend to agree with this logic.

A "case study" on editing seems a little over-the-top to me. I for one would rather spend more time outside developing my skills and collecting more interesting shots than studying how to get shots accepted here.
 
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acontador
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RE: Editing Case Study

Sat Jan 06, 2007 10:44 pm

Quoting JeffM (Reply 8):
You all should be working on your photography skills more, if you did, your editing skills wouldn't be such a big deal.

My dear Jeff, I am aiming at not screwing up a sound shot from the camera by bad editing, not to improve a bad shot up to A.net standard. Is that OK for you?
Just sit back, relax and have a glass of Merlot...enjoy your life!
 
viv
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RE: Editing Case Study

Sat Jan 06, 2007 11:21 pm

Quoting Ptrjong (Thread starter):
Does anybody think this is a good idea?

Personally, I do not. But I spend very little time editing - not more than about 2 minute per photo.
Nikon D700, Nikkor 80-400, Fuji X Pro 1, Fujinon 35 f/1.4, Fujinon 18 f/2
 
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ptrjong
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RE: Editing Case Study

Sun Jan 07, 2007 2:36 am

Quoting Flyfisher1976 (Reply 11):
A "case study" on editing seems a little over-the-top to me.

Perhaps the name is over the top, it's not such a big deal. Just a comparison of workflows, with a proof of the pudding.

Quoting JeffM (Reply 8):
You all should be working on your photography skills more, if you did, your editing skills wouldn't be such a big deal.



Quoting Viv (Reply 13):
I spend very little time editing - not more than about 2 minute per photo.

Still, Jeff, you're always advocating the superiority of your sharpening technique. If you're willing to help others (and I know you are), your participation would be particularly interesting. As would be Viv's. If you can do it in two minutes, I'm indeed spending too much time behind the screen, especially in sharpening.

Peter 

Indeed, the aim is not to work with a bad shot. Just one that needs some sharpening, has a colour cast that we could fake into it, and is slightly dark perhaps.

[Edited 2007-01-06 19:00:02]
The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
 
TedTAce
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RE: Editing Case Study

Sun Jan 07, 2007 2:46 am

My Idea (sparked by the guide to rejections thread) is Why not have a section on this site where step by step you are guided through the whole process? From photo 101, to a camera buying guide (with reviews on cameras by photographers here), to shot taking suggestions (good versus bad motives), then talk about the editing process.

I think this would be a way that Johan could give back ammature community kind of like the A/C Data section.
This space intentionally left blank
 
Psych
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RE: Editing Case Study

Sun Jan 07, 2007 2:59 am

Quoting Ptrjong (Reply 14):
Just a comparison of workflows, with a proof of the pudding.

There is nothing wrong with your idea here Peter - don't worry about Jeff. Of course, he is correct that the better the quality of any original, the less you will have to worry about the editing process. But this idea does have merit and it is an interesting topic.

Small editing differences can often make the difference between acceptance and rejection - see this recent thread as a good example.

I would be very happy to do an edit and describe what I do if you feel it would help.

All the best.

Paul
 
Stealthz
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RE: Editing Case Study

Sun Jan 07, 2007 6:01 am

Quoting Ptrjong (Reply 14):
Still, Jeff, you're always advocating the superiority of your sharpening technique. If you're willing to help others (and I know you are)

He certainly is and has done so in the past.. search function is your friend! Using Actions/Masks...My Tutorial With Links! (by JeffM Aug 31 2005 in Aviation Photography)
There is even a whole "Masterclass" thread on the subject- Masterclass: Sharpening (by IL76 Feb 10 2006 in Aviation Photography)

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 15):
Why not have a section on this site where step by step you are guided through the whole process? From photo 101, to a camera buying guide (with reviews on cameras by photographers here), to shot taking suggestions (good versus bad motives), then talk about the editing process.

Ted, with all due respect, and I have to say I respect your desire to learn.
This site is really about being a database of aircraft photographs (OK there may be some debate over the direction Airliners.net is heading but that is for another time & place) not a photographic school. There are many other sites that do those things already and likely much better than A.net ever could.
Photography is photography and aviation photography is not any different, nor despite what some think, any more challenging than any other form(considerably less challenging than most!).
A good example would be www.dpreview.com . There you will find forums on almost all photo related subjects(and camera brands) and some of the most detailed product reviews around. There are many, many more fine sites.

Quoting Acontador (Reply 12):
My dear Jeff, I am aiming at not screwing up a sound shot from the camera by bad editing, not to improve a bad shot up to A.net standard. Is that OK for you?

 checkmark  checkmark 

Cheers
Chris
If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!....well that might have changed!!!
 
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ptrjong
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RE: Editing Case Study

Sun Jan 07, 2007 9:45 am

Quoting StealthZ (Reply 17):

The Masterclass threads were educative, but I will it might be interesting to see how people implement their workflow on a given image.

So, I've decided to go ahead with this using one of my own photos, with a subject people might like to have a go at. It's not an easy edit in that it is dark. Otherwise I believe it to be fairly good, but I've introduced a colour cast. It's also cropped and cleaned.
Small version

You should be able to be download the full 2MB TIFF version from my profile, although the thumbnail doesn't seem to show:


So, the idea is that those interested upload a 1024 px wide edit of this photo into this thread. It's important that you add a detailed description of what you did, so write this while you edit. No deadline is initially being set, but perhaps it will work better if we wait a few days before discussing the edits received (if any   . I'll start myself:

-----------------------------------------------------------------------


Edit in Photoshop CS 8.0
RESIZE
Resized to 1024 px wide in five steps, 300-400 px at a time. This is supposed to reduce jaggies, although I'm personally not convinced of this.
COLOUR
Auto Colour looked pretty good, accepted. Zoomed in on tailfin to examine white colour. Seemed slightly reddish, so cyan/red slide in Color Balance shifted -5.
LIGHTING
Opened Levels. Wide right gap, right slide moved to 210, pressing Alt with slide to see colour loss.
In Curves, changed RGB curve concentrating on dark left hand main gear, grass and blue fuselage.

Still looked dark. In Levels, middle slide moved -20 top open up LH main gear slightly. In Brightness/Contrast, Contrast slide moved -3 to open LH main gear slightly. Blue fuselage colour now looks less convincing but I don't know what to do about that.
SATURATION
In Hue/Saturation, Saturation moved +5.
SMOOTHENING
As photo generally slightly grainy, sky smoothened with Magic Wand tool and Dust & Sratches tool applied at (radius) 2, (threshold) 0.
SHARPENING
And then my complicated sharpening drill:
Sky selection inverted to deselect sky. As background and foreground generally blurry, no sharpening desired, so these also deselected using Polygonal Lasso tool, so only aircraft selected.
1st round: Duplicate layer. Unsharp Mask applied at 200, 0,2, 0. No jaggies detected. Layers flattened.
2nd round: Same as first round.
3rd round: Duplicate layer. Unsharp Mask now applied at 400, 0,2, 0 which is usually too much, but Fade Tool used to reduce this amount. Amount of 40% chosen. Jaggies on dark blue line, small lettering, flaps erased. Layers flattened.
Some parts of aircraft locally sharpened with Unsharp Mask at 250, 0,2, 0, after selecting with Polgyonal Lasso or Magic Wand tool, as follows:
Upper parts of nose section, 2 rounds.
Rest of upper fuselage including cabin windows, 1 round.
Wing slats 1 round
Shiny parts of wing root and landing light, 2 rounds.
Upper parts of #2 engine 3 rounds.
Tailfin except KLM logo, 1 round

Who's next?

Peter 

[Edited 2007-01-07 01:55:29]
The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
 
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JeffM
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RE: Editing Case Study

Sun Jan 07, 2007 3:11 pm

Quoting Ptrjong (Reply 18):
Who's next?

Wow....I can't believe you have to do that much to just one photo. Amazing.
 
NIKV69
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Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 4:27 am

RE: Editing Case Study

Sun Jan 07, 2007 3:27 pm

Quoting JeffM (Reply 8):
You all should be working on your photography skills more, if you did, your editing skills wouldn't be such a big deal.

Have to admit the man is right. I have done that and it's amazing how a good capture makes PS a lot easier to use.

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 15):
My Idea (sparked by the guide to rejections thread) is Why not have a section on this site where step by step you are guided through the whole process? From photo 101, to a camera buying guide (with reviews on cameras by photographers here), to shot taking suggestions (good versus bad motives), then talk about the editing process.

I think this would be a way that Johan could give back ammature community kind of like the A/C Data section

Good idea Ted but all of this can be accomplished by spending time in this forum and talking to fellow photogs. Shooting with them too. Not to mention getting out there by yourself and shooting away and experimenting. Still my favorite thing to do.
I am the Googlizer!!!
 
IL76
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RE: Editing Case Study

Sun Jan 07, 2007 5:29 pm

Peter,

Assuming that this is your final edit, I think that would not get accepted here. First of all, it suffers from heathaze (I can't see the original though, I only see a red cross) and the overall look is dirty/smudgy (I'm not talking about dust). It just doesn't look clean, I see no sharp lines and to compensate it's a bit oversharpened.

An example from me:


In the RAW converter:
- Slightly change white balance, to make it a bit warmer, it was very late afternoon low sunlight.
- Sharpness to 0
- Slightly increased saturation (+10)

In PS:
- Rotate 0.2 CW
- crop
- levels, adjust the blacks and the whites
- Fred Miranda Canon 10D CS Pro II sharpening sequence
- Resize to 1024x683
- 2 passes of USM 200, 0.2, 0, with rubbing out of jaggies and not selecting the sky & background. Those Star Alliance letters are always a nasty source for jaggies.
- Clone out dustspot
- save (to +/- 400Kb).



It actually looks a bit better than the version I already have on A.net. 2 years down the road editing has changed a bit it seems.  

Ed

Edit for making the link work.

[Edited 2007-01-07 09:32:03]
 
OD720
Posts: 1856
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RE: Editing Case Study

Sun Jan 07, 2007 6:37 pm

I follow similar workflow as Eduard shows here. Since I don't shoot in RAW, I skip that part.

My first step is to view the photo in full 100% size and go through every little detail of the photo to see if it's in focus anf doesn't suffer from blur.

If that's okay and is properly illuminated (not dark, nor overexposed), it goes to Photoshop.

As said, the same sequence as Eduard has shown: rotate-crop-levels-resize-sharpen and save.

I guess, I haven't been getting the sharpening part right lately. I had almost all of my photos rejected for either soft or overshapened. This happened after I upgraded my LCD from a 15" to a 17". I can't tell if that's the reason as discussed in another thread.

I don't know how "rubbing out of jaggies and not selecting the sky & background" are done.
 
viv
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RE: Editing Case Study

Sun Jan 07, 2007 7:00 pm

Quoting OD720 (Reply 22):
I don't know how "rubbing out of jaggies and not selecting the sky & background" are done.

For "rubbing out the jaggies", see Jeff's excellent tutorial.

For "not selecting the sky and background", proceed as follows:

(a) if the shot is of an aircraft with a background of blue sky (i.e. no clouds, trees, or other objects), click on the sky with the Magic Wand tool. It may take a couple of clicks to get the entire sky selected. Then, right-click and Select Inverse.

(b) If the aircraft is against a cluttered background, draw around the aircraft using the Magnetic Lasso tool. Do NOT Select Inverse.
Nikon D700, Nikkor 80-400, Fuji X Pro 1, Fujinon 35 f/1.4, Fujinon 18 f/2
 
viv
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RE: Editing Case Study

Sun Jan 07, 2007 8:53 pm

Don't know if it will help anyone, but the editing process on this one (using Photoshop CS) was:

Crop-Equalize-Find dust spot-Undo Equalize-Clone out dust spot-resize-select sky using Magic Wand-Select Inverse-sharpen (2 passes of USM 0/0.2/500).


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Vivion Mulcahy


[Edited 2007-01-07 12:54:33]

[Edited 2007-01-07 12:56:37]
Nikon D700, Nikkor 80-400, Fuji X Pro 1, Fujinon 35 f/1.4, Fujinon 18 f/2
 
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ptrjong
Topic Author
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RE: Editing Case Study

Sun Jan 07, 2007 10:03 pm

Quoting IL76 (Reply 21):
it suffers from heathaze

Thanks Ed, that's right. I don't know why I often need somebody else to see such things.

So - even though acceptance is not the goal - let's forget about this one. If somebody still wants to do this, please post a more suitable photo in a new thread.

Quoting Viv (Reply 24):
Don't know if it will help anyone, but the editing process on this one (using Photoshop CS) was:

Crop-Equalize-Find dust spot-Undo Equalize-Clone out dust spot-resize-select sky using Magic Wand-Select Inverse-sharpen (2 passes of USM 0/0.2/500).

Actually yes, Viv, that is helpful in that it is a shining example. I guess Jeff and you are right - I should either improve my photography or be more picky in what I upload.

Case closed as far as I'm concerned. Thanks.

Peter Smile
The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
 
TedTAce
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RE: Editing Case Study

Sun Jan 07, 2007 10:42 pm

Quoting IL76 (Reply 21):
An example from me:

 Wow!  Wow!  Wow!  Wow!
See this is another example of something that I am disillusioned by. The fact that when you look at raw shots, they almost all look like crap @ full resolution. Thanks for a VERY vivid example of how important post production is..
This space intentionally left blank
 
NIKV69
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RE: Editing Case Study

Sun Jan 07, 2007 11:53 pm

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 26):
See this is another example of something that I am disillusioned by. The fact that when you look at raw shots, they almost all look like crap @ full resolution. Thanks for a VERY vivid example of how important post production is..

I don't think it's a matter of the raw capture looking like crap. You are used to looking at so many high quality finished pics in the DB here that you look at a raw capture st8 out of the camera and say wtf? Also remember that Ed's pic was taken in low light and he shot a fuselage that was tough with jaggies.

On the other end of the spectrum I recently shot this and had little to almost nothing to do in PS since this fuselage is so forgiving. Granted it is only a 767 and not as exciting a motiv as Ed's but I wanted to give the viewers as close a view to Maxjet's Color Scheme while seeing the regi etc.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Nicholas A Vollaro



In Adobe Raw I only adjusted the exposure slightly and shadows very little. Then I opened in PS, cropped it, re-sized it to 1200. Then used the healing brush to get rid of the dust spots. I then chose levels which also was a very slight adjustment. Then I increased the hue/saturation to 10 for a little boost in color. Then selected the aircraft only and sharpened using one pass of USM at 350% 0.2 and then another at 50% 0.3. I was very pleased with the result.

Also remeber Ted that every pic is different and will need less or more PS considering. I have learned that if get that sun in the right spot, not too high and not too low and nail the exposure the rest is a breeze. While you are starting out keep it simple and then move on to things like Ed's late afternoon shot. Which you will find is the best light. (Great shot Ed BTW)

Come on Ted get that D80 out there and let's see that Nikon kick some butt!

Your spending a lot of time here your non-av buddies are going to get jealous   

[Edited 2007-01-07 16:05:55]
I am the Googlizer!!!
 
TedTAce
Posts: 9098
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2005 12:31 am

RE: Editing Case Study

Mon Jan 08, 2007 12:16 am

Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 27):
Your spending a lot of time here your non-av buddies are going to get jealous ��

As long as the whiners don't rag me too hard for being nice to you here, it's all good  Wink
This space intentionally left blank
 
IL76
Posts: 2238
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RE: Editing Case Study

Mon Jan 08, 2007 1:07 am

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 26):

See this is another example of something that I am disillusioned by. The fact that when you look at raw shots, they almost all look like crap @ full resolution. Thanks for a VERY vivid example of how important post production is..

Ehm... Could you elaborate 'crap'? I am actually very happy with this RAW image, as it needs very little post processing.  Smile

Ed
 
NIKV69
Posts: 13378
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 4:27 am

RE: Editing Case Study

Mon Jan 08, 2007 1:28 am

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 28):
As long as the whiners don't rag me too hard for being nice to you here, it's all good

Ted for Pete's sake, you have a state of the art piece of camera equip in your hand. Lose whiners, get up from your desk, get in your car and drive to the airport, get the sun behind you and start pressing that shutter and let's see some work!

Quoting IL76 (Reply 29):
Ehm... Could you elaborate 'crap'? I am actually very happy with this RAW image, as it needs very little post processing.

 biggrin  Like I said earlier you see all these shots in the DB and you think that an NEF is supposed to look like that. Ted will find out once he gets that first acceptance he will be hooked. He may evern stop posting on whiners!  faint 
I am the Googlizer!!!
 
javibi
Posts: 1295
Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2004 5:55 pm

RE: Editing Case Study

Mon Jan 08, 2007 4:14 am

Quoting IL76 (Reply 29):
Could you elaborate 'crap'?

LOL

Quoting JeffM (Reply 19):
Wow....I can't believe you have to do that much to just one photo. Amazing.

Ditto.

I follow a workflow quite similar to Ed's for most of my shots, but I get plenty of rejections, so...

Cheers

j
 
D L X
Posts: 12669
Joined: Thu May 27, 1999 3:30 am

RE: Editing Case Study

Mon Jan 08, 2007 4:26 am

Quoting JeffM (Reply 19):
Wow....I can't believe you have to do that much to just one photo. Amazing.

Can you show us an example of what you do?

I'd love to shorten my workflow. (although, right now I have an action that does most of it.)

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