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Author Topic: Forrest burning  (Read 2115 times)
MikePike
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« on: September 11, 2009, 05:27:10 AM »
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Due to my lack of processing skills the image becomes grainy/overexposed/unclear etc when I try and alter it as a whole.

I think it could become a pretty good shot, but could you suggest what should be changed in PS? My skills are primative, i've only been experimenting with PS for a very short period of time.. It's frustrating me a little..

I would like the island to be clear and prominent, the moon also and the smoke to keep reasonably crisp.. are editing portions of the image only actually possible? Or is this PS'ing to the extreme?

Thanks people, in advance...
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RSL
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« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2009, 10:57:27 AM »
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Mike, There's not a whole lot you can do with it without making it look fake. Here's a quick shot using a couple of selections and layers in Photoshop. It's not much better, and it would take a lot of time to improve it. If you shot the picture in raw you'd have more to work with than I had when I saved your jpeg upload, but even then you haven't many options. Interesting shot, though. The only way really to get the result you say you want is to make the whole thing brighter, then work with the moon and the island on separate layers as I did. Problem is that if you make the smoke brighter you lose most of the picture's impact.

[attachment=16523:Hervey_Bay_Fire.jpg]

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MikePike
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« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2009, 06:15:06 AM »
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Wow, loads of info guys, thanks.
Well RSL i'm trying the layers adjustment for individual sections. On attempting to adjust the curves, i'll digest all that information and give it a go. I do quite like the results of your edits, so i'll see what I can do! Cheers Christian..
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cmi
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« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2009, 08:21:57 AM »
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Mike,

the real "trick" is to layer curves, and to use layer masks.

- With using curves on top of other curves you refine the previous result. For example, if you make a curve very steep or flat you don't have enough precision due to the small window so you hardly achieve the optimum with one curve. So with a second (or more) curve you can often substantially refine your first result, and that often makes the difference. So with this way you can really alter subtle nuances as you wish. I typically start with 2-4 quick curves and then try to squeeze them all down into one more complicated curve, wich I later refine further. At the end its all about progressive refinement. Also if you feel you've overdone it you may take back the opacity of a whole layer. Often I use some curves only with 10 percent or so.

- Layer masks are the more effective the better your inital curves are. So you've done a fabulous adjustment but still it influences one paricular area you don't want it to, thats the point where you work with big brushes to mask your way out. Also you might discover by switching layers on and off that a particular image part looks a bit better without an adjustment. Quick mask on it and be done.

I had some more time with it, refined my curves, converted it to b/w and had some more small changes. I attached a scaled down layered tiff out of photoshop so you can take a look. Just rename the JPG back into tiff once you downloaded it (in Firefox "save target as").

Cheers

Christian
« Last Edit: September 12, 2009, 08:25:31 AM by Christian Miersch » Logged
Pete JF
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« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2009, 11:05:20 AM »
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Here's a shot at looking fake. Fake is ok as long as you lie and tell people this a sunset with a multi truck collison and lots of screaming going on in the distance, a rush hour scene in the islands, a serendipity of unseen juxtaposition. That's what I saw when I looked at your picture

If you Stood under the mountains where Ansel Adams was drinking whiskey, smoking ciggs and taking pictures, you wouldn't see what showed up in his prints back at headquarters cause they were printed in black and white.

:  )




[attachment=16535:Hervey_Bay_Fire1.jpg]
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new_haven
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« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2009, 04:53:07 PM »
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Too much noise, but here's my try.




« Last Edit: September 13, 2009, 12:34:20 PM by new_haven » Logged
jdemott
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« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2009, 07:01:08 PM »
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Quote
are editing portions of the image only actually possible? Or is this PS'ing to the extreme?
Mike, the essential technique you need to master is the creation of a layer mask.  For example, say you want to brighten one area of the image, such as the foreground.  Create a new adjustment layer--you could use Levels, or Curves, or Brightness/Contrast. Move the slider or curve to brighten the whole image until the part you are interested in is sufficiently brighter.  Next click on the small layer mask icon in the layers palette to be sure it is active.  In the menus select Edit > Fill and use black...the entire image will return to the former brightness because the mask is now completely black, indicating that the adjustment you just made is masked.  Now select the brush tool,  make it fairly large with soft edges and an opacity of 50 percent and paint with white.  Begin painting in the area of the image where you want to lighten and you will see the effect is gradually added where you want it.  Adding white in the layer mask means that area of the image is not masked so your adjustment will be applied.  You just have to be sure you are painting black or white into the mask, not the image itself.  Once you understand this use of layer masks, you will find there are various ways to use it--use the gradient tool instead of the paint brush, paint with black to remove an effect etc.

In your photo, one thing I would do is create a duplicate layer and apply a fairly heavy dose of noise reduction to it...then use a layer mask to limit the noise reduction to the area of the smoke, leaving the moon sharp.  I'd also brighten the foreground, including the island, and leave the values for the rest of the image about where they are.

I hope I've understood your question properly and this is the type of info you're seeking.
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John DeMott
MikePike
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« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2009, 08:32:27 PM »
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Quote from: jdemott
Mike, the essential technique you need to master is the creation of a layer mask.  For example, say you want to brighten one area of the image, such as the foreground.  Create a new adjustment layer--you could use Levels, or Curves, or Brightness/Contrast. Move the slider or curve to brighten the whole image until the part you are interested in is sufficiently brighter.  Next click on the small layer mask icon in the layers palette to be sure it is active.  In the menus select Edit > Fill and use black...the entire image will return to the former brightness because the mask is now completely black, indicating that the adjustment you just made is masked.  Now select the brush tool,  make it fairly large with soft edges and an opacity of 50 percent and paint with white.  Begin painting in the area of the image where you want to lighten and you will see the effect is gradually added where you want it.  Adding white in the layer mask means that area of the image is not masked so your adjustment will be applied.  You just have to be sure you are painting black or white into the mask, not the image itself.  Once you understand this use of layer masks, you will find there are various ways to use it--use the gradient tool instead of the paint brush, paint with black to remove an effect etc.

In your photo, one thing I would do is create a duplicate layer and apply a fairly heavy dose of noise reduction to it...then use a layer mask to limit the noise reduction to the area of the smoke, leaving the moon sharp.  I'd also brighten the foreground, including the island, and leave the values for the rest of the image about where they are.

I hope I've understood your question properly and this is the type of info you're seeking.

Yes Jdemott that's perfect instruction. I have understood histograms and see the colour curve adjustments, but your instruction is spot on, the editing of individual sections using masks (and the brush tool) as with blurring a subject etc is, I see all the same principal. I love the smoke in Pete's and New haven's and I like the black and white from previous.
I will endeavour to combine them.

This really has been superb info from you guys and I really appreciate it. Thank you.
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Pete JF
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« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2009, 09:12:19 PM »
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Mike Pike,

One thing..If you've never used layers and masks you might want to try accessing the "Quick mask" feature. It's a good way to get comfortable using basic masking techniques. For a beginner...using layers and masks can get a bit confusing...just saying..when i was a beginner i learned to order my processes and use only selections and Quick mask, when i needed it.

There are tons of things you can accomplish without the use of layers and layer masks. Learn to feather your selections properly and to use "Quick Mask" in order to get started. I did the version of your picture above using no layers/layer masks...just selections with Lasso tool properly feathered for each area and a tiny bit of quick mask (not great, and has flaws that should be fixed, but, a useful exercise  in very basic selections...took less than 5 minutes).

Once you're comfy using Quick mask you'll be much more comfy using the masking system in Layers. Those guys up there are correct..layers and masking is very powerful, much can be done, MUCH....And, for a beginner, perhaps, much to much. It can get confusing if you get all Layer crazy with a bunch of masks and if you don't understand how the ordering affects things.



Quck mask...Make a conventional selection using something like the "Lasso" tool..watch the "ants" form..

Press the Q key and you'll see a bunch of red on the screen, that's your mask..the red stuff. (it's red because there is an old history behind red masks in photography..You can change this color if it moves you to REVOLUTION!)

Hit the "B" key to get the Brush tool > select a feathered/soft edged brush for starters, adjust as required and play with opacity in the tool control center for the Brush tool...set the foreground color to black and you'll paint Red..black=red=mask, nothing will be affected undenrneath red. Set the foreground color to White and you can remove Red. The open areas are the areas that will be affected by your process. RE: the combo of opacity and feathering of the brush will come to you..it takes time to learn by DOING.

When you have finsished painting on your Quick mask Hit Q again and it takes you back to "marching ants"... Excecute the process you wanted the mask for...

Hope that was useful
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MikePike
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« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2009, 10:07:40 PM »
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Well, first shot using layer masks, I have tried to keep it smooth..ish. And rejected black and white for now..
Still digesting the processes with curves upon curves..
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Pete JF
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« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2009, 12:21:20 AM »
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You rule..nice job.
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