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Author Topic: The Making of Pilbara Storm  (Read 11120 times)
dreed
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« on: July 07, 2012, 11:24:31 PM »
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If the same stitched file was imported into LR, how close to the output of PS would LR get?

Are there any tutorials or documents which cover "if you do this with a layer in photoshop then you do it like that in lightroom"?

Update: I realise that some adjustments in photoshop cannot be replicated in lightroom, but some can (obviously) and others... I don't know as there doesn't seem to be a very obvious equivalence when it gets to things light saturation, hue, luminance, etc.
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Farmer
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« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2012, 03:29:32 AM »
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That's a tough one - you might be best contacting Peter and asking :-)

The links provided to the mags that he edits should have ways to contact him.
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dreed
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« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2012, 10:35:25 AM »
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I suppose the question that I'm really asking is "Is it possible to get Peter Eastway or Alan Briot to do a followup to their articles on image editing with Photoshop where they try and produce a picture using only Lightroom that is as close to the Photoshop image as possible?"

... Or does it take someone with the same skill level in Lightroom to do that as they have in Photoshop? (Unless they're both equally proficient with both applications.)

The motivating factor behind this is in the first instance money (needing to buy application instead of two), in the second instance work flow (where all of the image editing, history, etc, is done inside a single application rather than multiple) and finally knowledge, where if I can just use one then I don't need to divide my time spent reading, learning and becoming proficient with both.
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Isaac
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« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2012, 10:54:05 AM »
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What an astonishing scarlet!

It's quite an effort to look away and take in the storm. (No doubt the balance is quite different in a large print rather than a tiny screen image.)
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2012, 02:21:58 PM »
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I have found that when stitching, it is difficult to do much in the way of adjustments in LR or ACR without risk of not being able to get a seamless stitch.  While many of the things can be done in LR, the critical factor is a seamless stitch.  Creating a file similar to the tutorial makes it much easier to accomplish this.

Also while LR can accomplish many similar things, photoshop layer masking is still unequaled in it's ability to control adjustments to very specific regions.  Some images are best tackled with a low contrast tiff file containing all the data then tweaked much like Peter's example.

He is far better skilled than I am at these, and his articles have given me a few insights as to ways to improve my own efforts.  I really enjoy these type of articles that break down a process like this.

For quite some time I moved away from using Photoshop for most images, I have found over the last year i've been going the other direction, nearly every final image ends up in Photoshop for tweaking.  Perhaps easier for me since I only get a few keepers per shoot (hopefully).
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Farmer
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« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2012, 05:38:42 PM »
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Peter's a Photoshop wizard, that's for sure.  Read any of this mags and there are regular articles showing techniques and workflows.

A follow up article sounds like a great idea - I'd suggest emailing Michael and/or Peter, but I suspect Wayne is right that it's going to be far more difficult to achieve due to the inherent complexity of the stitching.  That doesn't make it impossible, though.

It would also be interesting to have an article from Les Walkling, who is a colour guru and all-round nice guy!
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Eastway
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« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2012, 05:57:30 PM »
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In some ways, there's not much difference between Photoshop and Lightroom. I could also add in Aperture, Capture One and Nik Software. And Photoshop Elements which does 80% of the things I need to do. All these programs let you play with the exposure, contrast and colour, and that's essentially what I am using. The challenge is in the degree of control that is offered over where you place the changes.

In Lightroom, I think I could adjust this file (after it had been stitched) in a similar way with its Adjustment Brush - because most of the adjustment areas are made with simple shapes. The main challenge with LR is creating the 'masks' that control where the changes are applied. LR only has a circular brush or an Auto Mask to choose from. While you can do it, it can take quite a lot of time for fiddly work and I'm quicker in Photoshop. Photoshop also has a few tools and adjustments that aren't the same in LR, but essentially both programs can do what is needed.

For changing big areas of sky or foreground, LR (and Capture One) works a treat, but for fine detail or where you have lots of angles (like buildings and individual trees), then PS with its channels, selections and masks is more powerful.

When I am doing a shoot, I travel with a Sony Vaio loaded with PS, LR and Capture One. Shooting with Phase One most of the time, I process my files on the road in Capture One and use its Adjustments Brush to make simple edits so I can get a feeling for where the file is heading. I also use LR in the same way (and yes, I use both programs from time to time as I write about both - and they are both great and also have some unique features, so I need to use both....)

I can also output these quickly processed files and upload to my blog etc. Down small, they look great and little errors are hidden. However, for my art pieces which can be enlarged to a metre or more, I then take the file into Photoshop when back home and do it more carefully - and I can take my time about it. I find thinking time is very important at the end of the image making process...
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dreed
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« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2012, 08:35:23 PM »
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In Lightroom, I think I could adjust this file (after it had been stitched) in a similar way with its Adjustment Brush - because most of the adjustment areas are made with simple shapes. The main challenge with LR is creating the 'masks' that control where the changes are applied. LR only has a circular brush or an Auto Mask to choose from. While you can do it, it can take quite a lot of time for fiddly work and I'm quicker in Photoshop. Photoshop also has a few tools and adjustments that aren't the same in LR, but essentially both programs can do what is needed.

For changing big areas of sky or foreground, LR (and Capture One) works a treat, but for fine detail or where you have lots of angles (like buildings and individual trees), then PS with its channels, selections and masks is more powerful.

I think that answers my question.

Thanks Peter!
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Tony Jay
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« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2012, 10:34:36 PM »
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Peter, thanks for the interesting insight into the process behind the process - so to speak.

Regards

Tony Jay
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kers
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« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2012, 06:41:47 AM »
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hello Peter , thank you very much for this tutorial!

I am using Photoshop a lot, but the blendmodes are rarely used because i just do not know how to deal with them.
For instance i was not aware you can use them as you do on curves.
If you can point me out to a place i can learn even more about these blendmodes and how to use them, i would be grateful !

Pieter Kers
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Pieter Kers
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Eastway
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« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2012, 07:23:58 AM »
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There's a great book by David Biedny, Bert Monroy and Nathan Moody called Photoshop Channel Chops. I had a copy in 1998/1999 but I couldn't really relate to it at that stage. Don't know where I put it! I recently bought a secondhand copy on Amazon and it's amazing how much of it is still relevant. I am told a lot of the 'expert' advice you see written about channels and blend modes includes this book in the bibliography, so depending how keen you are, it could be worth a read.

For a slightly less intensive discussion, I've attached a .pdf from an article I wrote several years ago on layer blend modes in one of my magazines. It should give you a good start. My website (www.betterphotography.com) also has some bits and pieces on it, but so does Luminous Landscape and I'll be surprised if Michael doesn't have some introductory articles on blend modes somewhere on the site.

I'm no technical expert on these things, but I can show you how I use them. The science I will leave to more learned people to explain! In the meantime, I'll see if I can upload the pdf!
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kers
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« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2012, 01:39:07 PM »
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Peter, thanks again…and for your very instructive pdf.
In surge of good books about photoshop i just bought the book...
For me the channels are really the basics of photoshop. So knowing some more about them will surely be of good help.
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Pieter Kers
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RobbieV
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« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2012, 09:51:24 PM »
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Just wanted to echo my thanks in your uploading of the article, and your responses here. My post processing in photoshop involved duplicating the layer, editing it and soft erasing the parts of the photo I don't out from that layer. I wonder if layer adjustments is just one of the many ways one can perform the identical process in photoshop, or if indeed layer adjustment masks are the better way?
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viewfinder
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« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2012, 08:49:09 AM »
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Am I the only one who feels this shot is a little 'overcooked'...??

Obviously with some adept marketing this is a valuable shot,...and I do appreciate that 'nobody lost money by underestimating human taste',...but, would it not have been better to have stopped at 'stage3' or perhaps 4  ..?   As viewers we are bound by our experience and one would not really see an over saturated landscape with a cold sky, so the effect is rather fake to me,...Perhaps it IS just my perspective.....

Of course this is the eternal question about how much 'darkroom work' a shot can take and is as old as photography itself, but I would be most interested in peoples thinking especially that of Peter himself.
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kers
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« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2012, 09:06:15 AM »
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Am I the only one who feels this shot is a little 'overcooked'...??.....

It is just a matter of personal taste and style…For sure the style is more magic-realistic than realistic... For me It leans against the highly processed HDR photographs… I am not a big fan of those myself. Still the techniques can be used in every strength you like. In the case of this tutorial it demonstrates the effects of the photoshop treatment very well..
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Pieter Kers
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Geoff Wittig
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« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2012, 12:18:53 PM »
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Am I the only one who feels this shot is a little 'overcooked'...??

Nope; I completely agree. To my eye 'Pilbara Storm' has gone far past the point of emphasis or interpretation and is akin to one of Peter Lik's neon confections. And I don't mean that as a compliment.

I find that I feel the same way about much of Alain Briot's work. Many of the images are quite striking at first glance, but color saturation and manipulation of contrast is frequently so over the top that one could walk past the original subject in identical light and never recognize it. I suspect Mr. Briot might say "But that's the whole point! That's what makes it art!" I would politely disagree.
There are countless images on Flickr with the same aesthetic: saturation/vibrance slider yanked to the far right, aggressive shadow/highlight moves or HDR applied to create a stunning first impression; neon green foliage or red soil/rocks, crazy dramatic skies....it's like a steady diet of cotton candy or chocolate. Sure, it's great for the first five minutes. But after half a day the stomach ache sets in. And after a week you can't button up your pants anymore.

There's no accounting for taste, and people are absolutely free to do whatever they want in the name of art. But such cloying, sickly sweet interpretations seem to miss the subtlety photography is capable of. This was the opinion of Edward Weston circa 1920, when gauzy, self-consciously 'artistic' pictorialism had taken over photographic art. This kind of self-consciously arty neon color work feels the same to me as pictorialism, and not in a good way.
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David Sutton
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« Reply #16 on: July 10, 2012, 06:00:38 PM »
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Am I the only one who feels this shot is a little 'overcooked'...??


If the image is designed for a 2 metre  print, then you simply can't say by looking at an 18cm version, possibly not colour managed. Though there are always folks who won't let that get in the way.
I would love to see the full sized version of this.
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kers
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« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2012, 06:26:24 AM »
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....There's no accounting for taste, and people are absolutely free to do whatever they want in the name of art. But ......

Like you have all styles and ways to make a painting, it is the same with photographs... there is no but...   fortunately ...
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Pieter Kers
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Isaac
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« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2012, 11:29:14 AM »
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If the image is designed for a 2 metre print, then you simply can't say by looking at an 18cm version, possibly not colour managed.

Yes -- and it's still difficult to get beyond an immediate response to the 18cm version, it's still difficult to reserve judgement and avoid parochial error.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 11:25:29 AM by Isaac » Logged
Eastway
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« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2012, 07:09:21 PM »
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I know my work polarizes people - but at least I am noticed! Personally, unless you have been to the Pilbara it is hard to comment on whether my colours are overcooked. You know the ground is red when you see a magenta tinge underneath the clouds. I used to think this was bad processing (in film days) until I saw it myself. It is way more red than the American west which many readers will be familiar with. So, to my mind the colours are exactly right.

I think the best observation is that layers lets you go as far as you want to. Have a look at a YouTube video I have done http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-R46ZD2Dhnk

I'm sure some of you will think I have gone too far with some of them!
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