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Thread: Editing Reflections In Car Panels - How?

  1. #21
    Member Ross M's Avatar
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    Welcome to the world of photographing large, curvy, mirrors, Snooks! As a sporting analogy, I don't play golf, but I'm told that it is very frustrating and yet people keep going back for more. The curves on the ends of body panels catch reflections that are not very noticable in the viewfinder when a lot is going on in real time. Plus, there may be lots of chrome.

    The other posters have covered the options I think, but here are my thoughts.

    Distractions in the background against the shy are easier to clone out than distractions next to the body and reflections are the hardest of all. You can use a narrow depth of filed to minimise the background distraction and help post processing but this will not help with reflections. As you have discovered, A CPL filter does not make a noticeable difference, although they are handy to minimise reflections in glass.

    For the benefit of other members, I was present at this car show too and Snooks had a relatively short stay, based on the need to get to another location before losing the light. Early and late are the best times when the crowds are at a minimum, but the downside is some car owners will leave early. So unfortunately time and patience is the key. Also handy are sunblock, water, food and in my case, some stretching exercises before going. I specifically went to this show to take advantage of the late afternoon light and then later, soft dusk light.

    Now that you know about the impact of reflections, aim to walk around the car and look through the viewfinder at as many angles as practicable. You will have to compromise on composition, incident light, backgrounds and reflections. After that, you will have to wait even longer while the onlookers move on. They will not realise you are waiting for them if they are in the background or at the side and reflected in the body panels. If I spot the "must have" car and I have the time, I will try to return to the same car several times to see if the surroundings situation has improved. I keep scanning the area to try to catch opportunities, subject to the size of the show. With practice, you will be able to spot some potential reflections before looking through the viewfinder, by looking around the area of the chosen car. Reflections are less noticeable on the sunny side of the car than the shaded side. I sometimes use a flash to light up the shaded side, but this doesn't suit every shot, requires some practice to get it right, and complicates colour temperature matching..

    It is painfully hard on one's knees and back, but I like to get down extremely low so that more of the sky is reflected rather than the surroundings. I will admit that my tilt screen helps in these situations, as I don't have to actually lie on the ground, which is not practical at a show. Light poles will still show up, though. Of course, this results in extreme angles that may not be your intention or preference. I am aware that you don't personally like my extreme high angles, or "Dutch angle", for instance, which I use to control surroundings and reflections. Sometime you just want to capture the main features of the car from car waistline height or a little higher.

    In post, one trick I use is only possible in a small number of photos. If another car is reflected and it's colour is not present in the subject car, I reduce the saturation of the reflected car's colour. This can even be done globally, rather than locally, by brush or mask if the photo suits. I may also locally reduce contrast of the reflection with a brush. I also de-saturate chromework and this will reduce distractions in a limited way. These steps are an alternative to cloning and brushing colour, although the techniques can be combined. Cloning and painting is tricky and time consuming to keep it realistic.

    Hope this helps.

  2. #22
    Ausphotography Addict Geoff79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snooks View Post
    Interesting and I had never even thought of that (lol).

    Having seen the amount of reflections, when I looked at starting the editing they just jumped out, I instantly thought that they would be an issue and hence wondered at how to negate them. I didn't wish to spend ages erasing or fixing them.

    I only uploaded a screenshot of the reflections, not the whole image. The whole image is as shown here:

    Attachment 137878

    My initial thoughts were to "cut out" the car and change the whole background.

    What is interesting is that I never thought of what you did, I overlooked it immediately. I do believe there is still better photos to invest my efforts into, , but thank you for the comments Mark.
    Haha, you had me fooled too. I thought your original post was your whole photo. This makes more sense.

    Anyway, what a great post from Ross. Funny all these things I’d never even think about in terms of taking photos of cars. Very interesting read even as a casual observer of the genre here.

  3. #23
    Member Dan05's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ross M View Post
    Welcome to the world of photographing large, curvy, mirrors, Snooks! As a sporting analogy, I don't play golf, but I'm told that it is very frustrating and yet people keep going back for more. The curves on the ends of body panels catch reflections that are not very noticable in the viewfinder when a lot is going on in real time. Plus, there may be lots of chrome.

    The other posters have covered the options I think, but here are my thoughts.

    Distractions in the background against the shy are easier to clone out than distractions next to the body and reflections are the hardest of all. You can use a narrow depth of filed to minimise the background distraction and help post processing but this will not help with reflections. As you have discovered, A CPL filter does not make a noticeable difference, although they are handy to minimise reflections in glass.

    For the benefit of other members, I was present at this car show too and Snooks had a relatively short stay, based on the need to get to another location before losing the light. Early and late are the best times when the crowds are at a minimum, but the downside is some car owners will leave early. So unfortunately time and patience is the key. Also handy are sunblock, water, food and in my case, some stretching exercises before going. I specifically went to this show to take advantage of the late afternoon light and then later, soft dusk light.

    Now that you know about the impact of reflections, aim to walk around the car and look through the viewfinder at as many angles as practicable. You will have to compromise on composition, incident light, backgrounds and reflections. After that, you will have to wait even longer while the onlookers move on. They will not realise you are waiting for them if they are in the background or at the side and reflected in the body panels. If I spot the "must have" car and I have the time, I will try to return to the same car several times to see if the surroundings situation has improved. I keep scanning the area to try to catch opportunities, subject to the size of the show. With practice, you will be able to spot some potential reflections before looking through the viewfinder, by looking around the area of the chosen car. Reflections are less noticeable on the sunny side of the car than the shaded side. I sometimes use a flash to light up the shaded side, but this doesn't suit every shot, requires some practice to get it right, and complicates colour temperature matching..

    It is painfully hard on one's knees and back, but I like to get down extremely low so that more of the sky is reflected rather than the surroundings. I will admit that my tilt screen helps in these situations, as I don't have to actually lie on the ground, which is not practical at a show. Light poles will still show up, though. Of course, this results in extreme angles that may not be your intention or preference. I am aware that you don't personally like my extreme high angles, or "Dutch angle", for instance, which I use to control surroundings and reflections. Sometime you just want to capture the main features of the car from car waistline height or a little higher.

    In post, one trick I use is only possible in a small number of photos. If another car is reflected and it's colour is not present in the subject car, I reduce the saturation of the reflected car's colour. This can even be done globally, rather than locally, by brush or mask if the photo suits. I may also locally reduce contrast of the reflection with a brush. I also de-saturate chromework and this will reduce distractions in a limited way. These steps are an alternative to cloning and brushing colour, although the techniques can be combined. Cloning and painting is tricky and time consuming to keep it realistic.

    Hope this helps.
    I totally agree with this.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  4. #24
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    Some great advice Ross and thank you for sharing it, there is certainly some things that I need to learn and especially about shadows and stuff. I never thought taking a great photo would be that hard but when you think about it, there are so many variables.

    Sorry about misleading anyone regarding the snippet.

    I didn't post the whole image because it would have had to gone into the CC Forum or the Not For CC Forum and I felt given i am after educational answers and advice, this was the most appropriate place. I posted the snippet so as to show the issues and the extent to which they are an issue. I guess i assumed you would all realize it was a screen shot rather than the full image.

    Well I have gained some very helpful advice so it will certainly assist me when i next get to go and shoot some cars

    Thanks
    Last edited by Snooks; 30-11-2018 at 1:10pm.
    I use a Nikon D200 and a Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens . I do most of my editing in Gimp 2.10

    My friends refer to me as "Snooks"

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snooks View Post
    It would be interesting to know how you guys handle editing images of cars and the reflections that often show up in the panels. . . Edit Permission: Edit ok, please provide details
    As Tony (Tannin) has suggested, you’re better off not getting the reflections in the first instance. Use a Polarizing Filter and even when using a CPL, look very carefully through the viewfinder and adjust your Camera Position to get the least amount of and least dominate reflections off the mirror surfaces.


    *


    However the question is about fixing it in Post Production. It will be time consuming. There are a few methods the one I most prefer is Cloning, Air Brushing is another.


    I used Photoshop for the quick and also indeed rough rebuild that I did on the Driver’s side rear side panel. (see below).

    For this type of stuff you need to be working at about 4~10 pixels for each clone. (As mentioned, it very time consuming.)


    There are two basic elements:


    1. Actual Cloning – this is where you are simply replacing like, nearby pixels to cover the reflection or other infiltration.


    2. Rebuilding – this is where you need to create what should be there, for example an hard edge; or other element of the structure or person (for example, if removing reflections from Eye Glasses, you might need to rebuild the Subject’s Eyeball.


    Adding a bit of noise and then reducing noise by specific individual channel may assist and I did this to your image, after adding noise, I reduced the Colour Noise on the Blue Channel.


    Results will vary with your patience and your skill and your experience, moreover the size of the Final Image that you require is an important factor: if you are satisfied with a smaller image, then the time involved will usually be considerably less.


    Below is a sample edit or your photo. It was about ten minutes work: if I were being paid to do it, then, to get to this stage would have taken about one or two hours and would definitely have be considerably more resilient to adverse critique.


    Next below it, is an example of about fourteen hours work, posted as a general example.


    WW






    ***




    Second Image © AJ Group Pty Ltd Aust 1996~2018 WMW 1965~1996



  6. #26
    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    WW. How advanced those (presumably) Europeans are! - They got rid of their tram
    lines and we (in Sydney) are just putting them back in
    CC, Image editing OK.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ross M View Post
    Welcome to the world of photographing large, curvy, mirrors, Snooks! . . . As you have discovered, A CPL filter does not make a noticeable difference, although they are handy to minimise reflections in glass.
    Hello,

    I disagree with the statement underlined and in bold.

    A CPL Filter (or PL) can indeed make a noticeable difference reducing Reflections from a range of surfaces, including glass.

    Understanding correct technique and experience using Polarizing Filters is necessary and some Lighting Scenarios are certainly more convivial than others. Camera Position and Focal Lens choice are both critical elements in maximizing the effect of the Polarizing Filter’s use.

    In all other aspects of your commentary, I concur, and add that IMO it is very good advice.

    WW
    Last edited by William W; 03-12-2018 at 5:16pm. Reason: small typo and added a technical correction

  8. #28
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    Hi William.

    Thanks for putting in the effort and doing what you did. It was interesting to see how people would look at images with that much reflection and whether they consider it viable working on it or not. Until my skills greatly improve, I don't think it is worthwhile.

    I love those buildings and the edits, that is excellent work indeed.

    The prime intention is always to check for odds and ends, things that distract etc, but sadly some are so damned hard to see

    Thanks again mate

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