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Thread: Editing

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    Member chad79's Avatar
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    Editing

    Just a question about editing photos.
    How much is too much when editing.........
    I like to try and keep photos natural looking as i can but sometimes you get carried away and at the end it looks to fake.
    Just wondering if there is any tips on editing.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    hmmm.

    Getting carried away is part of the learning process. When we all first start using some editing software, how many of us tried heaps of the filters out. Watercolour, poster edges, etc etc... ME!

    Saturation, when we first discover that, we boost it up and our photo ends up looking like a colour tv with the colour turned all the way up.

    Is all this bad? NO, its all part of the learning process.

    My tip is do your editing, leave the photo on screen, walk across the room and turn around and look at it from a distance. its amazing what you will notice. Then go back and adjust what you need to.

    My last tip would be, do as little as you need to. Photos don't generally need hours and hours of processing.
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    My tip is do your editing, leave the photo on screen, walk across the room and turn around and look at it from a distance. its amazing what you will notice. Then go back and adjust what you need to.

    Thanks for the great tip Rick. Maybe it could go in 101 Photo Tips.
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    Yep...going over the top is easy to do, and sometimes rich workings in PS suits a certain image, but as you say, sometimes it just spoils it.

    A lot will depend on the type of image and conditions it's taken in ie : photos taken in stark bright sunlight often need a bit more work than many, and trying to compensate for less than perfect exposures with PS tools will sometimes, or often make an image look less than natural.

    The best remedy is get the image right in the first place so minimal processing is needed to look as much like the real scene as you can, right lighting is a main key factor.

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    Some images need over-saturating, and heavy doses of contrast, others don't.

    The one thing most people seem to screw up on is sharpening. Most images I see have very little, if any, sharpening applied which makes them soft and underdone.

    I have all my sharpening workflows saved as actions in CS3 and not one image ever leaves CS3 without being sharpened to soem degree. The easiest and best action is an edge sharpening one which normally makes every image "pop" and look really clean.

    Just remember all digital images need some form of sharpening, how much is up to you.

    The best advice I can give you, is to go down to Dymocks or the like and buy "Photoshop for Dummies". Sounds crappy but you'll never put it down and you'll be a PS genius in no time.
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    Bit like painting a picture, (not that I can) artist say the hardest part is saying "it's finished" It comes with experience. The trick is to have it so the veiwer can not see what has been done and what has not been done.

    Cheers

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    Go the Rabbitohs mudman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chad79 View Post
    Just a question about editing photos.
    How much is too much when editing.........
    I like to try and keep photos natural looking as i can but sometimes you get carried away and at the end it looks to fake.
    Just wondering if there is any tips on editing.
    chad if they look fake you have probably overdone it. unless you are after a special effect or some such
    cc and enjoy

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    I work on the K.I.S.S. principle for 90% of my editing. If you get it right in camera all you should need is perhaps a levels adjustment to boost contrast and an output sharpen.

    For CNX, Ron Reznick recommends a base USM of 45-5-4 for the D50. For the web or printing you would also do an output sharpen (on my D70s I used 70-2-4 most of the time). You can also just use the in-camera sharpening settings (5+ is a good starting point) and then just add an output sharpen in CNX.

    In levels I usually try and push the histogram to the far left and right of the graph as well as boosting the mid-tones. Assuming your image is exposed to the far right of the histogram (for the highlights), try setting the far left slider (shadows) to 10 and the middle slider (mid tones) to 1.1 and look at the difference it makes to the image.

    Also best to shoot RAW if you are going to edit images and just gives you a bit more latitude if your exposure is not spot on.

    Cheers
    Leigh
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    Golden rule is don't shift the middle slider too far to the right or you'll visiby watch your contrast dissapear. After most adjustments of this kind adding +5 to +10 contrast will bring the image back to a suitable level.

    Another great way to boost the shadows is to do a Luminosity based selection (Ctrl+RGB in the channels palette) and then Shift+Ctrl+I to inverse that selection which will leave only the darker pixels selected.

    Then ad a Curves adjustment layer and boost the brightness of the shadows. After that then add your contrast to regain what was lost. This helps reduce any visible noise as well.

    You can also use this method to dull your blown highlights just dont inverse the selection. Just remember if you need to reduce highlights and boost shadows make sure the highlights are done first and the shadows last.

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