Another PP progression thread ... CC please
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Thread: Another PP progression thread ... CC please

  1. #1
    Posting Addict coolmama72's Avatar
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    Default Another PP progression thread ... CC please

    Okay, I'm working on Jack's portrait photo, for the wall in our family room. DH has picked this photo as "the one" that will grace the wall for 3-6 months (probably will do one again at 15 months, as I think I did for the other kids, definitely doing one at 18 months). I'm also posting this over on ILP to see what comments I get there too. Kinda testing the waters, so to speak.


    Bear with me as I walk through the steps here. I confess in advance that I used an action, I just love how it looks. However, I have a new monitor and have tried tweaking the brightness but am not convinced I've got it just right. Calibrating isn't in the budget right now, but I'm going to put some money aside for it after I get back from an upcoming trip. that being said, please tell me if the action made it look really bright. I'll number my steps for ease of comments.

    While I'm looking for comments only on the PPing, here's the details related to camera.
    Exposure: 0.004 sec (1/250)
    Aperture: f/2.5
    Focal Length: 30 mm
    ISO Speed: 400

    I did not sharpen for web, and I apologize for that. I use Picasa for my resizing for web and watermarking, and just forgot to sharpen for web after that. But all other edits were in PSE7.

    1. This is just the RAW file saved to jpg, absolutely nothing done to it.

    IMG_5547-1

    2. This is after I fixed the WB in ACR
    IMG_5547 from raw

    3. then I stretched the canvas so that I could get a proper 8x10 crop and not lose his feet
    IMG_5547 stretched

    4. next I did a levels adjustment layer, just what I always do first when editing
    IMG_5547 stretched levels

    5. then I ran the Coffeshop Perfect Portraits action from Rita, I love this action. but is it too bright?

    IMG_5547 pp

    6. I didn't care for the vignette, so I turned that off.
    IMG_5547 pp no vignette

    7. then I sharpened for print, curious if you see the difference. I resized AFTER I sharpened.

    IMG_5547 pp no vignette sharpened



    And that's it. Part of me wonders if I should just stick with my own edit, keeping the levels and maybe doing an eye pop. It's just hard for me to tell from here if the action makes him too bright. Oh, and yes, he is pretty centered, but as I think I've shared here before, DH prefers the portraits centered. I'll slowly convert him but I don't have enough room in this frame to do differently this go around.

    Okay, thanks!
    Gwen, Mommy to Andrew, Jordan, Natalie & Jack




    My blog - all things family, photography and crafty

  2. #2
    klebanik
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    I think the action makes it way too bright. Also, I didn't care much for the change that Levels made, but that's my opinion. I could be wrong. Ask Kevin...I often am!

    But I love his expression and no, I can't really tell that it was stretched at all! Nice work girl!

  3. #3
    Posting Addict AmberBella's Avatar
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    Yes, much, much too bright. Also, without actually checking the numbers, your initial WB fix looks a tad too cyan to me. Yes, checked the numbers and it is a bit too cyan. After step #3, he's just too bright. You could have used a contrast boost, but the action is far too strong. He isn't badly exposed, a check in levels shows that you just need to move the brights slider to the left so it touches and you've got a nicely exposed image. Move the darks in to the right a touch, and you've got good contrast (though you do lose some of the darks detail in the shirt and other small spots). Select the red channel in levels and move the middle slider to the left ever so slightly and you'll fix the problem with too much cyan. That's it...that's all I'd do.
    Last edited by AmberBella; 07-17-2009 at 05:05 PM.
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    Posting Addict coolmama72's Avatar
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    okay, thanks! I'm not posting this set on ILP after all. Don't want to get blasted for something stupid, like them being too bright. So I can't blame the monitor.

    I have a question though - my PSE has the color options set to "optimize for printing" which means that they're no optimized for computer viewing. Was just reading an ILP thread about that right after I wrote this post (and after I already did my work). Does that mean that I need to redo everything in the other mode to get true feedback? My main goal is a good printed photo ... I wonder how much of a difference that is.

    Amber, I'm gonna give your suggestions a try, thank you. I need to go to the grocery store as soon as DH gets back from his run (he's abandoning me and the kids to play poker tonight, so this might be my only computer time for the next few hours). Hope to accomplish the edit and post it before I go ...
    Gwen, Mommy to Andrew, Jordan, Natalie & Jack




    My blog - all things family, photography and crafty

  5. #5
    Posting Addict coolmama72's Avatar
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    okay, Jack's crying in his crib and DH is back from the run.

    Here's the same image - from levels, I moved the right side to just touching the histogram (which I had done before) and moved the black slider a hair to the right. I moved the red center in levels to 1.03 ... does he seem too red now? Wasn't sure if I should have moved even less than that. I can't see the cyan tone, but I don't have an eye for that either.

    I actually sharpened for web on this ...

    IMG_5547 stretched amber copy
    Gwen, Mommy to Andrew, Jordan, Natalie & Jack




    My blog - all things family, photography and crafty

  6. #6
    Posting Addict AmberBella's Avatar
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    Yeah, he's too red now...I didn't get that result. Hmmm. Did you move the brightness slider of the red channel as well? I didn't, I just moved the middle slider of the red channel to 1.06. Here's my result from that. Slider levels in RGB were 11 1.0 and 229

    here's a side by side so you can see the cyan easier. Your step 2 on the left, and my edit on the right. Then again, I could be wrong here...I don't know what color that background is. Is it blue or a greyish color?
    Last edited by AmberBella; 07-17-2009 at 06:45 PM.
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  7. #7
    Posting Addict coolmama72's Avatar
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    it's crazy, isn't it? did you move the red first then the RGB slider? I moved the RGB first, to match the white point and a tad of the black. then I moved only the middle red slider to 1.03 in that version.

    the background is gray.

    and I totally can see what you mean about the cyan, but it's not overly strong. I do like your edit and I'm annoyed that I can't replicate it. trying again. thanks for spending time on this with me.
    Gwen, Mommy to Andrew, Jordan, Natalie & Jack




    My blog - all things family, photography and crafty

  8. #8
    Posting Addict coolmama72's Avatar
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    okay, I think I might know why mine was different. I did the levels for brightness/contrast on the same layer as the red. I think that for some reason made it more red. so I did the red slider change in a second levels adjustment layer.

    what do you think? actually, looking at it and then scrolling up to yours, yours is more rich. I think I didn't move the black slider on this go around. crap!


    IMG_5547 stretched amber2 copy
    Gwen, Mommy to Andrew, Jordan, Natalie & Jack




    My blog - all things family, photography and crafty

  9. #9
    Posting Addict coolmama72's Avatar
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    I hope I don't get sick of looking at this picture!!!


    okay, black slider fixed ... what do you think of this version? (question is for anyone viewing this thread )


    IMG_5547 stretched amber2


    Amber, thanks for helping me, I'll get this PP thing down yet.
    Gwen, Mommy to Andrew, Jordan, Natalie & Jack




    My blog - all things family, photography and crafty

  10. #10
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    I think the last edit you posted is by far the best you've posted! Way to go! I'm sure I would have totally given up on the photo already! LOL It's a great picture!
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