Post Processing Practice

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Ladybugsteph's picture
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Post Processing Practice

Katie had the fantastic idea of one of us offering up a photo to others to play with in post processing. I'll be the first to offer up a photo for plays. Play with it however you would like to, but definitely practice doing a clean edit. It's very important to know how to process images without using actions so you can create your own style. When you're done, post it to this thread and list the steps that you took so others can know how you did it. It's all about learning. Maybe someone did something that you didn't know about, but love the result.

I can't wait to see how everyone interprets this image of my son from October. If you click on the image, it will bring you to Flickr. I have uploaded the full size image so you can practice editing that size, so just click on Actions and View all Sizes. This is straight out of the camera (SOOC). It was shot in RAW, and only brought in Lightroom on the default settings, and exported as a jpeg.

Have fun!

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Here's mine. Working in Photoshop CS5

First thing I did was use the Color Sampler tool to look at the skin color balance. Noticed that the skin was far too cyan so I made a color balance layer and added lots of red to Midtones, highlights, and shadows to get the skin to the right levels.

I know that my processing is going to make the skin in this image too bright, so I made a curves layer and pulled down the middle to darken the image slightly overall. Then flattened the image.

Then I duplicated the image and turned the duplicate image into a Soft Light layer to make the colors and contrast pop a bit.

Then I masked back the skin and flattened the image.

Selected the burn tool on midtones at 9% exposure and burned the background just a touch. Then I did the same thing with the burn tool on shadows.

If this were a higher resolution image, I would have done a lot more work on the skin and the eyes, but as is....I just focused on overall color and image pop.

Here is the final image.

Untitled-1 by amberbella, on Flickr

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Here's mine. I attempted a clean edit, and I'll probably try another edit later.

I didn't do too much. I did it all in Lightroom, but I'm going to try my next edit in GIMP. Unfortunately, I'm having issues re-installing PSE. Anyway, here's what I did:
-Increased blacks
-Adjusted WB
-Sharpened
-Added vignette
-Adjusted reds, blues, greens


6820973322_72baf9647c_o by willis2485, on Flickr

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Awesome edits ladies! Amber, I've always loved your processing, so thank you so much for the play! Nice job on your edit, as well, Katie!

I'm going to re-process this and see what I can come up with now, 5 months later Smile I'll put a side by side of then and now.

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Okay, the first is my original edit when I first took the image. The second is my Lightroom 4 edit.

I'm always afraid of taking my processing too far (as you can tell from the first edit), so this is the perfect thing for me to practice my processing.

What I did:
I adjusted the white balance.
Point curve to Strong Contrast.
Used the adjustment brush to warm up his skin.
Burned the background with the adjustment brush.
Increased the blacks a bit.
Resized and sharpened for web in PSE.

To much??

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Stephanie- My first thought with your second edit is that it looked like he was glowing. I'm not sure if it's just from comparing the two or not.

I did another edit with just a few tweaks and light added to the corner. Not sure if it works or not.


6820973322_72baf9647c_o-2-2 by willis2485, on Flickr

EL2
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Stephanie - I am looking at your edit and I am seeing a halo and his skin is looking a lot brighter.

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I kind of see the halo now. Boo! What is the best way to avoid that?

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I warmed up the photo, darkened midtones and brightened it a little bit, then darkened shadows a touch and sharpened it all over. Added deeper saturation of color and i think thats it.

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Hi, I know I haven't been on in a while, but I thought I'd play too :waves:

Here's a quick B&W I tried out. I'm not sure if it's exactly where I want it to be, but it's a first try Lol

I upped the contrast by creating a curves mask and upping the whites and lowering the blacks. I then decided the background was getting in the way, so I masked it out.
Then I made a B&W mask and played around with the sampling tool and sliders.

I think it would look better if I lighten the background maybe. Or is the moodiness OK?

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I warmed with a color balance layer, played with curves, burned my shadows at 10% over almost the whole image with a huge brush Then I boosted vibrance and saturation a tiny bit and lightened his eyes just a little (hard to do with a low res). Here is a side by side with the original.

For the black and white I did a basic LAB conversion and a gentle s curve in curves.

EL2
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Here is my edit.

I did the following:

1 - defog to 50% opacity
2 - applied a warm filter to 60%
3 - masked him back
4 - selected his skin and adjust midtone +yellow and red
5 - sharpen for web

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I love seeing everyone's different edits!

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This is all done in gimp, I added a filter pack that allows me to warm/cool with a script.

Adjusted curve a bit, applied a warming filter, up-ed the contrast a bit and added an unsharp mask.

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SOOCPlay

I had some time to play!

Pulled it up in LR,
Adjusted WB, Temp +25, Magenta +20
Lowered Exposure -.20
Recovery 9 for shirt
and I usually take out black in LR

Pulled up in PS,
ran Noiseware
Levels adjustment for blacks
Teeny tiniest curves bump
added a bit of vibrance
added a bit of yellow saturation only in background
added a bit of blacks only in background

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Here's my plays.
The first is how I'd normally edit, the second is my clean edit, and the third my B&W. I'm on my uncalibrated laptop, so hopefully my colors aren't off too much.

Basically, I just adjusted wb in RAW, and lowered the exposure just a tad. Upped yellows and red quite a bit.
In PS, I did a levels layer, a curves layer, sharpened, and then added more yellow and a bit of magenta.

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Ooh I just saw this. I want to play! For those of us (me, haha) who are a little PP-dumb, can everyone please make note of what program they used also?

I might be a bit of a minimalist, or just scared to push too far with editing.. I used LR and warmed it up a bit, increased contrast and saturation a bit, darkened shadows some, added a slight vignette, sharpened for screen. Not sure if color is okay... I'm not calibrated.

I did a B&W too. Just adjusted the colors to get them where I liked them, increased contrast a bit, darkened shadows and blacks a bit. Does anyone notice a bit of weirdness around the outline of his face/upper body in this edit? It remind me of what it looks like when an image is over-sharpened, but I didn't add any sharpening, except sharpen for screen when I saved it.

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"marymoonu" wrote:

Does anyone notice a bit of weirdness around the outline of his face/upper body in this edit? It remind me of what it looks like when an image is over-sharpened, but I didn't add any sharpening, except sharpen for screen when I saved it.

I see it, but I know nothing about it.

My DH just got me PS, and I haven't had a chance to play around with it yet. Life has been so crazy lately. Perhaps I will have a chance for some play here before too long. I'm loving everyone's pp.

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What a fun idea and loving the edits.

Can I offer a suggestion.

There is a file sharing program called dropbox. You sign up and install the program on your computer. All yous stuff in there is private.
However you can also become a member of a group and you can share images solely with the group. Might be a great way for something like this, you can upload the raw files.

I use this as am a member of a couple of other groups too.

www.dropbox.com

The other part of this is that you can share images with anyone you like or if you are away, you can upload and access your files from anywhere.

Cazz

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Cool thread!! If I get a chance to sit at my home pc to play with this I will....but in looking at everyone's edits, mine would be probably just like Marymoonu's. That is my favorite and it looks how I would edit.

I also like Katie's first edit, and rlcummings' edit, and Lisa's set!!

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Thanks! I'm happy someone else liked mine. Smile

As for the weirdness I mentioned in my B&W, I think it's maybe just due to the low resolution..

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Time for a new one? Amanda- Did you say you had one you'd like to use?

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Sorry I've been busy with a sick toddler and work, I'd have to filter through what I have. If someone has something readily available I'd gladly wait for another week.

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Can't wait to do another one! I'll look through my pics too.

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Here's one! I love to practice on newborns! (hopefully I did this right on flickr!)

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I can see the files, but it says owner has disabled downloading!

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Alright, will someone try it again, please? I think I've fixed the problem, but I'm not sure...

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Worked for me! I'll give it a go here pretty soon and see what I can come up with Smile

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Here's my play! I've only photographed one newborn, so I'm not familiar with editing them, so this one was a real learning experience for me.

Opened in Lighroom:
+46 temp
-2 tint
+.12 exposure
Medium contrast
-18 orange
+25 aqua
+23 blue (Though I now wish I would have toned the blue and aqua down. I don't like how it looks.)

Pulled into Elements
Soft light layer at low opacity
Added tilt
Cloned the "bald" spots from the added tilt.
Painted the skin to remove the red and to smooth.
Cropped
Sharpened for web

Like I said, I'm not happy with the hat. I think I added too much blue, and it pops out a little too much.

ETA: Here's my take on the B&W

Gradient map, played with curves, levels layer.

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Here's my play. Looking back, I wish I would have cropped it like Stephanie did...I like her crop better! Smile

What I did:
Upped yellows and reds in ACR, and brought down the exposure a tad.
Opened it up in PS4, used a curves layer, levels, sharpened.
Used portraiture to smooth skin, used patch tool to remove wrinkles on the blanket, and remove blemishes and diaper marks.
Added vignette for some depth.
I'm now wondering if I brought the exposure down too much, as it looks like it needs a little brightening.

Again, I'm on my laptop, so my color may be off a little bit. I won't have my desktop back for another few weeks (it crashed!!)

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Here is mine. I have never shot a newborn, and I suck at pp in general, but just wanted to take a stab at it!!

I wrote down what I did (using PSE), but one of my littles carried it off somewhere. :roll: I'll try to find it and update in a bit.

I know the first thing I did was a color correction for skin tone - added some brightness/lightness...I selected the baby's face and removed reds and then ultimately reduced blues from the entire image.

[IMG]http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7202/6840064976_252298f3e2_z.jpg" alt="" />[/IMG]

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Here's mine:

Using Photoshop CS5

I rotated and cropped image. Had to stretch the corners to fill in some white space.

Used the color sampler tool to select spot on face and a spot on the body to check color levels. Color was too cyan and blue so I did a color balance layer to adjust the overall color and a 2nd layer to adjust the face which was more magenta than the body.

For the skin, I normally use either a program called Portrait Professional or an action called Pro Retouch, but since we're trying not to use actions for these I did the old school method. Duplicate layer twice. Hide the top layer....for the middle layer, create "Gaussian Blur". I did it with a radius of 6.3 pixels. Then add noise at .2%. Show top layer again and create a mask. Mask back the areas on the skin that need smoothing. Then flatten.

Image was a bit dark so I duplicated the background layer and turned it to Screen to brighten it and give it that pale look I like in a newborn image. Turned the layer to 50% opacity. I masked back the edges just slightly to bring more focus to the baby and flattened the image.

Wanted a little more definition to the shadows and lines so I duplicated the image one last time and did a "defog" by selecting unsharp mask at 13% and 55 radius.

That's it.

Untitled-2 by amberbella, on Flickr

Edited to add Black and White:

Used the black and white sliders that are in Photoshop CS5. Lightened the Red and Yellow and darkened the cyan, blues, and magentas. Then adjusted brightness and contrast with a contrast layer.


Untitled-3 by amberbella, on Flickr

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Here's my rendition. I won't lie, I'm a little unsure about the color, so I might have warmed it up TOO much. But I tried to do it on my own without looking at what you guys did first, as I think I'll learn more through trial and error than just through copying whatever works. So here goes mine, now I'll go look at all of yours, haha.

As for what I did in Lightroom... I warmed it up a LOT, increased the exposure a tad, added light sharpening, decreased the saturation, but increased the vibrance. Increased contrast ever so slightly, and did a little skin smoothing. Cropped it too... Might have cropped it too close, though.. not sure.

ETA: This is such fun! I love seeing what everyone comes up with. Smile

EL2
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Here is my play on the picture. I did something similar to amber's step I had to keep playing around with the baby's skin tone color.

Black and White

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LOVE the B&W El!

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Here's mine. Not happy with these. I've never edited anything like this! I will admit, I stole the tilting idea from you ladies! I never would have thought to do that, but I really like how it changes the photo!


6984765761_24f1d3e73f_b by willis2485, on Flickr

B&W

6984765761_24f1d3e73f_b-2 by willis2485, on Flickr

EL2
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Here is another challenge - this is SOOC, would love to see everyone's try on this!!

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Thanks for posting one El! I'll have a play with this as soon as I can Smile

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Here's mine. Pretty much the same process for the others I did. Pulled up midtones in a curves layer. Did a soft light layer to boost contrast but masked back the skin. Boosted saturation a touch. Added a bunch of yellow for warmth. Cropped the image and took out the tree. I only had a minute to do this so the removal of the tree isn't as neat as I would normally make it. But DH is going to kill me if I don't go downstairs to watch Game of Thrones. LOL!


Untitled-1 by amberbella, on Flickr

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Here's mine. I also did what I've done in all the other pics....warmed it up, added some red/magenta....levels layer, curves layer, sharpen, vignette, crop.

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Here's my play. I didn't mess with color because I'm not calibrated. I increased the exposure ~.33 or maybe a tad more. I increased contrast. Decreased saturation a tad, but increased vibrance more. Added a bit of a vignette and cropped it in a bit. I think that's it. Oh, and I sharpened a bit too.

ETA: I forgot, I brought the whites down a tad because his shorts looked a bit bright to me after I messed with the exposure.

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Lisa, I like your crop with the base of the tree still there, but without the distracting rocks, it makes the background more interesting. I think with only the grass in the bg it makes the bg blah.

Also I like having the subject in the right third of the photo rather than in the center.

EL2
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Here is my processing for the photo:

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Oooh El I think yours is beautiful!

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Yup...I think I like El's the best. Nice work!

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Okay, here's my SOOC for you guys to play with...

ETA: I figured I'd add my edited one to this thread. I warmed it up a lot, increased contrast a bit. Sharpened some. Added a bit of a vignette. Increased vibrance some. I think I darkened the shadows and brightened the whites a bit, trying to get the little bits of dandelion that had fallen to pop a bit.

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I really have to practice stuff like this!! Here's mine, done in GIMP:

Modified colours quite a bit, mostly midtones to add yellow and red and a touch of magenta; then did the same to a much lesser degree for shadows and a tiny touch for highlights.

Added a soft light layer.

Dodged the face a little.

Sharpened slightly.

Cropped a little.

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Here's mine:

Color balance to get the skin right. Brighten image and increased contrast slightly and did a very slight saturation boost. Did some skin smoothing. Sharpened the dandelion and brightened it. I added some grass to the left side and added a few more dandelion seeds then cropped the image.


Untitled-1 by amberbella, on Flickr