Wednesday, March 5, 2014
If you're a frequent reader of The Kayview Gallery you know I typically have a problem with HDR'd skies. Seems no matter how "realistic" you make an HDR scenic image the skies still come out unnatural. In today's image I sort of took the long way around to get to the finished image. It went from Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (LR) to Adobe Photoshop (PS), back to LR for tone mapping, and once again to PS to replace the HDR sky and back to LR for storage. There's two reasons for the trips over to PS. The first was to create the HDR image. The second was to replace the sky. Other than that, everything was done in LR. I tried going to Nik's HDR Efex Pro, but didn't like the result. (I know, Blasphemy.) Sometimes the HDR Pro that comes with PS is more than "good enough". Sometimes it gives a better representation of what I'm looking for as a starting point. There's a couple things that were done that are a little "out of the ordinary". To find out what those things are, hit the "Read More".
Monday, March 3, 2014
I was talking to a friend the other day and he said he was getting into using the Pen Tool (P) in Adobe Photoshop (PS). I must have had a quizzical expression on my face, because he said "What!". I told him I didn't think anyone, who didn't already know how to use the Pen Tool (P), had bothered to learn how to use the it in this century. I asked him to give me a little demonstration of how he was using the tool. He's been known to develop his own hard way to do some simple things in PS. Just in case you've come to PS during this century, let me give a short explanation on using the Pen Tool (P) in PS. You place a dot to start. Place another dot somewhere else on your blank page. You'll see two handles come out from the second point. You can pull them, stretch them, spin 'em around in circles or let them sit. Put a third dot on your document and another two handles appear. Pull one, twist one, do something to one of the handles. You'll see that the straight line between point two and point three deforms depending on how you move the handle. The line between point one and point two remains fixed. (As long as you didn't move the handles.) What's happening between points two and three is called a Bezier Curve. Back in the day (probably around PS 5 (not CS5 - just plain PS 5) it was essential that you learn to use the Pen Tool (P) to make a Selection. Today there is a large variety of methods to make Selections. The Pen Tool (P) is almost dead. The Quick Selection Tool (W) with its Refine Edge feature just about eliminates the need for the Pen Tool (P) or reduces its functionality to touching up hard lines. The way my friend was using it is another one of his "let's make something harder than it should be" tricks. His method consisted of laying out a point, cutting off the leading handle and making his next point. There is a valid reason for cutting off the leading handle, but it's to be able to make hard point turns (i.e. a 90 degree turn) in the direction you're plotting, not just going to the next point on a curve. Basically what he's done is find the hardest way imaginable to use the Polygonal Lasso Tool (L). I used the Pen Tool (P) on today's image, but only for experimentational reasons. To find out what I found and how I used the Pen Tool (P), hit the "Read More".
Thursday, February 20, 2014
If you look at today's image you might scratch your head and think "what do ya mean, simple? It's three different shots composited together". Well, simple is a matter of degrees. I shot the sequence on high speed shutter. Through the swing about seven shots were taken. The first thing I tried is using all seven. What happened was a mess. The whole composite was just too confusing. There were arms and legs all over the place. The whole process of making the composite is a lot easier than I've seen some people try their hand at it. My thing has always been "let the computer figure it out". That does not mean let the computer make the decisions. No! Computers are there to be brutes. Tell it what you want done and let it do the math. That goes for computers on the desktop and for the computers in your camera. You've paid hundreds (the laptop) or thousands (the camera) to own a computer. Let it compute. To find out how simple compositing is, hit the "Read More"
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Take a look at the image on the left, down in the lower right hand corner. There you'll see the words "Circa 1887". Now think about how careful you'd have to be if someone handed you a 126 year old photograph and asked if you could restore a family heirloom, a piece of history, the only known shot of great great granddad. The paper would be as stiff as an overly starched shirt and would flake tiny pieces off with just about any movement. As you can see, the photo, at some point was folded and probably stuffed into someone's pocket or wallet. Putting the photograph into a flatbed scanner would probably do more harm than good. I don't know if shooting it on a copy stand would give enough detail to resurrect a usable starting point. How one image became the other is actually easier than you might think. To find out what was done to convert one image into the other, hit the "Read More".
Monday, November 18, 2013
I never begrudge anything anyone can do in Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. I'm always either trying to learn new things or figure out how someone did something. I recently saw a couple images by a friend and frequent reader of these posts (Hi Ed). He's come up with an old timey, Currier & Ives type look to some of his landscapes. Very, very interesting look. He asked me for some pointers on how to extract objects from images. I think we need to trade tips. Today's image is an attempt to take a shot at going for the old time feeling. It works, just not as good as Ed's. Couple of things. It is an HDR image with quite a bit of post processing in both PS and LR/ACR (Adobe Camera Raw). With the Creative Cloud version of PS (PSCC) you can use ACR as a filter. As long as you make the Layer a Smart Object you can pop back and forth into and out of ACR as often as you'd like. Great for tweaking things as you go. You doing something "straight" to an image, jump over to ACR. Doing anything that needs a Mask, bounce back to PS. Compositing images, use PS. Just remember where your base image came from, 'cause that's where it'll go back to when you eventually do a Save and Close. (Notice I said Save and not Save As.) If you use LR as a DAM tool (Digital Asset Management) and you go to PS to do something that requires PS you should probably use "Copy With Lightroom Adjustments" (CTRL E to get to the dialog box and then use the top option). That eliminates the need to do the old fashioned "make a copy of your Background Layer just in case" thing. People used to do that to protect their original image. If you "use a copy" you're not touching the original, so you don't need that copy of the Background Layer. When it's time to Save your creation it'll be put back right beside the original images (or set of images in the case of HDR or panoramas. But, what's up with today's image. To find out, hit the "Read More".
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
It really hasn't been too much of question in the real world, but for people who are readers of The Kayview Gallery it got some attention. The gallery is featured on Alltop.com under the Photoshop section. One of the things that happens there is that you sort of slide down the pecking order unless you post frequently. After a couple weeks you tend to drop off the bottom of the page. When I recently posted the shot of a Santa Claus looking guy (my brother-in-law), the gallery was back to being included on Alltop. That's where a couple of notes came from asking what had happened. What happened was that we moved. Now, that shouldn't explain a four month sabbatical, but that was it. Our explanation of why we were selling was that we had an eight room house and we used three. The kitchen, the bedroom and the playroom/den/tv room, whatever. The boys are gone, the excess rooms were either dust or junk collectors, we aren't (never have been) into liking yardwork or snow shoveling, so what was the point of staying. Today's image is a cell phone shot of the front of our nice new (to us) condo. Now instead of eight rooms and using three, we have four rooms and use three. The condo actually has more room than the house had before the addition. The master bedroom suite is smaller than we had at the house (but then again most master bedroom suites [in "normal" houses] are less than 650 sq. ft.). The living room/dining room is larger, the kitchen is about a wash and the second bedroom now (for the moment) collects dust and junk (er, useful items used for photography). To find out why it's taken almost four months to get back to some resemblance of order, hit the "Read More".
Friday, November 8, 2013
Yeah, that's my brother-in-law. My wife's "little" brother. We were over and he'd asked me to find something online for him. I'd found something I thought might fit the bill, so I handed him my iPad. That's the "main" lighting for today's image. He was sitting "Archie Bunker like" in his favorite chair. I knew the light was dim and cranked up the ISO on a Nikon D300 to 3000. (Far above what "should be" a reasonable sensitivity setting to avoid noise.) The shutter speed was 1/15 sec, hand held. It should have been a mess of a shot, but, with a little work, came out okay. There's a couple other things I should "confess" to. The background was his dining room, his shirt was blue and he's actually eighteen years old (no, that last piece is not true). To find out what became of the dining room and the blue shirt, hit the "Read More".
at 9:18 AM