Advice/Help with photo touchup

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by ArmoredCavalry, Aug 15, 2008.

  1. ArmoredCavalry

    ArmoredCavalry TPF Noob!

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    Ok, so here is the original photo:
    [​IMG]

    I want to touch it up a bit, but since I didn't take multiple exposures :)() I'm having trouble with the sky. Also, the trees/bushes on the right side seem fuzzy or something, here is my edit attempt w/ photoshop:
    [​IMG]

    Also, here is my deviantart page maybe it will give some clue as to what I could do to improve:
    http://armoredcavalry.deviantart.com/

    Thanks. ;)
     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    This is a toughie. My recommendation would be to work in layers. Select the foreground as one layer, the trees/mountains in the background as another, the treeline image right as a third, and the sky as a fourth. Work with each one separately, but don't go overboard; it's very easy to wind up with cartoon clouds or an extremely noisy blue in the sky in cases like this. Hope that helps.
     
  3. ArmoredCavalry

    ArmoredCavalry TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the reply. I have tried something similiar to that with other photos, but the problem I run into with that is the edges between the layers looking weird. I'll give it a shot with this one though, and upload results.

    *Update*
    Well here is the edited, the edges between the layers aren't too bad actually. I think the trees in background look better now. You think the sky is too blue-ish?
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2008
  4. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Hm, been a while since I've done a photoshop challenge...

    Here is your original...

    [​IMG]

    And here is what I wound up with...

    [​IMG]

    What I did:
    • Created a new layer with the entire image.
    • Selective color selection on the sky, feathered, created a mask to show only the sky.
    • Did a color replacement changing it to more of a blue (the blue was kind of washed out, so the color simply wasn't there), adjusted hue and saturation to make it a fairly dark blue
    • Set the transparency on the sky to about 60% to blur the effect of the selection around the edges (still not totally happy with the result on some of the leaves, but it could be tweaked a bit from this point... I was just doing a quickie)
    • Did a large radius low percentage sharpening on the non-sky (50 pixels, 20%, 2 point threshold) (helps reduce haze a bit)
    • Did a bit of a contrast boost and tuned down the brightness (again on the non-sky)
    • Did a tiny bit of color balancing on the non-sky to adjust the tones... it had too much red in it, maybe not quite enough blue.
    Overall the result is "not bad", I think, but the original exposure is really what got you here. Some tips for next time:

    1. Understand that these kind of exposures are HARD. Bright skies and dark green trees. They are an absolute bear... in truth, you didn't do that bad at all. What I do is meter on the trees, and then meter on the sky, and then do the best I can to come in between the two... understand that blues look better when you err on the side of underexposure, which will wind up giving you some areas on the trees that are essentially black. This is basically unavoidable. Black spots on trees look way better than washed out skies, so go with it.
    2. Using a polarizing filter would help some here, though the position of the sun may not have been perfectly ideal here.
    3. Using a graduated neutral density filter would also help, but that is SO cheating. ;)
    4. As much as possible, keeping the sun to your back helps, obviously you can't move the sun, but you do your best.
    5. As much as possible, take shots like this in early day or late afternoon- mid-day is always tough. (not totally sure you had a problem with that here, but it does appear the sun is a bit harsh)
    6. When taking landscapes like this it is often a good idea to manually focus to infinity and not let the camera make the call for you. Your focus isn't as sharp as I would like it to be, and in fact it looks like it chose to focus on some stuff closer to the screen. I don't know what the capabilities are of the camera you shot this with, so it's kind of hard for me to say if you can even control this.
    Hope this helps!
     
  5. maulrat

    maulrat TPF Noob!

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    Do you have a CPOL (circular polarizer filter)? Try using one prior to taking photos with a great amount of sky. This might help a bit.
     
  6. ArmoredCavalry

    ArmoredCavalry TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the replies.

    @manaheim - yeah I understand what you saying with exposures, and I believe you were on the right track with the idea that the camera was focusing on the foreground. I'm pretty sure I took this shot in auto mode, which means if it was focused on the foreground, it probably adjusted exposure for the foreground as well. I agree that underexposed rather that over is usually better with a picture like this. Really wished I woulda taken more than one shot (usually do, but was in a hurry :(). Too bad the place is 6 hours from where I live or I would just drive back. :lol:

    @maulrat - I dunno if there are any filters avaliable for my camera (kodak z812 IS), its a less expensive "dslr-like" type camera.
     
  7. maulrat

    maulrat TPF Noob!

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  8. ArmoredCavalry

    ArmoredCavalry TPF Noob!

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