Beginner Post Processing: WHY DOES THIS SUCK!?!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Baaaark, Jul 26, 2009.

  1. Baaaark

    Baaaark TPF Noob!

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    Okay, so I'm trying to learn post-processing. I have CS3, and pathetically enough I have no clue what I'm really doing. All I do is adjust colors and contrasts.

    So for the first time ever, I decided to dive in. I have a p&s, so I thought a good task would be to blur the background since it's way too in focus. But it looks so fake, and I don't know why!

    Feel free to critique my other parts. I know its crazy noisy, and my composition isn't the greatest. But remember I just took a photo of my dog to work with. It really wasn't picked out for any reason.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Doing any heavy handed processing around hair is the most difficult thing ever.
     
  3. Baaaark

    Baaaark TPF Noob!

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    So this was an advanced project? I guess that makes me feel somewhat better. :)

    Maybe pick something with harder lines for a beginner... GOT IT!
     
  4. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Yeah. It's hard to do what you are trying and have it look good.
    From his nose to his(her) eye looks fairly convincing, but the top of the head/ear is too obvious.
     
  5. Baaaark

    Baaaark TPF Noob!

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    There's hope for me yet... lol.
     
  6. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    What kind of blur are you using? You should be using Lens Blur if you're trying to mimic, well, er...lens blur. ;)
     
  7. shmne

    shmne No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The technique you're trying is not so basic, and to really do it right you must have a graphic tablet. The problem is the hairs, looking at the larger version it just jumped at me instantly. I can see the hard edge of the blur, so in photoshop you should have about 4-5 layers of varying blur and using masks to slowly paint in the amount you want.

    I did this for a project a long time ago and gave up because painting even some of the hairs in was just driving me crazy. A trick to get around this is to cut the dog out cleanly, then use the liquid mesh tool to physically pull out new hairs. These new hairs are now on a new layer separated from the background allowing you to apply a gradient that will smooth out the harsh blur.

    And technically speaking you can do it with a mouse, but honestly it won't be any fun.
     
  8. Baaaark

    Baaaark TPF Noob!

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    I used, "Smart blur." It never occurred to me the reason may be cause my blur is unnatural for a lens. My bokeh (I hate that word) is bad! :) I truthfully just started clicking buttons :)

    I don't know what half of the stuff you said is. So, I'm gonna guess that my project was maybe the incorrect project to START with.
     
  9. shmne

    shmne No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yeah, its something that takes a lot of artistic talent and understanding of photoshop to begin with =\ At least to do it believably! You can do a decent job, it is just going to be noticeable =|
     
  10. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, so don't be discouraged by the results. shmne is totally right; it's why one just doesn't bother if one has a DSLR. Using an open aperture is way easier.
     
  11. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

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    You could get the background to blur with your P&S if you zoomed out the lens as well as used a wide aperture. A friend of mine took this picture with his P&S...used the widest aperture, zoomed the lens out all the way and got as close as he could to the subject. The DOF is pretty thin in this image. A short/wide focal length can have a very deep DOF. Use a longer focal length with a wide aperture and the DOF becomes shallow.
     
  12. shmne

    shmne No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Many P&S's have a macro mode, are you sure he just didn't use that?
     

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