Critique me

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Caso, Aug 28, 2010.

  1. Caso

    Caso TPF Noob!

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    Alright so this is my first attempt at using the dodge/burn tool. The photos I tried learning on are not that great to start with but should be enough to help me learn. Its hard shooting in low light with no tripod. :/

    How would you guys edit these photos? Heres my attempts, I would love to see some of yours and the process you used. Thanks.

    1. Edit
    [​IMG]
    2. Original
    [​IMG]
    3. Edit
    [​IMG]
    4. Original
    [​IMG]
     
  2. creisinger

    creisinger TPF Noob!

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    Hmm and I could have sworn you adjusted the levels or contrast on the first shot. No idea where and why you used the burn tool. Maybe you can explain what you did exactly.

    In the second shot it appears you sharpened an out of focus shot. Both the statue nor the building are in focus in the original plus some level adjustments.

    That blob of light that you cloned out could be replaced with a small moon with a greenish tint - I think it would add to the drama of the scene.

    All in all I'd say the first shot is over exposed. I would have reduced exposure times or closed down the aperture to get some more star-like looking highlights

    Depending on how the image turns out with a shorter shutter speed (or higher aperture) it may require more PP work.
     
  3. Caso

    Caso TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the critique creisinger. I didnt adjust the levels at all. In the first shot I used the burn tool on the back ground, set it to shadows, and starting playing with it. I also tried to sharpen and dodge the car. The photo was taken on "P" mode. And the iso is auto. What do you reccommend doing?

    I did a little different PP to this photo, messed with the levels and such.
    [​IMG]
    mystic m3 by Caso60, on Flickr
     
  4. RobNZ

    RobNZ TPF Noob!

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    Had a play with both, cropped, levels, selective sharpening, fake DOF for the BMW shot. Just playing with how it could look.

    [​IMG]

    2nd shot, sharpened cropped, cloned in missing piece of statue base (quick and dirty, went from a square base to hexagonal, lol), whitebalance , reduced lens flares.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Caso

    Caso TPF Noob!

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    Those look sweet Rob. On the first shot with the bmw, did you just use the blur tool and go from there? Or what?

    And that second one looks sweet, so many questions on what you did... Lol how did u make it hexagonal and add in the missing peice?
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2010
  6. creisinger

    creisinger TPF Noob!

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    RobNZ did some cool stuff there. Like it. The fake DOF shows what you can achieve with a very small aperture. Shoot at f5.6 or smaller at the longest focal length possible.

    If you have a zoom lens, zoom in almost all the way (if you go to full zoom most lenses get very soft - try to avoid that). Once you're at 150mm or even more (which would be better) you shoot in Manual mode with ISO set to 100 or L1.0 (Nikon) and aperture f5.6 (or smaller). Just adjust shutter speed to get adequate histogram (exposure).

    The biggest issue for me is, that in that location the car is lit unevenly. I understand that you might not be able to set up some flood lights but maybe you can use an external flash to give the front half of the car a bit more light.

    I would make this (existing shot above) shot darker but then you would only have enough light in the background (which looks really nice) and the rear of the car but that's it. So the front of car barely gets any light which is really the most important part. Therefore maybe you can use an off camera flash.

    You could trigger the camera with an IR remote and even without a wireless flash trigger you can manually pop the flash from outside the frame while the shutter is open. Maybe you can get a usable setting with 1 or 2 second (minimum) exposure. That leaves you enough time to pop the flash manually.

    Second shot from RobNZ also nice suggestion. Statue looks really nice now although someone might wanna go with the greenish more grungy look. It depends on the usage/taste.
     
  7. BuS_RiDeR

    BuS_RiDeR No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think I prefer the original of the car... I The edit looks over-saturated to me...

    The second one doesn't appeal to me... Sorry.
     
  8. Caso

    Caso TPF Noob!

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    Great, thanks creisinger. Yea I agree with having an off camera flash or a strobe of some sort lighthing up the front of the car. Would the sb-600 be a good candidate?
     
  9. Caso

    Caso TPF Noob!

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    Appreciate the criticism. Any other advice you can give?
     
  10. creisinger

    creisinger TPF Noob!

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    The SB-600 would work fine. You might need to go through a number of test shots to get the exposure right. It's much easier if you can shoot it with a friend who triggers the flash and you check the result right away on the cam.
     
  11. RobNZ

    RobNZ TPF Noob!

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    Cheers Caso, I selected the BMW, refined edge, made a new layer from selection, duplicated original layer, applied some gaussian blur to the entire image, and then touched up layer masks with various brushes to get it looking more "realistic". Lots of layers and small adjustments, fairly easy when you know how, hard to describe though sorry.

    Hexagonal not because I could, but because it was easiest, its a mirror image of the right hand side, masked and blended back in carefully. Masking in my opinion is one of the fundamental things I use often for image PP, not so much for what I have done to yours, I dont often manipulate mine, cloning and correcting etc, as I prefer to get it right in camera, easier and saves you time, but for applying local adjustments without it effecting the entire image.

    Most commonly I would use masking for sharpening, so I can sharpen only the areas I wanted sharpened (duplicate the layer youre working on), unsharp mask, create a layer mask, invert then brush back in the areas you want the sharpening applied too, leaving the rest of the image untouched and noise free.
     

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