Post processing results (tips please)

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by leprasmurf, Feb 27, 2008.

  1. leprasmurf

    leprasmurf TPF Noob!

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    Hello all, I finally got my first SLR (film) and have gone through 2 rolls already. I'm curious, is there any difference between bringing my film to be developed at CVS, or is there any benefit to bringing it to a little mom/pop camera shop? Additionally, what is a recommended DPI for scanning images if my end result is to make nice big pictures for grandmas?

    I ended up getting the photo cds and took a shot of my infant and did some post processing. I'd like some peer review, so please, any advice is appreciated. Thanks!

    Before:

    [​IMG]


    After (changes listed below):

    [​IMG]

    *color balance and brightness/contrast adjustments
    *blur added to take out grainy texture
    *took out some fly-away hair
    *removed reflection on tongue
     
  2. BuZzZeRkEr

    BuZzZeRkEr TPF Noob!

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    Blurring a photo almost never makes it better.

    You lost alot of detail in PP, including the eye color of your child due to over compensation of brightness/contrast.

    You need to add proper shading to the tongue since you removed reflection.
     
  3. leprasmurf

    leprasmurf TPF Noob!

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    The blur was specific to the face, minus the eyes and mouth. I see what you're saying about losing the color with the contrast and brightness adjustments. I should probably adjust the eyes individually.
     
  4. Sandspur

    Sandspur TPF Noob!

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    OK, here goes:

    1. Yes there's a difference, not so much is the film development, but certainly in the printing (primarily the quality of the paper used and the fact that a small camera shop is more likely to have a real person evaluating and adjusting each image rather than a machine that takes an "average" reading from the center of every pic)

    2. DPI for scanning - 300 at the target print size. In other words, if you think you might be able to sell an 11x14 to grandma, scan your film at that size x 300dpi.

    Be AWARE ... most stores that do scans DO NOT scan at anywhere near this target. They're more likely to be something like 4x6 at 180, or 8x10 at 72, or somesuch.

    None of which are adequate for you to post process and expect a decent quality print. Some stores (usually the REAL camera shops) will do high quality scans for you. Most box stores wouldn't know how even if you asked them to.

    Now a little critique of your image:

    "*color balance and brightness/contrast adjustments" - NEVER do either of these until after you've adjusted either Levels or Curves (your choice). Why? Because adjusting Levels CORRECTLY will almost always negate the need to do color and/or BC adjustments. I have a tutorial on this if you'd like: http://www.jimsdigitaldiary.com/photoshop.html

    "*blur added to take out grainy texture" - the reason for the grainy texture is (see above) a low quality scan. Blurring didn't really help, because you had so little data to work with in the first place.

    "*took out some fly-away hair" - OK, fine. But it's a baby! Baby's don't ever look completely slicked down. I kinda liked the fly-away. (Now, if it was nose hair, or a big booger, I'd say, yeah, get rid of it).

    "*removed reflection on tongue" - I might had selected the tongue and reduced the reflection a little, but not as much as you did it.

    I hope some of all of this makes sense and is helpful.
     
  5. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think if you want to shoot digital images you should use a digital camera. The picture you posted looks scanned and low-res at that.
     
  6. leprasmurf

    leprasmurf TPF Noob!

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    Thank you guys for the advice, I am reviewing it seriously and considering it seriously. I was kind of suspecting the difference mentioned about the printing from CVS and the camera shop. Since I originally posted, I had discussed some of it with the camera shop that I frequent, and he had said some of the same things (like manually adjusting the printout to compensate for picture's correctly). I just wasn't entirely sure if he was being completely non-biased.

    As for the scan, I knew CVS didn't scan it in at a high resolution, I had even asked them if they could scan it in higher and they said no. This is not to much of an issue, so far it has just been a matter of convenience, I have an epson stylus CX4600 which is capable of scanning at "600x1200 DPI" (I just haven't gotten it setup from storage yet). The guy at the camera shop suggested I scan in the actual print, because attempting to scan in the negative has to be under ideal circumstance (no dust, no imperfections, and even then some things could show up from the development process).

    Sandspur, I will go through your tutorial at some point, unfortunately right now I have to work. I must admit, color levels and curves are still a bit of a mystery to me. I am using Gimp, but I'm pretty sure the concepts are fairly similar.

    Jip, I respectfully disagree with your comment. Though I understand your comment, at this time I can't afford to shell out $500+ to get a decent digital cam. I already have a canon powershot a520, but have been wanting to break into SLR. I also find I am learning a great deal dealing with SLRs and film. Between lighting from flash and filters, et all. Again, I know I could do this with digital, but the cost is prohibitive. I'm sure the argument between film and digital could go on for many pages, but those are my primary reasons. I know I will eventually get into DSLR, but not now.

    Thanks again for the advice.
     
  7. Early

    Early TPF Noob!

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    I agree with Sandspur completely, and your epson stylus CX4600 is a flatbed and won't scan near as well as a scanner made specifically for film.

    Btw, you shot looks like it has a cyan cast, a good reason to go with the mom and pop camera shop.
     
  8. Sandspur

    Sandspur TPF Noob!

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    One-final-note:-the-Cx4600-won't-scan-film-at-all.-It-doesn't-have-that-capability.

    OH...good..grief!...I..just..discovered..that..that..coffee..I,,spilled..in..the..keyboard..this..morning..has..hosed..my..spacebar!

    darn!!!..I..do..this..about..once..a..year.

    guess..I'll,,be,,typing..on..the..MacBook..for..a..couple..of..weeks!
     
  9. leprasmurf

    leprasmurf TPF Noob!

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    So the epson won't scan the negative. Do you mean to say it will just scan a large white area? Couldn't I just scan the negative then modify by Gimp? So would it be best to have the selected prints reprinted by the camera shop, then scan them in on my flatbed (if they don't do it)? I have considered buying a scanner that is build specifically for film....but if I were going to spend that much, I'd just end up buying the digital SLR.

    Thank you all again for the excellent advice.

    btw, if it's a common occurrence to spill stuff on your keyboard, might I recommend a spill cover (or maybe some saran wrap:)).
     
  10. Sandspur

    Sandspur TPF Noob!

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    Some Epson flatbeds DO have neg/slide scanning capability - built in to the top. the 4600 just isn't one of those.

    Of course, you can get a good photo store to scan the negs for you. That would be the best option. Just make sure they're doing scans that are 300 dpi at your target size.

    _____
    YOU SAID: "btw, if it's a common occurrence to spill stuff on your keyboard, might I recommend a spill cover (or maybe some saran wrap)."

    Yeah, you're right. Maybe I'll get a spill cover when I buy my new keyboard. Tried Saran ... didn't like the crinkly noise!

    Actually it's not so tragic to kill a keyboard now and then. What's much worse is the Apple iBook I killed a couple of years ago by spilling a champagne cocktail into the keyboard!

    And, no, I'm not sharing any more details!

    Good luck with your projects. Hope we offered some useful suggestions!
     
  11. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

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    I really like your guide. I generally avoid PP whenever possible, probably a throwback to my many years with film. Generally, I won't do much more than a crop and, for that, iPhoto is just fine. In any event, even though I use PSE rather than PS, it can get overwhelming when I go there perhaps once/month.
     

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