Question for Vonnagy

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by jadin, Jul 15, 2004.

  1. jadin

    jadin The Mad Hatter

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    Your photos always have stunning colors, what gear do you use to shoot with? Do you have any tips to get the most colors out of my camera? Any editing tips?
     
  2. vonnagy

    vonnagy have kiwi, will travel...

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    My changing my lens last April seemed to make a huge difference. I had used a tamron 300ml zoom lens and i switched over to a sigma 15-30 zoom lens, the amount of colour gained was stunning.

    I use a variety of photoshop techniques, that i talked about in the thread below that I posted ages ago but its not very useful these days because i deleted all the images for it. :mrgreen:

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4617

    Its a bit outdated as well, because i never use ps levels anymore, as they end up really making colours look splotchy.

    Here's generally what i do:
    1. Saturation adjustment layer
    2. Curves adjustment layer
    3. Colour Balance (only if the colour is off)
    4. Dodging and Burning, not the the tools but rather creating levels of 'light' layers and 'dark' layers.

    DigitalMatt gets some really choice colours from his canon as well, I'll have to badger him someday about what he does :D
     
  3. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    Heh Vonnagy, I do the same thing you do pretty much :) Here's the specifics.

    I develop my RAW photos with C1 Rebel, and I pump up the saturation there as much as I can without gaining noise, and then I use a hue/sat adjustment layer in PS afterwards, which is sort of the icing on the cake.

    Colors always look deeper when you have nice contrast, so in that respect, curves are your friend. Also, USM at 40%, 20, 0 adds a lot of contrast and can make colors appear more vivid.

    I agree with what you said about dodging and burning too. I don't use the tools. I find it much easier to use several curves adjustment layers, for each part of the photo, and use the layer mask to selectively apply it.

    I use color balance adjustment layers when the colors are off, but also I use several of them selectively to different parts of the photo to enhance color as well. If I have a blue sky, I will use a color balance layer and add more blue and cyan to the sky, and just mask it off. One for green grass, etc...

    Hope that helps :)
     
  4. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait TPF Noob!

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    What's the benefit to using a saturation layer as opposed to just going image-->adjustments-->variations and boosting the saturation?
     
  5. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    Adjustment layers are just that, layers. You can blend them, change the opacity, and they have a layer mask. Plus, if you decide later on that you don't like the effect, you can hide them or delete them. I never do anything to the photo itself. It's all done with adjustment layers.
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    When you guys select areas with the layer masks...what methods do you use? I find it hard to fine tune the edges of the mask...when it's very accurate the edge is too noticeable but when it's feathered it doesn't look right either.

    Did that make sense?
     
  7. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    I know what you mean Big Mike. It all depends on the photo I guess, and what exactly you are doing. I try and start off with a good exposure and color balance, so I'm not really changing things that far. I think that's when you can get into a noticeable problem, when the change is too drastic.

    I use a wacom graphire tablet, and I zoom WAY in, like 300-500% and carefully groom the edges. The other night I spent 4 hours to tweak 2 photos I think.

    Sometimes you can get away with just using a gradient, to simulate a gradiated filter.
     
  8. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks Matt...I figured that's where a lot or most of the time is spend when editing photos. I usually don't spend all that much time with an image so I guess I'm just being lazy :roll:
     
  9. vonnagy

    vonnagy have kiwi, will travel...

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    actually, don't bother with finding the edges, too much work. I do a mega feather (anywhere from 75 - 200 pixels) and work it as a gradient. I find that feathering will give it a very naturalist effect whilst still keeping the drama of the photograph. though i have to chuck this out the window window when there is a detailed opject set against the horizon such as tree with alot of fine twigs or leaves.

    Thinks for your info Matt, I didn't think about using USM as contrast/colour tool, but that makes perfect sense!
     
  10. jadin

    jadin The Mad Hatter

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    Looks like I need to learn to use layers better.

    Thanks for the responses.
     
  11. Harpper

    Harpper TPF Noob!

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    Good contrast naturally makes pictures sharper and adds more depth to colors. I've noticed that using a good lense is a great starting point and then possibly some tweaking in Photoshop if needed. Jadin, if you are used to cheap low quality lenses then you are missing out. There's nothing wrong with cheap lenses but just read the reviews and make sure they are good and cheap. A high price doesn't necessarily guarantee a good lense.
     

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