Awesome Colors and Sharpness.

Antithesis

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I'm curious how people get such fantastic colors in their photo's? I know how to use photoshop relatively well, and just boosting saturation doesn't give me quite the effect I want. I see some pictures, and the colors are just so amazingly vivid and I'm trying to figure out how to get colors like that myself. I'm also trying to figure out how to do some sharpening that doesn't leave my edges all blocky.

Can anyone suggest some plug-ins that can give me some really vivid colors? If it were free, that would be awesome too, hehe.
 

Big Mike

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It all starts with a good photo...which means good lighting. High quality lenses will help with colors and sharpness, but good technique will also help a lot.

There is more to boosting colors than just turning up the saturation. You can start by adjusting the saturation of the different colors individually. You could also adjust the levels of the colors independently. Usually, a strong contrast will help to give some 'pop'...and there are different ways of doing that. I like to use levels and then curves.

There are many ways and techniques of sharpening. Try a Google search for sharpening tutorials.

It's much better to learn the techniques than to just download a plug-in.
 
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Antithesis

Antithesis

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Yeah, I've found a couple techniques online, but I still can't quite pin it. I think working with better light would obviously help, but shooting in natural light this time of year, living in Portland... it's pretty gray.

I'll have to explore some more sharpening techniques via google because unsharp mask isn't working that well for me.
 

dkf10425

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It all starts with a good photo...which means good lighting. High quality lenses will help with colors and sharpness, but good technique will also help a lot.

There is more to boosting colors than just turning up the saturation. You can start by adjusting the saturation of the different colors individually. You could also adjust the levels of the colors independently. Usually, a strong contrast will help to give some 'pop'...and there are different ways of doing that. I like to use levels and then curves.

There are many ways and techniques of sharpening. Try a Google search for sharpening tutorials.

It's much better to learn the techniques than to just download a plug-in.
I do the same thing-levels then curves. I never do curves first. A selective color layer mask is also a good way to adjust colors. Combine that with a hue/saturation layer mask and use your black and white brushes for complete control. The best way to sharpen in photoshop is to use smart sharpen. Smart sharpen provides much better shapening control than unsharp mask.
 

Alpha

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Light well, use good glass, bump your saturation, USM, bump the contrast if you need to. It's useful to understand that increases in contrast are perceived by the human eye as increases in sharpness, especially on matte surfaces.
 

shorty6049

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Same is true with TVs and sharpness. With a TV with a high contrast ratio, theres more difference between adjacent pixels so you see lines as being sharper and not "mushy"
 
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I'll have to look into High pass and Smart sharpen. I've downloaded a few PS CS3 actions that have helped a lot with my colors. I'm in a photoimaging course right now and we've started going over a bit of individual color adjustment and my photo's are starting to look quite a bit better. I was just hoping there was some sort of plug-in for photoshop that everyone but me knew about that made magical pictures at the touch of a button, lol.
 

Alpha

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High pass "sharpening" is a terrible way to retain natural colors. I generally frown upon using high pass in the way described by most tutorials. Of all the things high-pass is good for, I don't think sharpening is one of them.
 

The Phototron

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High pass "sharpening" is a terrible way to retain natural colors. I generally frown upon using high pass in the way described by most tutorials. Of all the things high-pass is good for, I don't think sharpening is one of them.
Yeah, High Pass seems to add nasty blue cast in some situations, or is it just me?
 

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