PP question


TPF Noob!
Jul 6, 2008
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Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Hi, i`m trying to touch up a couple of my images i took recently, but im very new to post processing.

In this shot i tried to sharpen, and adjust the contrast and brightness to improve the picture, but i`m not sure if ive done it correctly or just ruined it. I`ve also done a little bit of cloning in the power socket just for practice.

Can anyone give me opinions of it please and any advice that seems necessary.


The original

The PP shot
Looks like its a bit overdone.
When converting to black and white try to do your main adjustments before converting. Most of your problems can probably be taken care of with levels and curves adjustments. Then convert.
One thing I have learned is be real conservative with the sharpen tool. I use it very selectively now.
That's an adorable smile.
contrast and brightness

Contrast and brightness have their uses, but they're poor tools for increasing contrast while in RGB mode (I've found much more use for contrast/brightness working in Lab -- whole 'nother topic though).

Levels and curves should be your go-to tools for tonal shaping, it's what they're designed for.

You can eek out more contrast by applying a first-pass tonal correction to the entire image, and a second pass (subtle) on a luminosity-blended layer adjustment.

I second DRoberts in regards to the sharpening tool. It's best used with restraint. If you already have a well-exposed, contrast-y image, you don't need as much sharpening.
Rufus, can you elaborate a bit on what you mean by "first-pass tonal correction". What does that mean? (thanks in advance)
It's just the first tonal correction you do. The first time on an image I open Levels or Curves to make a tonal adjustment. 99% of the time, you'll do this on the entire image or layer (or better yet, copy of the layer). Because you're tugging around sliders and curves while affecting the entire RGB spectrum, you sometimes alter the colors. If you go too far you can end up with areas of posterization.

When I really need an image to have a bit of extra punch, I'll do the normal tonal correction (levels or curves) as I usually would, then I'll do another levels or curves on an adjustment layer that's blended using 'luminosity' rather than 'normal' (in reality, these days, I mostly use Lab mode for that adjustment, but it can be done in RGB with the luminosity layer). Hence that becomes the 'second pass'.

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