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Let's Talk Photography

Posted by: Murray Bloom on 02/04/2011 - 4:16 AM

Simply put, photography is magic captured in a box. Where else can the mere presence of light produce such lasting impact? Whether you work with digital, film, use a scanner, or whatever, this thread is for you.

I've wanted to do this for for quite a while, and now the time seems right. Since I'll be moderating the thread, I get to play God to a certain extent; so let me first say what this thread is not. It's not about me. There are lots of people here with qualified opinions on the subject. It's not about which camera to buy. If you have a question along those lines, just start a thread and I'm sure you'll get lots of good advice, as is usual here. It's not about how to copy your art. There has been a lot written here on that topic already and it's all available for ready reference. It's also not about digital art, photographs that have been so manipulated that they're no longer recognizable as photography; or purely digitally created images. That's a different animal altogether. For now, let's try to stick with images that originate by capturing light; which is, after all, what photography is.

For those who may not 'know' me, I'm an art school graduate, have been a professional photographer, specializing in advertising work, taught photography at a major state university, and now consider myself to be a serious photographic hobbyist (when I have the time). I've never lost the teaching bug, and occasionally give seminars on various aspects of photography. I'm not a 'know it all,' except that sometimes I do tend to write with the "voice of authority," and do tend to use my own images as visual aids. If you feel I'm slipping into pomposity, please call me on it. My idea here is to spread information, help raise everyone's competency level, and ensure that a good time is had by all.

I suppose that a question and answer format is a good way to start, and encourage anyone to jump aboard, whether asking or answering. Questions can be (but aren't limited to) technical, aesthetic, fundamental, advanced; in short whatever floats your boat, photographically.

Remember - let's have fun.

 

Oldest Reply

Posted by: Vivian ANDERSON on 02/04/2011 - 4:25 AM

You are so good to do this Murray. Thanks for offering to share your vast knowledge. I'll be queueing up with my list very soon, and look forward to others' q&a too.....all soo informative and helpful. I hope you don't mind me starting off with a simple statement, and that is: because you persued the issue of colour of the previews,etc., here, and because Sean has listened and respected our/your needs and found solutions, I'd like to say thank you to Sean here......you are obviously now so much more inspired to contribute at faa because of the improvements Sean instituted at your behest, and so it has all been truly beneficial all round. I'll be along to enquire when I have an intelligent question !! Thanks again.

 

Posted by: Murray Bloom on 02/04/2011 - 4:29 AM

Thanks, Viv. I'll admit to being more than a little bit selfish by harping on the preview quality issue. I wanted my images to look better, the way I intended them to look. Now Sean has worked his magic and all is well. Thanks again.

 

Posted by: Julie Lueders on 02/04/2011 - 4:38 AM

Murray here's a question, when you are composing your picture, do you have a formula you follow?

 

Posted by: Murray Bloom on 02/04/2011 - 4:57 AM

Julie, that's a biggie.

There are many rules about making good photographs. Photographers are often taught about the "Rule of Thirds," and there are those who prefer to shoot during the "Golden Hour" just before sunset.

I (somewhat proudly) don't follow any rules at all; well, at least consciously. When I compose a picture, my concentration is entirely inside the viewfinder. Simply put, I try to find the best combination of shape, form, color, texture, depth, and many other elements. It's 100% intuitive and totally in the moment. At a different time, I'd probably shoot a different picture. We've all looked at old images and found new ways to see them. I frame the image exactly as I see it (although it isn't always my viewfinder's 2X format), then back off or zoom out just slightly. This is important, since it's common to trim an image slightly in post-processing. Sometimes, I'll try an alternate framing or two.

I don't shoot with a digital mindset. When I go shooting with others, they frequently "bang away," taking picture after picture. I grew up with film, where every image was costly, and that's reflected in my shooting style, which others observe as contemplative and impossibly tedious. However, for me, each picture takes as long as it takes. No hurry.

As an example, I traveled through the Southwest for eight days. People I know would have returned with ten thousand pictures. I came back with about 250 different images. More than enough for my needs, as I have what people tell me is an astronomical success rate. I guess that, for me, it's about getting the image as perfect as I can at the time, and further refining it later; rather than just acquiring a lot of fodder for Photoshop. Either that, or maybe I just think slow.

 

Posted by: Denise Stephens on 02/04/2011 - 5:01 AM

I grew up with film too, and I am so grateful for that now. Taking the time to use the brain before pressing the button definitely produces better results.

 

Posted by: Murray Bloom on 02/04/2011 - 5:04 AM

Well put, Denise. :-)

 

Posted by: Julie Lueders on 02/04/2011 - 5:10 AM

What you say Murray is what I remember hearing from an old photography instructor, when you click the picture every thing should be perfect just as it is seen.

So do you understand yourself enough to know what about a subject immediately draws your eye, is it color, texture, angles..your first initial "grab"

Taking such limited pictures, do you ever feel like you missed something?

 

Posted by: Murray Bloom on 02/04/2011 - 5:35 AM

Second question first. Sometimes, I do. Here's an example:

Art Prints

In this case, this is a smaller crop of a larger image. It was one of those moments when I knew I had something interesting, but wasn't sure exactly what. The thing I wish I saw was another pair of ropes entering another hole at the right, which, with their reflection, would have been an interesting exercise. Here's the original shot:

Photography Prints

It's a matter of pre- and post-visualization. I employ both, and this is definitely a case of the latter.

First question now. No. While I'm aware of the sort of subjects I'm drawn to, I never know what will catch my eye, or why. I don't ask myself such questions. I just trust that there's enough 'out there' to keep me interested.

I'm not a believer in the "get it right in the camera" school of photography, though. There are those who refuse to alter the original composition or change anything at all in their images. I think of my captures as canvasses for further work; and many of my images are highly manipulated. However, my goal is to ensure that, no matter how much I fool with an image, it still looks entirely like a photograph.

 

Posted by: Brigitte Cadena on 02/04/2011 - 5:37 AM

You know Murray, I do the exact same thing. I only started using a digital camera in the last few years but it was always film for me and that forces you to see EXACTLY what you want in your picture. People have always told me that I have a great eye for a great picture and when I go out to shoot pictures I am always looking for a story or something I can relate to when I im working out the composition of the picture.

I am happy because my DAY job is my Dream Job. I take pictures of babies and I love it. It gives me so much and I have the time to concentrate on painting and working with other mediums.

Photography Prints

 

Posted by: Murray Bloom on 02/04/2011 - 5:41 AM

I think the "film" mentality may be more prevalent than we know, Brigitte. I like your Dream. Nice composition and light.

 

Posted by: Julie Lueders on 02/04/2011 - 6:03 AM

Nice images Murray, I love the reflection in the water also, that blue really pops.

You have a well trained eye Murray, I know when I'm directed at something its normally color that I'm drawn too. I'm trying to broaden my view a little more these days seeing textures and shadows.

When I was in school we were shooting Velvia and Kodachrome, So it was essential to get your shot perfect in the camera,, now we have photo shop.. and the likes,, I like it that you think of each image as a canvas,, great concept.

 

Posted by: Jane McIlroy on 02/04/2011 - 6:09 AM

Murray, I had started a contribution to this thread, but you posted again while I was typing, and most of what I was going to say is now redundant!

I agree absolutely with your last paragraph, "I'm not a believer in the "get it right in the camera" school of photography, though. There are those who refuse to alter the original composition or change anything at all in their images. I think of my captures as canvasses for further work; and many of my images are highly manipulated. However, my goal is to ensure that, no matter how much I fool with an image, it still looks entirely like a photograph."

I don't understand why some photographers feel they would lose some integrity by making changes to an original image as captured by the camera. We don't insist that a landscape painter should reproduce everything on canvas as it is in real life, in fact we expect to see the artist's interpretation of the scene, so why should it be different for photographers?

 

Posted by: Murray Bloom on 02/04/2011 - 6:18 AM

Sorry about that, Jane.

It comes from days when photography was just beginning to be taken seriously as an art form. A lot of value was placed on the integrity of the original capture. In fact, photographers often presented their images with the unfinished edges of the frame showing, even if it meant modifying their enlarger (the printing component of the day) to ensure that the edge was visible.

I suppose it was a valid argument at the time, but don't agree with it for today; although it still has its adherents. In fact, only last year, I heard the current chair of my alma mater's photography department spout the "get it right in the camera" maxim when she was judging a competition. But, I believe that with all the tools that we have available, cropping should certainly be one of them.

 

Posted by: Jane McIlroy on 02/04/2011 - 7:11 AM

Competitions are a separate issues though, and if the judges are looking for complete authenticity then we have to abide by the rules. I tend to do quite a lot of cloning - sometimes major reorganisation of the elements in an image, as well as the usual removal of telegraph wires etc. They way I see it, it's my picture and since I'm not trying to be a journalist, I can change anything I want to.

 

Posted by: Murray Bloom on 02/04/2011 - 7:14 AM

Obviously, I agree with you, Jane. In this case, it wasn't a rule, just her opinion. Your way of doing things is at least as valid.

 

Posted by: Jane McIlroy on 02/04/2011 - 7:46 AM

To change the subject slightly - and I hope this isn't too far off topic - could I ask for advice on this photo?

Sell Art Online

It was one I took about 6 years ago with my first little 2 MP digital camera, and I played around with it in the early days when I was still new-fangled with Photoshop filters. I can't remember now exactly what I did to it to get it to this stage, except that I've obviously enlarged it at some point and used a watercolor effect. I'm not really happy with it - it looks ok at a low resolution, but at the 100% view it sort of screams "photoshop". Is there any way of sort of toning down the effects a bit, without going back to the original (if I can even find it)?

 

Posted by: Stephen Campbell on 02/04/2011 - 9:51 AM

Great thread Murray as I am always trying to improve as a photographer. I have done HDR for a few years now and have tried to just increase the dynamic range of the camera's limitations. Hopefully I'll get better as there was a time years ago I used to bang off shots like there was no tomorrow. Now if theres nothing my limited eye can see, I move on! Will be following this post closely as I'm quite sure you will have good advise!

 

Posted by: Murray Bloom on 02/04/2011 - 9:59 AM

Yeah, Jane, watercolor effect for sure. I wouldn't have done that because I don't think it adds anything. I really don't know what you could have done with it except, perhaps make the sky a bit more dramatic and clone something into or darken those blown-out foreground areas. Not so crazy about that square format, either; but the road into the mountain is a nice touch and helps a bit. I get a feeling that the shot is leaning a bit rightward, but I don't think it really is. Overall, it's an okay documentary shot which may never have been destined to be much more than that. A crop from the top seems to work a bit, too, balance-wise.

 

Posted by: Murray Bloom on 02/04/2011 - 10:21 AM

Hi Stephen. I took a look at your work and, while I think your use of HDR has gone over the top a bit on a few of the pictures, making the images a bit 'posterish' (for want of a better term, perhaps too-colorful would be better), they're still attractive images to my eye. I'm not a fan of HDR used to create effects, especially 'grunge,' and tend to reserve its use for the reason it was created in the first place, which is to subtly increase the dynamic range. From your first page, I particularly like

Art Prints

and

Sell Art Online

 

Posted by: Chester Williams on 02/04/2011 - 10:35 AM

For me, at least, who was raised on medium format cameras and film, digital is certainly much more rewarding. There are, however, certain self imposed rules that I follow.
First of all, I do not crop my images. For me, cropping is a cop out and would make me a lazy photographer. I try and take the necessary time to work an image into something that I have pre-visualized before I click the shutter. This is strictly the way I photograph and I do not judge others.
Secondly, I shoot digital the same economical way I shot 120 film with my Rolleiflex. Every shot must matter and this is difficult with digital cameras and power drives where frames are free! The more frames I shoot, the more frames I have to edit. As I only shoot Raw, it would be a long, boring process!
,
As someone who was allergic to darkroom chemistry, the digital age has allowed me to be a complete photographer by allowing me to get the image I saw onto a sheet of photographic paper.

All the best.

 

Posted by: Stephen Campbell on 02/04/2011 - 10:39 AM

Thanks for looking Murray, some of the pictures of Vegas are renditions of the fairy tale quality this town exudes as the resorts wanted more color. HDR has a habit of squashing the midtones which is 90 percent of any image, I believe, and has to be brought back in post through contrast filters, levels and curves and so forth. Still refining all the time, thanks for the advice!

 

Posted by: Rein Karp on 02/04/2011 - 10:43 AM

I shoot film ( still). I learned 50 years ago with B&W film, which really teaches one to SEE ( the light and dark).

the most important thing for photogapers to learn is to shoot what you LOVE ( react to ), in my case: wilderness.

 

Posted by: Olga Hutsul on 02/04/2011 - 10:47 AM

I also started to playing with HDR recently and my observations are - not all subjects are really good for it. I sort of have fun with its painterly effect but then I use a lot of extra layering after in photoshop to significantly tone it down.

 

Posted by: Jane McIlroy on 02/04/2011 - 10:55 AM

Thanks for your advice, Murray, although I'm afraid I agree with you - it just didn't work out. I think I'll just write that one off to experience and move on!

 

Posted by: Brigitte Cadena on 02/04/2011 - 11:30 AM

Since we are on the topic of photography I have a couple of questions to keep this thread going. What is your favorite focus or subject to photograph? This answer will most likely answer my second question.

Let's see, I have shot photojournalistic photos and posed portrait photos, of course these subjects included people, pets or like birds or fish. I have shot skyscrapes, landskapes, skyscapes, seascapes, I have shot pictures of still life and outdoors like nature, flowers and trees. Ok I have taken picutres of just about everything and anything. I live here is Corpus Christi, Texas. A somewhat small city that has it's perks and quirks. I had a friend one time jokingly say, "Brigitte, what HAVEN'T you photographed?" and I was at a show about a month ago and it was funny to me but a patron was looking at my work on the wall and asked me where I traveled for the pics. Everything I shoot is done locally. So that was cool.

Having said all that, I don't even know what is my favorite 'subject' to photograph. I do like Macro work and have had fun creating abstract image using my macro lens.


Ok here is my NEXT question. when I took a photography class in college, we had these assignments to shoot in certain ways. Movement, Repetition, Diagnols, Dominant detail and I think the last one was Light/Shadow? Can't remember. Anyway each of these ways of shooting requires something different. I have to say I love repetition and Diagnols (Am I spelling this right?) oh well, so there it is my 2 questions. Let's hear it! What are your favorites and why?

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Posted by: Murray Bloom on 06/20/2012 - 1:59 PM

Hi Georgia. By 'static,' I mean not dynamic. When I compose and process an image, I want to encourage the viewer to investigate it. I usually do this with lines, shapes, form and color, in various combinations. Composition comes first. The thing I noticed about your photos is that most subjects were centered and you often have pulled back too far. The viewer might say, "yep, it's a door" (or a building, or a flower) and move on. You want to engage them and keep them there.

Here's an example. Flowers are the most overdone subject on FAA; but through his technique and vision, Mike Savad has created one of ther most engaging flower pictures that I've ever seen. You can't not explore it:


Art Prints


As for what's salable, that's anybody's guess. My first FAA sale wasn't an image that I thought was particularly commercial and wasn't even one of my favorites. But suffice to say, someone liked it enough to buy a large print. My advice is to just make each image the best that you can and let the sales take care of themselves,

It does help to define yourself as a photographer. While your galleries can contain many types of subjects (mine certainly do), I believe that they should still have a 'family' look to them, reflecting your visual approach. It has to do with creating a niche. or striking a chord with the viewer. Once you've done this, some viewers/buyers will learn where to come for a particular kind of image.

 

Posted by: Rich Franco on 06/20/2012 - 2:36 PM

Kim,

I'll jump in until Murray gets back! Did you shoot this in RAW? If so, you can probably get it right in ACR, using the "fill light" slider. And I wouldn't try and bring it up to the same light value as the right cheek, since it looks more natural to have a bit of shade there.

I assume in the last image, you "selected" her left cheek and then brightened it a bit and a bit too much. I would knock it back and then work with the edges to blend better, that's if you didn't have a RAW file to work from.

Hope this helps,

Rich

 

Posted by: Rich Franco on 06/20/2012 - 2:36 PM

Kim,

I'll jump in until Murray gets back! Did you shoot this in RAW? If so, you can probably get it right in ACR, using the "fill light" slider. And I wouldn't try and bring it up to the same light value as the right cheek, since it looks more natural to have a bit of shade there.

I assume in the last image, you "selected" her left cheek and then brightened it a bit and a bit too much. I would knock it back and then work with the edges to blend better, that's if you didn't have a RAW file to work from.

Hope this helps,

Rich

 

Posted by: Murray Bloom on 06/20/2012 - 2:45 PM

I agree with what Rich said, however . . .

If I'm looking at the right thing, the shadow is picking up the color of the cap and gown, which is completely natural for this shot. I wouldn't worry about it. I'd be more concerned with how you've flattened the contours of her face with your editing, particularly her right cheek. You've made it look a bit like she's pressing her face against a window.

 

Posted by: Kim Henderson on 06/20/2012 - 3:18 PM

Thanks Rich,

Yes, shot in Raw.
Actually, on the second image I did adjust the fill in slider in Light Room. My mistake maybe was not selecting only that area perhaps, I just adjusted on the entire image. I believe that's the image that the tassle is blown to bits as well, confirming a bad choice. I've never adjusted fill in with PS, I guess you make your selection first and then adjust the slider? oh, wait..ACR your referring to camera raw then, right? Well, I believe the same can be done in LR. I'll give it a try tonight..I also was wondering about a tool that fades well (?) I did try the eraser and
it fades but wasn't successful.
The last test, well I did a little bit of everything but maily I cloned, under the eye is terrible but I know I could go back in a fix that area easily I was just running out of time this morning. What I had trouble with this method in this test was the shadow around the left side of her mouth.. getting it to look natural and forming the round part of the left cheek similar to the right.. Is there such a thing a clone in reverse tool? lol! I laugh but am serious, there are many times that would come in handy. The problem with cloning this particular image is not one area is big enough to successfully clone from.
This was an unplanned shot..spur of the moment and at the end of a long afternoon. I was tired, didn't have a reflector of any kind nor anyone readily available to assist.



#3 (last test)Here, to make it easier for me to read your comments and look at the same time : )
Sell Art Online

 

Posted by: Ami Tirana on 06/20/2012 - 3:24 PM

My camera felt down and broken. Time to get a new one. A SLR. Any suggestions what I should get for a grade 2 out of 10 photograper? Help.

 

Posted by: Kim Henderson on 06/20/2012 - 3:26 PM

Hi Murray,

Are you saying you wouldn't worry about the shadow with the original image?
Also about her left cheek, are you refering to the original image?
Yes, absolutely agree on #2 and #3.. especially #3 that the cheek looks horrible. That's what I was telling
Rich, the ball (round part) of her cheek does not look natural and if I was able to referse clone I probably
could have got it (or close to)
Yes, I realize the purple shadow is coming from one of the two, when I first noticed it I thought to myself...wish it
wasn't there but was okay with it until I blew it up 8x10 and saw it was purple...just wasn't happy with it..
I tried cloning just the purple and not touching anything else but just not possible, the tonal difference in her skin
is too different.

 

Posted by: Kim Henderson on 06/20/2012 - 3:34 PM

Murray,

Sorry, I understand.. the right cheek lol! (her right,my left)

Here's #1 the orig
Sell Art Online

Here's#2 Test1
Photography Prints

 

Posted by: Murray Bloom on 06/20/2012 - 3:34 PM

You've lost modeling on her right (what you're calling her left) cheek. It looks flat and featureless compared to the left (right) one. Her right cheek is now too bright and pink.

She needs shadow on that cheek. Maybe try reducing, but not completely eliminating, the existing shadows, or maybe just painting one in. Reverse cloning of the opposite cheek won't work, since the light on the cloned part would be 180-degrees off, as would the perspective.

 

Posted by: Kim Henderson on 06/20/2012 - 4:19 PM


Okay, I will try again to reduce the shadows from the original...I did try that already but I did not select just the shadows on her face separately, I just slid the fill light bar back n forth and never did find aything that looked good. Adjusting the shadow bar did not do it either.
This is the first time I have ever tried editing a persons face for a portrait..well, beyond the easy stuff like simple fly away hair and blemishes..I see tutorials in my future :D
Thanks Rich and Murray!

 

Posted by: Murray Bloom on 06/20/2012 - 5:29 PM

Ami, there are many choices available. I suggest that you make a post to the general Forum, telling what your needs are, price range, etc. There are people who use many types of cameras that, I'm sure, will be eager to contribute.

 

Posted by: Kim Henderson on 06/21/2012 - 12:05 AM

Murray & Rich,

Here is my final image...After trying everything I could think of and ready to give up and accept it the way it was, I discovered the
opacity for the clone stamp in PS was adjusted too high...once I lowered that I was able to get results I am happy with. Only thing,
I would change, if I ever want to pull it up again, would be to brighten her eyes.. But anyway, just wanted to share my final image
and how an oversight caused me alot of hours :( lol!


Photography Prints

 

Posted by: Gregory Scott on 06/21/2012 - 12:09 AM

Suggestion. That's about the third time I've had to look up ACR and find out that it's Adobe Camera Raw. When referring to such acronyms, it's kind to spell it out for the novices AND the forgetful old folks at home.

 

Posted by: Murray Bloom on 06/21/2012 - 12:21 AM

Kim, this is more what I had in mind. It was done in about five minutes using only the Clone Stamp, Dodge tool and Healing Brush in Photoshop:


Sell Art Online

 

Posted by: Helen Fern on 06/21/2012 - 12:47 AM

I learned photography with the old fashioned, 35mm SLR. When it was damaged, I went to the "grandma point and shoot". Digital SLR was out of my budget, until my wonderful brother game me one. Piece of cake, right? Wrong!! Digital is very different than film! I don't like adding things, like the photos that add the dramatic clouds and are no longer the images you say when you were looking at the sky - I love to look at the ordinary things in life and make them extraordinary - but I'm having some arguments with the camera! What setting do I use?? Is auto the best?? How do I control the shutter AND the fstop? I can only figure out how to control one of the other! Any suggestions where to go to learn all this? And what software is best for just the basic development (Cropping, contrast, etc.) ? I tried lightroom and it was just too complicated. (I've been using picassa).

Tell me anything you think helpful - anything you want! I am a sponge ready to take on every little drop I can get!!

Thanks!

 

Posted by: Helen Fern on 06/21/2012 - 12:47 AM

I learned photography with the old fashioned, 35mm SLR. When it was damaged, I went to the "grandma point and shoot". Digital SLR was out of my budget, until my wonderful brother game me one. Piece of cake, right? Wrong!! Digital is very different than film! I don't like adding things, like the photos that add the dramatic clouds and are no longer the images you say when you were looking at the sky - I love to look at the ordinary things in life and make them extraordinary - but I'm having some arguments with the camera! What setting do I use?? Is auto the best?? How do I control the shutter AND the fstop? I can only figure out how to control one of the other! Any suggestions where to go to learn all this? And what software is best for just the basic development (Cropping, contrast, etc.) ? I tried lightroom and it was just too complicated. (I've been using picassa).

Tell me anything you think helpful - anything you want! I am a sponge ready to take on every little drop I can get!!

Thanks!

 

Posted by: Murray Bloom on 06/21/2012 - 1:02 AM

Hi Helen. Welcome. You've asked a lot of questions, so let me make a start and we'll see where it goes. First, what camera are you using? Most models will have a manual setting, allowing you to control both shutter speed and aperture. Aperture Priority is a particularly useful setting.

Picasa is a good starting point, and the next logical step for many people will be Photoshop Elements. But learn to use the camera first.

How long have you been shooting?

 

Posted by: Kim Henderson on 06/21/2012 - 9:18 AM




Very nice, Murray!..I did not even try to remove the second shadow (one nearest her nose and mouth)
Okay, okay...now that you did, I see that I must... lol! Not anytime soon though, i've just had enough :D
Thanks, Murray

 

Posted by: Patrick Anthony Pierson on 06/21/2012 - 10:19 AM

 

Posted by: Murray Bloom on 06/21/2012 - 1:57 PM

Kim, in case you're interested in how I "fixed" the picture, I'll attempt to paint a word picture for you. This image is a good illustration of the benefit of being proactive (rather than reactive) with Photoshop. Rather than trying to just get rid of the shadows, I decided on how I wanted the picture to look when I was finished, and worked toward that.

The first thing I did was to subdue the shadows with the Dodge tool, at about 15% opacity with a very soft brush. I took them down to approximate the luminance of the surrounding skin. The color match was awful, but I could see the beginning of contour. I used a few brush sizes, and finished off with a relatively small one to work the transitions.

Next, I built up the "new" parts by cloning small patches of skin from her opposite cheek (20% opacity). which built texture and contour, and this began to move the color in the right direction. Once I had believable facial contours, I began to clone color into the new areas, again with the soft brush and low opacity, building the color until I had a good match. It still looked a bit like a patchwork, but only slightly.

Once I had the basic contours and surface done, I switched to the Healing Brush (soft brush again) and, using samples from the same cheek, blended all the rough edges. I finished up by healing some color into the area, again from nearby areas of good skin.

You'll notice that I didn't use any selections, since I've found they often cause problems with smooth surfaces like flesh. You can do it, but it's usually not worth all the selecting or the hard edge that can remain. Soft brushes are the key, and I imagine that airbrushing could work, although I've never tried it. There's a lot in Photoshop that I've never tried.

I'm pretty much a hack when it comes to Photoshop. Experienced PS artists would have a coronary if they watched me work. I work destructively, seldom use layers (although I do save incremental versions), and only know how to do what I need to do. My PS repertoire is very limited.

I hope this gives you some idea of what I did; or at least I hope I didn't confuse you completely.

 

Posted by: Murray Bloom on 06/21/2012 - 2:03 PM

Patrick, I'm not a video guy, but the Black Magic system seems like it will fill a niche between higher end camcorders and professional digital cinema cameras. I've been following the RED system since its inception, and have watched it come to dominate the world of digital cinema.

Here's their link:

http://www.red.com

 

Posted by: Kim Henderson on 06/21/2012 - 3:47 PM



Thank You so much, Murray

There is alot of elements that occur out on the battlefield that I can't control so I use Photoshop alot. I obviously could use a whole lot more training but have found to get pretty crafty with the cloning tool, ofcourse my opinion lol!

With this particular image my first mistake for me was trying to do alot of this in Lightroom but I won't go into details of that.
I agree with Photoshop the way to go is using soft brushes and low opacity, was told few years back to always start low on opacity and increase if needed. With this image I just goof initially and overlooked it was set high..
I found the healing brush to be useful as well in Photoshop (no luck in Lightroom for me)
Using the clone stamp, I found it easier to start on the left side of her right cheek where the darkest, purple shadow was and work
right. For some reason going right to left just really messed things up and that was even with low opacity.
But anyway, what you did looks good. ; )

I want to make sure I understand you when you say you didn't use any selections..are you refering to using one of the tools to select
and area to correct? If so, I totally agree. I can say I agree after working on this image, lol! I'm not in the habit of using the selecting tools
anyway, it's just me...I also do not use layers, I dream of one day doing so..I so want to...To be honest, I am confused by the whole layers issue anyway. I don't intentionaly go and "create a new layer" but as I am working on an image I notice down to the bottom right of the screen
it will list layers... Well, maybe if you are still reading this lol! you can answer that for me.

To make a lesson of this image maybe you can point out what you would have done in camera if you had taken the image with the same scenerio? Bright sun, changing location not possible, no assistant,nothing to shade or reflect...I'd have to look, I don't remember off hand
what lens I used nor settings or distance.




 

Posted by: John Crothers on 06/21/2012 - 5:28 PM

Helen...

Check out the following site...

http://www.digitalcameraworld.com/

HOURS of surfing on that site.

 

Posted by: Murray Bloom on 07/08/2012 - 2:13 PM

I think the time has come to finally close this thread. It has been pretty much dormant for a while, and there are several other photographers willing and eager to share their expertise.

I want to thank everyone who's read and contributed to the thread; especially those who have told me that it has helped them in their pursuit of better images.

I'll leave it open until tonight just in case anyone has anything else to say.

It's been a pleasure.

 

Posted by: Arlene Carmel on 07/08/2012 - 2:37 PM

Murray, I am one of those who has benefited. Thank you so much!!

 

Posted by: Gregory Scott on 07/08/2012 - 2:58 PM

Thanks Murray. Amazing thread.

 

Posted by: Murray Bloom on 07/08/2012 - 11:24 PM

That's all, folks.

See y'all on the flip side.

 

This discussion is closed.