48-Hour Post-Processing Challenge #559 (closed, results announced)

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#1 Nice image of a place so familiar that I've never been.
I used Nik HDR to merge the raw files.
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#2 Something different from Topaz Studio
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RichardC

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NOT AN ENTRY

I'm not in the slightest bit jealous of those nice people, enjoying themselves in the open air on a warm evening in the Champ de Mars, no social distancing required, no riots, not a care in the world.

Take that suckers!


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relic

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Entry #2: I felt my 1st entry was harsh, and here I tried to educe the harshness.

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Edited in Frank's Silver Efex.

PPC559mid-1.jpg
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Just kidding. 😉 Edited from the "mid" RAW file in RawTherapee and the GIMP. First balanced shadows and highlights in RawTherapee, then used 'overlay' and 'soft light' layers with masks in the GIMP to make further local adjustments to the lighting.

Tried working with colour first, but I was afraid to mess things up because I'm colour-blind, so went with monochrome instead.
 
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Hendrik

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I used the bright and mid files. Tweaked for exposure independently in Adobe Camera Raw. Synchronised perspective correction. Blended with a luminance mask in Photoshop adding a curves layer to darken the image top-down with a gradient mask. I liked this approach better than HDR, which I also tried. It's still probably waay more dramatic than the actual scene appeared at the time.

Image replaced: the downrezzing amplified a couple of artifacts, ughh.

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Hendrik

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Finally got the HDR to (sorta) work. Middle & Bright exposures. HDR in Photoshop/Adobe Camera Raw. Cleanup in Photoshop.

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RichardC

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Image replaced: the downrezzing amplified a couple of artifacts, ughh.
I used to down size everything upon export.

I picked up some resizing tips from a lynda.com course. Basically, resize in photoshop (Image>image size) and try the various downsampling methods. The consensus is that bicubic (smooth gradients) should be best, however, I sometimes get better results with nearest neighbour - the former being too soft for me at 1600px.

Why do we make the pictures so small anyway?
 
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Hendrik

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I used to down size everything upon export.

I picked up some resizing tips from a linda.com course. Basically, resize in photoshop (Image>image size) and try the various downsampling methods. The consensus is that bicubic (smooth gradients) should be best, however, I sometimes get better results with nearest neighbour - the former being too soft for me at 1600px.

Why do we make the pictures so small anyway?
Because if we don't the forum will. Historically, I think the real answer is bandwidth (for those whose gerbils get tired providing juice for the DSL Modem.)

Thanks for the tip. Resizing before exporting is usually the way to go, for sure. In this case, it's possible that using the legacy export (used to be Save For Web...) bought me a little bit of extra effort, but I'm not certain. Before resizing I missed seeing that I had a couple of high-contrast 1-pixel selection mistakes (they looked like a couple of weirdly placed, hyper-aggressive sharpening halos) which the program mistook for important detail and thoughtfully preserved. Oops. After resizing, they were still one pixel wide but out of 1600 rather than 46xx, so they looked three times worse. Bicubic automatic is pretty good, usually. I think just about any sharpening routine would have attempted to do the same thing. I ended up simply cloning them out before export.
 
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  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
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For these challenges, I usually take The RAW file through DxO, select a crop I like, do my other DxO changes, and export to a 16-bit TIFF at full res. I then go to Gimp and resize to the range of 2400 to 3000 before doing the rest of my edits. When I am done, I usually just export to JPEG at that same size and let the forum scale it for me, but if I am not happy with the forum’s result, I scale it to 1600 in Gimp and add a bit of sharpening before reposting it to the forum. Working with a smaller image size with 16-bit files makes things faster In Gimp, especially if I have several active layers. And the extra pixels at ~2400 allows me room if I want to crop more at the end.
 
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Interesting. I always thought the "resize to 1600px" rule was there to prevent us from pixel-peeping when deciding which one is the best. Kind of making sure that we judge the artistic result rather than the technical quality. But I guess "the forum resizes the pictures anyway" makes more sense. :)
 

BosseBe

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I use the raw file (if provided) in DxO, sometimes using NIK or Elements, but mostly just DxO.
On Export I have a preset for Web-size (1600 on the long side) with BiCubic sharper for interpolation so I just use that.
I have used other interpolations when the BiCubic gives me jagged lines (standing rig on a boat).
 

relic

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I use the raw file (if provided) in DxO, sometimes using NIK or Elements, but mostly just DxO.
On Export I have a preset for Web-size (1600 on the long side) with BiCubic sharper for interpolation so I just use that.
I have used other interpolations when the BiCubic gives me jagged lines (standing rig on a boat).
Elements suggests bicubic sharper for downsizing, but I found that in many cases it oversharpens (as you have found out too using DxO) so now I always use bicubic, then sharpen using Unsharp Mask at a radius of 0.3 and an amount of 20 to 40 while looking at sharp edgies (if there any in focus) at 2x magnification in order to detect any halos. If I'm exporting/dowsizing directly from DxO, I do the same, but omit the final sharpening (since in order to sharpen I would have to import the downsized file again into DxO). I am saying this not as a suggestion for others to follow, but rather in an attempt to elicit suggestions for improving my methods
 

BosseBe

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Elements suggests bicubic sharper for downsizing, but I found that in many cases it oversharpens (as you have found out too using DxO) so now I always use bicubic, then sharpen using Unsharp Mask at a radius of 0.3 and an amount of 20 to 40 while looking at sharp edgies (if there any in focus) at 2x magnification in order to detect any halos. If I'm exporting/dowsizing directly from DxO, I do the same, but omit the final sharpening (since in order to sharpen I would have to import the downsized file again into DxO). I am saying this not as a suggestion for others to follow, but rather in an attempt to elicit suggestions for improving my methods
What we need to remember is that different programs have different implementations of the algorithms, so BiCubic Sharper in Elements is not the same as in DxO.
In DxO when downsizing on export you have 3 alternatives for interpolation, BiCubic Sharper, BiCubic and Linear.
When Bicubic Sharper gave me jagged lines in the standing rigging of the boat I used Linear as that got rid of the problem (or at least minimized it).

I am a lazy guy, so I will try to learn as much as possible about one program and use it to its max, before I turn to a program that I am not as familiar with.
DxO works for me most of the time, when it doesn't I either have to take the time to try to use some other program or I can decide to satisfied with the results I have.
I often decide to be satisfied with I have! 😎
 
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