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Behold! The power of processing!

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by Bokeaji, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    I recently showed web-betty what tonal contrast could do for her photo of a cool metal building. it made me think "i wonder how many photographers we have here that done have aperture or lightroom, and an accompanying software suite like nik or topazlabs, alien skin, vsco, etc

    so heres a photo i took, and a handful of variations of it. all of these changes were accomplished in under a minute, and for the orange one(since i use that part of the program a lot) it took under 15 seconds!
    This isnt a "hey look how cool i am" thread
    its a "hey look how easy it can be to get some totally different results using some software" thread, lol

    i know we always have tons of "what should i buy next" threads, and i think, if you have a favorite lens, a good enuf camera, yer next step is some good software to yank the most out of those files!

    now these are all very ELIOT-ized photos, which i know isnt everyones fav ... :) .... but mebbe someone else can throw up a few more generally accepted types of processing for a photo. a few diff vsco film effects for a portrait, or something...

    anyways
    hoping this can be used to show what software can do without having to spend hours working on a photo, and for less money than most new lenses, and certainly less than a new camera... should you just be in a GAS mood :)


    anyways
    i hope people can get some ideas on the various things that are easily doable to their files with just some slider tweaking and experimenting.
    looking forward to someone with a more traditional view on processing to toss some stuff up as well!
     
    • Like Like x 19
  2. chonbhoy

    chonbhoy Mu-43 Veteran

    430
    Apr 23, 2013
    Scottish Highlands
    Nice one! learning to use PS is on my to do list that i never get around to, but these kind of posts might give me the kick up the arse/butt i need.The first one is my favourite.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    The first one makes me think of The Starry Night.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    well all of these were done in the addon programs, not with normal full on PS. just click a lil preview window on the left side... then on the right side there are sliders to adjust the changes... i believe these were all done by tweaking less than 7 sliders

    no masking skills or layers knowledge needed! i have NO idea how to use PS
     
  5. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 4, 2010
    Image Number 2 FTW!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    i actually think im going to print that one on aluminum or glass(where the slight yellowing that printing on glass seems to cause wont bug me with it all being orange toned)
     
  7. woody112704

    woody112704 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    526
    Dec 13, 2012
    Iowa
    Jared
    What program/preset did you use for number 2?
     
  8. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Topaz Labs - Simplify

    finishing touches:
    change the quad tones to a dark brown, a bright orange, an unripe tangerine orangey yellow, and white
    space them out pretty evenly as steps from dark brown near the left side, to white being near the right side. adjust to taste
    with the quadtones, the first color kinda adjusts yer black point, the fourth color yer white point, and the 2 other colors lowlights and highlights

    globla adjustments:
    simplify
    simplify size max
    feature boost 0

    each photo needs slightly diff settings, but you can just jump the sliders to each extreme to see what general effect theyll have on the photo, then fine tune nudge it till u get it Juuuuuuust right
     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. chonbhoy

    chonbhoy Mu-43 Veteran

    430
    Apr 23, 2013
    Scottish Highlands
    Oh right, 7 sliders aint tooo bad, is there a free version with only 2 dials for me.:wink:
     
  10. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    you can always just click a preset and still be amazed! i remember the first day i got nik trial. i clicked a b&w preview in silver efex and was ASTONISHED how much i loved it. ONE CLICK! *AMAZEMENT*
     
  11. chonbhoy

    chonbhoy Mu-43 Veteran

    430
    Apr 23, 2013
    Scottish Highlands
    Iv'e read a lot of posts mentioning silver efex on here and seen some results it must be good, ill have a look into it.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    there are trials for NIK, Topaz Labs, Alien Skin
    i couldnt find a trial for VSCO, the other day when i glanced at their site,

    theyre all worth a look!

    i know topaz gives you 30 days, and alien skin 2 weeks... ive owned nik forever, so i cant recall its duration. but topaz for a month will give you a lot of programs to fiddle with and have some fun!
     
  13. Matero

    Matero Mu-43 Veteran

    455
    Jun 22, 2013
    Finland
    I liked second and third. I'm clumsy in post-processing but sometimes I also like just to experiment with sliders. Well, not worth showing to anyone, but just for own fun :)
     
  14. geoawelch

    geoawelch Mu-43 Regular

    120
    Nov 18, 2011
    NH
    Good post - it isn't always about the hardware
     
  15. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    Bangkok
    rob collins
    I love plugins. I think that

    1) They can save you a lot of time in the creative process
    2) And they can achieve a lot that is difficult to do in other programs

    But I do have some reservations about them which I will admit are pretty subjective. First I do think some plugins are far better than others. Some are rather overpowering in my view in that they sort of take over the photo. I am not particularly wild about things like 'star effects' or for that matter 'lens flare in photoshop'. Some plugins sort of replace the entire creative process by giving 100s of presets that you simply click on until you find ones you like - Topaz restyle for instance.

    I have tried out pretty much all the plugins.

    Nik is simply brilliant and I would recommend to anyone.
    Topaz is a mix bag - I like clarity, simplicity and details

    Of the ones yet to get a mention I like
    Portraiture - a frequency separation skin retouching plugin
    Totally Rad's - Radlab
    Totally Rad's - Dirty pictures

    I tend to think the film presets are something that you can easily get dragged into - sort of like catnip for photographers. I have to admit to owning VSCO which is excellent but I do tend to get very excited about them, buy them and then never use them again.
     
  16. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Can you post up some examples of the portrait skin freq program?
     
  17. vtsteevo

    vtsteevo Mu-43 Regular

    96
    Nov 20, 2012
    can you post the original photo as well?
     
  18. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    Bangkok
    rob collins
    OK. But this is very much a plugin that you want to trial before you buy as retouching is highly subjective.

    So I am going to start with a close up of a pretty girl.

    Clipboard_Image_7_.

    Very natural looking. Really we could leave her totally untouched - the freckles are cute. I wouldnt want to obliterate the character in her skin. Now there is a huge amount of control in this plugin but I am going here for 'one click' at 'default' settings. So no more than 10 seconds in total. The result....

    Clipboard_Image_8_.

    Now that aint bad at all. It is a little too much for me, probably not enough for some people. So reduce the opacity to 50%. Another 5 seconds.

    Clipboard_Image_9_.

    That's about right for me.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  19. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    cool thanks robbie!
     
  20. tomO2013

    tomO2013 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    799
    Oct 28, 2013
    Nik color efex also has a dynamic skin softener tool built in which does a similar job - if you already own the Nik Collection (and at 130 bucks its the best bang for the buck) then you already have this.

    I haven't compared with the portraiture myself, but others here have said that portraiture is far more versatile and gives more natural results. Despite purchasing Topaz studio and Nik collection, I've only dabble lightly in either studio. Robbie makes a great point, sometimes you can simply just over process an image - something I've been guilty of in the past looking at some of my pics!