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Fix My Photo CHALLENGE - Hippo

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by s0nus, Sep 28, 2011.

  1. s0nus

    s0nus Mu-43 Veteran

    424
    Dec 13, 2010
    Chicago
    I got this idea when going through Alan's recent thread on post processing to create a competition of sorts focused solely on Post Processing.

    Welcome to the Fix My Photo CHALLENGE - Hippo Edition!
    • What: Process the photo below to your heart's content. Anything goes. Cropping, colorization, realistic, abstract. No rules. Post your version in this thread anytime before the deadline. Describe what you did! (what steps you took, any special plugins you used, etc.). Feel free to submit as many versions as you wish!
    • When: Your deadline is October 9th, 8:00PM CST, at which point I will collect the entries and create a poll for everyone to vote.
    • Why: "But Sonus, why the heck would I fix your photo? What's in it for me?" Consider it practice. Consider it a learning experience. Consider it a teaching experience - share your knowledge!
    Without further adieu, the Hippo (click to download full resolution OOC JPEG):

    [​IMG]

    Good luck!
     
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  2. Janine4d

    Janine4d Mu-43 Regular

    Great idea!!
     
  3. lubov

    lubov Mu-43 Veteran

    417
    Apr 4, 2011
    It is a good idea, but would be alot more enticing if it was the RAW file. I can see sharpening and jpeg artifacts already.
     
  4. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    With All due respect - its not a great photo to start with - very noisy ... but here is my quick 5 minute PP in Aperture

    i3IQajYUWS1IC.


    Basic Recipe

    1) Crop to rule of thirds putting the horizon on 1/3 down from the top

    2) White Balance using the numberplate of the Jeep to warm the image up - also a touch of Vibrancy/Saturation

    3) set white and black points in Curves to punch up the contrast and lighten the image

    4) Lastly I dodged the hippo - in that I lightened up the shadow side of the hippo.

    Probably could have done a bit more with the RAW file

    will be interested to see other peoples take on this

    K
     
    • Like Like x 4
  5. Okay, I'm game to have a go.

    Initial considerations:
    Image is taken in low light (dusk?) at ISO 1600 and is quite noisy and not super-sharp. Colours are muted. Background is a bit misty looking with low contrast. This is all pointing me towards B&W.

    Process as follows:
    Nik Silver Efex - High Structure (harsh). Adds texture to the foreground and bring out the trees from the background
    Nik Color Efex - Darken/Lighten Centre. Control point moved upwards to near the Hippo's head. Centre lightened slightly, border darkened, centre size increased. The offset control point darkens the foreground without darkening the sky. The track around the Hippo and the 4WD is lightened.
    Nik Color Efex - Cross Processing (L05). Adds a greenish tint to the image. The strength of the filter is reduced to ~30% to keep the tint subtle.
    PS - Tone curve adjustment. S curve used. Shadows darkened slightly, highlights lightened to increase contrast.
    PS - Unsharp mask. Image sharpened slightly to bring out some detail. Excessive sharpening would not suit this style of processing.
    PS - Crop. The vignette in the top right corner was noticeably darker than the top left so the top and right edge of the image has been cropped slightly. I probably could have been slightly more aggressive here as I think it is still not quite equal.

    End result:

    i3IQajYUWS1IC-PR.
     
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  6. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    I was also thinking maybe a sepia would work

    i3IQajYUWS1IC_1_.

    K
     
    • Like Like x 4
  7. Yeah, I'm definitely liking the tinted monochrome style for this image. It's difficult to try to pull the colours back due to the high noise, so I was happy to lose them altogether :smile:
     
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  8. Janine4d

    Janine4d Mu-43 Regular

    Alright, here's my contribution. :smile: I really hope more people will take part because I love this kind of challenge! I like learning and sharing new tricks.

    [​IMG]

    First of all I loaded this photo into adobe camera raw using the bridge, even though it's not a raw file. But I like the quick and easy and non-destructive way to edit photos in there. I used to do most of my post processing with Photoshop filters but I've made a gradual transition to doing most of it within camera raw (you can do the same in Lightroom). I especially love the gradient controls for a photo like this.

    So what I did with this photo was crop it to 3:2 format since I really liked the hazy treeline. So I gave that area more prominence. The sky takes up the upper third now (I use the grid as guide when cropping). I know the photo is actually a little too blurry and has quite a bit of noise to crop that much but it's for web use only anyway and to demonstrate PP so ignore the slightly lacking quality. I think ISO 1600 is pushing it a little. :wink:

    These are the camera raw settings I used:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The most obvious changes are the colour of the picture and the gradients I added to the ground and sky. You can really change the mood and warmth of a photo just by changing the white balance, that's a really great colour grading tool. So here I added more yellow and green.

    I also added more fill light since I'm using gradients to darken the sky and foreground, so it needs a bit of fill light to add some overall brightness. If you're working with a raw file you could also turn up the exposure a little instead. Just keep an eye on the histogram at the top. Luckily this photo doesn't have clipped highlights or shadows, so it's a very nice base to work with, even as a jpg.

    Some other tweaks I did were extra contrast and clarity and some vibrance/saturation adjustments. That brings out more colour in the sky for example. I also added a little bit of noise reduction. But I didn't do any sharpening, I did that at the end in photoshop after scaling the photo to web size. I could probably improve the sharpening and color noise reduction if I spent more time with it, but I was in a rush. :tongue:

    But what I did do in Photoshop after I was done in camera raw was duplicate the background layer and apply some unsharp mask. I wanted some extra local contrast just for the path in the foreground (you could also use Nik color effex tonal contrast for this). I used an amount of 58% and radius of 3 for that (threshold 0). Then I added a layer mask, made it black, then used a big soft brush to apply the unsharp mask effect only to some of the foreground. The mask looks like this:

    [​IMG]

    And that's it. :smile:

    And indeed - next time I'd love to use a raw file instead, and one with a better ISO and a sharper lens/aperture, but hey sometimes you're forced to make the best of what you have. :wink:
     
    • Like Like x 8
  9. lubov

    lubov Mu-43 Veteran

    417
    Apr 4, 2011

    1.Increase exposure in ACR
    2.Get rid of a bit on noise using Nik Dfine
    3. Increase contrast in PS
    4. Use curve adjustemnts to pull the colours apart.
    5 Very small bit of sharpening on hippo .

    *Edit*

    6. Cropped.
     
    • Like Like x 6
  10. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Here's mine... I just did in bed with the iPad and snapseed

    Center focus: around hippo n jeepy thingy
    Tune image: ambiance, saturation, white balance
    Vintage: for texture n washed out, old look
    Frames

    Sent from my iPad using Mu-43 App
     

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 6
  11. s0nus

    s0nus Mu-43 Veteran

    424
    Dec 13, 2010
    Chicago
    Unfortunately, I do not have a RAW file. The original was shot in JPEG.

    Indeed. 1600ISO JPEG. Wouldn't be much of a challenge otherwise, would it? :biggrin:

    --

    Really good stuff so far. Keep them coming!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    Luke
    I call this one Gustav Klimt's Safari......


    Gustav Klimt's Safari by Lukinosity (buried with work), on Flickr

    I added the large size so you could see the details. Often when I have noisy images like this, I'll do a heavy processing or painting technique where the noise doesn't matter. It lets the composition remain and keeps the memory of the excitement of capturing the image come through without the reminder of the shortcomings of the equipment.

    I used a painting program called Dynamic Auto-Painter and then layered it with the original shot in Photoshop Elements to bring back some of the photographic qualities that get eradicated in the painting program. I hope you like it.
     
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  13. retnull

    retnull Mu-43 Regular

    68
    Feb 12, 2010
    So far I like Janine4d's cropping, and KevinInParis' sepia tint treatment.
    Those two combined would be a winner, for me.

    Great thread!
     
  14. vidiot72

    vidiot72 Mu-43 Veteran

    208
    Aug 11, 2011
    Montgomery, Alabama
    I just pulled it into photoshop, duplicated the layer and sharpened the top one. I adjusted the opacity to 33%. I copied the first layer again and did a mask to make the truck a little out of focus. Then I added the red gradiant at the top and a real slight black gradiant at the bottom. I brightened the vibrance a little and the saturation and contrast and cropped it down to 4X6.
    hippo.
     
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  15. dtchan

    dtchan Mu-43 Veteran

    364
    Nov 24, 2010
    Lol I did mine in bed too with snapseed but couldn't figure out how to attach the pic with the app. How do you do it? I end up going back to my comp to do it in photoshop but just when I wanted to upload my Internet died. I will add mine shortly.
     
  16. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Love it!

    Sent from my iPad using Mu-43 App
     
  17. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Cool idea!

    Here's my less-than-amateur PP take on your hippo. I was not there, of course, but I was guessing the road and bush would look fairly dry.

    hippo2-XL.

    I used Color Efex Pro 4 in Lightroom and stacked the High Key and Graduated ND filters. I am not a big NR guy, prefer grain, and I used nothing but default LR export settings here. A bit more noise than I am used to, though, so will not hold up at 100%. A nice print I think, though.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  18. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    Here's my shot at it. I took the approach of cropping it down to get the hippo in the foreground because it seems to convey the potential drama (or at least confusion) of the situation a little more immediately. I cropped it in Aperture and then off to Silver Efex Pro for everything else. The focus was a bit soft, so I added some structure and some grain to give it some edge. I brought the color back in pretty much everywhere, but to somewhat varying degrees. I tried to lighten up the hazy areas to maintain the hazy feel of the background and of the day. I added a touch of edge burn (sort of a highly controlled type of vignette) and changed the underlying toning to a yellowish tone (don't remember whether it was coffee or one of the other yellowish tones). For all of the little tricks, I thought the crop was the most important element to get rid of a bunch of foreground and sky. You really need the hippo, the truck, the trees, and the haze to make this photo work, so I got rid of as much else as possible, and then roughed it up some...

    -Ray

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/6192474266/" title="Hippo (2) by ramboorider1, on Flickr">"1024" height="683" alt="Hippo (2)"></a>
     
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  19. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    I do like this framing a lot.

    s0nus - next time we need you very close to the hippo, I am thinking 12mm for the lens! :biggrin:
     
  20. dtchan

    dtchan Mu-43 Veteran

    364
    Nov 24, 2010
    I love this idea. It's great to see other people's take on this. My processing is a bit redundant but here's what I did.

    1. Crop the image so I get a better idea of what the final might look like.
    2. Sadly after cropping, the noise became much more apparent, so I reduced noise.
    3. Silver Efex - Structure - Blending Luminosity.
    4. Color Efex - Brilliance Warmth.
    5. Sky was very noisy so I reduce noise some more just for the skies.
    6.Color Efex - Brilliance Warmth again cause I thought it was still too dull.
    7. Color Efex - Add border to make it more focus on the image.
    8. The image is pretty much done but it's just not that striking in those colors, so I turned it sepia and embraced the noise. I am still not satisfy with the blochiness noise in the sky. Probably a side effect of my previous noise reduction in the early rounds. I think now it looks like a old photo which is kind of cool.


    hippo.
     
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