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Lets talk (argue?) PP. Here are some examples

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by Alanroseman, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
    I had a very early morning client today, driving through Barrington, RI I thought I'd stop and shoot a little of their harbor on this very foggy morning.

    I uploaded my images and set out to find the keepers, if any. I started messing around with a few in Aperture 3, and ultimately in Color EFX.

    This led me to wonder what the folks here would think of a few before and afters. With that in mind here are several images in pairs.

    This was a LOW contrast morning, very foggy, dull flat light. Poor shooting conditions, but interesting none the less. All in all an achromatic shoot.

    I'd like some opinions and thoughts on PP for this series. We get lots of gear talk, PP talk not so much..

    All are shot with a GF1, Camera RAW. Three different lenses in use. 14mm / 20mm / Hex 40-f1.8.

    Hexanon 40 mm OOC-RAW

    C1_-Cat_Boat_RAW.


    Hexanon 40 mm Color EFX Pro Contrast using a control point.

    C2_-Cat_Boat_CFX.


    14mm OOC RAW

    D1_14_mm_RAW.


    14mm Color EFX Using a pro contrast filter over all

    D2-_14_mm_CFX.


    40mm Hexanon OOC RAW


    B1-40_mm_Hex.

    40mm COLOR EFX Pro Contrast control point

    B2-40_mm_Hex_CFX.

    40mm Hex OOC RAW

    E1-40_mm_Hex_OC_RAW_CAT.


    40mm Hex Color EFX

    E2_40_mm_Hex_CFX.

    20mm Panny COlor EFX

    A1-20_mm_CFX_process.

    20mm Panny single shot HDR


    A2-20mm_HD_PRocessing.
     
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  2. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    Hexanon 40 mm Color EFX Pro Contrast using a control point: I like the PP a lot.
    14mm Color EFX Using a pro contrast filter over all: Like, but maybe dial the saturation up a bit? It's gone nearly B&W.
    40mm COLOR EFX Pro Contrast control point: Foreground/background seems a little jarring, plus I would cool off the white balance a bit. But not bad at all.
    40mm Hex Color EFX: Again, the foreground seems a bit of an oddity, possibly amplified because the saturated boat doesn't feel composed as a subject. Buuuut I'm no pro at this.
    20mm Panny single shot HDR: I really hate this shot. Especially the color cast.
     
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  3. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    Luke
    Alan, you should number these shots so they are easier to discuss.

    #1 - I would have preferred to either embrace the fog, or increase the saturation on the whole scene. After the PP, that one boat just seems to stick out. If that's what you wanted, then cool...I guess.

    #2 - cool. the increase in contrast really makes it pop. It's close enough to monochrome, that I might be tempted to just go black and white, but I like it as it is, too.

    #3 - a bit like #1. the composition leaves me a bit flat. The colorful seems ready to leave the frame, too. Maybe if they were all more colorful, I'd be less concerned about it.

    #4 - this just feels right. Lovely colors and nothing sticks out.

    #5 - I like the vintage-y color shift. Works well with the subject.
     
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  4. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Jason
    Alan,

    Thanks for your post and pictures.

    1. The first set, I like the original better. The second one seems a little baked to me.
    2. The second set, I like the second one better. The feel of the image remains while adding a little life or drama to the image.
    3. The third set, I like the second one. It gives a boost in the color without overbaking the image or making the image loose that foggy feel.
    4. The boat in the 4th set, second image, is touched but the rest of the image is untouched. Not sure I like this or not. I'm on the fence.
    5. Don't really care for either image. Maybe a B+W yellow tone would have worked.

    Alan, keep in mind these are my two pennies. When it comes to PP, everyone has their own tastes and what they like.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. zettapixel

    zettapixel Mu-43 Veteran

    470
    Aug 12, 2010
    NY
    I like foggy shots a lot, nice series. And it's always a struggle between conveying the moody atmosphere and increasing contrast to make it... well, more contrasty :smile:
    Let's go by the number
    One - my favorite and I like the ColorEfex version. It clearly makes a distinction between the boat in the foreground and the misty scene in the background (IMHO).
    Two - I also like the ColorEfex version, but I probably wouldn't make blacks as black. Looks good though. RAW converted to B&W could also look good I think.
    Three doesn't work for me as well the others, maybe because the boat in the foreground points to the edge and the there is almost no masts reflections in the water.
    Four - ColorEfex version is better, the boat really does stand out with wooden mast and colorful flags. Maybe you could select all except the area around it and decrease blue saturation a bit. And I would probably try removing some of the sky at the top.
    Five - I like both of them. The one with color cast seems livelier, but it could be because of more pronounced vignetting...

    Also, I think they all look much better on the black background and the impression could be different.
     
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  6. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    I like the 14mm pro contrast PP, but on the rest, I am leaning towards originals.
     
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  7. dtchan

    dtchan Mu-43 Veteran

    364
    Nov 24, 2010
    I only like the one with 14mm Color EFX Using a pro contrast filter.
    The fog and dull color doesn't go too well for me. I think I would convert them all to b/w.

    The HDR one is alright for me but I might experiment with it a bit more.
     
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  8. digitalandfilm

    digitalandfilm Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 18, 2011
    I think the PP salvages some nice shots.. but if you used a polarizing filter I think some of the haze and fine mist would be less evident.

    I know in 10 seconds if it's a keeper or not.. and if I have to putz too long to get what I felt when I took the shot I move on.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. s0nus

    s0nus Mu-43 Veteran

    424
    Dec 13, 2010
    Chicago
    Excellent topic Alan. Having recently entered the realm of RAW shooting and all the PP that comes with it, I was actually thinking about starting a similar discussion. Maybe I'll come up with a couple more case studies to add to this thread ...

    1. My initial reaction to the PP version is definitely positive. Upon closer inspection (and after reading what you did with it), it looks like you applied the contrast to just the nearest boat. There's something a little out of place about how that foreground boat "pops", and the rest doesn't. This oddness is mostly apparent to my eyes in the water under that boat. I wonder what this image would look like with slight contrast applied uniformly?

    2. I like what you did here. You really accentuated the reflections of the masts, which to me is the focal point of the image. The desaturated look doesn't bother me at all - I would maybe try to go full b&w for comparison, but what you did definitely works. Did the contrast bring out the vignetting of the 14mm, or did you add it. Regardless, it works! This is my favorite picture of the set.

    3. Same reaction as #1, but now that I've thought about #1, this one jumps out at me more quickly as processed. It looks selectively colored, which I generally like, but usually when the intent is more obvious. Here, you don't go to that extreme of selective coloring, but there is that not-so-subtle selective saturation, which just looks a little funny.

    4. I like it. The reddish cast gives it almost a mystical feeling. I would personally try desaturating and then adding the cast, just for comparison.
     
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  10. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    8 is almost too... Contrasty? Black? On the boat. The rest I like. 8 just seems like it needed to be pulled back a bit thatch the rest more closely

    Sent from my iPad using Mu-43 App
     
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  11. s0nus

    s0nus Mu-43 Veteran

    424
    Dec 13, 2010
    Chicago
    OK. I don't mean to hijack the thread, but only to add to the conversation. Here's an example of PP of a slightly different kind:

    RAW:
    [​IMG]

    PP (Color EFX and Clone Stamp):
    [​IMG]

    I generally don't like "altering reality" in the form of blatantly Photoshopping elements out of the image, but after applying one of the NIK Color EFX filters (one of the vintage ones), the car on the right, being darker, became invisible, so I decided to manually erase the car on the left to focus the image. I'm personally happy with the result, and I suspect if I didn't point it out, you'd be none the wiser. The aesthetics, or even the ethics, of such PP is open to debate!
     
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  12. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    If people can have nose jobs, photos can have pp!

    Sent from my iPad using Mu-43 App
     
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  13. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
    I'm enjoying all the suggestions here.

    It was a good way to spend a few hours this AM.

    The camera body by the way was a GF1 / not a G1. I may go and edit that.

    A few folks noticed that, in the third set, the most distressing aspect of the image is the boat pointing to the edge of the frame. On this point I am in complete agreement, it is in fact a far worse distraction than PP to the extent that it is poor composition.

    For those who are not aware, though I doubt there are many, a control point allows one to apply the desired filter in a plus or minus way to any portion of the image in all of the NIK plug ins.

    Regards B&W:

    The complete lack of contrast due to low sun and heavy fog rendered the scene achromatic for all intent and purpose. Converting to B&W felt like a chromatic redundancy.

    At any rate. This Thread is about PP, and how one applies it.

    Post a few of your own. This topic gets much less attention than it deserves on the board.

    Thanks for all the thoughts... keep them coming.
     
  14. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England

    This is not a hijack, it's the reason I posted the set....:smile:
     
  15. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX

    I'm about to start purchasing either nik or topaz add ons for aperture. I was settled on topaz as a "bang fer yer buck", but is the control point feature going to make me think "how'd I live without this?!?!" and therefore justify the price for me? Please keep in mind that I am a weapon of mass consumerism and fad follower... Lol

    Sent from my iPad using Mu-43 App
     
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  16. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
    The reason we reached out to NIK as a sponsor at MU-43 is that they are so darn good. Not that others aren't wonderful, I'm sure they are. The NIK software is really terrific, and plays very very nicely with Aperture 3.

    There are many members here who are also big fans of Silver EFX Pro from NIK as well. It is the ultimate B&W darkroom for your computer..

    Alan
     
  17. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    The low contrast ones may be more authentic, but the Color EFX ones just look better.
     
  18. I'm a big fan of PP. A good set of colour and b&w software plugins like the Nik Suite are probably worth more to me than the $&#@% 45mm, to give but one example. I now have years of old photos to play with, instead of the creative process being finished in only 1/1000 of a second.
     
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  19. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    I really appreciate the sponsorship. I was originally interested in Silver EFX, but the mu-43 discount (thanks NIK) pushed me to the complete package for Lightroom/Aperture. I am really enjoying Silver, but also HDR and Color Efex. Great stuff!
     
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  20. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Okay what is this discount and where do I find it... And double it...? :D

    Sent from my iPad using Mu-43 App