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  1. #1681

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Hi Mike,
    I only now have had the opportunity to read your fine tutorial...been a bit busy lately!
    I am glad that you have been able to put my advice to good work...your images have come along nicely.

    Tom has pointed out that he does not spend the time that most HDRs need in post processing because he has a large backlog of photos from his many Disney travels, and that in his opinion, your initial image right out of photomatix was a keeper, mentioning that the highlights left in the image were OK with him, and actually helps the image.
    Tom's comment is of course a personal observation, but proves that everyone has a different agenda for their photos, and actually, each scene may have a different agenda when it comes to post processing.
    For example, three different photographers beside myself recently took HDR brackets of a sunset and a harbor. We were all within three feet of the next tripod over, and took our shots at the same time. When it came to processing time, each and every one of us had a different result after post processing in the same room at the same time, following close instruction and guidance. Some were similar, but some were not...proving that each and every one of us has different ideas, tastes, and habits that make for an amazing differential in final output. One tiny incremental difference in a slider position can change the whole image.

    One important difference I have in my PP routine that is different from yours is in the way you are blending the new layers created by Nik Color Efex (or Topaz Adjust, etc.). You are using the entire output layer from Nik, and blending it with the layer below using the opacity as a blending method.
    I do it a little differently...
    I look at the entire image, and decide what it needs, PRECISELY. For example, I might not want to add contrast everywhere, or warmth, or brilliance...Instead, I might want to add these adjustments Only IN CERTAIN SPOTS! To solve this, I will create the adjustment in Nik, and then add a LAYER MASK, followed by selectively choosing the EXACT parts of the adjustment layer I want to use and masking that in...followed by whatever adjustments I need, one after the other...Same goes for contrast and sharpening, adding these on to duplicated layers, then masking in only what I want. As a rule I patently AVOID global changes to the image...

    Another thing I do is to take each and every one of the original source images into photoshop and copy them as layers into the photomatix image, one a time, looking for where that particular source file might add to the final image, masking it in as needed. Sometimes, nothing is needed form a particular source file, and that is fine of course...

    And finally, I often produce multiple outputs from photomatix. Sometimes, I make an Enhancer version, along with a Fusion version and blend them together. Sometimes I make output for different specific areas of the photo, and blend them, sky and water for example...


    Once again, well done!
    You are doing a great job with this thread!
    Gregg Cooper

  2. #1682

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by Corsair13 View Post
    Hi Mike,
    I only now have had the opportunity to read your fine tutorial...been a bit busy lately!
    I am glad that you have been able to put my advice to good work...your images have come along nicely.

    Tom has pointed out that he does not spend the time that most HDRs need in post processing because he has a large backlog of photos from his many Disney travels, and that in his opinion, your initial image right out of photomatix was a keeper, mentioning that the highlights left in the image were OK with him, and actually helps the image.
    Tom's comment is of course a personal observation, but proves that everyone has a different agenda for their photos, and actually, each scene may have a different agenda when it comes to post processing.
    For example, three different photographers beside myself recently took HDR brackets of a sunset and a harbor. We were all within three feet of the next tripod over, and took our shots at the same time. When it came to processing time, each and every one of us had a different result after post processing in the same room at the same time, following close instruction and guidance. Some were similar, but some were not...proving that each and every one of us has different ideas, tastes, and habits that make for an amazing differential in final output. One tiny incremental difference in a slider position can change the whole image.

    One important difference I have in my PP routine that is different from yours is in the way you are blending the new layers created by Nik Color Efex (or Topaz Adjust, etc.). You are using the entire output layer from Nik, and blending it with the layer below using the opacity as a blending method.
    I do it a little differently...
    I look at the entire image, and decide what it needs, PRECISELY. For example, I might not want to add contrast everywhere, or warmth, or brilliance...Instead, I might want to add these adjustments Only IN CERTAIN SPOTS! To solve this, I will create the adjustment in Nik, and then add a LAYER MASK, followed by selectively choosing the EXACT parts of the adjustment layer I want to use and masking that in...followed by whatever adjustments I need, one after the other...Same goes for contrast and sharpening, adding these on to duplicated layers, then masking in only what I want. As a rule I patently AVOID global changes to the image...

    Another thing I do is to take each and every one of the original source images into photoshop and copy them as layers into the photomatix image, one a time, looking for where that particular source file might add to the final image, masking it in as needed. Sometimes, nothing is needed form a particular source file, and that is fine of course...

    And finally, I often produce multiple outputs from photomatix. Sometimes, I make an Enhancer version, along with a Fusion version and blend them together. Sometimes I make output for different specific areas of the photo, and blend them, sky and water for example...


    Once again, well done!
    You are doing a great job with this thread!
    Gregg Cooper
    Hey Gregg,

    I'm flattered you took the time to read my dribble. Thanks so much for your input.
    Depending upon the image, I will also do a layer mask with the Tonal Contrast or other layers in Nik. For this photo I only applied the Tonal Contrast (pretty heavily) to the faucet because I really wanted to showcase the texture of it.
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    This one of the Photo Supply Shop is a blend of a Tonemapped and an Exposure Fusion image, much the same way you do. (which I really, really, REALLY like)
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    I just didn't mention it because I wanted you to retain at least some of your secrets that make you so great at what you do.
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  3. #1683

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hot Sauce 1 View Post
    Hey Gregg,

    I'm flattered you took the time to read my dribble. Thanks so much for your input.
    Depending upon the image, I will also do a layer mask with the Tonal Contrast or other layers in Nik. For this photo I only applied the Tonal Contrast (pretty heavily) to the faucet because I really wanted to showcase the texture of it.
    Name:  6937599839_1fef7c6bc5_z_d.jpg
Views: 670
Size:  226.5 KB

    This one of the Photo Supply Shop is a blend of a Tonemapped and an Exposure Fusion image, much the same way you do. (which I really, really, REALLY like)
    Name:  6958346229_5de36c0621_z_d.jpg
Views: 669
Size:  223.1 KB

    I just didn't mention it because I wanted you to retain at least some of your secrets that make you so great at what you do.
    Great stuff here! One thing I would like to add. The new version of Topaz Adjust has a great local adjustment tool. You can brush out the effect of the filter you are applying much like the layer mask in PS. This is great for workflow as it elimates the layer mask step.

  4. #1684

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Here ya go Mike, one of the first shots with the extension tubes out in the wild. This flower is maybe an inch at the widest, if not less. It was way too windy out to try the focus stacking stuff, but I plan on giving it a go this weekend, possibly using a subject under a bright light.


    Macro Test by OmnitographerWorld, on Flickr
    Last edited by Omnitographer; 03-15-2012 at 11:24 PM.

  5. #1685

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    3-17-12
    Today's "Disneyland Photo Tip of the Day" is Part 5 of the HDR From Start to Finish tutorial.

    To recap, we've taken the photos, edited the RAW images in Adobe Camera RAW, processed the Exposure Fusion image in Photomatix and layered in the -3 exposure image in Photoshop Elements along with adding some effects with Nik Color Efex Pro.

    For this final step, I open the image in Photoscape. (I have it set up in my computer that all I have to do is double click on an image and it automatically opens in Photoscape.)
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    The first thing I do is click the little magnifying glass right below the image to zoom in on it a bit so I can get a better look at the main part of the image.
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    Make sure you are working in the HOME tab.
    First I'm going to add a little Contrast Enhancement to it. This is very similar to the Tonal Contrast in Nik Color Efex but not quite as powerful. Basically what this does is increases the contrast between pixels, which gives the effect of sharpening an image as well as increasing textural detail. Like the one in Nik, a little of this goes a long way.
    Click the little triangle on the side of the Bright,Color button and this menu will appear. This menu has a ton of really handy tools in it. We'll be using a couple of them in this part. Go to Contrast Enhancement - Low and click. (it's that simple)
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    Next I'm going to sharpen the image a little bit. Clicking the little triangle on the side of the Sharpen button gives you the choice of the strength of the sharpening. I don't know what it is about this program but it seems to sharpen photos better than Photoshop Elements does with less noise. I usually choose anywhere between 4 and 9.
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    Because of all the angles and curves, the image seems a little crooked to me. I'm going to rotate it a bit to make it appear straighter. The little curved arrow on the left is the Rotate Arbitrary button.
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    When you click that, it brings up this window with a grid on it. Simply move the slider left or right and use the grid to make sure the photo is straight. There are a lot of lines and angles in this so I am using the center post in the front of the railing as my guide. Since it is the closest one to the camera and we know it would be going straight up and down, that is the most logical one to use.
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    One of the very last things I do is put my name on the photo.
    Click on the OBJECT tab. The button with the T is for Text.
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    That brings up this window that gives you an enormous amount of control for you text. Simply type whatever you want in the text box, choose the font you want and if you want an outline or any other effects to the text such as opacity or shadow. The nice thing about this is it keeps your text in it so the next time you open it, all your settings and name are right there. Don't worry about the text size. You can adjust that once its on the image. Click OK
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    When you click OK, it places the text in this little box in the center of the image. Drag it wherever you want to place it. If you want it bigger just drag the corner of the box to expand it. You can also rotate the text by using the curved arrow. Once you have it placed, just click on the image and it's set.
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    At this point is where I zoom back out and examine the entire photo. I want to add a little depth to the colors. To do that, go back to the HOME tab and click on the Bright,Color menu button again. Then go to Deepen - Low.
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    Maybe it's just my monitor but the reds seem a little overpowering to me. (this happens a lot in my night time HDR images) A very quick fix is also in the Bright,Color menu. Click on Color Curves.
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    That brings up this window. You can see that there is a grid with a diagonal line running across it. There are also three choices on the bottom. All of them will be checked when you open this. I only want to adjust the Red, so I uncheck the Blue and Green boxes. Simply click on the center of the diagonal line and drag it down just a tiny bit to lower the intensity of the reds. You can also fine tune it by clicking on other sections of the line and adjusting smaller parts. A little of this also goes a long way. A very slight adjustment is all that is needed.
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    That is that. Here is the final image.

    FINAL IMAGE by Ring of Fire Hot Sauce 1, on Flickr


    Since I can't upload a super large image, I cropped it for each of the steps we took so you can see what we started with and what we finished with.
    Here is the original photo straight out of the camera.
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    This is after adjusting it in Adobe Camera RAW.
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    Next is the Exposure Fusion out of Photomatix.
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    This is after we layered the -3 image in Photoshop Elements.
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    Here is after the Nik Color Efex.
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    And finally, here is the final after Photoscape. (sorry but this is as large of a file as it would let me put in, even though the ones above it are larger files it kept telling me it was too large.)
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    The changes are very subtle but like I said, I'm thinking about the Big Picture if it were to be blown up and printed. Those slight differences make all the difference when you have it on your wall and stare at it for a long time. I have one of my photos blown up to 30" x 60" and all I see are the spots that need to be fixed. I'm in the process of fixing that one and will have it printed again, probably 36" x 72".

    If you're thinking that I spent way too many hours editing this photo, the time breakdown is as follows.
    RAW editing about 5 minutes.
    Photomatix about 4 minutes.
    Photoshop Elements about 20 minutes.
    Photoscape about 5 minutes.
    All in all it was less than 40 minutes from start to finish. I also did a lot of stuff that may or may not have been necessary but it was good for showing what can be done.


    I hope it doesn't seem too daunting.

    Once again I would like to reiterate that Gregg Cooper is really the master of this stuff and teaches classses on how to do it. They involve a day in the field, taking pictures then time in the classroom learning how to process and edit them. If you are interested, you can contact him at: [email protected]

    Happy Snapping
    Michael Greening 2012

    For a complete directory and direct links to all of these posts, please click here: http://micechat.com/forums/disneyland-resort/140579-disneyland-photo-day-50.html#post1056358940
    Last edited by Hot Sauce 1; 03-16-2012 at 11:14 PM.
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  6. #1686

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Can I make a humble suggestion? It's possible to alter photo's so much that they no longer look real. Embellishments can be overdone making the pic look cartoonish in nature and this IMHO, detracts from the image. Just a thought and not aimed at anyone.

  7. #1687

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    That's a lot of steps! Thanks for the tutorial!
    I pledge allegiance to the Earth, one planet, many gods, and to the universe in which she spins.

  8. #1688

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Great tutorial Mike, thanks for all the time you put into this thread.
    They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night. ~Edgar Allan Poe

  9. #1689

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Hi Mike, thanks for taking the time to make your HDR tutorial series. I am fairly new to photography and found your tutorial really helpful especially since I hardly ever get the results I want using just 3 stops.

  10. #1690

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by ScottG View Post
    Can I make a humble suggestion? It's possible to alter photo's so much that they no longer look real. Embellishments can be overdone making the pic look cartoonish in nature and this IMHO, detracts from the image. Just a thought and not aimed at anyone.
    I agree. Not to discount the effort by and oftentimes great results of our many talented fellow photographers, but it is possible to have "too much of a good thing" when it comes to enhancing photos.

  11. #1691

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Sorry I've been out of touch for a few days. SWAMPED at work. It seems they really like BBQ Sauce in Germany so I have to get several pallets of it made and sent off in the next few weeks.
    Here's a little bit o' pretty for today.
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    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  12. #1692

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Time to get the weekend off with a Bang.

    Elation... by Ring of Fire Hot Sauce 1, on Flickr

    I hope to have a quick tutorial up in a day or two.
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  13. #1693

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    3-25-12
    Today's "Disneyland Photo Tip of the Day" is a bit short and sweet but shows a quick tip for Better exposure on silhouette photos.

    There will be times when you desire to shoot a silhouette of something and are shooting directly into the sun. The problem that this can create is a completely over exposed sky. Here's a quick and easy way to solve that problem.

    I was taking a photo of the Partners Statue right before sunset in an attempt to get a nice silhouette shot of it. These photos are straight out of the camera without any editing to clearly show the difference.
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    As you can see, the sky loses all those nice sunset colors and is completely washed out. To remedy this I took one step to the left so the sun was coming directly at me and zoomed into the sun itself. I pressed the shutter half way down to lock my exposure reading on the intense sun.
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    Then, while holding the shutter half way down, I stepped back to the right, recomposed and took the shot.
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    Now the sky has nice color to it and isn't over exposed. The silhouette is much darker but that is easy to brighten up (if you choose) in post processing, whereas fixing an over exposed sky can't be fixed.

    Happy Snapping
    Michael Greening 2012

    For a complete directory and direct links to all of these posts, please click here: http://micechat.com/forums/disneyland-resort/140579-disneyland-photo-day-50.html#post1056358940
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  14. #1694

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    3-28-12
    Today's "Disneyland Photo Tip of the Day" is a quick little Background tip for anyone who uses Photoshop Elements (or regular Photoshop).

    When you are working on a photo in Photoshop Elements, you notice that the background around the photo is gray. I believe it is actually set to a 18% gray like most cameras see things. This is so you can accurately see the colors and color temperature in your photos.
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    For me, I like to see the photos I'm working on stand out more from the background and see exactly how the changes I make give the photo more pop. For that reason I like the background to be black. If you set your mouse pointer outside the photo onto the gray area and do a right click, it gives you the ability to change the color.
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    You can click on Black like I do and see if you like it.
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    Or you can click on Select Custom Color, which will bring up this window allowing you to choose any color you like.
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    Personally, I like the black so that is what I keep it on.

    Happy Snapping and editing!
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  15. #1695

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    I'm working on a new tutorial but it will take me a while to go through and edit all the photos. In the mean time, here's a little "Pretty" for today.

    Once Around... by Ring of Fire Hot Sauce 1, on Flickr
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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