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  VeeJayCee 2007-10-03 10:42

Having already commented on the next in this series I can see what you meant. However, I think the sky is okay here but in comparison there is not enough contrast. If you could add enough contrast to make it similar to the next image then this is just as good.

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Old 10-03-2007, 11:58 PM
jmcl jmcl is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2006
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Default To VeeJayCee: contrast

I am going to prod you and your experience for some more thoughts here ..
the problem invariably for me with slow water is that I have to reign in the brightness of the water .. not overexposing the water is tricky for me ..
so once I end up with the water where I want it everything else is too dark and I have lost contrast ..
I am guessing the answers are .. I need to learn much more about effective use of curves and such ..
and the one I don't want to hear that I have tried a couple times is splitting the water off into a separate layer .. that really tests my patience with all the borders of diffuse vegetation .. or maybe I should just let the water go a bit more? .. learn HDR? ... if you page back through my gallery you will see this issue is a recurring theme.
Don't assume I know what I am doing .. I have owned an SLR now for 15 months .. I am still very much a baby at all this.

sorry to bug you with this .. thanks in advance. ...

John
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Old 10-04-2007, 03:01 PM
VeeJayCee VeeJayCee is offline
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Default Re: To VeeJayCee: contrast

HDR which involves taking from 2 to several images quickly as raw files would do the trick except for the fact that the water has movement. However, that could also improve the blur effect and may even enable you to use a shorter exposure. I use Nikon Capture NX for most of my processing and it can be used any tiff file from any camera. In NX the colour control points would allow you to add/reduce colour, contrast and saturation on specific parts of the image. (Get the free 30 day trial version from Nikon USA). In Adobe Photoshop or Elements you could make a rough selection around the water then select>invert so the the trees are now selected. Then select feather (on the full size file) and enter (say) 20 pixels. This will smooth the transition of any changes made. Should the selection be too large or small then make use of the select>expand or select>contract and even select>smooth commands - the feather transition will remain at whatever you have set it. Try it a few times and it will become intuitive. When you are happy with the selection use layer adjustmens for levels, curves, saturation, contrast as necessary. In each case check the box - which appears when the layers are created - to use the previous selection. If at any time you lose the selection simply go to select>reselect. After making your adjustments to the selected area you may wish to make adjustments to the remainder without affecting the work just done - go to select (and possily reselect) and inverse. Once again you can if you wish use the expand, contract commands and also change the feather to further smooth the transition. At any time before the layers are flattened you may select any layer and the icon (levels, curves or whatever) to change the settings already made. If you then wish to make adjustments to the whole image, simply Select>deselect and continue working globally with adjustment layers. Working with layers on a raw or tiff file does not degrade the image and the finished image can be saved seperately from the original - either with layers open for later adjustment (at the cost of memory) or flattened (layers>flatten), before sizing and setting resolution and saving a further JPEG copy for the web.
Another way involves creating seperate layers of the original image and making a global adjustment to one for the water/sky contrast and on the other for the vegetation. You can then slide either one onto the other (usually dark onto light image) and then use the eraser to remove (in this case) some of the darkness as necessary to bring the image to the way you want it. As with all this stuff it soon becomes intuitive and quick to do. Practice makes perfect but settle on one way of doing this for awhile rather than jumping between the them, until you have the hang of it, then try another.
Hope this helps. If you need any more info or explanation then feel free to email me direct at vjchapman@btopenworld.com The same address on yahoo messenger, MSN and microsoft live and the same username of veejaycee.
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