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  #1  
Old May 4th, 2010, 09:17 AM
Rachel Foster Rachel Foster is offline
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Default Photoshop help: Bringing out streams of sunlight

This image is not in itself remarkable, but I would like to use it to learn how to bring out streaming sunlight. Can anyone give me general tips for CS4?



Jacob Eliana: Untitled
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  #2  
Old May 4th, 2010, 09:28 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel Foster View Post
This image is not in itself remarkable, but I would like to use it to learn how to bring out streaming sunlight. Can anyone give me general tips for CS4?



Jacob Eliana: Untitled
Rachel, kudos for this picture. I know there must be a myriad of ways to tackle this problem of enhancing the lighrt beams. I'd start with the RAW file and make one tiff for the clouds with the super bright spot tamed. I'd make another for the dramatic surrounding dark clouds with an S-curve to increase the impact. One needs a separate one for the light beams and one can bring this out without fear of blowing out the rest of the picture.

Another layer for the water; salt to taste!

Now assembling would be done by stacking the TIFFs as layers. simple drag the icon for that image on to the TIFF of the water and sequently add the rest with the light beams on the top.

Drag each layer, except the water layer to the mask icon at the bottom of the layers palette. Now click on the white box of the mask of each layer and paint black what you don't want and keep white what you need. If you blacken too much, as we all do, then paint back the image of that layer that you need with white!

Alter the size of the brush as you proceed, (soft edge, 100%) with [ (smaller) and ] larger.

Good luck!

Asher
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  #3  
Old May 4th, 2010, 09:32 AM
Rachel Foster Rachel Foster is offline
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Thanks! I'll give that a shot.

Is there a filter one would use in situations like this?


Yesterday was a good day. I may have as many as 2 or 3 worth working on from that shoot.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 10:17 AM
Ken Tanaka Ken Tanaka is offline
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Just for future reference, those are known as crepuscular rays.

Enhancing them is the same proposition as enhancing almost any other faint feature; managing contrast. Here you do not have strong enough rays to create the -voice of gods- effect you may want. You need more humidity (or pollution). But contrast is the property you want to adjust in the areas of the rays, either using a generalized contrast mask or a duplicate background layer featuring a local constrast adjustment (called "Clarity" in today's tools). The latter would be a far better surgical instrument.

But, again, you don't have quite enough to work with here to see voices in the sky. ;-)

Addendum: Here's a Google image search for "crepuscular rays". They're all pretty corny but you can see the impact of contrast (not that any of these were really edited carefully).

Little tip: The impact of devices like crepuscular rays, sunset/rise halos, and other atmospheric phenomena is strongest when it provides a backdrop to something interesting. If, for example, there was something interesting happening on that enormous beach foreground in your image. A nude figure rim-lit by the sunset. A group around a beach campfire. A sand sculpture. A stray dog relieving himself. Anything! ;-)
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Old May 4th, 2010, 10:49 AM
Rachel Foster Rachel Foster is offline
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So, it wasn't my entirely the way I shot it, it was also poor conditions? The first thing I tried was contrast and it was abysmal.

And, this image is in itself lacking in composition. I agree entirely. I go so far as to say it's pedestrian. I'm hoping to learn how to master this so when I DO see the right scene I can capture it.

What I was hoping to get but didn't was more along the lines of these:


Jacob Eliana: Untitled 1


Jacob Eliana: Untitled 2
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Old May 4th, 2010, 11:17 AM
Ken Tanaka Ken Tanaka is offline
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Forget the crepuscular rays, Rachel. They're pretty to see but hopelessly corny, rather like sunsets and Grand Canyon landscapes.

But, on the other hand, these last two images suggest far more interesting possibilities. Specifically, the sand formations and predominant lack of scale references present images that take a moment to decode. If you have access to a relatively undisturbed beach I suggest working along these lines using careful framing and camera angles.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 03:50 PM
Rachel Foster Rachel Foster is offline
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That's what I thought when I saw it. Unfortunately, it was a one-shot opportunity. I KNOW there is something wonderful there, I just DON'T see exactly how to bring it out.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 04:06 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel Foster View Post
That's what I thought when I saw it. Unfortunately, it was a one-shot opportunity. I KNOW there is something wonderful there, I just DON'T see exactly how to bring it out.

Rachel,

I doesn't matter if you cannot deconstruct what you do well. Just sort the pictures to get those that reflect your feelings of the view the best. Then go shoot more to add to that theme. Decide to keep just the very best ten. Gradually it might dawn on you as to the features in common which make them all work for you.

Here one of my sayings is perhaps fitting, "Dont think; try!"

Asher
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  #9  
Old May 4th, 2010, 04:09 PM
Rachel Foster Rachel Foster is offline
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Thanks, Asher. I'm actually looking through them today. There are several that aren't bad, but as always, I need time to let my unconscious process them. I guess that is consistent with what you're suggesting: stop thinking it so much and feel it.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 04:53 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel Foster View Post
Thanks, Asher. I'm actually looking through them today. There are several that aren't bad, but as always, I need time to let my unconscious process them. I guess that is consistent with what you're suggesting: stop thinking it so much and feel it.
Review your best and go back when that light is there and your juices are running, return and work you passion and be prepared to both fail and to succeed as both will occur more often than you expect. That's what you do!

Asher
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  #11  
Old May 4th, 2010, 04:58 PM
Rachel Foster Rachel Foster is offline
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Other shoots i can do that. This was my last visit to Muskegon for a long time.
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  #12  
Old May 7th, 2010, 10:28 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Rachel, it is about contrast. cloudy/rainy skies sunrise/sunsets, light thru mist and leaves are
ideal.

copy layer, blend with multiply and again with soft light/hard light. opacity control to taste.

try it. i shall try to send a pic if i can find it via pm.

good luck.
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Old May 7th, 2010, 10:52 AM
Rachel Foster Rachel Foster is offline
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Thanks, Fahim!
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  #14  
Old June 24th, 2010, 04:34 AM
Sandrine Bascouert Sandrine Bascouert is offline
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I tried this (it's a bit "overdone" but it's but the purpose of the example)
a new layer set in overlay and filled with the neutral color (grey).
lighten with a quite wide brush with soft edges by painting with white (brush opacity 20%ish)
(you can darken some parts with the black)
blur a little if you need
adjust the layer opacity...
HTH

http://cjoint.com/data/gymIl5e5U3.htm
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Old June 24th, 2010, 04:35 AM
Sandrine Bascouert Sandrine Bascouert is offline
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Old June 24th, 2010, 06:24 AM
Rachel Foster Rachel Foster is offline
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Nice, Sandrine!
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  #17  
Old June 24th, 2010, 02:44 PM
David Thomasson David Thomasson is offline
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Here is a method for creating sun beams:
http://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?th...1#post12799510

I used that method here. Also brightened the foreground and removed the vignette in the corners.

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  #18  
Old June 24th, 2010, 04:17 PM
Rachel Foster Rachel Foster is offline
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Nice! I'll play with that.
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  #19  
Old June 24th, 2010, 07:07 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Jacob Eliana: Untitled

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Thomasson View Post
Here is a method for creating sun beams:
http://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?th...1#post12799510

I used that method here. Also brightened the foreground and removed the vignette in the corners.


Jacob Eliana: Untitled

Crepuscular Rays added David Thomasson


I commend you sharing the technique. The new lighting add immediate attention and wakes it up. You did a nice job! I might want to know how that light plays on the sand and water if this was going to be the final type of presentation. The light not only travels though the moisture laden air but also brightens where it hits ground.

Let me just step back a little. When we take our time with Rachel's photograph, we get to appreciate the beauty of the light as we invest more time. That is because it's subtle. There's a tendency to demand to see the good immediately. This can lead to exaggerated hair styles, girls with tight belts, breast enhancement and the like. Macdonald's gives you a double cheesburger where you can see the pile of beef and cheese. It has to be immediately obvious!

However, there's something of a more subtle approach to life. My own philosophy is to guard against my own tendency to over-processing, even of a great effect. So I make the best change on a new level and stop that job and go to something else to exit the delusional bubble. When I get back to my picture, I try to reduce the percent use of that layer as much as possible. I may end up only using 7% of something I thought was a 100 magnificent improvement to my picture. Here, I might just work with what's there and how the light impacts the scene. The vignette might also be reduced but not abolished.

Asher
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