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  #1  
Old August 8th, 2006, 12:20 PM
StuartRae StuartRae is offline
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Default Challenge - Optimise this

Stuart has kindly updated the link to his challenging English countryside picture. So have a shot! ADK


Hello Everyone,

As a result of my post in the HDR Tone Mapping thread, Asher has suggested I issue this challenge.

Using the RAW converter and PP software of your choice, do your best with here

If I'd known it would escalate to this extent, I'd have chosen a better photo! In reality, it's a bit like making a silk purse........ But what's done is done.

What I'm aiming for is to bring out the detail in the stone wall, bushes and foreground shadow, and to see what's on the other side of the gate, while preserving the sky and clouds.

I suggest in order to save bandwidth for those with slower connections that files are limited to 800x600 medium quality jpegs.

No prize was mentioned, but a nice bottle of vin rouge would go down well ;-)

Regards,

Stuart

Last edited by Asher Kelman; September 16th, 2012 at 02:47 PM.
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  #2  
Old August 8th, 2006, 12:58 PM
Don Lashier Don Lashier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StuartRae
sw.rae/examples/Aut05-0010.zip"]this shot[/URL]

If I'd known it would escalate to this extent, I'd have chosen a better photo! In reality, it's a bit like making a silk purse........ But what's done is done.
This image is perfect for the purpose at hand. It doesn't need to be a work of art, just a good example of problems encountered, which this is.

In the spirit of evaluating plug-ins and methods I'd suggest that time spent working on the image be limited to 10 minutes or so. In any case, posters should give an estimate of the time they spent.

- DL
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  #3  
Old August 8th, 2006, 01:24 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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There is a prize. I'll post the list to choose from.

asher
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  #4  
Old August 8th, 2006, 01:43 PM
StuartRae StuartRae is offline
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Quote:
I'd suggest that time spent working on the image be limited to 10 minutes or so.
To set the goal posts, it took me no more than 15 minutes to produce all 5 examples in my original post.

Stuart
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  #5  
Old August 8th, 2006, 01:56 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Although I like speed, if the picture is important, speed may not always be. So I'd be happy with the best result for the least effort.

Asher
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  #6  
Old August 8th, 2006, 02:37 PM
Andrew Rodney Andrew Rodney is offline
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How should we send em?
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  #7  
Old August 8th, 2006, 02:39 PM
Don Lashier Don Lashier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman
Although I like speed, if the picture is important, speed may not always be. So I'd be happy with the best result for the least effort.
How about this then, it should be a result easily reproducible from a set of step by step instructions/parameters. eg no handpainting a mask.

- DL
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  #8  
Old August 8th, 2006, 02:49 PM
Roger Lambert Roger Lambert is offline
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Default Here you go,

EDITED:

I forgot to say that I processed the original in two ways:

1) Left it "as is" and called it "Dark"

2) Processed with "levels" tool to expose the brick wall shadow detail. This exposure was renamed as "Bright".

I then used an automated luminosity mask procedure. (I have Photoshop CS1)

The blend itself took me about one minute. No hand painting. Then flattened, a tiny bit of levels, resize to 800 pixils on long size, re sharpened, posted at pbase. :)

My goal was to use a blended exposure to reveal shadow detail in the photograph in a natural way, but was not an exercise in changing or improving the nature of the original image using Photoshop.


Last edited by Roger Lambert; August 8th, 2006 at 03:59 PM.
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  #9  
Old August 8th, 2006, 03:10 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Hi Andrew,

Link them to your website/server.

Asher
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  #10  
Old August 8th, 2006, 05:35 PM
Andrew Rodney Andrew Rodney is offline
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How's this?

http://www.digitaldog.net/files/RawTestLR.jpg

http://www.digitaldog.net/files/Aut05-0010.jpg
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Last edited by Andrew Rodney; August 11th, 2006 at 06:19 AM.
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  #11  
Old August 8th, 2006, 06:34 PM
Stefan Hellstrom Stefan Hellstrom is offline
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Default Another one

- Silkypix default except ,Auto EXP, contrast center, Memory color2 and AWB => 16 bit tiff Adobe RGB
- CS2 => LightMachine Polarizer 1 filter and LightMachine Shadow Highlight to lift shadows and adjust contrast&local contrast
- Adobe RGB to SRGB
- Scale to 640x480
http://www.fotosidan.se/obj/photo/6/...3e1b1bcbae.jpg

Regards Stefan
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  #12  
Old August 8th, 2006, 06:45 PM
Andrew Rodney Andrew Rodney is offline
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Best part of this is showing how damn subjective RAW rendering really is.
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  #13  
Old August 8th, 2006, 06:57 PM
David Bostock David Bostock is offline
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Default Another Take




Here's my take. The Workflow was:

Adobe Bridge, Process three versions of the Raw, one 2 stops over, one at exposure, and one 2 stops under.
Bring the three versions into Photomax Pro and blend them using HDR.
Pull the resultant image into Photoshop
Apply Levels
Selective Color--Black +3, Neutrals +12
Add a touch more contrast
Capture Sharpen
Noise Ninja (Auto Profile, then dialed back)
Resize
Output Sharpen for web
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  #14  
Old August 8th, 2006, 07:35 PM
Diane Fields Diane Fields is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Rodney
Best part of this is showing how damn subjective RAW rendering really is.
How true. Its totally subjective and anyone who says what is 'correct'--well, has to be 'wrong' LOL. The closest one could be to 'correct' would be the OP and then--even he would have a 'bias' as to his remembrance of the scene--or even if he would want it to be as close as possible to reality. Then--we each will like some more than others--which is influenced by a lot of other things. Asher will have a problem handing out a prize on this one methinks.
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  #15  
Old August 8th, 2006, 09:00 PM
Stephen Eastwood Stephen Eastwood is offline
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two conversions in acr
dropped one on the other and masked off bright areas
applied a brighter contrast curve and masked off areas as needed
applied a darker contrast curve and masked off areas as needed
adjusted overall contrast with curves and added a hue saturation adjustment to add +3 saturation and a +10 in the blues

about 5 minutes

I don't do much landscape I mainly only do people so I am sure there are much faster and better ways to do all this.

edited to add a BW version

for this I added a channel mixer adjustment layer that simulates pan f
under that I had a curve layer to darken everything and masked off as needed with a large soft brush at 30% opacity



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Last edited by Asher Kelman; September 16th, 2012 at 03:44 PM.
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  #16  
Old August 8th, 2006, 09:18 PM
Tom Yi Tom Yi is offline
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I think Stephen's edition is the best so far.
Good job.
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  #17  
Old August 8th, 2006, 09:23 PM
Stephen Eastwood Stephen Eastwood is offline
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Landscape beginners luck I swear!!

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  #18  
Old August 8th, 2006, 11:44 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Impressive array of truths we see! There's a lot of delicacy in the clouds there which some of the results show very well.

Asher
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  #19  
Old August 9th, 2006, 12:57 AM
Don Lashier Don Lashier is offline
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Here's mine, using the dual conversion layer masking technique I referenced earlier

- Dual C1 conversions, -0.75ec 0cc, +1.25ec +12cc
- Layered in PS, dark on top, light copied to mask on dark
- gaussian blur mask 58, contrast mask 33
- contrast curve on light (bottom) layer
- top (dark) sat + 11
- slight overall contrast curve

flatten, resize, moderate USM, add black border, save as jpeg 7

Time, about 10 minutes.

edit: remove black border to equalize with others

- DL
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Last edited by Asher Kelman; September 16th, 2012 at 03:43 PM.
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  #20  
Old August 9th, 2006, 01:21 AM
Alain Briot Alain Briot is offline
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I like David's color version and Stephen's B&W. For some reason Andrew's versions appear a little too green.
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  #21  
Old August 9th, 2006, 01:32 AM
Dierk Haasis Dierk Haasis is offline
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1. RAWShooterpremium:
- set WB 7200, -1
- Exposure Compensation -0.5, Fill Light 45, Shadow Contrast 25, Highlight Contrast-21
- Curves 16, 0.83, 246
- converted to TIFF

2. Opened TIFF in Capture NX:
- set four U-Points, 3 on the left edge to darken the sky, tint the cloud reddish, open up the shadows in the bush and wall; fourth set on the cloud in the middle to darken and tint it slightly

Effect gone for: early summer evening with the sun not quite setting but giving a warm light. Matches the shadows.

Time taken: 5 minutes.
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  #22  
Old August 9th, 2006, 01:34 AM
Don Lashier Don Lashier is offline
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And a saturated version for those that like the Velvia look.

- DL
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Last edited by Asher Kelman; September 16th, 2012 at 03:44 PM.
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  #23  
Old August 9th, 2006, 01:54 AM
Petter Stahre Petter Stahre is offline
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Fun thread!

Here's my contribution:


...and:


Workflow:
Made two exposures in RAW Developer, at slightly warmer color temp and a little saturation gain.
Imported as layers in Photoshop.
Added a layermask to the darker exposure ("sky layer") and kept only the sky.
Added extra saturation to the sky layer using the B+W filter Enhance Colors.
Added contrast to the lighter exposure (using curves).
Saw that the cloud still missed details and tried ACR which gave me an third image with better clouds.
Imported the ACR as a new layer, added layermask and painted in the cloud details. I then corrected the colors of the ACR-layer to match the sky layer.

For finetuning I flattened the image, and took away a little saturation globally and then again to desaturate greens only.
I gave the whole image a little more contrast and black shadows (using curves).

Resized the image and used Smart Sharpen (500+0,3+Gaussian / 100+40+1 / 100+40+1).

I then made a BW-version using The ImagingFactorys Convert to BW Pro in which I also gave it a little warm tone.

Voilà. Approx 15 minutes for the color image and 1 minute for the BW. My aim was to keep the image natural looking while enhancing contrast. I'm not fond of detailed retouching of images so I stopped there.

Very nice photo by the way!
And nice contributions in this thread! Lot's of fun to look at.

:) Petter

EDIT: Language.

Last edited by Petter Stahre; August 9th, 2006 at 02:19 AM.
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  #24  
Old August 9th, 2006, 02:16 AM
Don Lashier Don Lashier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diane Fields
How true. Its totally subjective and anyone who says what is 'correct'--well, has to be 'wrong' LOL.
I think the real lesson here is that "plug-ins" are no magic bullet. The real determiner is the skill and vision of the operator.

- DL
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  #25  
Old August 9th, 2006, 03:52 AM
Dierk Haasis Dierk Haasis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Lashier
The real determiner is the skill and vision of the operator.
Strike 'skill', I have always said and written it is about the vision. Reluctantly I put in the specifics of my fiddling but most important to me is the part about what my goal was. From what I see that's exactly what everybody else went for: interpreting a bunch of data to convey a specific information, a scene instead of a picture.

This is particularly obvious with those making available several versions. And the one who first came up with the idea to render the photo as black and white.
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  #26  
Old August 9th, 2006, 05:29 AM
Bev Sampson Bev Sampson is offline
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What an interesting and informative thread!
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  #27  
Old August 9th, 2006, 06:20 AM
Roger Lambert Roger Lambert is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Lashier
I think the real lesson here is that "plug-ins" are no magic bullet. The real determiner is the skill and vision of the operator.

- DL
I respectfully disagree.

I think the real lesson here is that you can't put a bunch of digital photographers in one room with a simple PP project, before everyone's creative energy is no longer contained, and bursts out of its protective container like a radiactive plutonium plasma. :)

There "oughtta be a law" as well for the collective brain-warping phenomena that occurs when you get a certain quanta of photoshopping-crazed artists out-reaching each other in a contest-driven frenzy. :D

I think it should be called " Disney's Law. "

In Disney's Law, Warpage, W, =

C x 1/t
n squared


where C = the coolness of the effect, t = the time needed to produce the effect, and n = the number of Post Processing Digital Photographers producing Brain Warpage .

It doesn't take too many digital photographers to really pump up the warpage, according to Disney's Law. :D

Last edited by Roger Lambert; August 9th, 2006 at 06:38 AM.
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  #28  
Old August 9th, 2006, 06:29 AM
Diane Fields Diane Fields is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dierk Haasis
Strike 'skill', I have always said and written it is about the vision. Reluctantly I put in the specifics of my fiddling but most important to me is the part about what my goal was. From what I see that's exactly what everybody else went for: interpreting a bunch of data to convey a specific information, a scene instead of a picture.

This is particularly obvious with those making available several versions. And the one who first came up with the idea to render the photo as black and white.
I tend to agree with vision as opposed to 'skill'. Also---the choice of an RC and how it was used had an enormous bearing on the final image.

I used 3 different RCs to process--ended up preferring one over another (all with +EC, -EC and no EC), pulled into HDR as David, then used TM, added curves, color balance adj. layer, then adj. layer for selective color (never happy with the greens from any RC--but then this camera had no camera profiles in C1 or RSP) and masked out everything but grass from that layer. Resized, PKS masked and adjusted to suit.
I saw it as a very early Fallish day due to the dried grass stems, bound to be warmer light due to the shadows/time of day--and therefore felt it needed to be less 'light'--I'm sure we all had some approach like this--whether conscious or not.


I could have ended up with totally different 'look' by blending those files in PC, masking, layering, and certainly by choosing C1 or ACR conversions over the RSP. I meant to add the following:
2 used LR, 1 used Silkypix, 2 used ACR, 1 used C1 (I tried it but was less happy with it than usual--esp. sky), 2 used RPS, 1 used Raw Developer. There were a variety of approaches--2 of us using the standalone Photomatix for the original HDR/tonemapping after RAW processing--and we all did additional PS processing----and there's not any image here that is really close to another in the end.

Diane

Last edited by Diane Fields; August 9th, 2006 at 06:43 AM.
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  #29  
Old August 9th, 2006, 06:40 AM
Dierk Haasis Dierk Haasis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Lambert
I think the real lesson here is that you can't put a bunch of digital photographers in one room with a simple PP project, before everyone's creative energy is no longer contained, and bursts out of its protective container like a radiactive plutonium plasma.
It proves that there is no "correct" colour, and a lot of roads leading to Rome.
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  #30  
Old August 9th, 2006, 06:40 AM
Andrew Rodney Andrew Rodney is offline
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Multiple converters and layering of each in Photoshop? Wow, I thought this was supposed to be a 5 minute exercise.

Can we stick with a single rendering from a single processor for now?

I didn't mention (sorry) that of my two attempts, one was using Lightroom, the other RAW Developer. And yes, they look quite different.

A difficult task is taking the same RAW file and using say 3 converters and attempting to match as closely as possible the rendering. That takes a lot more than 5 minutes each! I've got an "Iron Chief" RAW converter session in the works for PhotoPlus Expo in NY later this year where two very well know photographers will have four different companies attempt to produce a rendering they like, all the way to output. Should be a fun one.
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