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  #1  
Old April 12th, 2009, 01:58 PM
Rachel Foster Rachel Foster is offline
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Default Adventures in Photoshop (or I'm Still Trying!)

I'm still working with photoshop. Selection is very difficult for me in particular. I shot this lily today. As the untouched image shows, the background is undesirable.




I did some contrast/exposure adjustment and then tried selecting the flower and using gaussian blur. My question is whether it just looks strange or if it improved it at all?



After the selection (magic wand, feather and smooth) i increased by 5 pixels. It gives the iris a slight "glow" sort of feel. What I don't know is, again, does it simply make it odd?

Note: the effect is more subtle on the print than the posted jpeg.
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  #2  
Old April 12th, 2009, 03:58 PM
Charles L Webster Charles L Webster is offline
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I find the halo disturbing. I don't mind the background after the blur, but the selection line bothers me.

I tend to just work with the lasso tool at high magnification after using the magic wand to get the gross outline. But I'm no PS expert either ;)
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  #3  
Old April 12th, 2009, 04:32 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Rachel,

l like the original! It has an interesting shadow and complementary rough texture to the background. I'd explore that too! :)

Asher
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  #4  
Old April 12th, 2009, 05:07 PM
Rachel Foster Rachel Foster is offline
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Thanks, both. I'll try going higher mag with the lasso. The problem I have is scrolling down in high mag.

Asher I'd like the original if there weren't so many wrinkles.
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  #5  
Old April 13th, 2009, 10:35 AM
JohanElzenga JohanElzenga is offline
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That halo has little to do with the way you use the lasso tool. It's the way Gaussian Blur works. Try to use Lens Blur rather than Gaussian Blur if you don't want that halo.
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  #6  
Old April 13th, 2009, 12:10 PM
Rachel Foster Rachel Foster is offline
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Oh, good suggestion! I will, thank you.
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  #7  
Old April 13th, 2009, 02:35 PM
Rachel Foster Rachel Foster is offline
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The lens blur does work much better for eliminating the halo, but there seems to be a max limit to the amount of blur I can apply.

This version I used lens blur, tried the blur brush (with little effect), the smudge brush some (also not helpful) and then the dodge brush. This was the effect.

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  #8  
Old April 13th, 2009, 02:48 PM
Nicolas Claris Nicolas Claris is offline
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Bonsoir Rachel
Much better!
You may also try the following:
Once your selection is made, copy/paste it to make a new layer of it (on top of the original)
Then select the original layer and apply a "direction blur" using the same angle as the light of your BG.

As I don't know the real name of this filter in English, below is a hard copy of monitor…

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  #9  
Old April 13th, 2009, 02:53 PM
Rachel Foster Rachel Foster is offline
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Thank you, Nicolas.

As far as photoshop is concerned, I think I'm the proverbial tortoise...albeit a very, very old and slow tortoise.

P.S. I think that is "motion blur."
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  #10  
Old April 13th, 2009, 02:57 PM
Nicolas Claris Nicolas Claris is offline
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Practice! practice!

Yes, it is motion blur. If you adjust carefully the angle and distance, you may get some nice and easy effect…
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  #11  
Old April 13th, 2009, 02:58 PM
Nicolas Claris Nicolas Claris is offline
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and forget about the hare!
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  #12  
Old April 13th, 2009, 03:32 PM
Rachel Foster Rachel Foster is offline
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Forget about who? Ha!

Thanks, again. Practice is required for something as complex as photoshop. On a related note, I now exclusively use Bridge to view/review images.
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  #13  
Old April 13th, 2009, 03:53 PM
Michael Fontana Michael Fontana is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohanElzenga View Post
That halo has little to do with the way you use the lasso tool. It's the way Gaussian Blur works. Try to use Lens Blur rather than Gaussian Blur if you don't want that halo.
Rachel, ou can save your selection and apply Gaussian Blur only within it...
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  #14  
Old April 15th, 2009, 03:10 AM
JohanElzenga JohanElzenga is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel Foster View Post
The lens blur does work much better for eliminating the halo, but there seems to be a max limit to the amount of blur I can apply.
What stops you from using it more than once?...

I'm also sure that you didn't use it with maximum settings, because I can get much more blur than you got, still using the filter only once.
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  #15  
Old April 15th, 2009, 03:16 AM
JohanElzenga JohanElzenga is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Fontana View Post
Rachel, or can save your selection and apply Gaussian Blur only within it...
Nope, that is exactly the problem. Even if you blur a selection only, Gaussian Blur takes pixels from outside the selection to determine the edge effect. That is how Gaussian Blur works. Even if you would cut out the flower to a new layer, and then blur the background layer using Gaussian Blur, you would still get a halo. The only way to avoid that would be to fill up the cut-out space of the flower with the same color first.
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  #16  
Old April 15th, 2009, 05:32 AM
Michael Fontana Michael Fontana is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohanElzenga View Post
......... Even if you would cut out the flower to a new layer, and then blur the background layer using Gaussian Blur, you would still get a halo. The only way to avoid that would be to fill up the cut-out space of the flower with the same color first.
okay, I forgotten: chose selection and copy as new layer, recall the slection and then apply gaussain blur.
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  #17  
Old April 15th, 2009, 06:44 AM
Rachel Foster Rachel Foster is offline
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I'll retry.
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  #18  
Old April 15th, 2009, 10:25 AM
JohanElzenga JohanElzenga is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Fontana View Post
okay, I forgotten: chose selection and copy as new layer, recall the slection and then apply gaussain blur.
Aha, you select the background and copy that to a new layer, not the flower. That does indeed work if you load the selection again before you blur that layer (otherwise you will spill the background into the flower which is a kind of 'reverse halo').
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  #19  
Old April 16th, 2009, 08:28 AM
Luiz Vasconcellos Luiz Vasconcellos is offline
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I used vertus fluid mask to extract...
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  #20  
Old April 16th, 2009, 09:00 AM
JohanElzenga JohanElzenga is offline
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Well, this is one prime example where you don't need such a special (paid) plugin. Photoshop's own Quick Selection Tool has very little problems with something like this...
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  #21  
Old April 16th, 2009, 09:07 AM
Rachel Foster Rachel Foster is offline
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I'll explore the quick selection tool.

Thanks for all the help. I think I might actually learn a bit of this someday!
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  #22  
Old April 20th, 2009, 08:26 AM
Rachel Foster Rachel Foster is offline
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I didn't figure out how to get a better lens blur (the max settings are eluding me), but this time I selected the lily out with magic wand. I copied the background to a new window, cloned out the spot where the lily had been. Then I used a heavy box blur to smooth the entire background. Going back to the original, I inversed the selection and copied the lily, which I then pasted to the new blurred background.

How did I do?





I'm going to try it with the original image (which is a bit more complex in selection) now.
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  #23  
Old April 20th, 2009, 09:57 AM
Rachel Foster Rachel Foster is offline
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And the original...

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  #24  
Old April 21st, 2009, 03:35 PM
Nelu Goia Nelu Goia is offline
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Hi Rachel,
" Selection is very difficult for me in particular. ":) It used to be for me too, a while ago...
Now, in order to blur the background without affecting the main subject,the flower you need to :
1.Duplicate the background layer (Ctrl+J on a PC or Cmd+J on a Mac)
2.Use the Pen selection tool for such an easy subject and select the flower.
3.Ctrl (Cmd)-click the path to load it as a selection and jump it to a new layer (Ctrl+J or Cmd+J again).
4. Select the second layer (the background copy) and clone-out the flower.
5.Apply lens blur or Gaussian blur (lens blur works better for this job) to this layer only.
6. Additionally you can apply a curves adjustment layer to increase the contrast, as you prefer.
Have fun shooting!:)
Nelu
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  #25  
Old April 21st, 2009, 05:10 PM
Rachel Foster Rachel Foster is offline
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I've printed that, Nelu...thanks!
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  #26  
Old April 22nd, 2009, 01:23 AM
janet Smith janet Smith is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel Foster View Post
And the original...


Hi Rachel

I've photographed Cala lillies loads of times, I know how difficult they are to photograph, so much empty space around them, how best to show their wonderful shape....

In you're original version with the shadow, clearly showing us the sensual intricacy of the curves, you have achieved what I think is very difficult to do, beautiful, well done.
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  #27  
Old April 22nd, 2009, 06:40 AM
Rachel Foster Rachel Foster is offline
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Thank you very much, Janet!
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  #28  
Old April 30th, 2009, 08:53 AM
Rachel Foster Rachel Foster is offline
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I've been working on the lily some more. This time I duplicated the entire image and cloned out the lily. Then I applied a blur. Next, I did a shift-drop drag of the lily from the original image into the blurred copy.

It's getting closer to what I'm wanting. Unfortunately, downsizing has added some pixelation that is not in the full size so I'm putting it up fairly large.

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  #29  
Old May 4th, 2009, 03:01 PM
Rachel Foster Rachel Foster is offline
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The day has arrived that I thought I would never see.

It's almost as startling and newsworthy as seeing pigs fly.

I have successfully used LAYERS!
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  #30  
Old July 28th, 2009, 02:50 PM
David Thomasson David Thomasson is offline
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For the masking part: Duplicate the blue channel and apply levels to increase contrast (pull the end sliders in toward the middle). That will leave the flower almost solid black. You can select practically all of it with the magic wand, then go into Quick Mask mode and clean up anything the wand missed.

Blue channel after levels adjustment:



You can also create a mask for the shadow the same way.

Another way to blur the background without creating halos:
  1. Use the first mask to select just the flower.
  2. Copy that onto its own layer (Ctrl-j). Call that layer "Flower."
  3. Turn that layer off and go back to the underlying layer.
  4. Clone the flower out, sampling from the fabric around the flower. Clone out the shadow as well.
  5. Then apply G/blur or lens blur to that layer. Now that the flower and shadow are gone, they can't create halos.
After that, turn Flower back on. If you want to restore the shadow, use that mask on a new blank layer and fill the selection with black.

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Last edited by David Thomasson; July 28th, 2009 at 03:24 PM. Reason: Replace bad image link
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