Monday, August 2, 2010

Going The Other Way With Adobe Photoshop CS5

Last week’s image of a flower was taken using Nikon’s Auto FP High Speed Flash. The result was a properly exposed flower with a deep rich background, even though the shot was made in bright sunlight. Today’s image of a flower is just about as opposite as you can get. The image was made out in the field, as was last week’s, but this time without using the flash and having a considerably lighter background. The exposures are basically equal, one using a flash and the other using natural light. The result in both cases is a well exposed flower. I’m not “really” a flower photographer, although there have been a small number of them featured here on the gallery’s blog. It’s summer in New England, the flowers are in bloom and the colors are pretty spectacular this year. So, what’s not to shoot? As we walked around, looking for subject matter, I kept one eye on the scenery and the other on the readout panel on the camera. Depending on the scene before me I’d spin the Aperture adjustment wheel lower (about F5.6) for any moving subjects and higher (F16) for objects that were reasonable static. With the sun out so bright, the low F-Stop number gave speeds of 1/4000 second and the higher F-Stops at about 1/500 second. It’s the same expose, just adjusting the depth of field to maximize bokeh. To check to see that it actually is the same, net exposure we’ll do a little counting. Going up in F-Stop numbers to reduce the size of the aperture would be 5.6, 8, 11, and 16. Going slower to arrive at equivalent exposures would match up as 1/4000, 1/2000, 1/1000, and 1/500 second. Why we wound up with somewhat similar backgrounds is a function of how the light was manipulated. Last week’s image was shot with a bright background and the flashes overpowering the sunlight to achieve a dark background. This week’s image was shot in broad daylight, but into a strongly shaded background. To learn more about how this week’s image was “finished” in Adobe Photoshop CS5, hit the “read more”.
There are really only two things that were done to today’s image. This image wasn’t even sharpened. Blasphemy you say! I did try doing the normal High Pass Filter sharpening that’s SOP around here, but any amount gave an over sharpened appearance to the flower. A Channel Mask was made of the flower’s pedals using the Quick Selection Tool (W). That’s one of the two things done to the image.

The second things done to the image was putting a pretty heavy vignette on it. After applying the vignette the Channel Mask was selected (CTRL and click on the mask image in the Channel Panel) and a Layer Mask applied to the vignette. I might have had to invert the mask (CTRL I) to have the background masked and the flower in bright sunshine, but that’s it. That’s all that was done to today’s image. That’ what I call a quick in and out on an image. Couldn’t have taken more than five minutes, start to finish.