Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wednesday Q&A: How Much Can You Crop Using Photoshop

Well, the simple answer to "how much can you crop an image" is as much as you're comfortable.  A couple of the big questions would be "what is the use of the shot" and "how was it shot"?  If you're using a DSLR, have a 2 GB memory card and can shoot a million images, the answer would probably be not much.  The camera would have to be set to the absolute maximum compression and lowest resolution.  Those images are meant to be used on your Facebook page or somewhere else on line.  You can probably get a reasonable 4 x 6 print out of it, but not much more.  If your camera is a new Nikon D800 and you shoot in Raw, you can probably print a billboard sized image that would look pretty good.  Today's question came from a friend (okay, a relative) new to photography.  He/she wasn't sure if she/he could print images the size I do with her camera, a Nikon D3200.  Again, well... that's a 24.2 Mega Pixel camera.  It's not quite a D800, but that's still a lot of pixels.  I print (have printed) images up to 24" x 36".  That's not often, but enough that I can offer it.  The "friend" said he/she had an 11" x 14" made from one image and it looked like crap.  I asked about the number of shots would typically be taken on a day of heavy shooting (undoubtedly the grandkids).  The answer was "oh, a lot.  Maybe as many as 60 or 70".  If you're a shooter, that a really light shooting day (hour).  The camera had been set to get the maximum number of images.  We reset it to get the best possible JPEG images.  There's no image improvement being done on any of this person's shots, so there's no point to shooting RAW.  (Maybe next year.)  Today's image is an example of about the maximum cropping I do.  Hit the "Read More" to find my thoughts on cropping.
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Monday, September 24, 2012

How To Clear A Room Using Photoshop

There's nothing like getting special, off hours, access to a building like the one in today's image.  Having the luxury of taking your time, setting up the shot without the hassle of seventeen people milling around, intruding on the shot.  Well, that's not exactly what happened with today's image.  There was, indeed, seventeen people wandering around, on the floor, on the stairs, on the balcony, in the other room, through the doorway, just about everywhere you can think of.  Thank goodness there's Adobe Photoshop (in this case) CS6.  Those of you who have played around with Photoshop probably know what a pain it would be to have to clone out seventeen of anything in an image.  Luckily, something was introduced in CS5 that made life easy when trying to do this type of "cleanup".  Some things were easy using the Healing Brush (J) with the Content Aware button checked.  The rope and stands blocking off the table and chair in the lower left were ideal for the Healing Brush (J).  One swipe and a portion of the rope was gone.  Another and the stand became history.  A little attention to detail and the part of the rope that fell along the arm of the chair was no more.  Things like that are easy.  Getting rid of seventeen people without a whistle, a gun or a whip and chair?  Not as much.  To find out what makes it easy, hit the "Read More".
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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wednesday Q & A Using Multiple Copies of the Same Image in Photoshop

I'm always checking what search terms bring people to the Gallery.  Number one is questions about Smart Objects or Smart Filters.  Number two lately are questions about using multiple copies of same image in a Photoshop (Adobe Photoshop CS6) document.  There's two ways to go with this question and they're about polar opposites.  One would be using copies of the same image as elements in a composition.  Here's a post on The Gallery about that type of use.  The rose is the primary point of interest (only point of interest) and is repeated as the sole background elements.  It's enlarged and thrown out of focus, but it is recognizable.  I don't think that's what people are searching for.  I think they're looking for a way to layout a Picture Package.  Sort of like today's image.  I figured I had to really blur out the face of the person because I don't have her permission to use a recognizable image.  Trust me when I say she is a very lovely young woman.  Adobe didn't include Picture Package in CS5 or CS6.  It's available.  It can be used in either CS5 or CS6, but you have to jump through a couple of hoops (just once) to get it running on the newer versions of Photoshop.  To learn how to get Picture Package and get it going, hit the "Read More".
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Monday, September 17, 2012

Photoshop Puppet Warp and Adaptive Wide Angle

Today's image is a fifteen shot panorama of the Hudson River from Storm King Mountain.  If you just happen to be familiar with the Hudson, Bear Mountain Bridge is to the right and the Newburgh - Beacon Bridge would be to the left.  The tree on the left is in Griswold Connecticut, but I thought the image needed something to serve as an anchor opposing the hills on the west side of the river seen on the right.  I didn't feel too bad about adding the tree since there was a tree there anyway, just not as good looking a specimen as the one I put in.  The sky is actually real.  It was a bright sunny (partly cloudy) day and dropping the two stops due to a Circular Polarizer wasn't going to reduce the shutter speed by too much (shooting in Aperture Priority).  The biggest deal was the fact that it's a fifteen shot, hand held pano.  As you might think, it sort of looked like a smiley face when it was first stitched together.  With the tools available in Adobe Photoshop CS6 (CS6) it was possible to make the eastern shoreline look more acceptable and not lose the sky or river.  It find out how the image was straighten out, hit the "Read More"
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Friday, September 14, 2012

Creating Fantasy Images With Photoshop CS6

There's a starting point to every image.  It's not necessary that the final image look anything like the original.  Today's image is an example of just such a final image.  The title honors the space agency and their recent accomplishment of land a roving probe on Mars.  The image is called "Curiosity Approaching Mars".  As you may have guessed, I wasn't following along behind the craft, snapping pix as Curiosity neared the planet.  I also don't have a long enough lens to have taken the shot from my back yard.  (That would have been a really long lens.)  I do think it looks reasonably possible, but what was used to create the image and how were the pieces changed?  To find out, hit the "Read More".
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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Another Day, Another Connecticut Skyline In Photoshop

Well, if you read the previous post I was supposed to be posting about calibrating my lenses using the Spyder Lenscal device.  I didn't get around to it because my tripod was in the trunk of the car and the car wasn't here.  Ya can't calibrate a lens hand held.  You can, however, make panoramas hand held.  In fact, most of the panos I do are hand held.  One reason is that "most" are done in the bright sunlight with a shutter speed of 1/500th or more and this particular image had an F-stop of F 14.  Lots of DOF (Depth of Field).  The big deal was the brilliant blue sky and the row after row of clouds.  Lately we've been seeking out the skylines of Connecticut cities.  So far, the best (read that as easiest)  have been the ones on the water.  Either the Connecticut River or along the Long Island shore.  We don't have a whole lot of access to boats, so we've had to find places with either established parks or outcroppings with views of the cities.  Today's image isn't exactly straight out of the camera (but then again, not many of my images are) and the use of Adobe Photoshop CS6 was liberally applied.  To find out what "tricks" were used to finish the image, hit the "Read More".
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Monday, September 10, 2012

Jazzing Things UP With Photoshop

Who says you can't fool around with your images.  If you're interested in making a record, if you're doing some photojournalism, you probably should keep you images pretty straight.  More than one photojournalist has been kicked to the curb because he/she played with an image.  But that's not what I do.  People don't pay me to record a scene.  They pay for my imagination.  One of my more successful images is a wildly colored image of the dock area in Antigua.  Does it look anything like reality?  Nope!  It does give a "feeling" of Antigua.  The sun is bright, the people are bright, the clothing is bright.  Everything points to being bright, so that's what my final image looked like.  Today's image isn't quite as bright as the Antigua image, but it's Hartford, in Connecticut, not in the Caribbean.  It has a different vibe, a different tempo.  It's a city coming back and getting brighter and more colorful every day.  So, I've presented it as being colorful.  There's a whole raft of techniques used to get to the final image.  Parts are highly messed with.  Others, almost nothing has been done and in still others where is a hint of fooling around with the image.  To find out about what went on where, hit the "Read More".
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