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Subject: "My Wife Says to Leave It Alone" Previous topic | Next topic
rstcso Gold Member Nikonian since 17th Oct 2013Sat 15-Mar-14 09:40 AM
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"My Wife Says to Leave It Alone"


Round Rock, US
          

It was an overcast day taking pictures of eagles. Every time I try processing using Capture NX2, my wife says I'm making them worse and I should leave them alone. Usually it's because "the sky isn't the correct color" or "I like the way the eagle looks against the branches", blah, blah, blah.

How would you recommend processing and cropping these? Or should I leave them alone?

If interested, the links provided will take you to my personal website where a larger jpeg can be viewed or downloaded. Each are about 11MB.

First picture

Second picture

Thank you,
Brent

D7100 70-200 2.8VR 180mm 1/1600s f/4 ISO(Auto) 280 +2/3EV


D7100 70-200 2.8VR 180mm 1/1600s f/4 ISO(Auto) 250 +2/3EV

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Attachment #1, (jpg file)
Attachment #2, (jpg file)

  

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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: My Wife Says to Leave It Alone
mklass Platinum Member
15th Mar 2014
1
Reply message RE: My Wife Says to Leave It Alone
rstcso Gold Member
15th Mar 2014
3
Reply message RE: My Wife Says to Leave It Alone
the diewrecktor Gold Member
15th Mar 2014
2
Reply message RE: My Wife Says to Leave It Alone
rstcso Gold Member
15th Mar 2014
5
Reply message RE: My Wife Says to Leave It Alone
dm1dave Administrator
15th Mar 2014
4
Reply message RE: My Wife Says to Leave It Alone
rstcso Gold Member
15th Mar 2014
6
Reply message RE: My Wife Says to Leave It Alone
robsb Platinum Member
15th Mar 2014
7
Reply message RE: My Wife Says to Leave It Alone
iiKaptain
16th Mar 2014
10
Reply message RE: My Wife Says to Leave It Alone
rstcso Gold Member
16th Mar 2014
8
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OldCodger
16th Mar 2014
9
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Asgard Administrator
16th Mar 2014
11
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robsb Platinum Member
16th Mar 2014
12
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jrp Administrator
17th Mar 2014
13
     Reply message RE: My Wife Says to Leave It Alone
rstcso Gold Member
18th Mar 2014
15
Reply message RE: My Wife Says to Leave It Alone
James23p Moderator
17th Mar 2014
14

mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, sports, commercial, and events coverage, Mick is always ready to help Nikonians by sharing his deep knowledge of photography and printing. Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006Sat 15-Mar-14 12:50 PM
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#1. "RE: My Wife Says to Leave It Alone"
In response to Reply # 0


Tacoma, US
          

At the risk of contradicting your wife:

First, they need more contrast. Use the contrast slider or adjust the curve.

Second, crop. On the first, crop out the blurred branches on the right then see if you can crop in one the bird. On the second, crop in on the bird. Put the bird on the left 1/3rd line.

If you know how to vignette, add a subtle vignette centered on the bird to bring more attention to it.


Mick
Web Site: http://www.mickklassphoto.com
Online gallery: http://mickklass.gallery
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rstcso Gold Member Nikonian since 17th Oct 2013Sat 15-Mar-14 02:01 PM
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#3. "RE: My Wife Says to Leave It Alone"
In response to Reply # 1


Round Rock, US
          

>At the risk of contradicting your wife:

I promise not to tell. I posted the pictures "as shot" so you'd know where she's coming from.

I tried bringing out the contrast, cropping, and changing the background to make the trees and bird stand out, but before long, it started looking artificial. I haven't played with vignetting. Sounds like a subtle way to bring attention to an object.

I also have LR5 and PS Elements 12, but have only used LR5 for easy exporting size to 1200x? and less than 300k. I haven't figured out how to easily do that in Capture NX2, yet.

Thank you,
Brent

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the diewrecktor Gold Member Nikonian since 07th Jan 2014Sat 15-Mar-14 01:35 PM
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#2. "RE: My Wife Says to Leave It Alone"
In response to Reply # 0


Jeffersonville, US
          

Brent,
I can't offer you much in the way of post processing. I can offer encouragement. You are making great progress with your BIF pictures. These birds appear much more in focus than the first attempts you posted earlier.
I have been practicing BIF around home the last few weeks, and it is very challenging, to say the least. I'm trying to learn to pan with the birds and I have great respect for those Nikonians who have learned how to do this. It's hard.
Your progress is giving me encouragement. I wish I had a close-by place to go just to observe these magnificent birds.
Keep posting.
Carman

  

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rstcso Gold Member Nikonian since 17th Oct 2013Sat 15-Mar-14 02:15 PM
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#5. "RE: My Wife Says to Leave It Alone"
In response to Reply # 2


Round Rock, US
          

Thank you, Carman. I bumped up the shutter speed, set the aperture a little tighter and let the ISO go AUTO to wherever it ended up. Also, I didn't screw up this time by forgetting to put the focus back in AF-C... and my thumb remembered its job of staying on the AE/AF button to continue focusing. Another thing was loosening the ball head more so it swiveled easily, since I don't have a fancy-schmancy Wimberly thingies.

I was at a park the other day where several kites were being flown, so I practiced my BIF techniques. Even some of them were out of focus. I have a much greater respect for those making a living at it. I'd starve, but perhaps that wouldn't be all bad for six months or so. I'd lose weight much faster than wandering/meandering around as I am now.

Keep practicing. I know I'll be.
Brent

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dm1dave Administrator Awarded for high level knowledge and skills in various areas, most notably in Wildlife and Landscape Writer Ribbon awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Nikonians community Nikonian since 12th Sep 2006Sat 15-Mar-14 02:13 PM
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#4. "RE: My Wife Says to Leave It Alone"
In response to Reply # 0


Lowden, US
          

The flat light, gray sky and the small size of the bird in the frame make these images difficult.

Look at you histogram. You will see a gap at both ends. Make a Levels adjustment by moving the left histogram slider over to close the gap. Do the same with the right slider. Then add a simple S curve.

I did all of this in the quick adjust panel.





Now drop a color control point on the dark part of the bird. Increase the brightness and contrast. The bird is a bit red so reduce the warmth. Settings: Brightness 48, contrast 22, warmth -30

Put a second control point on the head with a slight increase in brightness and reduce the warmth until it is white. Settings: brightness 24, warmth -24.

You can leave the sky as is or you can put a control point somewhere above the bird and and reduce the warmth to bring some blue into the sky. Don’t overdo it as the blue will not look quite right. I reduced the warmth by -22

Of course this is a quick and dirty edit to the JEPG. You may be able to bring out more in the bird with the RAW file.



Dave Summers
Lowden, Iowa
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Attachment #2, (jpg file)

  

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rstcso Gold Member Nikonian since 17th Oct 2013Sat 15-Mar-14 02:45 PM
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#6. "RE: My Wife Says to Leave It Alone"
In response to Reply # 4


Round Rock, US
          

Thank you very much, Dave. I've yet to learn how to use the histogram correctly and need to do so. I try to remember Joe McNally's Prayer of Proper Pixel Placement: "Darks on the left, lights on the right, grays in the middle, and Lord help us preserve the holy hightlights. Amen."

I appreciate your taking the time to mess with it and posting the numbers to plug into CNX2 on the RAW file. I'll give it a try.

Regards,
Brent

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robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006Sat 15-Mar-14 10:02 PM
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#7. "RE: My Wife Says to Leave It Alone"
In response to Reply # 4


San Jose, US
          

I agree with Dave's comments. Generally if you follow a standard process you will very quickly come out with a good not over processed image in CNX2, working your way down the right side panel. First things I do is check the WB setting, reset the Picture Control to one with no Sharpening (I created a NS version for each of my Picture Controls). I look to see if noise reduction is required and adjust accordingly. I then do camera and Lens setting, and then I use the Quick Fix panel to adjust highlights and shadows, I follow this by using the double threshold to set the black and white points in the image and make sure the histogram covers the full range and is not bumping against the edges. I then add a capture sharpening suitable for the camera used. After that I do local edits using control points and either the included tools in CNX2 or the added tools provided by NIK CEP 3.0 for CNX2. I then do a final sharpening and then use the auto retouch brush to clean up any spots. I then save the NEF. By following a standard process you will get to a final image quicker, with better results than if you just jump around in the image as each step will have an effect on following steps. On average I spend about 5 min per image. Sometimes I spend more depending on what I am trying to do. Remember color control points and selection control points are very powerful and allow you to make very specific local corrections without affecting the whole image and are great for the things that Dave just did to your image.

Bob Baldassano
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"Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the
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iiKaptain Registered since 10th Mar 2014Sun 16-Mar-14 10:56 AM
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#10. "RE: My Wife Says to Leave It Alone"
In response to Reply # 4


Bunbury, AU
          

Very Interesting in how to improve the photo we take.
I can learn a lot from this

Thanks

Ray

  

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rstcso Gold Member Nikonian since 17th Oct 2013Sun 16-Mar-14 07:58 AM
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#8. "RE: My Wife Says to Leave It Alone"
In response to Reply # 0


Round Rock, US
          

Thank you for your feedback, Bob. I tried Dave's suggestions on the RAW file and couldn't get it any better than what he'd already done. I then took a different shot from the same flight, applied your and Dave's suggestions and my wife actually likes it, although she did give me the "look" for messing with it after having told me to "just leave them alone".

I don't like the tree directly behind the eagle, but with minimal processing, it still looks reasonable. I couldn't get any more detail out from under the bird without it starting to look unnatural.

Thank you again,
Brent


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Attachment #1, (jpg file)

  

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OldCodger Registered since 15th Oct 2011Sun 16-Mar-14 08:40 AM
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#9. "RE: My Wife Says to Leave It Alone"
In response to Reply # 8


Sawbridgeworth Hertfordshire, GB
          

Thank you for posting and starting a very interesting and educational thread. You have demonstrated the effects of learning; I feel I started off further back than you, but now I have a far better understanding of the distribution curves and their correction.
Thank you to all who posted.
Richard

  

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Asgard Administrator He is your Chief Guardian Angel at the Helpdesk and knows a lot about a lot Nikonian since 07th Apr 2004Sun 16-Mar-14 02:21 PM
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#11. "RE: My Wife Says to Leave It Alone"
In response to Reply # 8


East Frisia, DE
          

I played a little bit with CNX.

Maybe you like it or at least it is an inspiration.




Gerold - Nikonian in East Frisia
Eala Freya Fresena

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robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006Sun 16-Mar-14 06:21 PM
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#12. "RE: My Wife Says to Leave It Alone"
In response to Reply # 8
Sun 16-Mar-14 06:22 PM by robsb

San Jose, US
          

Brent glad to see you experiment. Looking at your image I think there are a few more things you can do to improve it. First it appears your picture does not have enough contrast. I would increase that. Second, I would select just the bird and use more sharpening, it looks unsharpened to me. Third if you want to de-emphasize the tree, Blur the whole image a bit, perhaps even adding a gradient to that blur and then either using a minus control point or the minus brush select the eagle. this will un-blur the eagle and make it stand out from the tree. The blurring should be a small amount so it does not look phony.

Bob Baldassano
My Nikonians Gallery

"Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the
camera"

Retirement is a gift of time - Don't waste it!

  

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jrp Administrator JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources Charter MemberMon 17-Mar-14 04:36 AM
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#13. "RE: My Wife Says to Leave It Alone"
In response to Reply # 8


San Pedro Garza García, MX
          

Here it is with an additional soft S curve and with local sharpening with FocusMagic


Have a great time
JRP (Founder & Administrator. Nikonian at the north-eastern Mexican desert) Gallery, Brief Love Story, The Team
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rstcso Gold Member Nikonian since 17th Oct 2013Tue 18-Mar-14 07:35 AM
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#15. "RE: My Wife Says to Leave It Alone"
In response to Reply # 13


Round Rock, US
          

Thank you Bob for the suggestions and Gerold and JRP for showing other ways to improve the processing.

JRP, having read several of your posts where you used Focus Magic, I downloaded and have been using it. It's saved me several times where the shot wasn't very good to start. Amazing program with a trial period of ten pictures before buying.

This has been a great learning opportunity. I appreciate all who've come to my aid.

Thank you,
Brent

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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James23p Moderator Awarded for his wide variety of skills, a true generalist both in film and digital photography Nikonian since 25th Apr 2004Mon 17-Mar-14 05:22 AM
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#14. "RE: My Wife Says to Leave It Alone"
In response to Reply # 0
Mon 17-Mar-14 05:22 AM by James23p

Memphis, US
          

Great info all this is why Nikonians is so great in one thread we have learned several ways to improve the very same photo!

By the way very nice photo!

Thanks all Jim

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