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Subject: "Capture NX 2" Previous topic | Next topic
ithompson72 Silver Member Nikonian since 13th Aug 2008Tue 31-Aug-10 10:13 AM
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"Capture NX 2"


Chichester, GB
          

Hi all,

I am using capture nx2 (not the latest version as I understand there have been some issues with windows 7) and wanted to ask if something is possible - if it isn't then I will switch to PSE for this task. Mostly I just use NX2 to do the post processing for RAW images - haven't tried anything particularly fancy with it.

OK, time to get to the point. I have a black and white photo that I really like but it was on a very bright day and the sky is a little too bright and blown out. What I need to do is just darken the sky without affecting the rest of the image. I had a look at the selection tools but there is some complexity (a boat mast, some trees, etc) that makes it difficult to precisely select the area. Is there some easy way to select an irregular area? Is the software up to doing this? Would PSE be better anyway?

Sorry, so many questions.

  

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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: Capture NX 2
TiggerGTO Silver Member
31st Aug 2010
1
Reply message RE: Capture NX 2
ithompson72 Silver Member
31st Aug 2010
4
Reply message RE: Capture NX 2
ericbowles Moderator
31st Aug 2010
2
Reply message RE: Capture NX 2
ithompson72 Silver Member
31st Aug 2010
3
Reply message RE: Capture NX 2
ericbowles Moderator
31st Aug 2010
5
Reply message RE: Capture NX 2
ithompson72 Silver Member
31st Aug 2010
6
Reply message RE: Capture NX 2
ericbowles Moderator
01st Sep 2010
14
     Reply message RE: Capture NX 2
ithompson72 Silver Member
02nd Sep 2010
15
Reply message RE: Capture NX 2
TiggerGTO Silver Member
31st Aug 2010
7
Reply message RE: Capture NX 2
PAStime Silver Member
03rd Sep 2010
16
     Reply message RE: Capture NX 2
TiggerGTO Silver Member
03rd Sep 2010
17
Reply message RE: Capture NX 2
TiggerGTO Silver Member
31st Aug 2010
8
Reply message RE: Capture NX 2
DeanAZ Moderator
01st Sep 2010
9
Reply message RE: Capture NX 2
Del
01st Sep 2010
10
Reply message RE: Capture NX 2
ithompson72 Silver Member
01st Sep 2010
11
     Reply message RE: Capture NX 2
TiggerGTO Silver Member
01st Sep 2010
12
          Reply message RE: Capture NX 2
ithompson72 Silver Member
01st Sep 2010
13

TiggerGTO Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Feb 2006Tue 31-Aug-10 11:03 AM
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#1. "RE: Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 0


Apex, US
          

Depending on your masking skills with PSE, it may actually be easier to get the mask you want with NX2. The selection control points are pretty amazing (next to the band-aid on the toolbar).

To do an adjustment like you are talking about, first pick the adjustment you want to do, whether it is levels & curves or contrast/brightness. Play with the controls to get the sky the way that you want it to look. The rest of the image will be too dark, but don't worry about it. When you have the sky the way you like it, you have a couple choices. You can select the minus selection control point and drop one or more on anything you don't want the darkening adjustment to apply to like the boat mast, trees, etc. Conversely, it may be easier to drop one or more plus control points in the sky. In either case, play with the diameter and opacity of the control point and don't be afraid to add more control points. You can combine the use of control points with the other selection tools. For example, you may need to use a plus or minus brush to include/exclude one particular detail.

If you have trouble getting the adjustments that you want, it might help to post the image so that somebody else can take a shot at it. I'll be happy to try if you can't get what you want with NX2.

Danny
A Nikonian in North Carolina

  

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ithompson72 Silver Member Nikonian since 13th Aug 2008Tue 31-Aug-10 11:58 AM
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#4. "RE: Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 1


Chichester, GB
          

Thanks for the advice. I will have a play with NX2 based on your advice - hopefully be able to work it out. Have also put the photos in my gallery and linked them from my other reply.

  

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ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Writer Ribbon awarded for for his article contributions to the community Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005Tue 31-Aug-10 11:33 AM
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#2. "RE: Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 0


Atlanta, US
          

Why don't you post the image? I find that kind of adjsutmetn can often be done in NX2 but the specific tool depends on the image. I would use color control points or the gradient selection tool in most cases. You might even select an alternate color for the sky - either before or after conversion.

Eric Bowles
Nikonians Team
My Gallery
Workshops

Nikonians membership — my most important photographic investment, after the camera

  

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ithompson72 Silver Member Nikonian since 13th Aug 2008Tue 31-Aug-10 11:56 AM
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#3. "RE: Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 2


Chichester, GB
          

Thanks Eric. I have now uploaded both the original colour and the monochrome photo into my gallery.

Hopefully these are the right links...

Mono: http://images.nikonians.org/galleries/showphoto.php/photo/270341/cat/500/ppuser/188835

Colour: http://images.nikonians.org/galleries/showphoto.php/photo/270340/cat/500/ppuser/188835

  

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ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Writer Ribbon awarded for for his article contributions to the community Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005Tue 31-Aug-10 06:58 PM
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#5. "RE: Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 0
Tue 31-Aug-10 07:00 PM by ericbowles

Atlanta, US
          

You have plenty of detail in the sky. You should have no problem darkening the sky with the selection gradient and/or control points.

I copied the image and then used the Selection Gradient tool to apply Brightness and Contrast to the sky. Then I used some additional control points to darken some light areas of the sky and brighten the clouds to enhance contrast. Finally, I used the Filter to convert to B&W. I saved as an NEF to allow any edit to be undone.

To post, I edit/resized to 700 pixels on the longest side and then applied unsharp mask with settings of 25-4-4. I saved the resulting image as a JPEG with a 48% quality setting. That put the posted image at slightly over 100kb.

NOTE - Having some computer problems uploading the image. I'll post the edited image later.

Eric Bowles
Nikonians Team
My Gallery
Workshops

Nikonians membership — my most important photographic investment, after the camera

  

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ithompson72 Silver Member Nikonian since 13th Aug 2008Tue 31-Aug-10 08:32 PM
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#6. "RE: Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 5


Chichester, GB
          

Well, all I can say is wow and thanks. I had a little play earlier and got some of the way there but never seemed to get it quite right. Many thanks for your time and explanation - looking forward to seeing what it looks like after your edits.

  

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ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Writer Ribbon awarded for for his article contributions to the community Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005Wed 01-Sep-10 10:18 PM
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#14. "RE: Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 5


Atlanta, US
          


Here is the edit. Finally




Eric Bowles
Nikonians Team
My Gallery
Workshops

Nikonians membership — my most important photographic investment, after the camera

Attachment #1, (jpg file)

  

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ithompson72 Silver Member Nikonian since 13th Aug 2008Thu 02-Sep-10 06:56 AM
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#15. "RE: Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 14


Chichester, GB
          

Thanks Eric for taking the time to do that. It's good to know that it is my skills not the software that have been stopping me from doing this. Time to really play around with the software to learn what it can do.

  

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TiggerGTO Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Feb 2006Tue 31-Aug-10 10:15 PM
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#7. "RE: Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 0
Tue 31-Aug-10 10:16 PM by TiggerGTO

Apex, US
          

Here's my take.


Here's what I did:



  1. Downloaded the largest color jpg from your gallery and opened in NX2.
  2. Clicked on plus control point and added several points in the sky.
  3. Clicked on minus control point and added several points in the water until the mask appeared to be only the sky.
  4. Changed the adjustment layer to be "Levels and Curves"
  5. Pulled in the black and white arrows in until they were near the edge of the histogram and them pulled down the curve to darken the midtones.
  6. Added a "Brightness and Contrast" adjustment linked to the first adjustment by adding the adjustment while holding the Shift key. This allows the same mask to control this adjustment.
  7. Bumped the contrast up to 13 and reduced the brightness to -25.
  8. The overall image seemed a bit dark, so I went back up to the Quick Fix section and added a minor inverse S-curve (i.e. pulled up a bit near the low end and down a bit near the upper end).
  9. Added a B/W Conversion step and played with the brightness and contrast just a bit.
  10. Saved as NEF so I can re-edit
  11. Resized to 900 on the long side and saved as jpg for upload.


It took far longer for me to do the screen capture and write out these steps than it did to do the actual edit. It probably took me 5-10 minutes in NX2 and most of that was experimenting with different things. Overall, I think the image is still a bit too dark, but I like the way the sky looks.

Danny
A Nikonian in North Carolina





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

  

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PAStime Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2009Fri 03-Sep-10 12:58 AM
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#16. "RE: Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 7


Kingston, CA
          


>

  • Added a "Brightness and Contrast" adjustment
    >linked to the first adjustment by adding the adjustment while
    >holding the Shift key. This allows the same mask to control
    >this adjustment.

    Cool. Didn't know about this. I will have to give it a try. Thanks,. Peter

      

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    TiggerGTO Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Feb 2006Fri 03-Sep-10 12:20 PM
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    #17. "RE: Capture NX 2"
    In response to Reply # 16


    Apex, US
              

    I can't remember where I first heard about it, and I regularly forget how to do it. This is definitely a feature that is implemented in the UI in a non-obvious and non-intuitive way. I don't know how many times I have searched the pdf of the NX2 manual for "linking". This is on page 149 in the version of the pdf that I have.

    You can find pdfs for Nikon manuals here. I have a directory on almost every computer that I use regularly with the pdfs for Capture NX2 and for the D300 and D700. I answer lots of questions on Nikonians simply by searching the pdfs to provide the correct details for how to use a camera setting or how to get around a non-intuitive feature of NX2.

    Danny
    A Nikonian in North Carolina

      

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    TiggerGTO Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Feb 2006Tue 31-Aug-10 10:29 PM
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    #8. "RE: Capture NX 2"
    In response to Reply # 0


    Apex, US
              

    Here's my second attempt. I used the Tonal Contrast filter in Nik Color Efex Pro without adjusting any of the sliders. I then added a gradient selection to make it apply only to the sky; although I think it might have helped enhance detail in the bottom part of the image too. Then I applied a B/W Conversion step and did some minor tweaks on the brightness. Resized and uploaded. Total edit time was about 2-3 minutes.



    Danny
    A Nikonian in North Carolina

    Attachment #1, (jpg file)

      

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    DeanAZ Moderator Expert nature photographer Nikonian since 28th Apr 2007Wed 01-Sep-10 01:03 AM
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    #9. "RE: Capture NX 2"
    In response to Reply # 8


    Phoenix, US
              

    I think that Danny is on track in his idea of working on the image in color first and then going to the BW conversion step. The huge advantage of CNX2 is the COLOR control points. You can work to enhance detail and contrast while in color instead of flattening to monochrome right away. Some of the adjustments may make for a horrid color photo but if you have the BW in mind it can give you more control.

    It's like the saying about making sausage, you like the taste but you don't want to see how it's made.

    Dean
    Phoenix, Arizona USA
    Nikonians Team Member
    Website: The Splendid Silence of Light

    Recent Trips: Grand Canyon 2012 Glen Canyon 2012 West Clear Creek

    Visit my Nikonians gallery.

      

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    Del Registered since 04th Nov 2006Wed 01-Sep-10 01:17 AM
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    #10. "RE: Capture NX 2"
    In response to Reply # 9


    Claremont, US
              

    Excellent set of comments and examples of practical approaches to a good pix. Very useful,
    Thx//del

    Visit my Nikonians gallery.

      

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    ithompson72 Silver Member Nikonian since 13th Aug 2008Wed 01-Sep-10 06:56 AM
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    #11. "RE: Capture NX 2"
    In response to Reply # 8


    Chichester, GB
              

    Many thanks for your time and effort Danny. I can see from your examples that NX2 is a very powerful bit of software with obviously many ways to achieve the desired results. The sky looks much better in both pictures, much more detail and not so "flat".

    Looks like I have some time to spend with the software to learn what it is capable of. My biggest problem was with the mask as I was trying to be very precise and get every little bit in - the main reason I think was I was darkening it so far that it was making the trees and the central mast too dark so I was trying to take those out of the mask which was taking forever - I think the key was not to drop the brightness so low (as per yours, I was setting it way lower than that and wrongly so).

    Again, thanks for your time looking at these, going to have a long play with NX2 (and read a book on using it!).

      

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    TiggerGTO Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Feb 2006Wed 01-Sep-10 11:26 AM
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    #12. "RE: Capture NX 2"
    In response to Reply # 11


    Apex, US
              

    When you start experimenting with NX2, you'll find that masking is very different than in Photoshop. Rather than trying to create a precise mask of exactly what you want to adjust, you have some very powerful tools that can make some amazing selections for you. If you just start dropping selection control points on a new adjustment step, NX2 shows you the mask for what you are selecting. It is really easy to just keep adding and adjusting control points until your mask is the way you want it. Then you tell NX2 what the adjustment should be and the orange mask changes to your adjustment.

    Sometimes it is easier to do it the other way around. First, add your specific adjustment and play with the settings until the area you want to adjust looks the way you want it to look. Then use the selection tools to either "plus" the areas you want to affect or "minus" the areas you want to protect. I always have to play with the gradient selection get it right because you have plus and minus and the direction you drag controls which way the gradient goes. I almost always end up getting the gradient backwards the first time I try to add one.

    Danny
    A Nikonian in North Carolina

      

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    ithompson72 Silver Member Nikonian since 13th Aug 2008Wed 01-Sep-10 12:32 PM
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    #13. "RE: Capture NX 2"
    In response to Reply # 12


    Chichester, GB
              

    Thanks again Danny. Should be able to get used to it, especially now that I know it is possible and you've given such detailed information about how you did it.

      

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    Forums Lobby MASTER YOUR TOOLS - Hardware & Software Digital postprocessing & workflow (Public) Nikon & Nikonians Imaging Software (Public) topic #3453 Previous topic | Next topic


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