Discussion:
Hangin at the Ski photo-Shop
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Let Mikey Ski It!
2003-08-10 21:25:01 UTC
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Photoshop is amazing. I could easily believe that you could earn an
advanced degree in this program. When I think I have a good bag of tips, I
learn something new and it becomes my new favorite tip. I know and use
stuff now that I had no clue about 2 weeks ago, and so on.

Here are a couple of my recent favorite tips for ski photos.

First, a copy of a shot off the camera after doing basic attempts to
improve the shot with curves, then reducing size and quality significantly
for the web, and sharpening:

(WARING: Pownographic image of skiing Breckenridge)

Loading Image...

This shot has a high contrast back-lit subject on overwhelming bright snow
that the camera sensor tints bluish. Now, two of my now-favorite tricks:

1. Apply a "contrast mask" to lift the dark portions and fade the brights
(duplicate layer, desaturate, invert, Gaussian blur, Overlay mode, 50%
opacity)

2. Add a new solid color fill to simulate a photographic 81A warming filter
to get the snow back to white (new solid fill layer, color beige, blending
mode Color, about 15% opacity).

Loading Image...

Compare the skier, the snow and the trees. You can do much of this with
other programs and/or with much more tinkering with other adjustments but
Photoshop lets you record the actions and assign them F-keys. Bada-bing.
Done.

What books and tip sources have you all liked? i highly recommend "The
Photoshop Book for Digital Photographers" by Scott Kelby.

My quest for Photoshop prowess continues...

Mike...

--
Littleton, Colorado (reply to msaemisch at yahoo dot com)
Visit my ski pages at: http://powderday.us
Carpe powder-diem
The Real Bev
2003-08-10 21:50:08 UTC
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Post by Let Mikey Ski It!
Photoshop is amazing. I could easily believe that you could earn an
advanced degree in this program. When I think I have a good bag of tips, I
learn something new and it becomes my new favorite tip. I know and use
stuff now that I had no clue about 2 weeks ago, and so on.
Here are a couple of my recent favorite tips for ski photos.
First, a copy of a shot off the camera after doing basic attempts to
improve the shot with curves, then reducing size and quality significantly
(WARING: Pownographic image of skiing Breckenridge)
http://homepage.mac.com/saemisch/Temp/DSC_2735Camera.jpg
This shot has a high contrast back-lit subject on overwhelming bright snow
1. Apply a "contrast mask" to lift the dark portions and fade the brights
(duplicate layer, desaturate, invert, Gaussian blur, Overlay mode, 50%
opacity)
2. Add a new solid color fill to simulate a photographic 81A warming filter
to get the snow back to white (new solid fill layer, color beige, blending
mode Color, about 15% opacity).
http://homepage.mac.com/saemisch/Temp/DSC_2735Fixed.jpg
Compare the skier, the snow and the trees. You can do much of this with
other programs and/or with much more tinkering with other adjustments but
Photoshop lets you record the actions and assign them F-keys. Bada-bing.
Done.
I'm ashamed to say that I like the original better than the fixed one.
There's more detail and contrast in the snow, giving a more 3-dimensional
effect, and the detail in the skier's clothing is pretty irrelevant.

One bothersome thing is that each of our monitors is different. Is what I
actually see what you intended? No way to know.

I take back what I said (or implied) about being able to figure out
Photoshop. I can't deal with the Gimp either and am limited to changing
only overall brightness and color curves with XV. When I try to think
about layers my head starts to hurt.
--
Cheers,
Bev
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Linux -- the ultimate freebie!
lal_truckee
2003-08-11 01:05:05 UTC
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Post by The Real Bev
I'm ashamed to say that I like the original better than the fixed one.
I'm not. I like the original better - the photoshopped version looks
like one of those Thomas Kincaid "paniter of light" paintings - it looks
fake. Fine if you go in for that sort of thing, but it's not my cup of
tea. (But the original is a great shot.)
Post by The Real Bev
There's more detail and contrast in the snow, giving a more 3-dimensional
effect, and the detail in the skier's clothing is pretty irrelevant.
On the other hand, the unprocessed vers is too blue - common for snow
pictures, the tree wood is too dark, and the skier is washed out. I
prefer the second vers; I think the overall brightness could be reduced
(but that's probably my screen.)

I'm sure we all have a dedicated, compensated, true color display -
accurately aligned - they only go for a few grand each ...
Let Mikey Ski It!
2003-08-11 03:25:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by lal_truckee
On the other hand, the unprocessed vers is too blue - common for snow
pictures, the tree wood is too dark, and the skier is washed out. I
prefer the second vers; I think the overall brightness could be reduced
(but that's probably my screen.) ....
The pics I posted are seriously reduced to a 30% quality jpeg and then
doing some sharpening so it is hard to see what I see on my calibrated
screen. The main point was to say how incredible Photoshop is with its
infinite number of ways to improve a picture. I just keep making great
discoveries.

I took a little more care reducing this one, processed as before, backlit
skier, bluish snow. The colors still wash out a bit when I reduce and
squeeze the quality just a bit:

Loading Image...

Mike...

--
Littleton, Colorado (reply to msaemisch at yahoo dot com)
See my ski photography at: http://PowderDay.us
Carpe powder-diem
AstroPax
2003-08-11 04:05:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Let Mikey Ski It!
http://homepage.mac.com/saemisch/Temp/DSC_2697.jpg
I would have to say that it looks pretty darn good...but next time,
how about if we don't cut off the tippy-top of snow-covered pines.

-Astro
Let Mikey Ski It!
2003-08-12 03:25:08 UTC
Permalink
... how about if we don't cut off the tippy-top of snow-covered pines.
Yup! Shoot and learn. I think you need to send me that new lens. Grumble
grumble.

Hey, did you upgrade your camera to firmware 2.0? If not, I can help.

Mike...

--
Littleton, Colorado (reply to msaemisch at yahoo dot com)
See my ski photography at: http://PowderDay.us
Carpe powder-diem
AstroPax
2003-08-12 05:06:22 UTC
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Post by Let Mikey Ski It!
Yup! Shoot and learn. I think you need to send me that new lens. Grumble
grumble.
$1600 bucks!

It better be as good as all the reviews say it is.

What the hell. As many pics as I shoot, the savings in film cost
alone has already paid for the cam...and will probably pay for this
new lens by the end of the upcoming season.

But if doesn't snow worth a shit, I'm screwed.
Post by Let Mikey Ski It!
Hey, did you upgrade your camera to firmware 2.0? If not, I can help.
Yea, I got it from a link provided on the Nikon SLR Forum.

I probably didn't really need 2.0...but I figured what the
hell...better keep up with the Jones's.

Now, if I can just get my powder breathing subjects to "STOP LOOKING
AT THE CAMERA" !!!

-Astro

---
x-Vertigo
http://www.xmission.com/~hound/astro/02-03/index.htm
---
Let Mikey Ski It!
2003-08-16 13:40:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by AstroPax
Post by Let Mikey Ski It!
Yup! Shoot and learn. I think you need to send me that new lens. Grumble
grumble.
$1600 bucks!
Where did you find it for $1,600?!? My toy gland got seriously enlarged
reading about that lens. Have you received it yet? What do you think?!?
Post by AstroPax
But if doesn't snow worth a shit, I'm screwed.
I bet it will. If it doesn't, send it to me.

Astro, have you done much tinkering with White Balance? After just reading
a few articles, it sounds like we should be experimenting with this to see
which handles snow best. I also have an 18% grey cloth but have never used
it.

Mike...

--
Littleton, Colorado (reply to msaemisch at yahoo dot com)
See my ski photography at: http://PowderDay.us
Carpe powder-diem
AstroPax
2003-08-16 21:45:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Let Mikey Ski It!
Post by AstroPax
Post by Let Mikey Ski It!
Yup! Shoot and learn. I think you need to send me that new lens. Grumble
grumble.
$1600 bucks!
Where did you find it for $1,600?!? My toy gland got seriously enlarged
reading about that lens. Have you received it yet? What do you think?!?
Mikey,

Actually, I paid exactly $1,649.95 for the USA model from B&H Photo.

I procure all of my gear from B&H because they are fast and reliable.

Obviously, I could have purchased the grey market version for less,
but if I'm gonna pay *that* much for a lens I think it's prudent to
get the 5 year Nikon USA warranty. Especially for a lens that has so
many switches, servos, gizmos, etc.

A few pics of this monster mounted on my D100, w/tripod:

Loading Image... (38k)

Loading Image... (53k)

Anyway, the thing is awesome. It's my first AF-S type lens. Talk
about a *fast* auto-focus.

Not too heavy, not too big, and it just happens to produce some rather
high quality, sharp images. Yup, I'm thoroughly convinced that half
the battle is with the glass.

However, as we well know, the real test will occur when I start
shooting during a nice Alta dump...big snowflakes, flat light, fast
movers.
Post by Let Mikey Ski It!
Post by AstroPax
But if doesn't snow worth a shit, I'm screwed.
I bet it will. If it doesn't, send it to me.
On second thought, I *will* find some snow, regardless! Even if I
have to jump on the old Tele skis. But for that to happen, I would
have to be really desperate.
Post by Let Mikey Ski It!
Astro, have you done much tinkering with White Balance? After just reading
a few articles, it sounds like we should be experimenting with this to see
which handles snow best. I also have an 18% grey cloth but have never used
it.
Yea, I think you might have something there. Guess it's time to start
tinkering with the WB, but I'm not exactly sure where to start. Let
me know if you have any good ideas.

The most I've ever done is simply set it at a +3 EV.

Also, seeing how skiers sometimes move erratically, I think I'll try
Dynamic-area AF vs Single-area AF.

Man, I can't believe it. My old film Nikon is gathering dust, big
time. I feel sorry for Kodak.

-Astro

---
x-Vertigo
http://www.xmission.com/~hound/astro/02-03/index.htm
---
Let Mikey Ski It!
2003-08-18 14:50:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by AstroPax
http://www.xmission.com/~hound/astro/cam/70-200_1.jpg (38k)
http://www.xmission.com/~hound/astro/cam/70-200_2.jpg (53k)
BIGGGG F SCHWINNNNNNNNG !!!!!!

You are hurting me, Astro. Must have must have. Oh baby.

I am really curious to see how that VR works for skiers where you might be
tracking the camera slowly.
Post by AstroPax
Yea, I think you might have something there. Guess it's time to start
tinkering with the WB, but I'm not exactly sure where to start. Let
me know if you have any good ideas.
The article I read talked about not setting it to Auto, like I do. It said
it works well sometimes but the camera does not always guess correctly.
They talked about experimenting to see which you like best (like setting it
to flash, or tungsten) and/or setting it manually (or shoot raw where it
does not matter). I plan to experiment soon. Maybe this is a way to get rid
of the blueish snow.

Mike...

--
Littleton, Colorado (reply to msaemisch at yahoo dot com)
See my ski photography at: http://PowderDay.us
Carpe powder-diem
Mike Yetsko
2003-08-18 15:40:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by AstroPax
http://www.xmission.com/~hound/astro/cam/70-200_1.jpg (38k)
http://www.xmission.com/~hound/astro/cam/70-200_2.jpg (53k)
Neat!

Hmm, why the scalloped edge on the shield? Is that something new?

Geesh, I've been out of it for a while. I'm still using a Canon AE-1P

Mike
AstroPax
2003-08-18 23:35:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike Yetsko
Post by AstroPax
http://www.xmission.com/~hound/astro/cam/70-200_1.jpg (38k)
http://www.xmission.com/~hound/astro/cam/70-200_2.jpg (53k)
Neat!
Hmm, why the scalloped edge on the shield? Is that something new?
It makes it easier to reach in with your fingers and remove the lens
cap without removing the lens hood.

But I'm still waiting for a design that works without having to take
off the ski gloves.

-Astro

AstroPax
2003-08-11 00:45:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Let Mikey Ski It!
My quest for Photoshop prowess continues...
Well, maybe if you knew what the hell you were doing in the first
place, there wouldn't be a need for you to jump through all of these
post-processing hoops!

Just kidding !!

Actually, I'm considering moving from Paintshop Pro over to Photoshop
myself...along with upgrading my D100 to a D2h ;>)

Don't know if Photoshop will be worth it though...about the most I
ever do is crop and sharpen.

BTW, I just ordered a new Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 AFS/VR-G IF-ED lens:

http://www.digital-images.net/Lenses/AFS_VR/afs_vr.html

Yea, I'm gonna get the powder shots n