Nature Notes

May 11, 2017

Costa Rican sunset

Filed under: Costa Rica,Landscape,Processing Tips — Tags: , , — Harold Stiver @ 6:00 am
Costa Rican sunset

Costa Rican sunset

A couple of views as the sun sets over the Pacific Ocean from the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica. The images were processed to simplify the elements and to try to give a smooth gradient to the sky.

 

Costa Rican sunset

Costa Rican sunset

 

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April 16, 2016

Barn in a Cornfield

Filed under: Landscape,Processing Tips — Tags: , — Harold Stiver @ 6:00 am

Barn in a cornfield

I have been working on my processing workflow, using what might be termed “best practices”. This means things like

  • Starting with Raw files
  • Converting to 16 bit files
  • Doing each adjustment in an adjustment layer
  • Saving a master which includes all layers and adjustments.

On the last point, it is astonishing how large this master file can get. The master of the above image is about 200mg. I feel very happy with the process though. I feel it will be very useful to develop a consistent processing workflow. I’ll let you know the results.


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March 31, 2015

Photoshop Tutorial- Find Edges filter

Filed under: Flowers,Photoshop Tutorial,Processing Tips — Tags: , , , — Harold Stiver @ 6:00 am
Put mouse over image

Put mouse over image

The Find Edges is one of my favorite Photoshop filters for playing with an image.Here’s what you can do with it.

I added a layer to the shot of the center of a Trillium and applied Filter >> Stylize .. Find Edges. It result in the image below:

Find Edges Layer

I then reduced the opacity of this layer to something I liked the look of (in this case 20%) and flattened the layers. The result was this:

Lowered Opacity to 20%

At this point I just had some fun with it. Raised the light levels, stomped on the contrast and juiced up the saturation. When I was happy with it, I had this:

Final Image

Following are a couple more examples:

Venice Scene Orkney Stone House

Index to Photoshop Tutorials.

This tutorial is a part of the Photoshop Workflow Series

 

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December 6, 2012

Photoshop Tutorial- Creating a Background Blur

Filed under: Photoshop Tutorial,Processing Tips — Tags: , — Harold Stiver @ 6:00 am

The following photoshop procedure will allow you to create a realistic motion blur on any portion of the image.

The Before Image

1.Use your favorite selection tools and select that portion of the image which will not have motion blur. In our example, we carefully select the hawk.
2. Deselect {SELECT > DESELECT or CNTR-D}
3. Duplicate layer { LAYER > DUPLICATE LAYER > OK}
4. Clone away a portion of the subject all around its edges. You don’t need to be too neat as the rest of the process will obscure it. This is necessary to ensure that portions of the subject don’t bleed into the background when the motion blur is applied.

Image with Cloned edges

5. Apply a motion blur {FILTER > BLUR > MOTION BLUR} I used a setting of 0′ angle and 34 pixels in length for this 600 pixel width example.

Image with Motion Blur applied

6. Reselect {SELECT > RESELECT}

7. Clear the selection and allow the subject from the background to show through {EDIT > CLEAR}

8. Deselct and flatten the image {SELECT > DESELECT} { LAYER > FLATTEN IMAGE}

9. Touch up the transition area between the subject and the blurred background with a pass of the blur tool to reduce the sharpness of the transition. I use about a 5 pixel diameter tool.

Final Image

Index to Photoshop Tutorials.

This tutorial is a part of the Photoshop Workflow Series


 

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October 27, 2011

Red-tailed Hawk demolishes a vole

Filed under: Processing Tips,Video — Tags: , , — Harold Stiver @ 6:00 am

This was taken in a high wind from my car, and the original has a lot of movement, almost nausea inducing. I downloaded a trial copy of Adobe After Effects and used a function called stabilize motion, and was very happy with the result.

This involved picking a point in the frame with high contrast that would be stationary throughout. The program then tried to shift subsequent frames to that same point.

You can see the original, all jitters included, below.



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October 22, 2011

Gone Photoshopping

Filed under: Processing Tips — Tags: — Harold Stiver @ 6:00 am

Photoshop is a program you can get lost in and wander around trying things out. Here is the aftermath of an image of a jet image that has been abused. The original is below.

 


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August 2, 2011

HDR in Cityscapes

Filed under: Cityscape,HDR,Processing Tips,Toronto — Tags: , , — Harold Stiver @ 6:00 am

The Eaton\'s Mall, Toronto

HDR (High Dynamic Range) has become a very popular technique in processing files, especially landscapes. I find it is also useful in city and architecture images, as the geometric shapes and blocks of color seem comfortable with the strong results of HDR processing.

This is an image of the Eaton’s Center in Toronto. I used the popular software program Photomatix Pro to process it. This technique can turn out garish and surrealistic if you are not careful. I normally reduce the default settings to keep it under control. In general I prefer an HDR image without the typical “HDR look”.

My typical Photomatix settings might be as follows under the “Detail Enhancer” method:

Hit the default button and then reduce “Strength” to 65, “”Color Saturation” to 40 . Occasionally I will make a separate TIF file with the “Tone Compressor” method and use it as a layer over the”Detail Enhancer” TIF. Adjust the layer opacity as you like.

Boston CityscapeToronto CityscapeToronto Oasis

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February 25, 2011

Photoshop Tutorial – Secrets of the Crop Tool

Filed under: Photoshop Tutorial,Processing Tips — Tags: , — Harold Stiver @ 6:00 am

It seems simple enough. Drag the copy tool across your image, adjust the sides to your wishes and hit enter. You’ve cropped your image. But there is more. Here are a few uses you may not know about.

Keeping the same proportions

Keeping the same proportions

1. Keeping the same proportions

For many end uses, I find it useful to keep the same proportions as the original, usually 2×3 or 3×2. This is a simple task with the crop tool. Just hold down the Shift key as you drag the tool across the image and you’ll find that the crop has been restrained to the original proportions.

Do a perspective crop

Do a perspective crop

2. Do a perspective crop

You can change the perspective while you are cropping. After dragging your crop tool to create a marquee, you can click on the Perspective checkbox on the tool’s menu at the top. This allows you to shift any of the corners of the marquee, increasing or decreasing the perspective from that side.

Crop and Rotate

Crop and Rotate

3. Crop and rotate

After dragging your crop tool to make a marquee in your image, you can rotate your crop before finalizing it. Just hold your mouse outside any corner and click and hold when the double arrow shaped courser appears. You can then drag your marquee in the direction you wish to rotate. Double click inside the marquee or hit enter to finish.

Hide your crop, don't delete

Hide your crop, don't delete

4. Hide your crop, don’t delete

I can find little real world use for the next secret of the cropping tool, but its kind of cute. It needs to be done on an image layer rather than the background, so double-click on the background layer in your layers menu to convert it. After setting your marquee, click the Hide checkbox and complete your crop by hitting the Enter key. If you change to the move tool (The up arrow at the top), you will find you can move the image around and the portion that was outside your crop will appear, as it was not deleted. I suppose this might be useful if you wanted to look at various crops of a certain size.

Crop to match dimensions of another image

Crop to match dimensions of another image

5. Crop to match dimensions of another image

Select the crop tool and make the image whose dimensions you want to match the active one. At the tool menu bar at the top, click on “Front Image”. Applying the crop tool to a second image will automatically provide a crop if the same dimensions as the first image.

Index to Photoshop Tutorials.

This tutorial is a part of the Photoshop Workflow Series

All Images are Available for Licensing at Singular Video&Pix

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