‘Post Processing’ course, part one, Tuesday 31st January.
Last night Chris & Brian ran the first of the two sessions on ‘Post Processing’ of photograph images.
Chris opened the evening by telling us that when he is taking pictures he would prefer to make sure that the image is correct in the first place to save any later time consuming ‘Post Processing’ on the image.
He went on to say, “These days, we have a display on the back of the camera to look at the image taken, which is a good thing but can also can be dangerous unless one zooms in to see the quality and sharpness, if not, pictures looking good in a display can be disappointing once downloaded onto a computer”.
It is considered better to have a lot of data in an image and after taking a photograph Chris often checks the size of the data. Also taking a photograph in raw will give far more data than a jpeg file and the more data one has to play with in ‘Post Processing’ the better the image result.
Following on, we were shown a histogram of a photograph and what the chart represented, the lines from the left of the graph showing how much black, dark, medium, light and white was in the photograph. Also we were shown another chart which was dissected into seven slices from darkest to the lightest spots of an image and Chris pointed out there would be very little data to work with in the darkest part of the image and most of the data would be contained in the lightest end.
So on that basis, having a light photograph in ‘Post Processing’ will have much more data available to use. Chris said he prefers to use the manual settings on his camera for the white balance over the use of auto white balance, as the eye has a better feel for the tones and the auto balance in the camera doesn’t always get it right. Also slowing down the shutter’s speed will bring in more light.
To give us an example Chris had recently taken an image of and igloo in the snow where the camera had toned down the whites in the snow. Chris then showed us a second picture taken next where he had changed the settings to brighten up the picture and there was now more detail data available to use in ‘Post Processing’.
Brian then gave his talk and his opening statement was, “If your disk holding your photograph images on is not broken then expect it to break, as it will at some point in time. So always have backups on different disks”.
Brian has many disks and also images are stored in other premises for safety.
Brian said images can be stored in many ways and many people just stick them on their computer desktop but this method would soon get messy. He takes so many photographs that he would fill his current disk within three months so all the photographs are stored on external disks.
In ‘Light room’ Brian has an automatic system for storing image files under an index of year – month – camera type – image name and a four digit code placed at the end to prevent any images ending with the same name, as some camera cards once emptied will sometimes start with the same photograph numbers again. Also Brian will introduce a key work in the file name like ‘butter’ for butterflies which allows him to do searches on any subject.
Brian has set himself up standard templates to tell the computer how to name the files and where to put them.
During the Coffee break there were two screens set up,
1) to do a basic light room course or
2) a more advanced Photoshop course.
As I don’t have either software I opted for the basic ‘Light room’ course as it will give me some ideas and an understanding on how to tackle any image problems I may have when using other available software packages.
The course was very good because it nicely picked up on some of the points previously talked about in the first part of the evening with having a dark image to work on in the ‘Post Processing’.
Brian had the histogram of the image selected on screen and showed us the graph could be pulled one way or the other to lighten or darken the image.
However, once in the development mode of ‘Light room’ there are various slides to use to change the colour tones, warm or cool the image, lighten or darken and change the contrast. There was also a ‘clarity’ button to generally sharpen the image. However, there is a also a sharpening slider which works by only sharpening the edges of an image. The sharpening slider pushed to it’s limit will turn the image gritty at one end of the slider or softer it at the other end. The sharpening tool can create noise and there is a ‘noise reduction’ button to decrease it.
Also there is a crop tool to use which produces a grid on screen which allows one to crop any part of the image.
The image could even be angled to make the rider look as if he was going down a hill.
We were shown the result of sharpening the image and how we could also select various parts of a image to make a change without altering other parts. There was also a demonstrated to show how much more detail was available in the bright clouds once they were toned down.
This is the final picture with some of the red posts cloned out and the marshal’s yellow vest cloned into a haybale using available brushes
Moving on, Brian then showed us that he could bring up pictures with the keyword ‘zoo’ in the title which could be used as an index for later articles requiring that sort of image.
And finally, just a small change on the elephant to make a better texture on it’s skin
Is the Water Theme Challenge round and looking forward to it as I have something slightly different in the open competition
Club Challenge Round 3
Tuesday February 7, 2017 from 20:15 to 22:15
Themes: Water & Open
Judge: Dave Hipperson – Park St CC