Thursday, February 26, 2009

Julie (47/100) - Passing on knowledge

Louis is a quietly spoken man who has a lovely manner with his boys. He was explaining softly and matter of factly what he was doing and why and what would happen next. The oldest boy said not a word: but he listened to everything.

This was late Sunday at the Pyrmont Fish Markets. If it wasn't for the Italians and the Chinese the place would have been deserted. I quite like the second photo because of the look on the boys face and the inclusiveness of Louis' arm. However, the main image has lovely context.

I have tried to sharpen and to intensify the colours but don't know what I am doing. Have I added way too much? Even in Picassa, I cannot find a button that says "sharpen". What does it mean: to sharpen? Does it mean to add more shadows so that the edges become more distinct? If you are going to saturate the colour, do you start with 10 and go up? What channel do you choose: RYB?

Here is the original straight from the camera for Peter to work wonders on:


I liked the last picture the best, but again suspect that gets down to taste. I won't bore you with the details again, the process is very similar to my post today, the technical difference being that a JPEG has already been processed by the camera, so if there's too much contrast or the shadow's are too deep, there is a more limited scope to adjust it than if one were dealing with the RAW negative.

Your first shot had a lot of deep shadow, I suspect with the camera trying to capture the background in detail, it overcompensated. A really really big flash would have helped! ;-) Anyway, below are my chops. I didn't spend any time trying to get them perfect, just a few very minor tweaks and a touch of sharpening which may or may not have "Peterised" them.

With these I did adjust the levels to lighten the mid range a bit, balanced the colour a little, and dropped in a dash of saturation. I know that doesn't mean anything at the moment, we've got another 50 shots to catch up.

It's amazing how different it is working on someone else's photos after getting used to my own settings for capture! For most of last year, I'd pick a photo, good, bad or indifferent (one that hadn't been processed) from a CDP blog, and do exactly this... practising on a wide range of shots. It seems to be easier when it's someone else's photo and it's just going in the bin at the end of the exercise, but I developed an intuitive touch, now I have to work on the technical knowledge so I actually understand the process! I sort of know enough to start learning now, which is quite satisfying, but dangerous for you if you take my "teaching" too literally.

I've also attached a photo I took on the beach the other evening with the little Olympus P&S. It's amazing how sharp it is if the speed is kept up (1/80) and the subject doesn't move!


bitingmidge said...

It seems funny to leave a comment saying I'll comment later, but I've got a few things that need doing elsewhere so I'll comment later!

Julie said...

Totally understand that. I have an RDO today: I take this to mean a chance to get ahead of the jobbies rather than to buggerise around! Have to meet with both the tax man and the super man later today: need to get my story straight, so to speak!

But first to get the washing on and to pay the pile of bills beside this computer ...

Ann said...

I like it - the fish markets must give some great backgrounds - but I think I'd prefer them to be larger in the frame with less focus on the surroundings. Just my personal preference. I feel they are a little lost in the corner. The boat and the rods would still give context, I think, something like the third one but with the colour and focus of the first.

bitingmidge said...

I agree with Ann, I also think that the little fella looks a bit bored in the shot, notwithstanding your commentary.

I think you lost the plot with the yellow sky too! ;-)

But I've had time to play, nothing spectacular, that's not the purpose of the exercise.

Ann said...

That's what I'm finding with the p&s, its great as long as the subject doesn't move.

Julie said...

It was at the point where I realised the sky was yellow that I threw my hands in the air ... etc!

The most interesting/useful/applicable thing that you chatted about there is the way you trained yourself. i like that idea. I dont think laterally enough when I consider cropping - I think that could have something to do with "ownership".

Still have not taken No.50 ....

Julie said...

Meant to say that I loved the detail of the blue bottle line ... the grains of sand are so well-defined.

bitingmidge said...

Still have not taken No.50 ....

I'm hoping to get out tomorrow! Whether we get to where there are people or whether we get to where there are no people at all remains to be seen.

If you get Elements, get a book too. I was given one for my birthday by a friend who seemed quite embarrassed about it, but I learned more in two hours than I had in the two years earlier!

Of course knowing what you don't know helps.

bitingmidge said...

On cropping- I may have said it before, but the advice I give everyone when composing a photo;

When you think it's perfect, walk in another five paces.

Most people tend to focus on the picture rather than what they are trying to say with it.

Again, that's my "style" and not applicable to everyone, but it seems to work for most, and it's infinitely effective. ie, when you think you've got exactly the perfect shot, crop it again and recompose!