PDA

View Full Version : Need advice on cropping, colors, etc.



SamPhilly
07-09-2005, 05:54 PM
I've still trying to figure out ways to improve an image. I have an Oly 770 and Photoshop 7.0. New to both the camera and PS. What can I do to make this better?

This picture was f3.2, 1/320. Shutter speed set high due to slight hand tremor.

I reduced the image to 600 pixels for this demo, this is the original.
http://www.the-shelleys.com/images/Melinda_Size.jpg

Crop #1;
http://www.the-shelleys.com/images/Malinda_crop1.jpg

B&W Crop #1;
http://www.the-shelleys.com/images/Malinda_crop1_BW2.jpg

Crop #2; (looks noisey)
http://www.the-shelleys.com/sitebuilder/images/Malinda_crop2-552x600.jpg


Thanks!
~S

lynchbird
07-09-2005, 08:57 PM
SamPhilly:

Whether you know it or not, in Crops #1 and the B&W you did a pretty good job of using the "rule of thirds". To state it here, if you divide your image into thirds horizontally and vertically, the "best" place(s) to have the important features in your picture are at the intersections. I put "best" in quotes because, as you know, rules are made to be broken. But it's often a good place to start.

I'm no B&W expert, but while the B&W picture does one positive thing for me, namely - make that green and white chair less garish, for some reason it just doesn't work for me personally as a B&W. Of the images you posted, my favorite version is the color version of Crop #1.

If you notice, in Crop #2 her eyes are leading you down and out of the picture. To me, in this case, the composition is less interesting this way.

Here's a link to an article about the rule of thirds: http://www.camerahobby.com/Ebook-RuleThirds_Chapter15.htm

All in all, not a bad picture! :)

wall
07-09-2005, 09:40 PM
Crop #1 in color, definitely.

Like lynchbird said, cropping it like you did in #1 allows for a pleasing rule-of-thirds composition. The subject's eyes leads the viewer gaze naturally to where she is reaching. She "fills the frame" and you have gotten rid of distracting elements like that umbrella shade pole by cropping. As for against the switch to B&W - why would you want to lose all that beautiful color in that shot?

lynchbird
07-09-2005, 11:11 PM
SamPhilly:

I just went to your Photo Album and looked around. When I saw your waterfall picture in the Pine Hill Farm album, I instantly spotted a face in the rocks just above the point where the water starts to fall. Am I crazy?


http://pic5.picturetrail.com/VOL66/86790/6669793/103911859.jpg

Clyde
07-09-2005, 11:57 PM
I've still trying to figure out ways to improve an image. I have an Oly 770 and Photoshop 7.0. New to both the camera and PS. What can I do to make this better?

...

Thanks!
~S

Several things come to mind. First, your natural inclinations lead you to the rule of thirds. In this case, though, that turns your picture into an ad for "deer park" water. An alternate rule of thumb for placing your focal point is the "golden ratio." It is found by running a diagonal from one corner and then finding where along the diagonal a perpendicular line meets the other corner. The four potential golden ratio points end up being close to the rule of thirds points. Some folks suspect this is why the rule of thirds works.

However, it might be better to focus on what you think is important in the shot, and crop the unimportant trivia (brand of water.) Cropping as you did in the first crop de-emphasized the distracting van in the background. In your second crop, she is left stuck in the center of the photo. Maybe a more aggressive crop could leave her with a pleasing space to look into. Maybe you could get rid of the purplish chair behind her?

Still, you are left with the vivid green chair. I suspect that is why you like the black and white. In photoshop, you could pick the green and blue highlights and slightly desaturate the color. That would help play down the pepsi and chair. Notice how now the de-emphasized van leaves a nice color harmony for rest of the picture. It is a more neutral red than her blouse. If the blouse were obviously the most intense color, it would pop right out at you.

Alternatively you could fake a wider aperture by selecting everything but the girl and blurring it. This is actually more difficult than it sounds. I have a hard time doing it, so rarely bother even trying. It is hard to fake bokeh.

I agree with your instinct. With a high definition camera, it is a good idea to shoot a bigger picture than you think you will need so you are left with multiple compositional options. The more time you spend thinking about these kinds of issues, the stronger your judgment will become.

The great thing about digital cameras is that after the initial investment pictures are free. Shoot tons, and even if your ratio of keepers isn't that high, you will end up with lots you like.

Clyde

timmciglobal
07-10-2005, 01:03 AM
Well, as far as the B&W Goes, up the contrast +20, unsharp mask (1 threshold, 0.5 pixels, 275%) and brightness +20.

I'm a contrasty B&W person myself but it depends on what you like.

http://pictures.divergentservices.com/bw.jpg


Tim

SamPhilly
07-10-2005, 01:15 PM
Thanks! You are right, too many colors to ignore. I do like B&W's though.

Here is the new crop plus changing the colors a bit. That darn chair!
How is this?
http://www.the-shelleys.com/sitebuilder/images/Malinda_crop3-600x533.jpg

Here are a few more B&W's;
http://www.the-shelleys.com/sitebuilder/images/Brenda_Josh_BW-600x448.jpg

http://www.the-shelleys.com/sitebuilder/images/Brooke_Josh-600x318.jpg

SamPhilly
07-10-2005, 01:16 PM
SamPhilly:

I just went to your Photo Album and looked around. When I saw your waterfall picture in the Pine Hill Farm album, I instantly spotted a face in the rocks just above the point where the water starts to fall. Am I crazy?


Nope, it you look real hard you can see something in the rocks.

gstafleu
07-11-2005, 12:43 PM
SamPhilly, I think you are capturing really nice moments. I love the expression on Malinda's face!

I think the main "problem" with the pics you've shown here is that there is too much going on in the background (or foreground, anyway that -ground that is not part of what you want to capture :)). What I would advise you to try is, when composing a picture, also pay attention to the fore/background. Maybe there sometimes is another angle that has less "clutter."

SamPhilly
07-11-2005, 06:03 PM
Thanks gstafleu! Like everyone says around here it's takes practice, I must have taken 10-12 shots to get this one.