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Author Topic: When is it too much?  (Read 7206 times)

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« on: January 03, 2013, 04:48 »
0
Hi am struggling with the amount of tweaking i can do in photoshop, and need help!!

When i look around on all amazing stock images, my conclusion is that most are seriously photoshoped. You agree? I just cant understand how those amazing greens, blues, popping crispness is created if not in photoshop... And i want to do it too! But whenever i try to tweak my images a bit, i almost always get the images rejected. I am told i have overfiltered, over processed etc.

So i guess i have to learn more, get better! But how?! I have searched for help, tried to find classes, tutorials, books but i just find the general stuff. I can do a cool pic good enough to show off on a website, but not to get through the inspectors quality control. I think i need more advanced help. How do i get to the next level? Anyone knows where i can go?
I shoot RAW and fix most of general issues in the RAW program before i open the file in photoshop.
Thank you in advance


Veneratio

« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2013, 05:29 »
0
It is image dependent, not all images will be given the same processing, you make a judgement call on each one. Put some examples up of yours and what you want them to be like and hopefully everyone can give advice from there...

« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2013, 11:42 »
+2
As far as learning, there's no substitute for lots and lots of practice, but books and tutorials can help teach you the techniques you'll need. It's applying them wisely and with a practiced eye that's the trick.

lynda.com has some great tutorials and for $25 a month is a pretty reasonable price - they have solid tutorials on techniques, not those flashy things you often see on freebie sites which look great at thumbnail sizes but which don't hold up at 100%

Katrin Eismann's books are excellent too

There is no quick fix or filter that I know of :)

« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2013, 11:57 »
-1
I can give you an online course via skype or something, I can take you some of the way.
It has to do with seeing the details.
PM me.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2013, 12:16 by JPSDK »

Poncke

« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2013, 12:19 »
0
Rejections depends on the agency as well. SS loves pop, IS doesnt. And lighting, you need good light to make an image pop in camera. Most shots you see are taken with pro equipment, in studios or on exotic holiday locations.

lisafx

« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2013, 12:48 »
+1
For a long time, I was wondering how people were getting that "pop" in photoshop too, without introducing artifacts.  Finally figured it out.  They are boosting the vibrance and contrast on their RAW files, not jpegs.  Since I figured that out I have only shot in RAW.   Now my photos have the amount of "pop" I want too. 

A word of caution.  Don't go overboard.  Still best to use some discretion and subtlety IMO. 
« Last Edit: January 03, 2013, 13:37 by lisafx »

tab62

« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2013, 13:13 »
0
lighting is key- look at the strobist site (David Hobby).

Here are some basics that I do in Starting with  Camera Raw-

1. Adjust the White Balance (Warmer or Cooler)
2. Mod the midtones
3. Leave Sharpen around 25 to 33 and use the ALt Key (Windows) with Mask to nail the subject
4. Click on the Chromatic Aberration Button

Now open the image in Photoshop. Clean up the image (crop and blemishes) , adjust the levels and curve and adjust the saturation.  Save as Jpeg 12.


This just the basic steps


Tom

Poncke

« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2013, 14:17 »
+2
For a long time, I was wondering how people were getting that "pop" in photoshop too, without introducing artifacts.  Finally figured it out.  They are boosting the vibrance and contrast on their RAW files, not jpegs.  Since I figured that out I have only shot in RAW.   Now my photos have the amount of "pop" I want too. 

A word of caution.  Don't go overboard.  Still best to use some discretion and subtlety IMO.
I fully agree. I do the exact same.

Note: I never use saturation, only vibrancy as vibrancy cleverly increases the intensity of the more muted colors and leaves the already well-saturated colors alone


lisafx

« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2013, 16:29 »
0

Note: I never use saturation, only vibrancy as vibrancy cleverly increases the intensity of the more muted colors and leaves the already well-saturated colors alone

Very good note.  I have noticed the same thing. 

« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2013, 16:37 »
0
For a long time, I was wondering how people were getting that "pop" in photoshop too, without introducing artifacts.  Finally figured it out.  They are boosting the vibrance and contrast on their RAW files, not jpegs.  Since I figured that out I have only shot in RAW.   Now my photos have the amount of "pop" I want too. 

A word of caution.  Don't go overboard.  Still best to use some discretion and subtlety IMO.
I fully agree. I do the exact same.

Note: I never use saturation, only vibrancy as vibrancy cleverly increases the intensity of the more muted colors and leaves the already well-saturated colors alone

Where is this 'vibrancy' of which you speak? I've never seen it. Mind you, I am using the original PS CS version (circa 2003 I think).

« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2013, 16:42 »
0
For a long time, I was wondering how people were getting that "pop" in photoshop too, without introducing artifacts.  Finally figured it out.  They are boosting the vibrance and contrast on their RAW files, not jpegs.  Since I figured that out I have only shot in RAW.   Now my photos have the amount of "pop" I want too. 

A word of caution.  Don't go overboard.  Still best to use some discretion and subtlety IMO.
I fully agree. I do the exact same.

Note: I never use saturation, only vibrancy as vibrancy cleverly increases the intensity of the more muted colors and leaves the already well-saturated colors alone

Where is this 'vibrancy' of which you speak? I've never seen it. Mind you, I am using the original PS CS version (circa 2003 I think).

you have it on camera raw its the 2nd counting from the bottom, on jpgs I have no idea

« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2013, 16:56 »
+1
"Where is this 'vibrancy' of which you speak? I've never seen it. Mind you, I am using the original PS CS version (circa 2003 I think)."

Introduced in PS CS3. Current version is PS CS6.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2013, 16:59 by rimglow »

Poncke

« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2013, 16:58 »
0
For a long time, I was wondering how people were getting that "pop" in photoshop too, without introducing artifacts.  Finally figured it out.  They are boosting the vibrance and contrast on their RAW files, not jpegs.  Since I figured that out I have only shot in RAW.   Now my photos have the amount of "pop" I want too. 

A word of caution.  Don't go overboard.  Still best to use some discretion and subtlety IMO.
I fully agree. I do the exact same.

Note: I never use saturation, only vibrancy as vibrancy cleverly increases the intensity of the more muted colors and leaves the already well-saturated colors alone

Where is this 'vibrancy' of which you speak? I've never seen it. Mind you, I am using the original PS CS version (circa 2003 I think).

I am using LR for my processing, its one of the sliders on the left, in the section called presence. Its on ACR as well, also on the left side. In CS6 its on image>adjustments>vibrance

« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2013, 17:13 »
0
Hi am struggling with the amount of tweaking i can do in photoshop, and need help!!

When i look around on all amazing stock images, my conclusion is that most are seriously photoshoped. You agree? I just cant understand how those amazing greens, blues, popping crispness is created if not in photoshop... And i want to do it too! But whenever i try to tweak my images a bit, i almost always get the images rejected. I am told i have overfiltered, over processed etc.

So i guess i have to learn more, get better! But how?! I have searched for help, tried to find classes, tutorials, books but i just find the general stuff. I can do a cool pic good enough to show off on a website, but not to get through the inspectors quality control. I think i need more advanced help. How do i get to the next level? Anyone knows where i can go?
I shoot RAW and fix most of general issues in the RAW program before i open the file in photoshop.
Thank you in advance

I've been fortunate enough to meet and shoot with many other microstockers from around the world. What never fails to amaze me is the bizarrely different approaches we all take to each step of the process ... to essentially achieve the same objective. I guess we are mostly self-taught and what we have taught ourselves, from our own resources and experiences, varies enormously. How you choose to do something is entirely up to you. There's not necessarily any right or wrong methods provided the final result passes muster. If you ask for a 'method' on here you are likely to get 50-odd different opinions on the 'right way' to do it. Many of them will be painfully laborious to my eyes.

For what it is worth I spend the absolute minimum time in PS. For starters 60-80% of my images hardly sell at all but I never know which ones will make it. Btw, the 80/20 and 60/10 rules apply to everyone's portfolio, it's just the overall volume of sales that varies.

I shoot JPEG but also bracket most shots to make sure that at least one should be perfectly exposed. I don't shoot people much though. Usually all I ever do is to crop the image to optimise impact (that's actually the most important single step)followed by a quick adjustment to saturation and contrast. Clean up any dust spots and clone out anything I don't want. Apply a tad of sharpening, maybe re-size the image if DoF is too shallow. Job done.

If I had the trained PS skills of a designer I would probably do far more ... but I don't so I make do with what have got and do what works for me. I've never used a 'layer' or even been aware of why I might want to. Keep meaning to look it up but never got around to it.

« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2013, 17:15 »
0
"Where is this 'vibrancy' of which you speak? I've never seen it. Mind you, I am using the original PS CS version (circa 2003 I think)."

Introduced in PS CS3. Current version is PS CS6.

Ah, thanks!

gillian vann

  • *Gillian*
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2013, 17:49 »
0
I don't use ps for all images; sometimes I can tweak in ACR and be happy with it. however, I made myself a set of actions that is now a one click tweak and 90% of my images get that. It's not overly time consuming to go into ps, click on the action, wait 5 seconds, double check, then save.

for people you still have to go in and remove blemishes, no one is immune, from my young kids with their scabs and bruises, to models with blotchy skins and blemishes, to oldies who benefit from a little airbrushing....

« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2013, 18:41 »
0
thanks for the advice on vibrancy -- for anyone else using PS elements, vibrancy doesn't appear on the menus.  here's how to do it:

File/open as  choose RAW and your jpg image
 
This popsup another window with  sliders, among them vibrance - adjust as you like

Then open image at bottom right, which brings your image back into elements & save as jpg

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2013, 19:04 »
0
Not really relevant to the OP, but being slow on the uptake I only discovered relatively recently that a great first step in RAW is to do a lens correction according to the camera and lens you used.
Removes distortion, CR, and sometimes even purple fringing, if it wasn't too bad - all with one click  (or a bit more if you have to tell it which camera/lens you used: e.g. I have to choose my Sigma macro lens from a dropdown, but it 'recognises' my Canon zooms.)

Isn't it interesting how we each interpret the same question. I read the OP and assumed the question was about the hyper-real landscapes (colour, contrast, saturation) which are very popular on iStock, but look like nothing I've ever seen.

Poncke

« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2013, 19:08 »
0
thanks for the advice on vibrancy -- for anyone else using PS elements, vibrancy doesn't appear on the menus.  here's how to do it:

File/open as  choose RAW and your jpg image
 
This popsup another window with  sliders, among them vibrance - adjust as you like

Then open image at bottom right, which brings your image back into elements & save as jpg
That pop up is probably ACR

« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2013, 10:51 »
0
Thank you all for many useful replies! I will def try to the RAW road... Any other tips greatly appreciated.

Veneratio suggested i post images for feedback, so here goes:

This is one where i tried to make it more popping, and to make the background a bit funky by tweaking it. It was accepted by many but was rejected from one of the big ones due to spots on sensor:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/tz9libvxs20v9uk/1207%20Girl%20blowing%20nose.jpg

This one was again approved by many but yet again a big one said it was overfiltered:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/g88s2rjwyhpz8zo/1107%20Chapel%20Dingli.jpg
- again i wanted to tweak it to create an amazing blue sky, which is also a bit metallic if you know what i mean. But somehow i didnt manage
Cheers


Veneratio

« Reply #20 on: January 04, 2013, 11:01 »
0
Sensor spots - that's on you I'm afraid. Clean your sensor or clean in post, nothing to do with vibrancy, saturation, etc. I like the picture though, shame it didn't get through . Have you cleaned it to resubmit? She has gorgeous eyes.

Stone building has artifacts around edge of building which is what I am guessing is over filtered. I am on uncalibrated screen at moment so cannot really comment accurately on colour but it looks flat - this is where vibrance slider in RAM may help. Also, try Photoshop Image>Adjustments>Match Colour and adjust both colour and luminance sliders ot taste. Should brighten sky without losing depth of colour.

« Reply #21 on: January 04, 2013, 11:24 »
0
The only sensor spot I see is in the strand of hair falling in front of the shoulder. Easily corrected.

The way to inspect for sensor spots, that are not easily seen, is to create an adjustment layer with the Brightness/Contrast and slide the Brightness all the way to the left. Inspect at 200% Any dark spots will easily pop up.

Your image was fine except for the one spot.

« Reply #22 on: January 04, 2013, 11:29 »
0
Thank you all for many useful replies! I will def try to the RAW road... Any other tips greatly appreciated.

Veneratio suggested i post images for feedback, so here goes:

This is one where i tried to make it more popping, and to make the background a bit funky by tweaking it. It was accepted by many but was rejected from one of the big ones due to spots on sensor:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/tz9libvxs20v9uk/1207%20Girl%20blowing%20nose.jpg

This one was again approved by many but yet again a big one said it was overfiltered:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/g88s2rjwyhpz8zo/1107%20Chapel%20Dingli.jpg
- again i wanted to tweak it to create an amazing blue sky, which is also a bit metallic if you know what i mean. But somehow i didnt manage
Cheers

The girl image is excellent stock. Being as she's looking to her right it might be useful to have more copyspace on that side for the placement of a message/product (and maybe not have the top of her head cropped). The PS work looks fine __ it is 'enough'.

lisafx

« Reply #23 on: January 04, 2013, 14:03 »
0
I agree, the girl image is great.  You didn't overdo the photoshop.  Just added a nice pop to her eyes.  That spot on her hair is so well defined, I would have assumed it was some sort of gnat or something actually in the photo, rather than a sensor spot.  Either way, easy to clone out. 

Best of luck trying the techniques suggested here :)

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #24 on: January 04, 2013, 17:37 »
0
This one was again approved by many but yet again a big one said it was overfiltered:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/g88s2rjwyhpz8zo/1107%20Chapel%20Dingli.jpg
- again i wanted to tweak it to create an amazing blue sky, which is also a bit metallic if you know what i mean. But somehow i didnt manage
Cheers
Sometimes if you tweak a sky you need to add a little bit of noise. I got that note on an early sky rejection.


 

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