Archive for the Photography techniques Category

Experiment with HDR (High Dynamic Range) Photography

Posted in Photography, Photography techniques with tags , on August 29, 2011 by melaniemenardarts

I experimented with combining a series of 5 photographs identically framed but differently exposed photographs into a HDR picture. I wanted to try HDR for a long time, but I usually use shadows in a creative way in my photographs, and had to wait until I came accross a scene where the shadows and highlights were being annoying rather than interesting.

Exposed at -2

Exposed at -1

Exposed for midtones

Exposed at +1

Exposed at +2

Resulting HDR image.

I tone-mapped the HDR image using a photorealistic preset (as opposed to a high contrast image) then adjusted the curve manually. However, I found the image bland because of the even lighting, even though I do understand the use of it for a documentary picture where the focus should be on clear details throughout. I am used to dramatic shadows in my photographs and started to adjust the curve further, until I realised that I was trying to darken the silhouette of the staircase again, effectively removing the whole purpose of the HDR processing!

Therefore I decided that HDR was not an appropriate creative choice for this particular image, and started again a regular digital post-processing from the image exposed for the midtones.

In Adobe Camera Raw:
– Fill Light: 50 to get the green wall lighter.
– Brightness: +9 to slightly lighten the whole image
– Blacks: +16 to selectively darken the deep shadows.
– Contrast: +25
– Saturation: +8 to make the paint on the wall more vibrant.

Then in Photoshop:
– Selective Brightness and Contrast Correction Image > Adjustments > Shadows/Highlights. Slightly subdue the highlights on the lit wall: Amount 6% tonal Width 30%. Midtones Contrast -8 so that the green wall appears slightly lighter.
– Reduce Noise.
– No sharpening because it wrecked the ‘fuzzy light’ effect.

The resulting image.

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Post-processing and enhancement of photographs (practical examples)

Posted in Disciplinary Institutions, Ghost House, My practice, Photography, Photography techniques on August 29, 2011 by melaniemenardarts

I have applied the post-processing workflow detailed in the tutorial I wrote to the photographs from my ‘Ghost House’ and ‘Disciplinary Institutions’ series.

Most pictures required little adjustments because I took care to expose them correctly. I discovered that my favourite tools to do slight exposure adjustments were either manually adjusting the curve, or doing selective Brightness and Contrast Correction via Image > Adjustments > Shadows/Highlights.

I did some saturation adjustments to some pictures, either on the whole picture or sometimes for a specific colour channel to bring out a specific detail from the composition. For example, for ‘Cellar Door 1’, I brought the saturation up +16 for Yellow and +18 for green. The effect is more over the top than what I usually go for but because this picture is retro-kitsch on purpose, it’s an appropriate choice.

Before:

After:

I also straightened the geometry of the corridor shots from the asylums when my tripod was crooked due to uneven floors.

Before:

After:

I used light denoising on all pictures. I also use smart sharpening on most pictures, but not on any picture featuring reflections in mirrors, dew on a window or a diffuse, fuzzy light, because sharpening destroyed any of these interesting effects.

I will now detail the workflow I used on the 3 photographs that required the heaviest processing. On most other photographs I processed, while the processing improves print quality, the adjustments are too slight to be noticeable in web quality.

Ghost House III.1

Before:

I redid the whole picure after realising that the ‘Dust and scratches’ filter blurred the image rather than really denoise it though it turned out not to make a huge difference on that photograph.

-Lens Correction.
-Selective Brightness and Contrast Correction Image > Adjustments > Shadows/Highlights. Corrected blown highlights: Amount 60%, Tonal Width 30%, Radius 30px. Midtones contrast +15%.
-Saturation +10.
-Reduce Noise, Despeckle.
-Smart sharpen Amount 50% Radius 5 pixels.

After:

Ghost House III.11

Before:

-Lens Correction.
-Selective Brightness and Contrast Correction Image > Adjustments > Shadows/Highlights. Corrected too dark shadows: Amount 15%, Tonal Width 30%, Radius 30px. Corrected blown highlights: Amount 19%, Tonal Width 30%, Radius 30px. Midtones Contrast +19%.
-Saturation +20.
-Reduce Noise, Despeckle.
-Smart sharpen Amount 50% Radius 5 pixels.

After:

Woodlawn

Before:

-Lens correction.
-Levels: burn highlights on purpose, they’re just the window.
-Selective Brightness and Contrast Correction Image > Adjustments > Shadows/Highlights. Burn highlights some more: Amount 100% tonal Width 16%.
Manual Curves.
-Saturation -49 (slightly tinted monochrome)
-Reduce Noise.
-Smart sharpen Amount 50% Radius 5 pixels.

After:

Repeat similar process with similar picture differently exposed for trial.

Before:

-Lens correction.
-Selective Brightness and Contrast Correction Image > Adjustments > Shadows/Highlights. Burn highlights: Amount 100% tonal Width 50%. Lighten shadows: Amount 29% Tonal Width 30%
Manual Curves.
-Saturation -27 (slightly tinted monochrome)
-Reduce Noise.
-Smart sharpen Amount 50% Radius 5 pixels.

The result is similar but there is less glare on the wall. I suspect this is due to the original picture, not the processing. I chose this version for printing.

After:

Technical Tutorial: Digital Photograph Post-Processing Workflow (in Photoshop)

Posted in Photography, Photography techniques on August 28, 2011 by melaniemenardarts

In this tutorial, I have compiled technical tips from two reference books: Digital Exposure Handbook by Ross Hoddinott and Architectural Photography by Adrian Schulz.

This example Workflow is biased towards applications for architectural and interior photography. It’s mostly reusable for general photograph enhancement, but it covers subjects such as perspective corrections, but not skin tone optimisation for example. This is stricly photoshop for photographers and photography enhancement, from RAW conversion to correcting incorrectly exposed or noisy photographs, it does not cover at all how to create designs from several source images.

photography post-processing tutorial in pdf

Photography tutorial (shooting tips, general principle of exposure, specialised tips for architectural photography)

Posted in Photography, Photography techniques with tags , on July 18, 2011 by melaniemenardarts

I have written a Photography tutorial in pdf format.

In this tutorial, I have compiled technical tips from two reference books: Digital Exposure Handbook by Ross Hoddinott and Architectural Photography by Adrian Schulz.

This tutorial compiles tips for shooting photographs. Digital post-processing of images will be covered in a separate document.

The first part explains the general principles of exposure, the second part contains tips specific to architectural and interior photography because that is what I mostly do so far. Later versions may include specialised tips for other type of photography.

I very much hope this tutorial will be useful to many people, however, it took me a lot of work to write it therefore all content is copyrighted to me. You are welcome to use the information, quote etc… but please refer to the source as:

https://melaniemenardarts.wordpress.com/photography-and-video-practical-tutorials/

Please give this above link, not the link of the actual document you took because the general link will always contain the latest version of the document.

Many thanks and have a good read!