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knarthex

Photoshop Questions

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Hello all!

Santa brought a much desired Photoshop Elements 14, and I am starting to fiddle with it, and have a few questions:

 

What is 'Allowed' in photography for fixing pictures for display on forums and in Contests on the forums?

By this I mean, what can I use the program to fix? I am trying to do things like white balance, contrast, saturation and so forth to improve my final pics.

I have been posting the 'raw' pics from my camera with no photo editing, and some times I can't get a post-able pic at all! This is especially true with all metallic things like the candelabra I did a while ago...

I want you people to see what I paint, not what I can do with a computer program!

Kind of silly to ask for comments and critiques of a photo that bears no resemblance to what I painted!

 

How big should a photo ideally be for forum use?

The old rules are pretty old by now, so I am wondering how big in both pixel size, and file size, now that I can reliably change them.

 

The rules say JPEG, so that is what I always convert to, and have had the camera set on.

10+ years ago, White Dwarf recommended using TIF, as that gives the best resolution to a pic. My camera takes TIF, while I have seen that a few of the newer ones don't have that setting at all. Should I take my raw photos in TIF, adjust them with PS, then convert to JPEG for posting? Or is that a waste of time?

(I am using the same camera I did 10+ years ago, as my newer camera is lost somewhere in the house....)

 

As an example, I took some new photos of Marbrezuk (02656) that I had painted up a while ago. (Forum post)

and I have been fiddling with PS to see what it does.

 

New Pic, taken with OTT lights vs the old incandescents in the show off, different background and a 'real' camera vs a cel phone camera, but otherwise untouched:

018.jpg

 

 

Now the same pic after some playing with different auto fixes and adding 'Lomo' and 'Slide Saturation' effects.

018psd.jpg

 

018psd1.jpg

 

Not really sure exactly what I did, as I am still learning this stuff....

 

The 2 PSed pics look much more 'intense' for lack of a better word, but is that kind of thing 'legal' for contests, and is it something that is still good for asking for critiques?

 

Thanks for looking!

(and Critiquing!)

 

George

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The first pic clearly has too much of a cyan/green cast and needed red and magenta added to color correct.

 

I used to randomly download images and color correct so we could see the actual mini. Gamma correction, exposue, brightness, contrast, color... you should be able to tweak as needed.

 

Different lights give a different color cast. You can't see it, but the camera can. Flourescent comes out green. Incandescent an orange-yellow. Some can be a mix (and a huge pain).

 

Know the following:

Opposite of Cyan is Red

Opposite of Green is Magenta

Opposite of Yellow is Blue

 

Blue =/= Cyan

Magenta =/= Purple or Red

 

Your top picture, I'd add Red (remove Cyan) and Yellow (remove Blue). More Red added than yellow. The middle image has a smidge too much Red (add a teeny bit of Cyan). The bottom image has a smidge too much Green (add just a teeny bit of Magenta).

 

On your camera, before shooting, try setting the white balance prior to shooting, especially if you're using multiple light sources of different bulb types.

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The rules say JPEG, so that is what I always convert to, and have had the camera set on.

10+ years ago, White Dwarf recommended using TIF, as that gives the best resolution to a pic. My camera takes TIF, while I have seen that a few of the newer ones don't have that setting at all. Should I take my raw photos in TIF, adjust them with PS, then convert to JPEG for posting? Or is that a waste of time?

(I am using the same camera I did 10+ years ago, as my newer camera is lost somewhere in the house....)

If you are going to process your photos in a computer you should shoot in the highest quality image format your camera supports and convert to the required format when you are done processing it.

What that format is depends on your camera.

It is probably just be a "Best Quality / Highest Resolution" JPEG on many cameras.

TIFF (TIF) is better than JPEG usually but the TIFF spec allows TIFF with JPEG compression which defeats the point of TIFF as a higher quality option (assuming resolution is the same).

When choosing between different options like JPEG and TIFF usually the one with the highest resolution will be the best option with Non-JPEG options being better if their resolution is the same.

 

If your camera has the option of shooting in a lossless image format like RAW (what this is depends on the manufacture) it is always going to be your best option.

You can change many settings, including white balance, while processing the lossless image that on the computer the same way you can in the camera.

This comes at the cost of large file sizes.

The Canon EOS 5D Mk.II (21 Megapixels) I use generates ~20MiB RAW files.

 

On your camera, before shooting, try setting the white balance prior to shooting, especially if you're using multiple light sources of different bulb types.

Definitely do that.

If you can get the color temperature of your lights set the white balance by color temperature in your camera to that number.

It works best if all the light sources you use are the same type or at least the same color temperature.

Edited by arclance

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color temperature of lights makes a lot of difference ...

 

it's amazing what photoshop can do

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Thanks folks!

Some more questions as I play...

 

I don't see a "RAW" setting, I see JPEG, GIF, and TIFF.

"Stores shooting images without compression, so the image does not deteriorate."- From the manual

it is about 16mb for 1 TIFF image, by the manual.

 

My lighting is 3 5850K Ottlights on flexible lamps. I cannot manually set the White Balance, except for Auto, Indoor, and Outdoor. I have been using indoor. There is a 'One Push' that doesn't seem to want to lock in to the lighting according to the manual.

 

The camera has the following settings for shooting:

M: To record with the shutter speed and aperture set manually
A: To record in the aperture priority mode
S: To record in the shutter speed prioritymode
 
I have been shooting in Aperture, as I thought A was Auto...
Should I switch to Shutter speed?

 

The following pics will serve for some more example Questions:

After reading up on backgrounds, instead of using the white or black gift tissue I have been using, these were shot against a large piece of foam that is like the foam in a mini blister. Is that a 'good' background material?

(They are now in JPEG)

 

062.jpg

The pic untouched (the camera uploads into windows as both TIFF and JPEG for some reason...

 

061psdjpeg.jpg

The pic after being Photo Shopped in TIFF format, and then converted to a JPEG

 

More in a little bit.

 

(need to go help my son build a Christmas Present!)

 

Thanks all!

 

George

 
 
 
 
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What camera are you using?

 

I don't see a "RAW" setting, I see JPEG, GIF, and TIFF.

"Stores shooting images without compression, so the image does not deteriorate."- From the manual

it is about 16mb for 1 TIFF image, by the manual.

If the "without compression" about TIFF in the manual is correct that is exactly the format you want to shoot in.

I forgot that GIF ever an option on cameras.

GIF would actually be the worst option there.

If the camera uses the wrong GIF options you can get horrible color banding in GIF images.

 

The camera has the following settings for shooting:

M: To record with the shutter speed and aperture set manually

A: To record in the aperture priority mode

S: To record in the shutter speed prioritymode

 

I have been shooting in Aperture, as I thought A was Auto...

Should I switch to Shutter speed?

Shutter Priority has you set the shutter speed manually and lets the camera pick the aperture automatically for a good exposure.

Aperture Priority has you set the aperture manually and lets the camera pick the shutter speed automatically for a good exposure.

Manual mode is where you set both manually.

 

Shutter Priority is usually best when hand holding the camera since you want to ensure the shutter speed is high enough to prevent blur due to you hand not holding the camera still enough.

Aperture Priority is probably not useful with studio lighting but can be useful if you are shooting in a very bright place and you need to force a small (large number) aperture if Shutter Priority is producing many overexposed images.

 

If you are hand holding your camera I would use Shutter Priority mode.

If you are using a tripod or other solid mount I would use Manual mode and adjust the aperture to get the desired depth of field and then adjust the shutter speed to get a good exposure.

 

I am surprised you don't have a manual white balance mode if your camera has those shooting modes.

Check your cameras manual to see if you might need to activate a "advanced" or "expert" mode to reveal that option.

 

After reading up on backgrounds, instead of using the white or black gift tissue I have been using, these were shot against a large piece of foam that is like the foam in a mini blister. Is that a 'good' background material?

The foam is a good choice for having others evaluate if the images look to have the correct colors because most of us should have a good idea of what color it is in real life.

 

061psdjpeg.jpg

The pic after being Photo Shopped in TIFF format, and then converted to a JPEG

This image looks better than the first one in that post, the foam was way to blue before.

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A neutral grey background is generally best, unless the figure is overall grey in tone, then go with a medium blue/slate or brown/tan.

 

You can use the Shutter Speed and Apeture to adjust your depth of field. The more you understand in how to adjust this on 3D models when shooting closeup figures, the more clear your images are going to appear.

 

Rule #1 I always give is Read Your Manual. Word for word, front to back. Don't skip anything. Then if there's more, come ask again. :D

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Rule #1 I always give is Read Your Manual. Word for word, front to back. Don't skip anything. Then if there's more, come ask again. :D

That is why I asked what camera knarthex is using.

You can usually find the manual Online now so we can all read the manual to make it less likely that one of us will miss something.

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Lego Shuttle Tydirium completed. Off to Endor!

 

The camera is a Sony Cybershot DSC-S75

 

I got it from a friend when he got a new camera.

The Manual I have is a PDF

 

I have not read it all the way through :blink:

Guess I better do that thing....

 

I use a tripod when taking pics

 

Thanks folks!

 

George

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The camera is a Sony Cybershot DSC-S75

 

I got it from a friend when he got a new camera.

The Manual I have is a PDF

 

I have not read it all the way through :blink:

Guess I better do that thing....

 

I use a tripod when taking pics

 

Thanks folks!

 

George

*BONK!* BONK.gif

 

Good for tripod. Yay tripod!

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With your lighting setup with 5850K lights, I would set the camera on Outdoor, it's in the range for daylight color temperature (around 5300K-6500K depending). The problem with auto is that it will try to guess from the mix of colors in the frame, and may be wrong for a colorful subject (i.e. a brightly painted mini).

 

I usually use aperture priority (occasionally manual) so I can control depth of field (and keep an eye on shutter speed if it gets too slow for a handheld shot).

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On page 63 of the manual I found this.

To shoot in one-push white balance mode

1 Select [ONE PUSH]. The indicator appears.

2 Shoot a white object such as paper full under the same situation you will shoot.

3 Press v.

The indicator flashes quickly.

When the white balance has been adjusted and stored in the memory, the indicator stops flashing.

It looks like the best option you have with your camera.

Using one push mode you can have your camera calibrate the white balance of the lights you are using off of a white object (the whiter the better) and it will remember that white balance setting at least until you change it to another white balance mode.

If that does not work for some reason using Outdoor Mode like lazylich said would be better since auto sometimes does weird things with non-incandescent lighting.

 

You are getting very good pictures for a camera whose manual references Windows 98, 2000, & ME as current versions.

 

Good for tripod. Yay tripod!

I second that.

Tripods are great for shooting miniatures since you have more freedom to adjust depth of field (by adjusting the aperture) when you are not limited to shutter speeds that work while hand holding the camera.

Edited by arclance

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When I try the one push, it will not 'set', and keeps blinking....

I tried using a piece of printer paper as my white target.

 

When my friend asked if I wanted the camera, I danced for joy, as the thing takes the best macro photos of any digital camera I have ever used.

Think that is because of the Zeiss lens, but...

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Please check that page in the manual if you have not already since it shows you the pictures of the label of the button to press to start the metering in "One Touch" mode and that won't copy over to the quote I made earlier.

I found a thread elsewhere (might be commerce so I won't link it) that discusses someone with your same problem.

They were holding their paper too close to the camera try moving yours farther away and see if that helps.

 

If that does not help Maybe someone else can help you with the "One Push" mode.

I am not very familiar with using this class of camera myself so I don't know what to tell you if the instructions in the manual don't work.

 

The last digital camera in this class I personally owned was older than yours and used floppy disks instead of memory cards.

I moved to digital SLRs and never got anything else after that.

Edited by arclance
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