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KaineMaxwell
01-15-2006, 08:15 PM
What programs do you use to process your digital pictures? I've been using Paintshop Pro myself, mostly since its easier to figure out then Photoshop and I've been using it for years now. Using ver 8 since I wasn't too keen on 9 or 10 (looked too complicated and PSish. Now anywhere I may be able to get tips on better processing (outside of the one-touch photo fix in PSP) for Paintshop Pro or beginner tips and the like for Photoshop?

The Lord XL
01-16-2006, 05:17 AM
I use photoshop7. I also use RAWshooter on the few occasions I shoot in raw.

But soon I will be using Photoshop CS2. My step-mother is a producer, and a documentary director in the Philippines, so she is getting me and my step-brother the entrie Adobe set to edit her stuff.

staereo
01-16-2006, 06:19 AM
Im the same as Lord with editing. Though I use canon's software mostly for RAW work. (Rawshooter is an awesome program, though.)

Let me tell you, paintshop pro is an entirely viable solution to PS. I used PSP and PSElements for a while. But certain aspects led me to make the leap into stupidly expensive software.

Namely, plugins that make my job a bazillion times easier.

I still have psp, and it happens to be on my network here at work, so when I'm bored at work I still use it.

My number one tip, no matter which program you use, is buy a wacom tablet. They are as cheap as 99 bucks (or less if you shop around). Nothing has made my job easier than going to using a pressure sensative pen. I can't go back, unfortunately.

But I say use psp until you start hitting walls that are either too painstaking to get over using psp again and again; or are entirely undoable in psp. Then make your jump to PS. Its not a life altering difference between them. But when you try to go back to psp from PS, you end up frustrated with trying to get certain things done that were done with ease in PS.

Bruce
(PS- if you have *any* questions that I can help you with, don't hesitate to ask here or in PM. As time allows I will totally help you out.)

stefaniecat
01-16-2006, 02:10 PM
I use Photoshop 7 - might eventually upgrade to CS - but I remember trying the demo for Paintshop Pro years ago and loving it - so I'd say that a program that works for you - and works well for you - is what matters most.

staereo
01-16-2006, 02:16 PM
I need to learn to be more concise. You've managed to say everything I did in 3 lines. O.o

Im jealous. :P

Bruce

KaineMaxwell
01-16-2006, 08:55 PM
I need to learn to be more concise. You've managed to say everything I did in 3 lines. O.o

Im jealous. :P

Bruce
Thanks for the advice so far. Any suggestions for websites with tips for either programs you guys use too? I have been using PSP's (8 onward) One-Touch Photo Fix which does color balance, brightness, clarity, saturation, edge preservation, sharpening and I think red-eye removal.

Just for kicks here's an example. First photo is before One Step Photo Fix, 2nd is after.

staereo
01-16-2006, 10:38 PM
may I have permission to make a go at these?

KaineMaxwell
01-16-2006, 10:46 PM
Sure, why not?

staereo
01-16-2006, 11:55 PM
Okies, this is about 20 minutes of PS work while I watched some law and order.

Method in short:
1) Noise removal: noise ninja 2.0
2) Sharpening: fred miranda's ps plug in.
3) brightness/contrast/hue/saturation
4) desaturation of entire picture
5) history brushed over the tree with wacom pen.
6) blurred by PS plugin
7) history brush over try to keep sharp.

Why I like it: Brings the living object to the viewers attention amidst a busy background of non nature related topics.

Where I got the idea: When I noticed the difference between your two pictures, I decided I liked your edit because it really showed more depth and life. I thought that I wanted the living object to be the MOST alive. So this was the way I chose to do it.

While there are many ways to have done this, I hope you enjoyed mine.
Bruce

Edit= hmmms... maybe I wouldnt mind seeing the vase in color too.... but I suppose either way gives its own flavor. *shrug*

Tyrus
01-17-2006, 10:46 AM
I use photoshop for most of my work. I also us neat image to clear up noise and Breezebrowser for my canon raw conversion work.

Since you don't seem to need much of the overhead of PS, you might also want to look into Photoshop Elements. It's pretty much a stripped down version of PS that is really only good for photo editing, but does a pretty good job of it. Sometimes you can even find it bundled with other things, like I got my copy with my printer.

As for tips, just do a google search on Photoshop Tutorials or PSP Tutorials and you will find tons of stuff. It can take time to wade through but there is some good stuff out there.

bob1968m
01-17-2006, 12:23 PM
I read a couple books on Photoshop to do restorations of old photos before I got into photography. So once I did get into it, it was very natural to continue using it to edit the pics. I shoot mostly RAW with a DLSR so some processing is always necessary since the pics come out rather flat out of the camera. Even when i shoot jpg, its hard for me to not tweak something. And that's just general exposure/contrast type things. I usually do some amount of retouching to clean up any blemishes, circles, lint, etc.

Allthough it can get monotonous with a large set, I enjoy the processing time, since a careful crop or slight edit can bring out something that initially looked ho-hum.

KaineMaxwell
01-17-2006, 07:29 PM
Staereo, I definitly liked what you did with it, especially making the tree color compared to the rest being in B&W.

tfcreate
01-17-2006, 08:20 PM
Again.... my stock answer is it depends.
PSP is my choice for general work.
I use GIMP 2.2 for some work and Painter 6 for others. (Mostly for Effects)
TFC

KaineMaxwell
01-18-2006, 09:35 AM
thanks, I tried the One Step on some my older photos with my other camera and they look better too.

Old photo:
http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=153909

Retouch attached.

staereo
01-18-2006, 10:43 AM
Wow, if thats an automated fix, that worked out wonderfully!!!

Sometimes I forget how intuitive software has become!

Ill fire a fix through, see what I get.

KaineMaxwell
01-18-2006, 10:52 AM
Actually looking at them a bit better I can clearly tell, before and after, which pics I took with my digicamera and which I took with a disposable one.

That and i just went through all of my old photos- conventions, gatherings and vacations, to fix them. Most came out better, some not so.

Tyrus
01-18-2006, 04:01 PM
Wow, if thats an automated fix, that worked out wonderfully!!!

Sometimes I forget how intuitive software has become!

Ill fire a fix through, see what I get.

I've actually be pleasantly surprised by Picasa, googles photo software. I've started trying it as cataloging software because it can process raw images, but was quite happy with the results applying global fixes to them.

These days I will often just let photoshop have a go with my pics while I'm doing something else, or fix one as use it as an action to fix the other 300. More often than not the results are good enough for con or event shoots.

Bandit64
01-20-2006, 12:56 PM
I think the one-click solutions often come out pretty bad. I have a few problems with almost every picture(from a retouching point of view)on the last page.

Unless you want something gimmicky, here's a few simple beginner steps in Photoshop. Obviously, you'll have to adjust it for certain images, and I suggest using a seperate layer for each. I usually whip this out in about 2 minutes, and it always comes out better than the one-click stuff.

1) Levels or curves(some people do both). Both very powerful options, and very useful.

2) Contrast

3) Saturation(if necessary)

4) Unsharp mask, or whatever sharpening set of actions you feel like using

Once you get better, you get into all sorts of things like the burn/dodge tool, selective sharpening, clone brush, blah blah blah. There's lots of tutorials you can do a search for online if you're ever curious about a specific technique.

staereo
01-20-2006, 02:31 PM
I think the idea of the one-click options, Bandit, is that people with less knowledge in the post processing department have a quick and easy alternative. I dont think that anyone would question the fact that in the hands of an experienced photoshop user, manual adjustments can be adjusted to far more specific results than a one click adjustment.

If it couldn't, we would all be clicking away. The fact is, however, one click adjustments have come a very long way and are a viable solution to people that don't know the intracacies of digital manipulations of images.

Just as you can criticize images modified by a one touch adjustment, professional digital artists could easily poke at problems in every single picture that you manually fine tune.

That is, one clicking is a great source of quick tuning to images for people that haven't yet established a knowledge base in the manual manipulating of images.

Bruce

Bandit64
01-20-2006, 03:50 PM
What I'm wondering is how any of what you said has any relevance to what I said, at all. Was there a hidden line in my post that I'm not aware of? One would think so, given your response.

If someone asks for tips on how to improve, I like to actually give those tips. If someone wants to stay at the level of one-click solutions, I doubt they would be asking for said tips.

staereo
01-20-2006, 10:13 PM
Im not sure why youve gotten so snappy with me:

What I'm wondering is how any of what you said has any relevance to what I said, at all.

How do you mean hidden line?:
Was there a hidden line in my post that I'm not aware of? One would think so, given your response.

In any case, my reply held relavance based upon your comment regarding your ability to find something wrong with every one of the one click solutions above:

I think the one-click solutions often come out pretty bad. I have a few problems with almost every picture(from a retouching point of view)on the last page.


FURTHERMORE, all your post has done is list 4 of the menu options on the taskbars menu from your image editing software, youve made no attempt at explaining how to use them at all. Soooo before you get irritated with my reply explaining how certain tools can be useful to those with less experience; feel free to tell me how your post was able to improve anyone elses work. If your intent was to increase that knowledge and not just say what individual tools comprise automatic adjustment one-clicks, then perhaps not poke at what is wrong with the tools they are familiar with, and instead explain how to use a couple of the functions you list:

1) Levels or curves(some people do both). Both very powerful options, and very useful.

2) Contrast

3) Saturation(if necessary)

4) Unsharp mask, or whatever sharpening set of actions you feel like using

Such as explaining what different values mean, and how they affect the image you are working on when you change them in different ways. Explain how to tweak each attribute, and the situations which someone would want to use a certain tool to fix an image's output.


I must admit, I really do feel attacked here, and I'm not sure what cause you have to do so. But I certainly don't find it warranted, and I would hope you were just having a bad day. If so, I'm sorry for your bad day, but please don't direct your frustrations onto me, when I was trying to help explain someone's motives for using a tool which someone with more experience may find inferior.

All I was attempting to do was help someone to understand how such a tool has justification for being used, even if the output isnt to the same quality of manual adjustments tweaked by an experienced user.

I only mean to help people here, and from your post I had gathered that you found it unacceptable to use a function, so I tried to explain when such a tool WOULD be acceptable.

Sorry for your frustrations,
Bruce

Bandit64
01-20-2006, 11:56 PM
I think if I was the one frustrated, I would be the one posting the essay length reply. Don't mistake my curtness(and trust me, I'm being far too nice as is)for caring either way, and as a sidenote, I had a wonderful day.

I am not going to make a tutorial for someone based on every menu option that I suggest using. Contrast/Saturation are obvious, and I think people should mess around with them and find settings they enjoy. Trial and error. Levels/curves and unsharp mask have tutorials available via google that are far far longer than anything I would want to paste in here.

Ami Yuy
01-21-2006, 08:19 AM
I agree with Bandit64 about disliking the auto-fixes. They can sometimes turn out decent results, but generally aren't nearly as good as they could be.

I use Photoshop CS2 and if you are at all interested in getting it (it's my best friend) I would also like to recommend the book Adobe Photoshop CS2 for Photographers by Martin Evening. It starts at the basics of the program and then moves up and can tell you how to do the most basic editing 100 times better than if you just play around. We used it for my digital photography class last semester and I absolutely loved it.

But really, as Bandit64 said, Levels, Curves, Contrast, Saturation, and Sharpening (if you resize the image down) are the basics. If you do Curves correctly you won't need to do a seperate Contrast layer and also then only a small Saturation adjustment if any at all. Levels is my best friend for all images, especially saving over or underexposed ones.

staereo
01-21-2006, 09:49 AM
I think if I was the one frustrated, I would be the one posting the essay length reply.

Hmm, if you believe that this is my first lengthy reply, I invite you to do a search of my post history. You will find that the majority of my posts are long winded and thorough. I try to make sure I communicate everything I want to say in my posts, and this was no exception. ^^ If you did take the time to search my history, you will also find that I do my best to help people on this website, and have spent a lot of time doing so, because I care about this community and want to do everything I can to improve it where I can.

Don't mistake my curtness(and trust me, I'm being far too nice as is)for caring either way, and as a sidenote, I had a wonderful day.

I don't understand why you believe you are being too nice. In fact, I'm a little embaressed because I don't even like having to defend being attacked, I'm just here to help. And while you don't care either way, I really do. I care because I use the website to pass a lot of hours, and I think the people here are far more talented with their cosplays than I could ever be. So while I cannot add much in the ways of cosplay advice, I do my best to offer the knowledge I do have, which is a talented and extensive knowledge of photography. The only thing I meant to do with my original post is to promote understanding for those that use these auto tools because they haven't mastered the skills of digital editing yet, and use those tools in place of manual editing. There are many stages of understanding and depth of interest in photography. Some people use digicams, some people use disposable cameras, some people use digital medium format. For all levels of interest, there can be a learning curve. Not everyone chooses to take the extra step to learn manual editing, because their talents may be focused on other things like making costumes. I don't think that this level of interest in photography should just be discounted as error prone picture-taking. This coming from an AVID photographer on the complete other end of the spectrum. Just as if I were to make a costum and use the wrong seam, it doesnt make me inept. It may be good for the level in which I'm interested in the hobby. All I was trying to convey is that some people aren't at the place in their editing interest or skill to worry about adjusting curves. Thats all.

I am not going to make a tutorial for someone based on every menu option that I suggest using. Contrast/Saturation are obvious, and I think people should mess around with them and find settings they enjoy. Trial and error. Levels/curves and unsharp mask have tutorials available via google that are far far longer than anything I would want to paste in here.

I'm really not suggesting you do. What I was referring to was that there are ways that you could help people by suggesting how to use auto function just as well as you can help people by entrenching them into layers and curve adjustments.

Auto adjustments may not deliver the results of manual editing, but youre really talking apples and oranges between the two. For many cosplayers with digicams, auto adjusting is the level to which they are interested in editing. Sure, consistancy and quality wont be on par to experienced hands delving into photoshop, but I also don't think that those that use them should have their images dismissed as error filled. Noone's perfect and we can all pick out errors in our pictures. Photography is an art, and some people choose to doodle stick figures and others choose to sculpt David. No matter what, it's art, and sometimes showing someone how to draw a stick figures better can be as much help as trying to explain how to carve the chiseled features of a man's face.

Not to say knowledge in manual editing isn't useful, but it can be very overwhelming to take on, and its very hard to use some of these tools properly just by knowing that they are there.

Im sure we could all do google searches and yahoo searches, and visit all the other photography forums in the world, but this IS a cosplay website, and we're a community here. It's nicer to learn what you can from a friend, even if it is over a forum.

I just like to take a step at a time. I'm glad you had a wonderful day. I could use one.
Bruce

jtnishi
01-21-2006, 04:43 PM
For what it's worth, one-click fixes are getting pretty decent. With tools like Picasa, the automatic mode doesn't do a half bad job. At least it's better often than letting a picture go purely as shot many times.

For people who don't have access to the time or funds to deal with a piece of software like Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro (or at least the time to learn The GIMP), many of the consumer level products will do a sufficient job for many. Now, for the people who really do want the best out of their shots, yeah, learning a tool like Photoshop and learning how to edit can really be helpful. However, for what it's worth, the Photoshop process is time-intensive. For example, I'm trying to run my way through about 70 pictures right now to edit in Photoshop. I will tell you that in the 3-4 hours I've spent editing these shots, I've gotten through about 30, because I'm trying to pull out an extra 20% of quality, maybe. To me, it's justified. To many others, it won't be.

PS: Bandit64, there is one other thing you forgot to mention in your workflow for Photoshop tools, one that I think is at least as important as your steps, and that's color rebalancing. When a shot has a color cast, it's the one thing that can improve a shot the most in the least amount of time.

staereo
01-21-2006, 04:54 PM
For what it's worth.......................can improve a shot the most in the least amount of time.

Whole hearted agreement. :bigtu:

bob1968m
01-21-2006, 05:33 PM
PS: Bandit64, there is one other thing you forgot to mention in your workflow for Photoshop tools, one that I think is at least as important as your steps, and that's color rebalancing. When a shot has a color cast, it's the one thing that can improve a shot the most in the least amount of time.

I just picked up a set of Whibal cards for that purpose. i haven't field tested them yet, but my messing around with them at home are showing good results. It requires an advanced editing tool though and works best for RAW shooters.

This was shot with my autowhitebalance under household flourescent light on my D70. the flourescent WB preset was even worse. It was then corrected in Photoshop by using gray dropper on the card. you would then save the setting and apply it to all your shots under the same light. I did a custom whitebalance and it came out pretty much the same as the WhiBal corrected verison on the lower half,, but i find doing custom WB a pain.

staereo
01-21-2006, 05:44 PM
Wow thats great!

I very rarely use an 18% Grey card to set a custom white balance, but it really does make a difference.

What I am really curious about is all the raving going on about the expodisc.

http://www.expodisc.com/

I was very sceptical at first, but all I ever hear is how great it is, and how it's all people use once they buy it.

I may have to invest for myself. -.-

Oh well, photography is nothing, if not stupidly expensive. ^^

Bruce

jtnishi
01-21-2006, 07:06 PM
I just picked up a set of Whibal cards for that purpose. i haven't field tested them yet, but my messing around with them at home are showing good results. It requires an advanced editing tool though and works best for RAW shooters.

This was shot with my autowhitebalance under household flourescent light on my D70. the flourescent WB preset was even worse. It was then corrected in Photoshop by using gray dropper on the card. you would then save the setting and apply it to all your shots under the same light. I did a custom whitebalance and it came out pretty much the same as the WhiBal corrected verison on the lower half,, but i find doing custom WB a pain.
Yeah, that's pretty much the way to do it best, and it's how the pros usually adjust their equipment before a shoot. I'm lazy, unfortunately, especially when dealing with a convention situation where you're talking about potentially constantly changing scenes and therefore lighting situations. However, one typically at least has a mental picture of how reality looks, and usually one can get lucky enough to find an object in a scene that's close enough to 18% gray to allow use of the dropper, without having to pre-shoot a gray card. For me, as long as the image looks "perceiveably" like reality in terms of color, I'm usually happy enough. I'm not a pro, so I can get away with such deviations without someone barking at me. :-P

(BTW, the one thing automatic tools seem to miss the most does happen to be color balance, which is the strongest argument in favor of using some sort of manual control like in Photoshop, at least for me.)

Ami Yuy
01-21-2006, 07:09 PM
However, for what it's worth, the Photoshop process is time-intensive. For example, I'm trying to run my way through about 70 pictures right now to edit in Photoshop. I will tell you that in the 3-4 hours I've spent editing these shots, I've gotten through about 30, because I'm trying to pull out an extra 20% of quality, maybe. To me, it's justified. To many others, it won't be.

PS: Bandit64, there is one other thing you forgot to mention in your workflow for Photoshop tools, one that I think is at least as important as your steps, and that's color rebalancing. When a shot has a color cast, it's the one thing that can improve a shot the most in the least amount of time.

Yeah, that's the problem with the hand-editing, it takes FOREVER...I need to learn how to take more consistently shot (white balance - I'm working on it, lighting, etc.) images so that that at least can help save some time.

I do color re-balancing in Levels and Curves. In class we learned how in Levels when you go into the seperate color modes and clip in the missing areas on the channels, it makes a HUGE difference. Then if you still want to adjust it a bit more, you can do that either with the middle slider in those colors in Levels or in Curves under the different colors.

Sooo much easier than trying to use Color Balance or anything.

Bandit64
01-21-2006, 10:26 PM
Yes, I took a quick glimpse and it does seem that many of your posts are rather elaborate, to say the least.

As for why I believe I'm being too nice, it is because I am. Normally when someone complains and gets defensive for no real reason, I am less civil. If you think I am attacking you with these posts, perhaps you should post on less "nice" forums, because this level of discourse is about as soft as cotton candy right now.

I did not suggest using auto functions or factor in the concerns of people that use regular cameras or blah blah, it is because I do not care. If they want to make their own thread, that is fine, but the original poster asked for advice on getting better. To get better with photo retouching, one must eventually abandon the auto tools. Not only that, but the tools I suggested were basic, except for one(I'm counting USM as easy, and it is, until you get to more selective sharpening). If a person gets overwhelmed by the "contrast" feature, they should probably reconsider the whole manual photo retouching thing.

KaineMaxwell
01-22-2006, 02:49 PM
So with the Whibal cards you shoot them with the camera before shots?

staereo
01-22-2006, 04:03 PM
Whibal is a brand name of a grey card ( http://whibal.com/products/whibal/index.html ). They idea behind "whibal" cards is that if you shoot a shot of them in a given lighting situation before you take your shots, you can refer to the first image with the cards in them to get a baseline value to balance your successive shots with.

Each time you move to a new lighting sitation, you take another shot of the whibal cards, and when you are in your RAW conversion software, you use that new baseline to balance all of the successive shots in that lighting situation, and so on.

On the other hand, many people use 18% grey cards to photograph before their shoot and use that photograph to set a custom WB on their cameras before they shoot, rather than in their post processing. (Or, if raw, setting the baseline to the grey card in the same fashion as the whibal cards above before conversion.)

Another method is the expodisc http://www.expodisc.com. Unfortunately, I haven't bought one of these yet, but its on the radar for a future purchase.

Edit: in fact, here is a ton of information, right on whibal's website! http://pictureflow.fileburst.com/_Tutorials/WhiBal/index.html

^^
Bruce

KaineMaxwell
01-22-2006, 06:32 PM
staereo, feel free to IM me sometime so we can continue discussing?

Also what you think of these 2 shots, one is without flash, the other is with. Seems even in a high lighting sit, pics still come out a little dark indoors, though I try not to use it so it doesn't wash out the pics, even while processing.

And any advice on processing a pic like this with low lighting indoors? One touch processing washes the pic out far too much and makes it look grainy, etc.

bob1968m
01-22-2006, 09:03 PM
quick note on WhiBal. it isn't necessary to take the reference shot before the rest of the shots. anytime before, during, or after is fine and the subject doesn't even have to be there. The cat could run in do something, you take a pic, and when he's gone, take a whibal shot. That's one of the advantages over doing a custom wb. sometimes one wants take a quick shot of something in the moment with no time to set WB beforehand.

Kaine, img_0175, sometimes things are just too underexposed even for photoshop. This is one of them.

Bob

KaineMaxwell
01-22-2006, 09:42 PM
quick note on WhiBal. it isn't necessary to take the reference shot before the rest of the shots. anytime before, during, or after is fine and the subject doesn't even have to be there. The cat could run in do something, you take a pic, and when he's gone, take a whibal shot. That's one of the advantages over doing a custom wb. sometimes one wants take a quick shot of something in the moment with no time to set WB beforehand.

Kaine, img_0175, sometimes things are just too underexposed even for photoshop. This is one of them.

Bob
Yeah that's what I've been learning as of late.

staereo
01-22-2006, 11:49 PM
Bobs correct, as long as the lighting has not changed, and you plan on doing the work in your raw software in post processessing, you can take the pic of the card at any time during your shoot. I was justing thinking about my own little series of steps....

But this is really useful, and im very corrected here, because you can snap a shot of an event or something, and then get the whibal card shot AFTER the snap, to ensure you dont miss your shot.

Sometimes you get so wrapped up in the 1, 2, 3, of your own work you just talk in those same steps. Very good point!

AND
Thank you Kaine, feel free to message me anytime as well. I certainly don't know everything, but I've learned a lot, and am not afraid to say I don't know the answer. ^^ I love to learn from others too, and communications the best way to do this!

Thanks tons!
Bruce
And right now those pics arent working for me... maybe the server reboot thing messed them up.... ill try again later.

jtnishi
01-23-2006, 09:36 AM
Kaine, img_0175, sometimes things are just too underexposed even for photoshop. This is one of them.
Just as a sidenote, I actually think this is somewhat saveable. In Photoshop, try duplicating the layer 4-5 times over it, setting each duplicate layer to screen. That might just be enough. You can control the opacity of the multiple screen layers if it gets too strong. There are a surprising number of dark pictures that actually can be saved somewhat in Photoshop, even if the result isn't ideal. This is one of those non-ideal situations. Save it if you really need to.

(Duplicate screen layers are good for lightening a picture. Duplicate multiply layers are good for darkening a picture. Duplicate multiply layers with a b/w copy of the image as the mask seems to work well for cutting highlights down a little bit, especially if you don't have shadow/highlight in your version of Photoshop. Duplicate screen layers with an inverted b/w copy of the image as the mask seems to work well for bringing up the shadow, especially if you don't have shadow/highlight in your version of Photoshop. My thanks to The Photoshop 7 Book for Digital Photographers for this set.)

staereo
01-23-2006, 11:09 AM
They say that underexposure is easier to fix than overexposure. Sometimes I wonder how true that is. LoL!

Everyones right, this last pic is kind of a rough situation. Theres only sooo much you can do with the light you're given. I can attempt some tricks tonight when I get home, but the fact is you can only work with what you're given. Maybe I can work something out, but when you undertake an image like this, you really are looking at a decent amount of time to clean it up. And an even harder time making the result accurate to the subject you were capturing.

I'll see what I can do.. If anything looks good, I would be happy to let you know how I got there.

Bruce

KaineMaxwell
01-23-2006, 09:30 PM
Yeah see that's the thing alot of times with my camera- low lighting without the flash in an indoor situation sometimes even if there's alot of light in the room at the time.

staereo
01-24-2006, 04:54 AM
May I ask what kind of camera youre using? Perhaps I can investigate the metering type problem.

KaineMaxwell
01-24-2006, 07:13 AM
A Canon Powershot S2 IS

staereo
01-24-2006, 03:27 PM
I've just taken a poke at the web and it seems that other than a little noise and fringing, you have a camera that is fine. No unusual amount of complaints with exposure.

Perhaps you'd let me have the metadata from that super dark shot. (Or if its in there I can check at home later.)

Perhaps it was the settings that has it a little fritzy. Maybe I could help with that.

Bruce

KaineMaxwell
01-24-2006, 06:38 PM
The metadata?

staereo
01-24-2006, 07:49 PM
Ok, I just pulled up your metadata, which I will go ahead and put here. Metadata is information your camera imbeds for future reference inside your picture.


EXIF
Camera
Make Canon
Model Canon PowerShot S2 IS
Orientation upper left
X resolution 180
Y resolution 180
Resolution unit 2
Date/time 1/21/2006 6:12:22 PM
YCbCr positioning centered
Image
Image description
Artist
Copyright
Exposure time 1/8 s
F-number 2.7
Date/time original 1/21/2006 6:12:22 PM
Date/time digitized 1/21/2006 6:12:22 PM
Component config YCbCr
Compressed BPP 3
Shutter speed value 1/8 s
Aperture value 2.875000
Exposure bias value 0.000000
Max. aperture value 2.875000
Metering mode Pattern
Flash Flash did not fire [off]
Focal length 6 mm
User comment
Colorspace sRGB
Pixel X dimension 640
Pixel Y dimension 480
Focal plane X res. 2844.440000
Focal plane Y res. 2857.140000
Focal plane res. unit inch
Sensing method One-chip color area sensor
Custom Rendered Normal process
Exposure mode Auto exposure
Digital zoom ratio 1
Scene capture type Standard
Miscellaneous
Exif version (30,32,32,30)
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FlashPix version (30,31,30,30)
File source DSC
Canon Maker Notes
Macro mode Normal
Flash mode Flash not fired
Continuous drive mode Single
Focus mode Single
Image size Medium
Easy shooting mode Full auto
Contrast Normal
Saturation Normal
Sharpness Normal
ISO Auto
Metering mode Evaluative
AF point selected Unknown
Exposure mode Easy shooting
White balance Auto
Flash Bias 0 EV
Image type IMG:PowerShot S2 IS JPEG
Firmware version Firmware Version 1.00
Image number 1010-0175
Owner name Kaine

As you can see, here is your exposure information:
Exposure time 1/8 s
F-number 2.7
ISO Auto
Flash Flash did not fire [off]

Now, I can only assume that your iso, which I BELIEVE maxes out at iso 400, was not fast enough ASA to capture that picture. Although, it seems you would have to have it very dark in the room for ISO 400 to not capture at f/2.7 for 1/8 of a second.

But because the ISO was auto, I cant really tell if maybe the ISO was metered slower than 400.

Exposure mode Easy shooting

I dont know what 'easy shooting' is, but I would guess its a fully automatic mode. What I dont understand is how you locked your flash off in fully auto mode.

Is there a reason you didnt want your flash to fire? And furthermore, it IS possible that iso400 was not fast enough to get that much light. By its noise amount, I will assume it was iso 400.

Just seems to have been not enough light to caputure on that camera. Better to have some sort of light on in the room, or the flash on to correct it in the future. On the other hand, I am absolutely FLOORED with how steady you held that camera for a 1/8 sec exposure. You have godly steady hands.

I will try to do a quick fix up on the picture and see if I can go anywhere with it. Won't be great by any means.

Also your exposure compensation was set to 0. You could have set your exposure compensation to help compensate for that lack of light a little bit next time.

^^
Bruce

KaineMaxwell
01-24-2006, 07:56 PM
Actually I get more camera shake when the lens is out, I don't think I had it out when I took the pic (don't remember). And there was a light in the room, just not bright enough. Auto mode flash doesn't activate unless I flip up the flash itself actually. So you suggest changing any options (outside of flash) for better indoor pics? Still welcome to find me on aim.

bob1968m
01-24-2006, 08:07 PM
The IS as in Canon PowerShot S2 IS stands for Image Stabilization.

staereo
01-24-2006, 08:12 PM
oh, lol completely missed the messenger thing. Im about to get wrapped up in some stuff, but heres some quick fixes since I posted:

I will go ahead and add you to my lists when im back online.

Yep.... IS in canon's lens line is supposed to make up for 2 stops of shutter speed. But still... 1/32 is still goo hand holding. ^.^

Youre just plain going to need more light indoors. Unless you want to make the shutter speed as SLOW as possible, the aperture as BIG as possible (smallest number), and the ISO speed as fast as possible (biggest number) and try an indoor shot, just to see how much light you can gather. Take that as a reference to how much light you MUST have.

Then to adjust any attributes for less light means you'll need more light to compensate.

Experiment, thats why digital being free is sooo fabulous.

Let me know how that trial shot goes.

Bruce

bob1968m
01-24-2006, 08:14 PM
That camera has manual modes such as aperture priority and shutter priority where you set one and the camera sets the other based on available light. You might want to try using aperture priority at the widest it will go, probably the 2.7, with ISO highest it will go, and see what shutter speed it gives you. I don't know what the slowest shuttter that cam will go, but it may figure that 1/8 is the slowest for the image stabilazation to compensate for, and it picked that for that EASY mode and ignored the fact that exposure was too low.

you might want to get a tripod for these types of shots as well since any slower will likely exceed the IS capabilities. No sense having a well exposed but blury shot.

KaineMaxwell
01-24-2006, 08:45 PM
That b&w shot looks pretty, I gotta say.

EDIT:
http://photobucket.com/albums/y188/kainemaxwell/practice/
Took a few shots playing with exposure and whatnot. 9 most recent ones there are the ones I took tonight.

Ollie
01-26-2006, 09:42 AM
I actually use a program called Graphic Converter for a lot of my work. It's a shareware alternative to photoshop. It doesn't have all the same bells and whistles, but for about 90% of what you'd do in Photoshop, you can do in Graphic Converter. Graphic Converter also has some very good options for automated workflows, allowing me to apply a lot of standard edits without much effort on my part. (Though a con photo set of around 1000 pictures can take all night, even on my dual processor G5.) I will sometimes go with Photoshop if I need to make a lot of manual adjustments; Graphic Converter will do a better job at automatic level adjustment, color adjustment, sizing, and sharpening for my tastes. After about 20 minutes in Photoshop, I have something Graphic Converter will give me in about two of me looking for Doritos in the kitchen. Once I get to fixing up eye colors, tooth discoloration, skin blemishes, and such, though, Photoshop's layers help a lot.

battmeals
02-12-2006, 06:46 PM
I second Picasa as a decent tool for processing. The one-button fix ("I'm feeling lucky") is often poor, so I use it infrequently.

The main purpose of my convention/costume photography is to post onto my site. Picasa is also well suited for this task: go through pictures, crop, adjust, add caption, and star the good ones. Select the starred pictures and create a web page. Upload and link to the main page.

If I'm feeling very on top of things, I'll carry the laptop to the convention and process and upload (using my Treo) during breaks.

-matt