Where does post processing end and art techniques start?

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dewarp
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Where does post processing end and art techniques start?

Unread post by dewarp »

I promised Yildiz (Aster) I would put up something on my post processing (or art technique) methods. Here goes.

The camera club I belong to has a monthly set subject. For one of these I needed an image of an abandoned dwelling. I had previously taken a number of shots of just such a ruin, but most had other people in the image. Also, the shots were taken at about 13:30 on a bright day - not ideal. Anyway, I chose an image with a reasonable composition and no evidence of spectators, although my vehicle can be seen in the background.

I started with the raw file that had previously been imported into LR.
In LR I did the following:

-Enabled the lens profile.

-Removed the chromatic aberration

-Exported it into CS2 as 16-bit TIF file in ProPhotoRGB colour space.

This is a copy of the file in question:
140918104.jpg
(246.71 KiB) Downloaded 8262 times
In CS2 I did the following:

-Flipped the image horizontally to improve composition.

-Replaced the sky with something more interesting from my collection of sky images. This required a mask of the horizon/upper portion of ruin (made using Topaz Remask 3). Later on this mask was adjusted slightly to get rid of sharpening artefacts.

-Cloned out the vehicle utilising the bush on the other side of the ruin.

-Distorted bottom left corner so that road now comes out of that corner.

-Used Tony Kuiper's Triple Play luminosity mask actions to improve local contrasts.

-To bring the main ruin out from the background it was necessary to adjust the values of the ruin's various walls. This required a mask of the ruin, and then some masks of parts of the ruin.

-To enhance the brickwork, made a "pen & ink" sketch layer, changed blending mode to multiply, and then used a mask to selectively darken the mortar in places.

-Used Topaz ReStyle to shift the colours. Three different ReStyle settings were used, one for the sky, one for the ground, and the last for the ruin itself. The previously made masks (usually stored as alpha channels) were used to combine the three layers.

-Applied some minor adjustments using the clone tool, burn tool, hue/saturation layer, brightness/contrast layer, etc.

-Sharpened the topmost summary layer prior to storage.

-Saved the various layers in a PSD file for possible later changes.

-Flattened the image and saved as a TIF file in LR.

Below is the resultant image:

140918104-1.jpg
(220.51 KiB) Downloaded 8262 times
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dewarp
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Location: South Africa

Re: Where does post processing end and art techniques start?

Unread post by dewarp »

A few days after I completed the coloured image in the previous post I decided to prepare a B&W version. I started with the PSD file and generated a number of B&W layers in Topaz Restyle, which were then combined. Once again the work was stored in a new PSD file, and the flattened TIF file stored in LR.

Below is the resultant image:
140918104-2.jpg
(221.36 KiB) Downloaded 8261 times
Some years ago I tried out a demo version of the Nik Silver Efex Pro plugin and was very impressed with the results. However, at that time I decided that I could not afford it and persevered with my own CS2 action based on the channel mixer and gradient map. Later on I started using Topaz ReStyle in the majority of my B&W conversions.

When Google offered the Nik Collection as a free Photoshop plugin, I decided to try them out again. As a first exercise I decided to begin with this same colour image and turn it into a B&W using Silver Efex Pro. Unfortunately, by that time I had deleted my PSD working files so I was forced to start with the coloured TIF file exported from LR. The resultant image is shown below. I did not spend much time cleaning up the details in this image (didn't have my PSD alpha channels), and it is really not suitable for printing in its current state. However it convinced me that in future I should stick to using Silver Efex Pro for my B&W conversions, and this is definitely now the reality.

140918104-3.jpg
(209.37 KiB) Downloaded 8261 times
Hope this is all of interest.

regards - Peter
aster
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Re: Where does post processing end and art techniques start?

Unread post by aster »

.

Thank you, Peter. : )

Impressive final products from ordinary-looking good shots that accommodates interesting subjects. The change/transformation is remarkable.
Now, back to studying your images and taking in what you wrote.

I'd like you to know that all is of interest and very much appreciated. You really have your craft in your command.

Thank for taking the time and sharing,

Yildiz
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sury
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Re: Where does post processing end and art techniques start?

Unread post by sury »

Excellent post processing, Peter. You took what was seemingly ordinary and made it extra ordinary.
The fact that you are trying different techniques implies creativity is at work and reflects in your end
result. After all, you start processing your image from the moment you start adjusting your camera settings.
There is nothing absolute/sacred about the image captured by the camera provided viewer is (made) aware
of the changes made.

With best regards,
Sury
Minimize avoidable sufferings - Sir Karl Popper
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the_hefay
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Re: Where does post processing end and art techniques start?

Unread post by the_hefay »

Thanks for this little write up Peter. If I could use photoshop half as well as you, I'd be happy. Maybe some day. :)
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Birma
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Re: Where does post processing end and art techniques start?

Unread post by Birma »

Always interested to see the details behind someone else's processing. Love the resulting image you have made.
Nex 5, Nex 6 (IR), A7M2, A99 and a bunch of lenses.
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