Knife Talk Online Forums
  Home membership Help Search Calendar Members Classifieds Treasury Store Links Gallery Media Center Login Register  
Custom Search
Pages: [1] 2   Go Down
  Send this topic  |  Print  
Author Topic: "How I Do Image Editing" Q&A  (Read 10012 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
PhilL
Administrator
Trade Count: (0)
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 1067



View Profile WWW
« on: February 06, 2007, 07:10:14 AM »

I hope you?ve read my short but sweet tutorial on ?How I Photograph Knives?. I think you can see how minor angle adjustments can make a big difference in the image. I try to make sure I have a photo where the subject knife is in focus, with no major hotspots or bad reflections. But, no matter how careful you are with your photography you?re still only half way there. All photos can be improved with a little Image Editing. Here?s how I do it.



I like to compare the photos side by side in Photoshop at a good size. Here is a screen shot of the four photos I took of this knife. The lower right I would say is the best, but it?s not something I would show to anyone. It still needs some work, most photos do.



These are the steps that I would go through to make this photo acceptable for sharing.

My Image editing program is Adobe Photoshop CS. The steps that I use here should be available in any image editing program. I won?t however be able to explain the exact placement or names of the tools or any other functions in any program besides Photoshop.

With the photo open in Photoshop the first thing I would do is to Duplicate the photo and put away (CLOSE) the Original untouched. From the Image menu click on Duplicate. When the Duplicate Image  window opens give your photo a name, then click OK.



With the Duplicate open in Photoshop the next thing I want to do is Copy the Background layer. I do this by pressing Command + J (Windows users Control  + J) on my keyboard. I want to make any corrections on the Copy layer, so that I can compare it later to the Original. Now would be a good time to Save this file. Command + S will allow you to save this file.

Save often.



Please note that my Layers pallet now has two layers, the original layer named Background and the new copy layer, the one we?ll be working on is highlighted and named Layer 1.

I hope you remembered to move that reflector out of the frame of your picture. I didn?t so now I?ve got to remove it. If it was smaller I might just paint over it, but in this case I took the Polygonal Lasso tool, selected the corner section of the photo.



I then took the Eyedropper tool and sampled a color close to where the correction will be added. Please note in the Toolbar I changed the Sample Size form Point Sample to 3 X 3 Average. The color you selected now becomes your Foreground Color. Once the color is selected I go up to the Edit menu and click on Fill. This will fill the area with the photo?s background color.







If you choose the color sample well then the  correction should be nearly invisible. If it isn?t, undo it Command + Z, and try again. When you?ve got it right Command + S.

The contrast and color for this photo is not bad, but maybe some corrections could help. I?m all for keeping things as simple as possible. Photoshop has a couple of Auto fixes under the Image menu > Adjustments. I click on each one in turn and see if it?s better, click on Command + Z, to Undo if it?s not. In this case Auto Color gave me the best results, but it wasn?t good enough. I knew I could do better.

Sometimes the Auto fixes will help, sometimes they won?t. Your greatest contrast control tools are Levels and Curves, under Adjustments. The first one listed is Levels and this is a powerful tool. Under the Image menu > Adjustments > Levels, a new window will open. There are three sliders under the histogram, watch the image and see what they do, (make sure the Preview box is checked). The only thing that helped my photo was moving the middle slider to the left to brighten the photo, but I still wasn?t satisfied.



I clicked Cancel and decided to try the Curves adjustment. With the Curves window open, by clicking on the diagonal line right in the middle and moving it up and to the left I was able to brighten the image quite a bit without losing detail in the highlights or the shadows.



This looked a lot better to me. I clicked OK and then, Command + S.

What about the color? It?s not bad, but it looks a little warm to me, (probably too much Yellow). One way to correct a color imbalance is under the Image menu > Adjustments > Color Balance.



Watching the photo, I move the slider to more Blue to remove the Yellow. Make small adjustments. Click the Preview button on and off to compare before and after. If it?s better click OK. Command + S.





My photo is looking a lot better, but it could use a little more punch. I want to bring up the color of the yellow handle. Go the the Image menu again > Adjustments > Hue/ Saturation. Once again make small adjustments as you watch the image. Don?t overdo it. When you?re satisfied click OK, Command + S.





If you want to see what you?ve accomplished in you photo corrections, click on the Eye icon on the Copy layer to switch it on and off. Even if you?ve made small corrections the difference may be considerable. I?m really happy with my corrections, but there?s a couple of things that really bother me, there?s scuff marks on both bolsters. If I were selling this knife I would point out any flaws and not correct them, but for display purposes only, I?d like to make those scuffs go away.



Using the Zoom (magnifier) tool I would enlarge the section I wanted to work on. I select the Eyedropper tool, and click in the area to get an appropriate color. With soft brush selected and the Opacity around 30%  I slowly paint over the scuff. That?s better. Command + S.



I started with a photo that was In-focus, but usually the last thing I want to do with and image is to see if I can sharpen it just a little bit more. The way I do this is to go to the Filter menu > Sharpen > Unsharpen mask and move just the top slider, and watch the image. If you start seeing a clumping of pixels or halos you?re over-sharpening. When you?re happy click OK, Command + S.


We?ve been working on the photo with the same resolution that it came out of the camera. If you ever want to print this photo, you?re going to want this High Resolution copy saved, but we have to reduce the resolution to 72ppi for use on the Web. We need to Duplicate this photo again. Remember we duplicated the Raw Image and Saved it. So, up to the Image menu > Duplicate. You can rename the file if you want, I would remove the ?copy? and add 72ppi to the file name. This is the file we want to continue to work with. Save and put away the High Res. version.

With the 72ppi version open in Photoshop, go up to the Image menu > Image Size, a new window will open.



This image is for the Web, either to include in an email or posted somewhere, so you really don?t want it too big so that it will load fast and the viewer won?t have to scroll to view it. In this case I made the Document Size width 10? that?s plenty big enough. Resolution is 72ppi. Make sure those three boxes are checked and Resample Image is set on Bicubic. Click OK.



From the File menu > Save for Web, will open another window. This where we do the balancing act between the best image quality with the smallest file size.





These are my normal settings; JPEG, Medium, Quality 50. I know you?re going to want the image you worked so hard on to look great when you post it, and you?re going to want to increase the Quality, I don?t. Well I told you this was a balancing act, best image vs file size. These settings are a good balance. the File Size is 12.6 k, it will load in 3 seconds with a 56k connection, and it will look great. Provided you started with a good photograph.
Here?s my Before & After. If you followed my tutorial on how I photograph knives your corrections shouldn?t be any more complicated than my corrections were here.


   

« Last Edit: February 06, 2007, 07:13:20 AM by PhilL » Logged

You can have anything You want in Life, as long as you?re willing to pay the Price.
So, figure out what price there is to pay, and Pay It.


 
Ed Fowler
Administrator
Trade Count: (1)
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 3443



View Profile WWW
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2007, 09:21:50 AM »

Absolutely beautiful work PhilL.
I sincerely appreciate your sharing your knowledge on our form.
I have purchased the photo shop manuals and how to's, could not make sense out of them, you provided information we could not filter out of the books.
Now we get to practice and see how we do.
Logged

Ed Fowler High Performance Knives
http://edfowler.com/
PhilL
Administrator
Trade Count: (0)
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 1067



View Profile WWW
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2007, 12:02:32 PM »

Ed, it's like most things, everything is difficult before it is easy.

Nothing beats a little hands on experience, if it's knife making or taking pics of them.

As with knife making you want to start with the best materials. With photography that's the best image your camera can capture. I wrote the Photography tutorial to make it easy for anyone to get good photos every time. The better the photo the easier it is to fix. If you open a photo in Photoshop and there's too much wrong with it, maybe you should just reshoot. The more consistent your photos, the steps to correct your photos will become second nature. No more then the final sharpening on your Norton Fine India stone. You'd no more let a knife out of your shop that wasn't sharpened no more than I would post a picture that didn't have it's final sharpening.
Logged

You can have anything You want in Life, as long as you?re willing to pay the Price.
So, figure out what price there is to pay, and Pay It.


PhilL
Administrator
Trade Count: (0)
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 1067



View Profile WWW
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2007, 03:54:23 PM »

I'm going to bring this thread BTTT.
There was quite a bit of conversation last night on Chat about knife photography.
A lot of times the photos that people take aren't bad at all, but all photos can be helped with a couple of minutes in PS, or another image editing program.

I've made this tutorial step by step and I think it's pretty easy to follow. If you think your photos could be better give it a try. If you have any problems or questions you know where to find me.
Logged

You can have anything You want in Life, as long as you?re willing to pay the Price.
So, figure out what price there is to pay, and Pay It.


Larrin
Member
Trade Count: (0)
Hero Member
***
Posts: 208


View Profile
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2007, 05:37:02 PM »

Nice tutorial. I have actually spent quite a bit of time with photoshop, and now GIMP that I have to have my own software, rather than my previous employer's. For some reason I haven't really though about enhancing photos for some reason. I always thought that was cheating; it's obvious now, of course. Your tutorial does a good job about showing the basics. No matter how good the tutorial though, if you're not familiar with Photoshop, be prepared for hours of frustration while you try to figure out which option is checked when it shouldn't be and now you can't do what you were doing just a minute ago. I wish software programmers would adhere to KISS. Well, Computer Science was what I though I was going in to a year ago. I guess I can't make my difference in the world in that area now.
Logged
PhilL
Administrator
Trade Count: (0)
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 1067



View Profile WWW
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2007, 05:56:42 PM »

No matter how good the tutorial though, if you're not familiar with Photoshop, be prepared for hours of frustration...
Larrin, this is not helpful, not to you and not to others that may be doing image editing for the first time. Photoshop has a steep learning curve because the program does so much. But, you don't need to know the chemical breakdown of an egg to make a omelet. Follow your own advice and follow the KISS formula.

My tutorials are not designed to make anyone a professional photographer or a graphic artist, it's to get someone to make good images consistently, by the simplest path possible. These tutorials are to encourage people take better photos. I really don't need you working against me.
Logged

You can have anything You want in Life, as long as you?re willing to pay the Price.
So, figure out what price there is to pay, and Pay It.


Larrin
Member
Trade Count: (0)
Hero Member
***
Posts: 208


View Profile
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2007, 07:06:10 PM »

Larrin, this is not helpful, not to you and not to others that may be doing image editing for the first time. Photoshop has a steep learning curve because the program does so much. But, you don't need to know the chemical breakdown of an egg to make a omelet. Follow your own advice and follow the KISS formula.

My tutorials are not designed to make anyone a professional photographer or a graphic artist, it's to get someone to make good images consistently, by the simplest path possible. These tutorials are to encourage people take better photos. I really don't need you working against me.
OK.
Logged
radicat
Guest
Trade Count: (0)
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2007, 07:33:57 PM »

   I spent a good part of today working through a "frustrating" instruction manual for a Canon digital camera that Phil has gently coaxed me to learn about. I wanted to throw it. But, even though I was tired and needed to do so many other things, I stuck with it until I began to feel as though I had accomplished at least something by loading 72 images into my computer and having them backed up off-premise. If I'd given up, I would feel some kind of bad tonight. A step at a time is the key to learning.
   I get overzealous at times complaining about how unneccessarily complicated things can be, but it always turns out that I just need more patience. I'm nearly sixty years old and should have mellowed more than I have. I will get Photoshop to work with. My daughter has the talents of a professional photographer and she highly recommends it. She also admires the presentation of this tutorial.
   Worthwhile pursuits are always hard work. I'm sure Larrin meant no offense. And, he will get-er-done.
It will take me a little longer, but we and others will make you proud Phil.
    Thank you for being passionate about helping others to learn. This world needs more teachers with that kind of passion.                             Clay
Logged
PhilL
Administrator
Trade Count: (0)
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 1067



View Profile WWW
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2007, 07:59:04 PM »

Clay, I'm almost 60 myself, and if you want io talk about passion and wanting to share and teach, just look who's house we're in. I don't think I have to sell anyone on the idea that good images will help your knife making career. Learning to use your new camera maybe frustrating, but what's the alternative?

My photography was done on Auto Focus, Auto Exposure, no Macro or any fancy settings. It's simple Point & Shoot, just stay within the focus range of your camera. With the image editing, it's just a couple of simple steps that even if you opened PS for the first time you should be able to follow along. I use Photoshop, but it is expensive, the steps I did in the tutorial can certainly be done with Adobe Elements or GIMP (which happens to be FREE).

I don't think Larrin had anything bad in mind, but I did want him to be aware that what you say can have a negative effect. Maybe Larrin would be so kind as to go through this tutorial using GIMP and explain the steps using that program.

What do you think Larrin?
Logged

You can have anything You want in Life, as long as you?re willing to pay the Price.
So, figure out what price there is to pay, and Pay It.


Larrin
Member
Trade Count: (0)
Hero Member
***
Posts: 208


View Profile
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2007, 08:14:31 PM »

It is true, I meant no offense, my comments were more in sarcastic humor than anything, which in retrospect were unnecessary. I was not trying to discourage anyone from using a fine program such as Photoshop or discouraging anyone from editing their images.

Honestly I haven't used the GIMP for months and I'd have to figure out how to run the program all over again myself, my long term memory is poor but it is easy to re-learn things. I wasn't trying to advertize the GIMP over Photoshop but it is a pretty good alternative as far as free programs go. I'll have a go at the GIMP after I complete this knife, which will probably be another couple days at least. The polishing of the knife is complete, I have to true up the tang some and put the handle on it.

I don't think it would be real difficult to use Photoshop tutorials with the GIMP, it is a copy of Photoshop after all, but you have to find where different buttons are and there are some small quirks you have to figure out. Happy editing, everybody.
Logged
PhilL
Administrator
Trade Count: (0)
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 1067



View Profile WWW
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2007, 04:21:24 AM »

For anyone without an image editing program here is a link to download GIMP for FREE.
http://www.gimp.org/downloads/
« Last Edit: April 26, 2007, 04:27:45 AM by PhilL » Logged

You can have anything You want in Life, as long as you?re willing to pay the Price.
So, figure out what price there is to pay, and Pay It.


PhilL
Administrator
Trade Count: (0)
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 1067



View Profile WWW
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2007, 10:16:24 AM »

Another FREE image editing program recommended by my friend and Professional Knife Photographer, Jim "Sharp by Coop" Cooper, is...
http://picasa.google.com/

Coop does use Photoshop, but if you don't want to lay out a bunch of $$$ on it, try one of these other programs.
There's no reason not to take better photos.
Logged

You can have anything You want in Life, as long as you?re willing to pay the Price.
So, figure out what price there is to pay, and Pay It.


radicat
Guest
Trade Count: (0)
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2007, 02:30:39 PM »

   Obviously "Coop" knows what he is talking about. PC World magazine's May issue has Google Picasa rated as the best free image editing program on the web. Eight others are listed. GIMP is said to be almost as powerful as Photoshop, but is not as user friendly and doesn't have all of the whistles and bells that Picasa has. I'm kinda ga-ga over Google. All of their stuff is nice, especially their g-mail.
    When you go to Phil's link you will immediately start loading the Picasa. It uses only 5 MB's of memory space and only takes a few minutes to save then run. It is loading the latest Picasa 2 version, so don't worry that you loaded the earlier version. Your desktop will show you which you have.
    I haven't had time to play with it much, but it looks to be nicely layed out.     Thanks, Phil
Logged
PhilL
Administrator
Trade Count: (0)
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 1067



View Profile WWW
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2007, 04:03:24 PM »

Obviously "Coop" knows what he is talking about.


Coop, really does, he's become one of the top photographers specializing in knife photography. We've been friends since he first got started.

Check out his website.
http://www.sharpbycoop.com/
Logged

You can have anything You want in Life, as long as you?re willing to pay the Price.
So, figure out what price there is to pay, and Pay It.


Larrin
Member
Trade Count: (0)
Hero Member
***
Posts: 208


View Profile
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2007, 05:09:57 PM »

I'll have to check out Picasa, I've never heard of it before.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2   Go Up
  Send this topic  |  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
TinyPortal v0.9.8 © Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!