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How do I make this photo pop?
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Apr 24, 2019 10:51:53   #
exwsttex
 
Would appreciate any help making this photo pop some more....cloudy day, shot hand-held at 30 ft or so. Seems to be a problem of mine that skies always look washed out. Don't know if it's my eyes or my skills? Canon 60D with a Tamron 18 - 400 lens.

Attached file:
(Download)

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Apr 24, 2019 10:56:04   #
jeep_daddy (a regular here)
 
Did you post this twice?

See what I already said here:

https://www.uglyhedgehog.com/t-589007-1.html#10090697

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Apr 24, 2019 10:57:37   #
exwsttex
 
yes - it was suggested I post it here rather than my original post

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Apr 24, 2019 11:02:08   #
letmedance (a regular here)
 
exwsttex wrote:
Would appreciate any help making this photo pop some more....cloudy day, shot hand-held at 30 ft or so. Seems to be a problem of mine that skies always look washed out. Don't know if it's my eyes or my skills? Canon 60D with a Tamron 18 - 400 lens.


I would start by adjusting the white balance then cropping away most of the sky, the bird is the subject. The narrow depth of field is the reason for the blurry sky.

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Apr 24, 2019 11:15:36   #
UTMike (a regular here)
 
This is a quick touch up with Lightroom working the highlights, etc .


(Download)

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Apr 24, 2019 11:31:31   #
Linda From Maine (a regular here)
 
Jeep Daddy's comments and edit in your Analysis topic discussed the white balance issue + showed you the value of cropping close - to both eliminate the harsh sky and to make the swallow the star.

My edit is to show you how the image was adjusted in PS Elements raw editor (a modified version of PS ACR). If you even out the exposure and don't sharpen while in the raw editor, you can make selective adjustments in your main editor after you decide on where to crop.

How much editing you can do, or are willing to do, is dependent on your skill level and interest in learning post processing.

Hope you'll visit with us again; all the best in your journey.

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This is the beginning, NOT a final edit.
This is the beginning, NOT a final edit....
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(Download)

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Apr 24, 2019 11:35:49   #
Jim-Pops (a regular here)
 
exwsttex wrote:
Would appreciate any help making this photo pop some more....cloudy day, shot hand-held at 30 ft or so. Seems to be a problem of mine that skies always look washed out. Don't know if it's my eyes or my skills? Canon 60D with a Tamron 18 - 400 lens.


Not sure what you would want out of this picture, full picture or partial. I don't think you could do anything different to get the overcast sky any different and still get detail out of the bird. I understand you are new to this section and many of us use several different techniques. I personally use photoshop. On your picture I did what I might do to improve the picture by giving it more separation between the bird and background.
1) Opened in Camera raw ind increased whites and opened shadows. This got me a good look for the post and bird.
2) I added a Curve layer adding a mask to change all but Bird and Post and darkened the background.
3) I added a Saturation layer to remove the blue cast in the background.
4) Added a minor Vignette to bottom of picture. Draws your eye toward the center of picture to the bird.


(Download)


(Download)

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Apr 24, 2019 11:38:52   #
Jim-Pops (a regular here)
 
Ok I liked mine till I saw Linda's now I think there is room in between the two. Interesting.

Wasn't thinking about white balance. See that's what makes this section so interesting.

Now with White Balance Adjustment added to mine.


(Download)

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Apr 24, 2019 11:44:02   #
exwsttex
 
Linda From Maine wrote:
Jeep Daddy's comments and edit in your Analysis topic discussed the white balance issue + showed you the value of cropping close - to both eliminate the harsh sky and to make the swallow the star.

My edit is to show you how the image was adjusted in PS Elements raw editor (a modified version of PS ACR). If you even out the exposure and don't sharpen while in the raw editor, you can make selective adjustments in your main editor after you decide on where to crop.

How much editing you can do, or are willing to do, is dependent on your skill level and interest in learning post processing.

Hope you'll visit with us again; all the best in your journey.

.
Jeep Daddy's comments and edit in your Analysis to... (show quote)


Thanks for the suggestions - I like the closer cropping...I will continue working in Photoshop using all tips



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Apr 24, 2019 11:55:00   #
CHG_CANON (a regular here)
 
First, look at your camera settings. Update the WB back to 'auto' and the picture style to Standard. Although both settings can be overridden in your RAW editor, you'll find the edit process more efficient if you start with something more "natural" in the camera settings for your RAW capture. The picture isn't particularly sharp, even after processing. Consider a single AF point rather than letting the camera select what to focus on.

Below are three attachments. One is a screen capture of the settings from DPPv4. The next is an export of the edited version from DPP. The updates were simple:

1. WB - Daylight
2. Style - Daylight
3. Gamma Adjustment - <Auto>
4. Contrast +0.5
5. Saturation +1
6. Sharpness 4.0
7. Crop to 16:90

The final attachment is from LR, with some of the same DPP setting, but with the temp set to K-5350. If interested in more of the LR details, please advise.
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Analysis - DPP
Analysis - DPP...
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basic DPP edits w/ crop
basic DPP edits w/ crop...
(Download)
basic LR edits w/ crop
basic LR edits w/ crop...
(Download)

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Apr 24, 2019 11:55:08   #
Jim-Pops (a regular here)
 
I went back again and removed the Vignette and started clicking around different areas around top of the post to get the proper white balance. You can take this picture to blue, sepia or green depending on where you place the eye dropper. This is one that made the background toward green.


(Download)

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Apr 24, 2019 12:07:51   #
R.G. (a regular here)
 
Not sure how much of the purple cast is due to ambient light and how much due to the camera's misplaced enthusiasm . I thought some of the suggested corrections looked a bit off so I moderated the Tint/WB shifts that I gave it and the colour tweaks in the HSL section. More pop was added by upping the contrast and vibrance, which then required that the Blacks be raised slightly and blue be desaturated selectively in the HSL section. Apart from overall sharpening I also selected the swallow and gave it a touch more sharpening, Clarity and Contrast. I also selected the area round (and including) the eyes and added more Clarity and sharpening.

The bird is a bit soft and the more you zoom in on it the worse it gets, so I moderated my crop, but the bird is sufficiently vivid that it can hold its own against the generous amounts of context. Bright grey skies are never going to be optimum but they're not a total spoiler either.

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Apr 24, 2019 12:18:35   #
kenievans (a regular here)
 
I went about my process in PS very similarly to Jim-Pops but instead of applying a Curve layer mask I added a Color Lookup mask. I chose a warmer color for the background so that that bird would stand out and it also added a some color to the sky as well giving it an almost bokeh look. I did a little bit of Dodging to the eyes in order to bring them out. I hope you like it.


(Download)


(Download)


(Download)

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Apr 24, 2019 18:49:48   #
Crichmond (a regular here)
 
exwsttex wrote:
Would appreciate any help making this photo pop some more....cloudy day, shot hand-held at 30 ft or so. Seems to be a problem of mine that skies always look washed out. Don't know if it's my eyes or my skills? Canon 60D with a Tamron 18 - 400 lens.


I cropped tightly, used curves, enlarged the cropped image, added some color pop, and a vignette.


(Download)

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Apr 24, 2019 20:32:36   #
SalvageDiver
 
exwsttex wrote:
Would appreciate any help making this photo pop some more....cloudy day, shot hand-held at 30 ft or so. Seems to be a problem of mine that skies always look washed out. Don't know if it's my eyes or my skills? Canon 60D with a Tamron 18 - 400 lens.


Here's a try at it. Biggest challenge was the soft focus. Then the flat lighting and crop needed to be addressed next. It wouldn't pass scrutiny on a large print, but it might get by on a smaller print.

Mike


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