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For those who are interested
Every so often I do a cam test to make sure all is in good working order.
This one I used my grey card and my bud Trainman George. On here I used my GRAY SCALE/VALUE FINDER - put out by COLOUR WHEEL COMPANY as item number 3505 on their webside COLOUR WHEEL COMPANY.COM to balance my grey card as accurately as I could. My red also matched the grey card quite closely
GRAY SCALE/VALUE FINDER is a 10 zone tonal finder - similar to the 10 zone scale of Ansel Adam's ZONE SDYSTEM. I found the value of the GS/VF against the Grey Card in reality and matched it as close as I could to the same value on the screen.
To go along with my test yesterday, I did this image based on various Values on my GRAY SCALE/VALUE FINDER.
My thought is - this keeps the colours and tones more in check that just guessing at their brightness/contrast.
Working with the idea from my test, I took my 10 point Gray Scale and noted different values in the scene in reality on a paper. On the P C I was able to match each value on the paper to each value on the screen image as close as possible.
My skin value in life was Value 8 in the mid range to Value 9 in the highlights on her fingers. This are the values I gave the image when I worked on the image on the P C screen.
I am using my S 600 SONY P and S cam. Next, I have tried to calibrate the screen as close as I can to the grey card with the gamma tools. Other folks say I have come very close with it.
What I have done since this image in ELEMENTS 2 is:
1. I made a work copy of my image in B M P
2. On that work copy I made a LEVELS AUTO FIX, COLOUR CORRECTION AUTO FIX and UNSHARP MASK copy and SAVED AS - LEVELS
3. On that work copy I made a CONTRAST AUTO FIX, COLOUR CORRECTION AUTO FIX and SAVED AS - CONTRAST
4. Next I resized the copy down tjo posting size in B M P and add NSHARP MASK.
5.Then I SAVED AS to J P G
Next I put both copies side by side, overlapping and studied them very carefully. Then I added the original image to the mix and studiled the group some more.
What I found many times is - LEVELS gives a minutely softer overall image than CONTRAST - which I like - as it can be more 'artistic' - depending on the subject.
Then both of us studied all three images for the final choice as to which image we liked best of the three. Many different light levels were done in this test along with flash. I have made a note as to which one we chose for which light level it was done under.
On top of that, I also did b & w's using the same three images on some - not all - images. We made choices for b & w's the same way.
One thing I feel about this - it is a good starting point for beginners who have not had a lot of experience with P C image correction or for those who do not like playing on the P C too much.
Following is an image to test this LEVELS AUTO FIX in ELEMENTS 2 idea above with U S M at the end after resizing and all ils done.
have u tried cs3 norm i feel u will benefit more than elements.. and please could you do a step by step of a general test as this has gone over my head totally!
As for CS programs - I do no commercial work, so I do not need to spend the money on high end programs. I prefer to do most of my composing in cam if I can.
As for my test.
!. I do a SAVE AS - in FILE MENU - from my original to BMP file extension in folder of choice to store it.
2. I go to the ENHANCE MENU of ELEMENTS and click on LEVELS AUTO FIX
3. I stay in ENHANCE MENU of ELEMENTS and click on COLOUR CORRECTION AUTO FIX (right below CONTRAST AUTO FIX)
4. I go to FILTER MENU - click RENDER - click 3D TRANSFORM for artistic effect (not on regular basis).
5. I go to IMAGE MENU and click on CROP and do any croping at 600 X 400 pixels at 72 dpi for postling. I also click on RESIZE in IMAGE MENU and make file this size if not cropping.
6. I go to FILTER MENU - click SHARPEN - click UNSHARP MASK (which I set at 100%, 2, and 7 in the sliders) click OK on sliders bar.
7. I go to FILE MENU and do a SAVE AS to a JPG file for posting.
I have pasted a sheet with these 7 points on the side of my computer screen for reference.
The image included is done following each of the above points from 1 to 7.
I hope this will help a little bit as to what I do.
This one I did following the procedure laid out above. It was done at 2X zoom magnification across a pitch black room. I used the laser light for focusing. I did some cropping at the point of resizing - my b & w was done through the SATURATION TOOL before USM as well.
Following is my updated procedure list.
1. Open image SAVE AS to work file in BMP extension
2. Adjust Auto Levels correction
3. Adjust Auto Color Correction (if needed)
I do smugmug corrections here - if desired as well - with this link - http://www.smugmug.com/help/skin-tone
I do a SAVE AS of colour file with b & w in file name here and SAVE
I make b & w image with SATURATION TOOL - sliding SATURATION SLIDER to "0" (Zero) here and SAVE
Colour/Black and Whte to Finish
4. Resize and (Crop if needed) to 72 dpi at 600 X 400 pixels for posting
7. add initial
Following is an example using these notes.
For anyone wanting to try these last notes with more than 1 light, I found an image with with more than one light on and 'fixed' the image following my last notes..
Impressive stuff Norm
My thanks for the kind words. Those words are what keep me going - looking for ways to improve.
Right now - I think I may level off a bit and fine tune these points. When I see the results the last few days, I wonder if I need to go much further right now?.
As I do not do commercial work, I think fine tuning these latest points will be a good challenge for me for the present.
Good Luck if you try any of the ideas on your system.
Again, my thanks for the feedback.
For those who may be interested - an exercise one can try to learn about lighting.
Take a model of some kind - doll, car, ship, railway loco as examples - and in a dark room take some flash lights of different sizes and set those at different directions and distances around the subject. Make a note of what each light does to the subject.
This will help when you come to use a flash(es) or other lights when you want to take an image. I find a built in or off cam flash at about 45 degrees to a subject helps me keep away from back flash off eyeglasses, cherry eyes, and does not flatten a subject's features like a front flash would.
For Macro Fans
This image was done with a 0.6 wide angle attactment on my videocam about 1/2 inch or so from the face of my walkie-talkie - hand held. My cam was on ALL AUTOMATIC with the BACKLIGHT setting activated.
The image was worked up using the current notes just above in ELEMENTS.
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