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Putting the \'Pop\' back into images
Old 03-22-2004, 05:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I've been told my images tend to look flat so I'm on a mission to make them 'Pop'. Do you apply a standard curves adjustment to your images in an action or handle each one individually?

Currently my to-the-web workflow is simply:

- convert to sRGB
- adjust Hue -4, Saturation +12
- resize 700pix on the long side
- zoom 100%
- sharpen to taste

What else should i be doing?




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Re: Putting the \'Pop\' back into images
Old 03-22-2004, 06:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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A little more contrast would help! For the shot you've posted you might actually want to open up about 1/3 of a stop more to help you out.

That's all I've got. Sorry!

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Re: Putting the \'Pop\' back into images
Old 03-22-2004, 06:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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How should it be applied in PS, though? Is there a general rule, curve, contrast adj, that will 'Pop' most images? I realize individual images will require some fine tuning. I was just hoping I could write an action to save time and get the image almost all the way there

Open up a stop? Don't you mean stop down which really means a higher f-stop? OK, my brain hurts now.
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Re: Putting the \'Pop\' back into images
Old 03-22-2004, 07:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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This photo is an example of one that you would not want to apply a sharpen filter to the whole photo. Instead just sharpen the eyes and use a bit of gaussian blur to paint the skin and soften it a bit.
Cheers,
rfs
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Re: Putting the \'Pop\' back into images
Old 03-22-2004, 07:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Set it to let in more light. Not a full stop though, If you're at F11 go one third towards F8, so for example on the Canon 10D it would be F10.

For doing such an adjustment in Photoshop, if you find you consistenly need to do a specific amount of contrast adjustment, then make an action. Otherwise, do it by eye for every shot. I use the Brightness/Contrast tool but there may be other ways of doing it. Maybe someone else will comment on this.
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Re: Putting the \'Pop\' back into images
Old 03-22-2004, 07:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Jeff,

I'm also interested in answers to this question. Some people can just make their models pop so clean off their background, and I'd like to know how to do it, too.

I increase the contrast in most of my images, because they seem to be a little drab most times. Here's a sample of a typical post job:

-convert to sRGB, like you.
-crop
-convert to 8 bits per channel
-sharpen to taste
-bump contrast a tiny bit
-check color and levels
-save

For the shot below, I also added a gaussian blur, but cleared the eyes and lips of the softening to give our eyes a place to land.

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Re: Putting the \'Pop\' back into images
Old 03-22-2004, 08:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Here's my somewhat useless opinion. Hopefully Robert Sanders or someone else will weigh in and give you wisdom. From my perspective I believe that some model+pose+environment+lighting situations can be easily 'popped' and others cannot. There are challenges for me personally if I was working with the image you have presented here. First, there is almost no separation between model and background. If you do a straight conversion to grayscale there is little contrast in the image. Next with her, curls out the wazoo hairdoo it would be difficult to do sharpening on the hair. See I like to not only sharpen eyes and lips but hair if I am dealing with muted colors. It is difficult to do with hair like this.

The other thing that I always do is work levels first. Then I look at b & c again before I am done. I didn't see where you mentioned that. Don't get me wrong my models don't always pop but I don't really always want them to do that. Usually I just want them to say "Mike for a hair challenged, formally myopic, photographer with a heart condition you ain't half bad and then I can just imagine 'half bad at what?"

By the way, lovely model and very nice job, whether it ops or not.

Mike
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Re: Putting the \'Pop\' back into images
Old 03-22-2004, 11:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I usually hit the contrast first, curves second, then hue/saturation and lastly "selective" sharpening (i.e. eyes, lips, etc). That's the basic stuff. I might even add some dodging and burning here and there if applicable. I'm still learning myself and the best advise I can offer is trial and error and keep asking questions.

I wish I had the original to tweak, skin tones might be slightly off, but here's a before and after of the photo you posted after about 3 minutes in photoshop.



Hope this helps.

Brent Scott
Scott Photography
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Re: Putting the \'Pop\' back into images
Old 03-22-2004, 11:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Jeff,
Hope you dont mind but I took a quick pop at it....was something like this what you were talking about?



Rick
 
 
Re: Putting the \'Pop\' back into images
Old 03-23-2004, 12:56 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I like this. What did you do with respect to curves, levels, and contrast?

Sounds like others would like to learn as well so as much detail as you can provide would be great.

Do you set up actions for this type of thing or do each image by hand?
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