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Archive 2012 · A print of mine.
  
 
ben egbert
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p.1 #1 · A print of mine.


I wanted to show how I think about prints. For me, the ultimate end of photography is to print an image about 24 to 30 inches wide and hang it on my wall. I have room for 10 prints and before I hang a new one it has to displace one of the 10. Over the years, I have printed at least 100 and rotated them out in this manner. I donít sell any, but I give the old ones away.

So far, no hanging print has ever been made from more than a single image. No blends. I crop and process and print. This image has been processed at least 20 times, and has maybe 100 or more hours of processing. But the final version took no more than 10 minutes to process from raw. The rest were just practice for me.

It is displayed at 16x29 which is the limits of my printer.

The first is straight from the camera in CS6 with all sliders zeroed. You will see that it is pretty flat but you will also see that nothing has been added or subtracted other than the sky crop for a 16x9 aspect. The print version has no sharpening after raw conversion other than output sharpen. I use Qimage default for print.

The second is the printed version. This morning I more or less repeated this version with 90% of the work done in ACR6. The only thing I did in post was add a curve and run Topaz Pop. I can show the pre Topaz version if anyone wishes.

I have a write up called the prefect image. The idealized pure unaltered photograph. Other than being more saturated than real life, this print meets my goal.

This is one of my personal 10 best and a good indicator of my taste. Ultimately artistic taste is the great variable so let me have it I have no illusions that my taste is universal.





flat raw conversion

  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III    TS-E24mm f/3.5L II lens    24mm    f/9.0    1/80s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






printed version

  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III    TS-E24mm f/3.5L II lens    24mm    f/9.0    1/80s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  




Aug 14, 2012 at 02:17 PM
sbeme
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p.1 #2 · A print of mine.


Ben,
Beautiful image.
I will look closer on a better monitor later.
In the meantime, what file size does your camera produce? What resolution do you print at? Are you uprezzing in Qimage? I have the program somewhere...got to get a new unlock code. Are you happy with it for sharpening and any resizing?
I've done many 12x18's, a handful of 16x20, 16x24's (17 inch wide printer, Epson 3800) and only one detailed image printed larger, a 24x30. The last was taken with a 5D MKII, uprezzed with Perfect Resize, looked great.
Scott



Aug 14, 2012 at 04:25 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #3 · A print of mine.


Hi Scott. I let Qimage uprez, I save for print at native size. My 1DS-mk3 is the same sensor res as your 5D-mk2 (21mpix). The filter stack on the 1DS-mk3 is thinner and perhaps has less issue pulling up shadows, I have not seen the banding issue.

My experience is that a very well focused image properly processed will print up to 30 inches wide. There is a lot more to clarity than just resolution. I have a write up on it here.

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/77536572/On%20focus%20and%20sharpness.docx



Aug 14, 2012 at 04:38 PM
sbeme
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p.1 #4 · A print of mine.


thx.
Scott



Aug 14, 2012 at 06:46 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #5 · A print of mine.


Here are a couple more stages.

The first is exactly as I see it after doing the ACR6 work. This includes:

Sharp 50/.06/7/30

Lens profile, but none of my UWA primes have or need profiles.

Vibrance/Sat/clarity all at 20

Contrast 10.

Added about -0.60 gradiant mask to the sky.

Then the other sliders were tweaked

exp 0
highlights -10
Shadows +17
whites 0
black+35

Curve linear. I like to do curves after its open.

The second is with a mild curve, then I use curves to find a black point after finding the darkest place with threshold.

This is probably pretty close to how it looked to the naked eye, but as I said, I wear polarized glasses.

Feel free to choose one of these over my print version, or use the raw to make your own, or simply say this is not really a great scene. I am secure in my taste, but my taste changes over time.
.




ACR6 before any PS work

  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III    TS-E24mm f/3.5L II lens    24mm    f/9.0    1/80s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






Same image with a curve and black point

  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III    TS-E24mm f/3.5L II lens    24mm    f/9.0    1/80s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  




Aug 14, 2012 at 07:16 PM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #6 · A print of mine.


I quite like the printed version, although perhaps a little more warmth would help the blue in the sky. Also, a bit less sky with a bit more foreground might be slightly better. Also consider burning the foreground shadows could add a bit more drama. All minor tweaks at most.


Aug 14, 2012 at 11:30 PM
sadja
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p.1 #7 · A print of mine.


Hi Ben, i wouild say your AR6 before PS is the most naturalisic, while the last has a bit more pop but I don't care for the sky color quite as much. Your 'printed version deals much more nicely with the trees in the FG, which look jumbled and confused in the other tria, and still look truncated by the frame. I would like to see the trees seperated more from the green clump in the mid distance. I would probably play with them to create a more 3D look, even though they are in the shade. On my monintor the rocks look too red and the sky too lapis, whereas these colors look about right in your last image.

If this were my image, I probably would not hang it except to study it as a means of improving the procssing (if possible). For my taste, it has nothing compelling about it except as a technical exercise.



Aug 14, 2012 at 11:37 PM
Bob Jarman
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p.1 #8 · A print of mine.


Ben,

As I've said previously, landscapes challenge me. That said, I prefer the last although the color seems a bit hot to me. The sky and clouds puzzle in each - somehow the clouds give me the sense of an overlay slightly out of register - especially over the central butte.

Regards,

Bob



Aug 14, 2012 at 11:55 PM
pinball_pw
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p.1 #9 · A print of mine.


Here is my take. Mostly masked curves adjustments made in the LAB colorspace. I find that much better when working with red rock, canyons, etc. Those hot colors are there at least partially due to the curves and black point being done in RGB mode. Just my humble opinion.



Cheers - Paul



Aug 15, 2012 at 12:48 AM
ben egbert
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p.1 #10 · A print of mine.


sadja wrote:
Hi Ben, i wouild say your AR6 before PS is the most naturalisic, while the last has a bit more pop but I don't care for the sky color quite as much. Your 'printed version deals much more nicely with the trees in the FG, which look jumbled and confused in the other tria, and still look truncated by the frame. I would like to see the trees seperated more from the green clump in the mid distance. I would probably play with them to create a more 3D look, even though they are in the shade. On my monintor
...Show more

Thanks Sadja, we go back a way and I always appreciate your candid but respectful comments. You give me a lot of meat to cover here.

On your comment about the pre photoshop version, you must really like subdued images. Perhaps form and content trump color and saturation for your taste. But yes, I pump a bit more for print. I would normally show something between the print and the Photoshopped version on web and save the full Topazed version for print.

On the trees, Topaz popped them a bit. I will show a 100% crop to show what I see in print. Something is always lost on web.

On your comment about hanging it. You are right, it is not great art. I could find 10 or so better images today at the landscape forum, and could buy prints that are better at a local art gallery. But they are not mine.

I have perhaps 3 or 4 landscapes of mine that I like better, so this means this is near my current best. If I golfed, I would no doubt carry a high handicap. Same with photography. It is what it is.

Edit, I don't see that red that shows up in the bark in my print. I also note that on a wide gamut monitor in a non color aware browser, all of these are very over saturated. They look prefect in Safari, horrible in Chrome, and I don't have IE loaded.






100 % crop of tree



Edited on Aug 15, 2012 at 02:55 AM · View previous versions



Aug 15, 2012 at 02:36 AM
 

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ben egbert
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p.1 #11 · A print of mine.


AuntiPode wrote:
I quite like the printed version, although perhaps a little more warmth would help the blue in the sky. Also, a bit less sky with a bit more foreground might be slightly better. Also consider burning the foreground shadows could add a bit more drama. All minor tweaks at most.


Thanks Aunti. Excuse my ignorance, but burning means lighten? I actually darkened it. It was lighter before I did the black point. I also assume you mean selectivily.

The printed version was done in CS5 and required a lot of selective adjustments. The rest of these were prepared today in CS6 and I was able to do most steps globally or with a gradiant mask.


I think the next move back for foreground was in such deep shadow that I moved forward to avoid it. This is one of those places that needs to be shot well before sunset to avoid the deep shadows.

But as always, your comments are appreciated and will be stored for next time, and this is a place I expect to return to.



Aug 15, 2012 at 02:46 AM
ben egbert
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p.1 #12 · A print of mine.


pinball_pw wrote:
Here is my take. Mostly masked curves adjustments made in the LAB colorspace. I find that much better when working with red rock, canyons, etc. Those hot colors are there at least partially due to the curves and black point being done in RGB mode. Just my humble opinion.

http://paulwarren.smugmug.com/Other/Fred/i-DHM472s/0/L/6973182-L.jpg

Cheers - Paul



Other than appearing a bit dark in the foreground, this is a really great rendition. I am lost when you say masked curves adjustments. I understand curves, and mask, but there are many forms of mask and I am not sure how you apply them.

I work in lab sometimes, but as an action at the end. In fact I got the formula a few years ago and don't know the steps without dissecting the action. It involves soft light however and is one way to add saturation.



Aug 15, 2012 at 02:50 AM
ben egbert
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p.1 #13 · A print of mine.


Bob Jarman wrote:
Ben,

As I've said previously, landscapes challenge me. That said, I prefer the last although the color seems a bit hot to me. The sky and clouds puzzle in each - somehow the clouds give me the sense of an overlay slightly out of register - especially over the central butte.

Regards,

Bob


The clouds sort of look like they are connected to the butte in some way. As you can see from the raw, that is exactly how they appeared.



Aug 15, 2012 at 02:51 AM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #14 · A print of mine.


Burning and dodging are terms from the old days of enlarging silver prints. Photoshop preserved the terms "dodging" and "burning" from the practice of darkroom workers who used enlargers to project negative images onto paper to make positive prints. Since the enlarging process reverses a negative image to make a positive image, the terms burning and dodging may seem the opposite to what they do when you think of an image only in terms of the final positive image. Dodging was a technique that placed an object into the projected image path from an enlarger that reduced the amount of light that exposed a portion of the printing paper - it "dodged" an area of a print, making it lighter when the print paper was developed. Conversely, burning allowed more light to fall on a portion of the paper that resulted in the print being darker in the area that was "burned". Therefore, preserving the old meaning of the terms, dodging lightens the positive image. Burning darkens the image.

If you burn the foreground shadows, they become darker and add more visual contrast to the light sky and visual weight to further anchor the rock of the foreground to the bottom of the image. A little mid-tone burning would blend the darker shadows into the rocks more naturally. I wouldn't burn most of the shadowed area, just enough to anchor the bottom portion, especially the rocks on the left. The point being that uniform changes aren't necessarily ideal. I'd recommend reading Ansel Adam's book, _The_Print_. (You can probably find it at a local library.) He did quite a bit of dodging and burning when he make his prints to carefully control the density of selected areas of his prints.



Aug 15, 2012 at 03:57 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #15 · A print of mine.


I used to use LAB mode regularly ... I got away from it when I started learning layers. Hmmm, LAB & Layers, maybe time to re-think my work flow and revisit some old friends, introducing them to my new ones to see how nicely they can play together.







Aug 15, 2012 at 04:05 AM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #16 · A print of mine.


Kent, your version looks a lot like one I did experimentally - also starting with Lab mode curves adjustments followed by some layers and about an identical crop. Main difference was some cloud highlight dodging and foreground burning.


Aug 15, 2012 at 05:29 AM
pinball_pw
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p.1 #17 · A print of mine.


If you haven't already read this book, I would suggest picking it up: http://www.amazon.com/Photoshop-LAB-Color-Adventures-Colorspace/dp/0321356780/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1345031381&sr=8-1&keywords=lab+color

I found it helpful for learning how to work in the LAB colorspace. Hope this helps - Paul



Aug 15, 2012 at 11:50 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #18 · A print of mine.


+1 @ Dan Margulis ... LAB / Photoshop books.

They are not the "do this, do that" / cookie cutter variety of books that tend to be so popular with the masses ... rather, they are more about the technical how's & why's, teaching you how to think with regard to the RGB CMYK LAB color space utilization.

While most people live in RGB, I found RGB incredibly foreign to me initially, with LAB making much more sense. Eventually, I transitioned through CMYK and now use mostly RGB for expedience. To some degree, RGB and CMY (K) are inversions of each other, so there's not a lot of need to use CMYK for most people (particularly @ web use). LAB otoh, is not a reciprocal of RGB, it is:

L - Luminance
A - Green - Magenta
B - Blue - Yellow

While L logically associates to Luminance, A & B are arbitrary nomenclature, so don't try to make sense of the AB names, unless maybe you want to associate B to blue, and A to magent"a".

Here's a link to a web primer for a different book (no input @ book) with links to other pages ... notably Sharpening in LAB ... that might be of interest for those who haven't ventured into LAB before.

http://photo.net/learn/digital-photography-workflow/advanced-photoshop-tutorials/using-lab-color-adjustments/

I feel a bit silly @ having gotten away from LAB as I've learned some other things (i.e. 32 bit and LR4) that don't use LAB in the past year or so, but it is definitely something to add to the arsenal of tools in the box.

Paul ... thanks for the reminder.



Aug 15, 2012 at 02:11 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #19 · A print of mine.


AuntiPode wrote:
Burning and dodging are terms from the old days of enlarging silver prints. Photoshop preserved the terms "dodging" and "burning" from the practice of darkroom workers who used enlargers to project negative images onto paper to make positive prints. Since the enlarging process reverses a negative image to make a positive image, the terms burning and dodging may seem the opposite to what they do when you think of an image only in terms of the final positive image. Dodging was a technique that placed an object into the projected image path from an enlarger that reduced the amount of
...Show more

Thanks Aunti, I will remember all of this except which is burn and which is dodge. When I do percentages, I divide one by the other and if it looks wrong I invert and start over. But the last paragraph is the one that contains valuable information I can try.



Aug 15, 2012 at 02:44 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #20 · A print of mine.


pinball_pw wrote:
If you haven't already read this book, I would suggest picking it up: http://www.amazon.com/Photoshop-LAB-Color-Adventures-Colorspace/dp/0321356780/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1345031381&sr=8-1&keywords=lab+color

I found it helpful for learning how to work in the LAB colorspace. Hope this helps - Paul


Thanks for the link, I need to get that book.



Aug 15, 2012 at 02:45 PM
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