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Archive 2012 · Maddie
  
 
gregfountain
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p.1 #1 · Maddie


Wasn't planning on a conversion...but what the heck!

Our Chocolate Lab Maddie...

Greg




Maddie

  Canon EOS 5D Mark III    EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens    84mm    f/4.0    1/60s    2500 ISO    -0.3 EV  




Oct 16, 2012 at 03:28 AM
gregfountain
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p.1 #2 · Maddie


medwards96ef6n wrote:
Why does Maddie have that look on her face?


Because she's happy?



Oct 16, 2012 at 11:27 AM
douter
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p.1 #3 · Maddie


Because she awaiting in earnestness the next move of her master to the 'fridge! Nice capture Greg.
Douglas



Oct 16, 2012 at 01:15 PM
sbeme
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p.1 #4 · Maddie


Cute!
Good doggie!
Scott



Oct 16, 2012 at 01:21 PM
Charlie Shugart
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p.1 #5 · Maddie


Greg,
An excellent image of one of the best breeds a family can have.
Maddie is just looking at you to find out what happens next: go for a walk? Cool. Go for a drive? Cool. Go chase the neighbor's cat up the tree because it still thinks I might hurt it ("Cats know nothing about female labs.")? Cool. Take a nap? Cool. And yes- go to the fridge. Really cool.
I'd like more sharpness and less unsharpness, but I seem to be alone in the world about photographs being in sharp focus... sigh.
Charlie



Oct 16, 2012 at 11:51 PM
gregfountain
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p.1 #6 · Maddie


Thanks for all the comments! Charlie, I know what you mean and I wish I could get her in a situation where I have enough light to stop down to F8 to F11 and get her all in focus! Until then, I just adjust for exposure and aim for her eyes.....I just have to keep trying!

Greg



Oct 17, 2012 at 02:52 AM
Charlie Shugart
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p.1 #7 · Maddie


I wasn't clear, Greg- sorry.
I'm not talking about the photograph you took.
I'm talking about the fact that VERY often the processing itself softens images, and practically nobody does anything about it. I've been assuming people like oof images. Maybe not. Maybe people just don't use the basic sharpening in PS.
To illustrate: I copied your excellent image of Maddie- and then sharpened it.
10 seconds. Problem solved.
Here it is:







Oct 17, 2012 at 03:29 AM
gregfountain
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p.1 #8 · Maddie


Charlie Shugart wrote:
I wasn't clear, Greg- sorry.
I'm not talking about the photograph you took.
I'm talking about the fact that VERY often the processing itself softens images, and practically nobody does anything about it. I've been assuming people like oof images. Maybe not. Maybe people just don't use the basic sharpening in PS.
To illustrate: I copied your excellent image of Maddie- and then sharpened it.
10 seconds. Problem solved.
Here it is:


Okay, I get what you saying Charlie. I guess I never really go by the "look" as it is. I use unsharpen mask in PS and use the "option" key as I drag the sliders to get to a point that is what I feel is the correct settings. Perhaps I should revisit this process! Care to share which sharpening mode you use?




Oct 17, 2012 at 05:59 AM
 

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Jacob D
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p.1 #9 · Maddie


FWIW, I viewed this before Charlie posted his sharpened version and I thought the softness complimented the subject. To me, the two versions are very different images, the first looking more classic, the second more modern.

IMO, photos don't necessarily need to be exceedingly sharp, especially portraits. I would maybe do a touch of selective sharpening on the eyes, if any.



Oct 17, 2012 at 03:11 PM
Charlie Shugart
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p.1 #10 · Maddie


Sure, Greg.
But first- I'm not talking about EXCEEDINGLY sharp, and I'm not talking about an intentional "dreamy" effect- nor intentional softness in portraits (although IMO it's done way too often in the name of making a simple portrait "artistic"). I'm talking about the vast majority of photographs that look better when they're in focus than when they are not.
And in closeups of pets and wildlife, if the eyes aren't in sharp focus, most pros and publications assume the photographer screwed up. Look at photo mags and our own Nature and Wildlife Forum to verify what I'm saying. Regardless of all other sharpness issues, the best closeup shots have the eyes in sharp focus.
Back to Maddie:
1. I gave up on "unsharp mask" long ago because I finally decided it didn't help sharpness.
2. Here's what I do, generally, about sharpening:
a. Click on "filter." Then put the arrow on "sharpen" and choose either "sharpen" or "sharpen edges," according to what the image seems to need. I usually do "sharpen."
b. Then I click on "Edit" and "fade sharpen" and use the slider to get what looks best to me.
c. If I think it needs edge sharpening, I do the same thing using "sharpen edges." This one can be tricky because it sometimes adds a rimmed edge (especially when the subject has a sky background). I have ways of dealing with that- but they're pretty complicated to write about.
3. That's it- and I'm done with sharpening.
Note- sharpening should be the last thing done in PP.
Also note that after a few times, these steps go a lot faster than reading about them.
In the case of your Maddie image- because I was illustrating my point, all I did was "sharpness" at 100%. I could have used the slider to refine my intentions, but it's not my image, and, as stated, I was simply illustrating a point.
Also, your shot was a closeup with a wide aperture, so the depth of field was extremey shallow. I'd have liked the nose to also be in focus, but that's a personal choice- and is not relevant here because it needs to be done at the time of shooting- not in processing; and we're talking about processing.
Charlie



Oct 17, 2012 at 05:32 PM
Jacob D
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p.1 #11 · Maddie


Hey Charlie, I'm not trying to start a war over semantics (I really dislike having to scroll past those, whatever the subject matter) but I think there's a pretty big difference between "in-focus" and "sharp", and also "soft-focus" for that matter.

In the above original photo, the eyes are in focus, and appear to have been only lightly sharpened, if at all (sounds like some sharpening was applied based on Gregg's comments).

The nose is out of focus, and as you mentioned, nothing can change the plane of focus after the photo was taken (well, ok... maybe it can in a sense if you use a Lytro camera). If the eyes were out of focus, sharpening them wouldn't make much difference. Out of focus eyes would have been a mistake, whereas in-focus eyes with restrained sharpening is a subtle creative choice.

To me it all comes down to the preference of the photographer and what their vision is. For most portrait-prints that I make for myself/family, I don't prefer a high level of detail. Softer skin is more flattering (IMO) at least for that specific subject matter. One of my favorite lenses for this is the Voigtlander Nokton 40/1.4 because below f2.8 it still renders larger detail very well but the fine details are much less pronounced (in the in-focus areas). Some might call the lens "glowy"... personally I don't really look at it that way.

Soft-focus lenses on the other hand produce a much less subtle glow-effect that I have never cared for, but again to each their own.

Having said all that, I still very much like the original image and I bet it would look great printed on some metallic paper and framed.


- Jacob.

p.s. If you delve into other sharpening methods, give smart sharpen a try. It's one of the more flexible and produces some great results when used correctly.



Oct 17, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Charlie Shugart
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p.1 #12 · Maddie


No war here. Just a discussion about sharpness.
And you may have touched on the main issue, Jacob. To my eyes, the difference in sharpness of the eyes between Greg's image and my edit is instantly noticeable. To me, the eyes in his aren't quite sharp, and in my edit they are.
For whatever the reasons, I might be the only person who sees them that way. If so, then it explains why so few people agree with me when I mention a slight-but-noticeable (to me) lack of sharpness in an image.
(Oh, I just had a recent eye check and got new glasses .)
Charlie



Oct 17, 2012 at 06:58 PM
Jacob D
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p.1 #13 · Maddie


Charlie, I do agree with you that the difference between the two is very noticeable, I'm just saying that I prefer the original, and that sharper isn't always better, or at least it depends who you ask

The eyes in the edit are too prominent in my opinion. If the entire face was in focus, then I think it might be a more fitting treatment.



Oct 17, 2012 at 08:08 PM
gregfountain
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p.1 #14 · Maddie


I love it when I post an image and a discussion breaks out! Thanks for the differing views on sharpening. I suppose I have a couple of issues that influence my sharpening...which lead to me using the USM and it's ability to show me, in grayscale, the levels of sharpness. First, I have a developing cataract in my right (dominant eye). Secondly, and related to the first, is that I discovered that my left eye is actually my dominant eye. I found this out when helping my brother shoot a wedding, and watching him use his left eye in the viewfinder. I tried it and was blown away how much better I was seeing the view. A quick diopter adjustment and bam, it was a revelation! What does this have to do with sharpening? Well, ensuring focus is correct to begin with.

Anyway, I just thought I would share that in case others might benefit from trying their other eye. Honestly, it never dawned on me to try it until I saw someone else do it.

Greg



Oct 18, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Charlie Shugart
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p.1 #15 · Maddie


gregfountain wrote:
I love it when I post an image and a discussion breaks out! Thanks for the differing views on sharpening. I suppose I have a couple of issues that influence my sharpening...which lead to me using the USM and it's ability to show me, in grayscale, the levels of sharpness. First, I have a developing cataract in my right (dominant eye). Secondly, and related to the first, is that I discovered that my left eye is actually my dominant eye. I found this out when helping my brother shoot a wedding, and watching him use his left eye in the
...Show more

Greg- interesting about the idea of left-eyed/right-eyed.
I don't know if it's directly connected with most people being right-handed and right-eyed (but I suspect it is).
I'm right-handed, but as a kid I realized I was shooting a .22 rifle like a righty, but I had to really scrunch down to sight the target because I used my left eye. When I got my first camera, I automatically used my left eye. Later I concluded that I must be left-eyed. And that most people are right-eyed.
In your case, Greg, I suspect you really ARE right-eyed, but with your eye problem, it is now better to use the left eye when taking pictures. In any case, good that you tried using your left eye.
BTW- just curious- is your brother a lefty?
Charlie



Oct 18, 2012 at 04:22 PM
gregfountain
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p.1 #16 · Maddie


My brother is right handed....I'm right handed as well, so it feels awkward to use my left eye. I suspect you may be right about the loss of vision in my right eye being the culprit, but I'm amazed at just how much better I see through the VF with my left eye....weird. In any case, the optometrist says they can fix my right eye in about ten years when it's bad enough to justify the surgery....





Charlie Shugart wrote:
Greg- interesting about the idea of left-eyed/right-eyed.
I don't know if it's directly connected with most people being right-handed and right-eyed (but I suspect it is).
I'm right-handed, but as a kid I realized I was shooting a .22 rifle like a righty, but I had to really scrunch down to sight the target because I used my left eye. When I got my first camera, I automatically used my left eye. Later I concluded that I must be left-eyed. And that most people are right-eyed.
In your case, Greg, I suspect you really ARE right-eyed, but with your eye problem, it
...Show more



Oct 18, 2012 at 04:58 PM





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