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Burning Tree with Processing Notes
  
 
Matt Anderson
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Burning Tree with Processing Notes


Congratulations to Matt Anderson for winning Feature Thread of the Week with 10 votes - View Previous Winners


Along the River Etive near Dalness, Scotalnd, UK is this deceased Caledonian Pine ( Scots pine - Pinus sylvestris ) with Glencoe Mountainís hillside in the distance.

Image Processing Notes:
Black and White conversions can be painlessly simple to infinitely complex. In my experience, to achieve my vision of "the final look", the process is never simple. Throughout the years, I've processed BW images with just about every technique available. For this particular conversion, the detail, similar tones, and file size were all prohibitive to an easy process. I've used techniques which isolate each of the R-G-B channels. I've also explored techniques that involve complicated channel calculations with multiple conversions, image layering, custom masking, 3rd party filters, and blending parameters. For this image in particular, I proceeded with the most basic of masking techniques, which, involved over 8 hours of meticulous pen tool work. If your not familiar, the pen tools is the most primitive of masking. Yet, the most utilized tool for masking in the content production, prepress, and premedia industries. Virtually all product in marketing gets a "clipping path" or path-mask made at some point in the post processing process. From those pen tool selections, custom alpha masks are made using techniques of blurring, brushing, etc, to match the edges necessary to isolate product that may not have a hard edge. ( DOF fall off, hair, etc..) All of this masking use to be done here in the US. But now it's all done off shore for pennies on the dollar. We use to run a 3rd shift of ten employees to do pen tool clipping paths all night long. 10 people, $25 hour. Now it's sent over seas for $1-3 per file.

So I painstakingly isolated the tree with the path tool from a VERY high resolution image. From there I made a selection of the background and a selection of the tree. Using smart objects and curves, I did separate conversions of each element. Precision is key. This file may be printed in excess of 40" x 60" depending on success with fine art clients.

10 36-MegaPixel shots stitched together
Taken at 220mm f/8 1/8 Second ISO 100





Final Image







Close up of the pen tool mask created for the custom BW conversion







Close up of the mask created







Original, Masked File, Final Image compared




May 21, 2017 at 04:15 PM
NCam
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Burning Tree with Processing Notes


This is quite interesting, and I like the result.


May 21, 2017 at 04:30 PM
formula4speed
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Burning Tree with Processing Notes


1. Your final image is excellent.
2. I'm impressed by your vision to see that coming together from the original image.
3. Thanks for sharing how you did it, that's pretty cool and gives me an even higher appreciation for the final image. I work in print design and know how much effort can go into a good masked image.



May 21, 2017 at 05:00 PM
tmiller9
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Burning Tree with Processing Notes


Holy crap - now THIS is the kind of stuff you want to see on this forum. Not only a great image - but one with the details, process, thought, concept, etc. that goes into it. Thank you for presenting the image this way - I for one, greatly appreciate it!
Todd



May 21, 2017 at 05:02 PM
Fred Amico
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Burning Tree with Processing Notes


Excellent image, and a big thank you for including how you did it!


May 21, 2017 at 05:40 PM
Matt Anderson
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Burning Tree with Processing Notes


Thanks guys, glad you liked the additional info !


May 22, 2017 at 01:31 PM
Langran
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Burning Tree with Processing Notes


Interesting read. I agree with others when I say it's very nice to see not only the technical details but your thoughts on them too. Topped off nicely with a great image


May 22, 2017 at 02:57 PM
mullysr
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Burning Tree with Processing Notes


This is excellent Matt. One is never too told to learn and appreciate something new everyday. Thanks for the added information. It makes the image all that more special.


May 22, 2017 at 03:02 PM
dbehrens
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Burning Tree with Processing Notes


I do see the tree in this forest! Nice vision, isolation and execution!

A common theme I see among great pics (or maybe better put photographers), be it natural or artistic landscapes, is the attention that is given to detail. You are definitely in that camp!

Dave



May 22, 2017 at 04:06 PM
Jeffrey
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Burning Tree with Processing Notes


Nice imaging, Matt. It's all about an accurate mask. I see there are some places where the tree may have been difficult to separate from the background. Good work.


May 22, 2017 at 05:54 PM
 

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MajeedB
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Burning Tree with Processing Notes


I appreciate the final result. It looks really good.

But, nature does this for us. You find a tree in direct light with, with the background entirely in shadow, there is little masking required. Or the tree can be in shadow silhouetted against a lighter background. Look at images of Deadvlei in Namibia for some good examples.

The reason that this is such a complex edit is because you're taking a flat image and trying to sell separation of elements, when there wasn't really much separation to begin with.

Nice image and thanks for going into detail about your technique.



May 22, 2017 at 09:08 PM
kmunroe
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Burning Tree with Processing Notes


interesting stuff Matt


May 23, 2017 at 08:50 AM
gordon l
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Burning Tree with Processing Notes


fantastic image Matt. Nice vision to see its' potential.


May 23, 2017 at 07:26 PM
Matt Anderson
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Burning Tree with Processing Notes


MajeedB wrote:
I appreciate the final result. It looks really good.

But, nature does this for us. You find a tree in direct light with, with the background entirely in shadow, there is little masking required. Or the tree can be in shadow silhouetted against a lighter background. Look at images of Deadvlei in Namibia for some good examples.

The reason that this is such a complex edit is because you're taking a flat image and trying to sell separation of elements, when there wasn't really much separation to begin with.

Nice image and thanks for going into detail about your technique.
...Show more

Very true indeed, but I'd argue that "tree can be in shadow silhouetted against a lighter background" could cause hours, days, and weeks of waiting given the gloomy and stormy month of December in Scotland.
And still, given the similar tones in the surrounding hillside heather and the tree's off white heartwood, the separation would still be a very difficult task to create tonal separation. Besides, who doesn't love hours of finesse pen tool work ?

-m



May 25, 2017 at 01:18 PM
Matt Anderson
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Burning Tree with Processing Notes


gordon l wrote:
fantastic image Matt. Nice vision to see its' potential.


Thanks, appreciate it !



May 26, 2017 at 05:01 PM
secondclaw
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Burning Tree with Processing Notes


Thanks for sharing! What are the memory requirements to process such a large image?


May 27, 2017 at 03:40 AM
psharvic
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Burning Tree with Processing Notes


Impressive processing and even more impressive results. Well done. Matt.


May 29, 2017 at 07:01 PM
Ton Hung
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Burning Tree with Processing Notes


very nice B&W


May 30, 2017 at 12:24 AM
aFeinberg
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Burning Tree with Processing Notes


I saw the thumbnail on the main page and said, hey, looks like matt's work. At least youre predictable Crazy mask for sure and solid result. And yes. 40x60 would be the native size for this at least...you could print it the side of a building haha


May 30, 2017 at 01:04 AM
Arka
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Burning Tree with Processing Notes


Beautifully done.


May 30, 2017 at 07:54 AM
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