Backcountry Forum
Backpacking & Hiking Gear

Backcountry Forum
Our long-time Sponsor - the leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear
 
 
 
Backcountry Gear Clearance and Sale

Amazon.com
Backpacking Forums
BackcountryGear.com
backcountry gear

---- Our Gear Store ----
The Lightweight Gear Store
 
 ULTRA-LIGHT 

Ultralight Backpacks
Ultralight Bivy Sacks
Ultralight Shelters
Ultralight Tarps
Ultralight Tents
Ultralight Raingear
Ultralight Stoves & Cookware
Ultralight Down Sleeping Bags
Ultralight Synthetic Sleep Bags
Ultralight Apparel


the Titanium Page
WM Extremelite Sleeping Bags

 CAMPING & HIKING 

Backpacks
Tents
Sleeping Bags
Hydration
Kitchen
Accessories

 CLIMBING 

Ropes & Cordage
Protection & Hardware
Carabiners & Quickdraws
Climbing Packs & Bags
Big Wall
Rescue & Industrial

 MEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 WOMEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 FOOTWEAR 

Men's Footwear
Women's Footwear

 CLEARANCE 

Backpacks
Mens Apparel
Womens Apparel
Climbing
Footwear
Accessories

 BRANDS 

Black Diamond
Granite Gear
La Sportiva
Osprey
Smartwool

 WAYS TO SHOP 

Sale
Clearance
Top Brands
All Brands

 Backpacking Equipment 

Shelters
BackPacks
Sleeping Bags
Water Treatment
Kitchen
Hydration
Climbing


 Backcountry Gear Clearance


 WINTER CAMPING 

Shelters
Bivy Bags
Sleeping Bags
Sleeping Pads
Snow Sports
Winter Kitchen

 SNOWSPORTS 

Snowshoes
Avalanche Gear
Skins
Hats, Gloves, & Gaiters
Accessories

Stay Healthy--Eat Well

MARY JANES FARM ORGANIC MEALS

Mary Janes Farm Organic Backcountry Meals

NATURAL HIGH GOURMET MEALS

Natural High

 

Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#171209 - 10/31/12 06:29 PM Photo Processing
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
I am interested in how you process your photos. I have Adobe 10 Elements and through trial and error settled on the method below. I am open to ALL ideas! There has got to be a better way.

1) rotate and crop the photo
2) adjust lighting first with "levels". I find this does less color distortion and a lot of my photos are simply overexposed.
3) then go to "shadows and highlights" - go straight here if snow in the photo to reduce the overexposure in the snow. I really limit what I do here, becuase it distorts color. If I darken highlights, I often have to go back and reduce saturation because the color looks too fake.
4) then go to "saturation". My husband swears that I see read more vividly than others- he may be right. I very often reduce the red. I also do not like fake looking sky - so may reduce saturation of cyan and blue. I may brighten the vegetation with a small increase in yellow saturation. I mostly use saturation for photos taken on cloudy days to bring out more color.
5) Then return to "levels" and fine tune.
6) If all tries fail, I delete the photo. A poor photo is a poor photo and may as well get rid of it.
7) If good, save under a different name (IMPORTANT!). Is there a quick way to know what size to use? I do not want to loose resolution but no need to save at 8 MB if the camera pixels only produce a 5MB photo.

I really need to learn to set my camera better before I take photos. BUT, between my old eyesight and sunlight on the display, I cannot read the menu to adjust! Very frustrating to me. I usually just set it on the generic scenery setting or auto.

Does anyone have a trick for reducing haze?


Top
#171216 - 10/31/12 07:33 PM Re: Photo Processing [Re: wandering_daisy]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2801
Loc: NorCal
Zounds, you've crafted quite a question. I'll give it a go and others will doubtless chime in.

95% of my processing is done in Lightroom 4. Import settings can handle common edits specific to the camera, saving gobs of time. My cameras auto-rotate in camera, so I don't have to do that (well I have one camera that doesn't and I curse it every time I use it).

Lightroom edits are non-destructive, in that they append edits to the image in a separate "sidecar" file, so I can go nuts and if I don't like the results I can sweep the edits aside and start fresh. Adobe camera raw replicates most of the Lightroom editing suite and can even edit jpegs, so you don't have to shoot RAW to use it.

Importantly, Lighroom is also a data base that imports, tags and tracks your photo collection--it can also duplicate them to a safe external drive on import and likewise, will export photos using your chosen presets (such as renaming and altering image dimensions and file size).

Storage is cheap now so I only delete my failures--never know when I might want that boring shot. This, of course, is a very personal decision. I shoot many thousands of frames per year so don't have time or the patience to pore over them with great levels of concern about worthiness.

File size: understand that your jpegs are compressed by the camera and "plump up" a good deal when you open them in Photoshop or other editing program. Do not further compress your images when you save them, or you'll degrade them in the process. If your camera records RAW, shoot with that and then compress at a time you want to post or share a jpeg.

Haze has many sources. Atmospheric haze can sometimes be reduced with a good quality haze or polarizing filter. Flare from the sun hitting the lens can be controlled with a lens hood (and keeping the lens scrupulously clean). Poor lens design has no cure that doesn't involve camera replacement. In post processing, levels, contrast and sharpening adjustments can sometimes help, but won't retrieve detail that's not there.

Happy experimenting!

Originally Posted By wandering_daisy
I am interested in how you process your photos. I have Adobe 10 Elements and through trial and error settled on the method below. I am open to ALL ideas! There has got to be a better way.

1) rotate and crop the photo
2) adjust lighting first with "levels". I find this does less color distortion and a lot of my photos are simply overexposed.
3) then go to "shadows and highlights" - go straight here if snow in the photo to reduce the overexposure in the snow. I really limit what I do here, becuase it distorts color. If I darken highlights, I often have to go back and reduce saturation because the color looks too fake.
4) then go to "saturation". My husband swears that I see read more vividly than others- he may be right. I very often reduce the red. I also do not like fake looking sky - so may reduce saturation of cyan and blue. I may brighten the vegetation with a small increase in yellow saturation. I mostly use saturation for photos taken on cloudy days to bring out more color.
5) Then return to "levels" and fine tune.
6) If all tries fail, I delete the photo. A poor photo is a poor photo and may as well get rid of it.
7) If good, save under a different name (IMPORTANT!). Is there a quick way to know what size to use? I do not want to loose resolution but no need to save at 8 MB if the camera pixels only produce a 5MB photo.

I really need to learn to set my camera better before I take photos. BUT, between my old eyesight and sunlight on the display, I cannot read the menu to adjust! Very frustrating to me. I usually just set it on the generic scenery setting or auto.

Does anyone have a trick for reducing haze?

_________________________
--Rick

Top
#171217 - 10/31/12 07:45 PM Re: Photo Processing [Re: wandering_daisy]
Jim M Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/03
Posts: 235
Loc: Kitsap Peninsula, WA
I have Photoshop 9 Elements. Usually just the "auto enhance" function takes care of any issues with contrast and color. It is true that you should start with a decent "negative" so to speak. You can't get nothing from nothing. But your camera should have some auto features, even ones for taking pictures in snow, if it is a newer model. I just take pictures to paint (watercolor) from, so I can reproduce color, contrast, and leave my ugly hiking buddy out of the picture altogether.
_________________________
Jim M

Top
#171218 - 10/31/12 07:48 PM Re: Photo Processing [Re: wandering_daisy]
BZH Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 829
Loc: Torrance, CA
I now days just use picassa (free downloadable Google software), because I'm cheap and it gives me the tools I was using in Photoshop.

I first try the auto adjust feature and then go and play with the manual adjustments, but I rarely change much more than the autoadjust.

In regards to your last question I can't think of any conceivable way you could get and 8 mb image from a 5 mpix camera. I doubt your camera is 5 mpix. I haven't seen one of those in about 8 years or so. Just save your images at full resolution. It should be a problem storing images of that size, and it might help a little bit somewhere down the line.

Top
#171244 - 11/01/12 11:31 AM Re: Photo Processing [Re: wandering_daisy]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
It looks like you are more apt then I am. I have photoshop 7 elements, but rarely use it. Mostly I use the software that came with the my wife's canon T2i. It does about the same stuff. It can also process RAW, but I bet photoshop can as well.

Speaking of which, is there a huge benefit in shooting in RAW?
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

Top
#171249 - 11/01/12 01:19 PM Re: Photo Processing [Re: finallyME]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2801
Loc: NorCal
Depends a lot on how good the camera's jpeg processing is--the makers vary greatly in their ability to deliver crisp, relatively noisefree jpegs with pleasing colors. Common jpeg failings are smeared image detail due to overly aggressive noise reduction, unnatural color from the auto white balance and blown highlights and blocked shadows.

RAW bypasses all in-camera processing (including all your settings beyond shutter speed, aperture and ISO) and represents the best image your camera and lens can possibly deliver. All adjustments are applied in post processing using the RAW conversion software and, like I noted earlier, leave the image file intact.

Biggest downsides are larger file size--you use up your card space sooner and some cameras take a looong time between shots to store the file--and that they must be exported to jpeg for printing, displaying on the web or sharing. With a couple exceptions, RAW formats are proprietary, resulting in a confusing tangle of CODECs and conversion software. With every new batch of cameras, Camera RAW and Lightroom must be updated with the latest set of conversion files. This quickly makes older editing software versions obsolete to new camera buyers. (There are workarounds if you don't mind the extra steps.)

Few compacts offer a RAW option, but all interchangable-lens cameras do.

Cheers,

Originally Posted By finallyME
Speaking of which, is there a huge benefit in shooting in RAW?
_________________________
--Rick

Top
#171251 - 11/01/12 01:53 PM Re: Photo Processing [Re: BZH]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
I get 8+MB files when I stitch two or more photos together. I can shoot RAW with my camera so these files are very large.

What I was trying to ask was this: when pushing the "save" in Photoshop, you then get a menu with a slide-bar that goes from 0-12 for file size. I am not clear if 12, the largest size, is the same as the input photo, or larger. I think that if you use 12, you get the same number of pixels you start with. But I really cannot be sure. MB file size is influenced by more than number of pixels in a photo. So does 12 mean no compression? On other photo processing packages there are settings that let you choose %compression. I cannot find that on my Photoshop.

You can take 100x100 pixels and then divide each for a 200 x 200 pixel photo so you can get a larger number of pixels than the original. There are algorithms that divide a single pixel based on the surrounding pixels and even trends shown several pixels away. You get more resolution, but it is artificial. These algorithms are used a lot in satallite image processing. Does Photoshop do this too?

So far my RAW files end up worse than the JPGs. Evidently I am not processing the RAW files to their optimum. I have a lot to learn with this!


Top
#171252 - 11/01/12 02:17 PM Re: Photo Processing [Re: wandering_daisy]
BZH Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 829
Loc: Torrance, CA
In raw format each pixel is a byte of data... So those two numbers are equivalent. When you save as a jpeg, you are using compression. You do not loose any pixels doing this, but you save the information (or most of the information) more efficiently. Photoshop doesn't split apart pixels unless you ask it to, by, for instance, resizing the image to something larger than it was before. 12 in photoshop does not make the image larger. I am 95% certain it represents 0% compression. Whatever level you choose it will not change the number of pixels in your image. It should only change the level of compression (I usually choose something near the middle).

Top
#171265 - 11/01/12 06:06 PM Re: Photo Processing [Re: wandering_daisy]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2801
Loc: NorCal
Your sense is correct, the slider is variable compression--12 is least compression/largest file size. Due to compression pecularities, each time you re-save a jpeg using the same file name you collect more jpeg artifacts, even at the largest size, so saving under a different name is preferred. Also, editing a duplicate layer rather than directly editing the base layer is non-destructive (base image layer remains intact). [edit: after creating layers you must save as a .psd or .tiff, which are not compressed. If you save as a jpeg the layers are flattened and cannot be adjusted later.]

The number of files on the PC can grow pretty quickly using this scheme and if you've been stitching panos, you know that lots of layers can push image size above 100MB pretty easily. Don't email those to aunt Betty.

Editing RAW files forced a different mindset on me, but since switching to Lightroom I've become a lot more efficient (huge gobs of time saved). Further manipulation still requires Photoshop (which is a bitmap editor disguised as a photo editor) but most of the basics can be handled using the RAW sliders and the other RAW tools (like cropping and graduated filter).

The LR two-up before/after window is a godsend for monitoring progress.

Yes, if you increase image size &/or pixel density using PS "image size" it will interpolate to add the pixels, if you direct it to resample the image. You have five algorithms to choose from a pulldown menu (different ones for increasing and decreasing image size). You can also change bit depth, switch from RGB to CYMK and change the color mode.

Cheers,

Originally Posted By wandering_daisy
I get 8+MB files when I stitch two or more photos together. I can shoot RAW with my camera so these files are very large.

What I was trying to ask was this: when pushing the "save" in Photoshop, you then get a menu with a slide-bar that goes from 0-12 for file size. I am not clear if 12, the largest size, is the same as the input photo, or larger. I think that if you use 12, you get the same number of pixels you start with. But I really cannot be sure. MB file size is influenced by more than number of pixels in a photo. So does 12 mean no compression? On other photo processing packages there are settings that let you choose %compression. I cannot find that on my Photoshop.

You can take 100x100 pixels and then divide each for a 200 x 200 pixel photo so you can get a larger number of pixels than the original. There are algorithms that divide a single pixel based on the surrounding pixels and even trends shown several pixels away. You get more resolution, but it is artificial. These algorithms are used a lot in satallite image processing. Does Photoshop do this too?

So far my RAW files end up worse than the JPGs. Evidently I am not processing the RAW files to their optimum. I have a lot to learn with this!



Edited by Rick_D (11/01/12 06:36 PM)
_________________________
--Rick

Top
#171630 - 11/07/12 09:49 PM Re: Photo Processing [Re: Rick_D]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
Rick- thanks for the information. I found some of the features in Photoshop that you referred to and am playing with them.

Top
#171786 - 11/10/12 11:37 AM Re: Photo Processing [Re: wandering_daisy]
ndsol Offline
member

Registered: 04/16/02
Posts: 673
Loc: Houston, Texas
It is quite important that your monitor be calibrated when working with photos. I know that my IPS screen without calibration is too cool and too bright.

Also, when posters are discussing Photoshop, are they referring to Photoshop Elements or the true Photoshop? There is quite a bit of difference still between the two.

I originally started out in Elements (and still use it to create slideshows together with Premiere). I imported over to Lightroom and now use LR4. The new RAW processor is incredible and I find I can do more and more with LR such that I don't have to go into Photoshop as often.

I also recently found Portrait Professional Studio, which has worked very well for faces in pictures. It can be used as a standalone or as a plug-in for LR or Photoshop.

Top
#175640 - 03/07/13 12:36 PM Re: Photo Processing [Re: wandering_daisy]
Dryfly Offline
newbie

Registered: 03/06/13
Posts: 9
If you are serious about processing your digital images beyond cropping, eliminating red-eye and the most global of exposure/white balance mods then Lightroom is hands-down your best option (arguably only option...). Photoshop includes the lightroom photo processing engine, and you can do the same manipulations in a clunkier way; but PS is really for grapic artists who are producing more than pretty pictures.
For LR fans: I have been playing with some software by Alien Skin, Exposure 4, that integrates well with LR. The software produces some neat film looks and is really fun to play with.
If you are unfamiliar with LR or PS check out the Adobe TV channels (goggle Adobe TV), I especially like the series done by Julieanne Kost.
PS to reduce haze a good UV filter will make a nice start.

Top
#177313 - 05/24/13 01:49 AM Re: Photo Processing [Re: ndsol]
pupulv Offline
newbie

Registered: 05/23/13
Posts: 1
Well, for portrait retouching, I choose Portrait+. Portrait Professional is great but not that convenient to do retouching in minutes.

When comes to general photo editing, I use the photoshop alternative PhotoStudio. It's a image editing software that has similar function like ps but with handy price and easier editing tools.

Top

Shout Box

Highest Quality Lightweight Down Sleeping Bags
 
Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bags
 
Lite Gear Talk - Featured Topics
Bivvy Sack combo Arrangement
by Jim M
10/18/17 01:58 AM
what is the lightest framed backpack around 40L
by toddfw2003
10/16/17 07:23 PM
a worthy challenger to the msr pocket rocket2
by the-gr8t-waldo
10/16/17 01:28 PM
Backcountry Discussion - Featured Topics
Napa Fires
by balzaccom
10/11/17 07:43 PM
Backpacking the Ouachita Trail thanksgiving
by toddfw2003
10/05/17 11:54 PM
Rockfalll on El Capitan in Yosemite
by balzaccom
09/28/17 09:47 AM
Make Your Own Gear - Featured Topics
alcohol stove comparisons
by Bike_packer
10/03/17 08:56 PM
Can footprint plasticizer harm tent ground-sheet?
by Weston1000
09/10/17 02:24 AM
Featured Photos
Breakneck Ridge, New York
May 2012 Eclipse, Lassen Park
New Years Eve 2011
Trip Report with Photos
Seven Devils, Idaho
Oat Hill Mine Trail 2012
Dark Canyon - Utah
Who's Online
0 registered (), 24 Guests and 0 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
Blackbuzzard, LivelyLiz, Weve, Tones21, Pasquale
12424 Registered Users
Forum Links
Disclaimer
Policies
Site Links
HOME
Backpacking.net
Family Hiking
Lightweight Gear Store
Backpacking Book Store
Lightweight Zone
Hiking Essentials

Outdoor Gear Daily Deals
Outlets, Sales, Bargains

Our long-time Sponsor, BackcountryGear.com - The leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear:

Backcountry Forum
 
 

Since 1996 - the Original Backcountry Forum
Copyright © The Lightweight Backpacker & BackcountryForum.com