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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 6:27 am 
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Location: Kanduhar, Afghanistan
Just getting to do some editing. Have a lot more to work on but thought I would show a few. Not sure which forum so since these were taken on the street i picked this one :) Reflections are bad in these, the sun was at high noon making for some bad shots.

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Hotrod1 by sherpa1d, on Flickr
Played with a little blure to give it some DOF. This one is my favorite.

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Hot Rod Show Greenville TN July by sherpa1d, on Flickr

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Hot Rod Show Greenville TN July by sherpa1d, on Flickr
I love this big old beast. It was taken on a hill, I wanted to straighten the angle but then the back ground lines would be off

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Hot Rod Show Greenville TN July by sherpa1d, on Flickr

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Hot Rod Show Greenville TN July by sherpa1d, on Flickr
Added a little blur around this one. I could see myself owning something like this when I retiree from the Army :D

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Last edited by HikingMike on Tue Nov 01, 2011 5:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:49 pm 
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I would love some comments, specially the first and last because I was plying with Gaussian Blur for some simulated DOF. I see one mistake on the blur on the first pic, want to see if anyone else spots it :)

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:38 am 
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the inside of the door is in focus but the edge is not. was that the mistake :d


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:05 am 
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I wasn't going to say anything, but since you asked...

I found the simulated DoF artificial and distracting from what otherwise were very good shots. Personally, if I were to do something similar--although, again, I think your framing/composition are strong enough that the shots are great as is--I would take a few more steps to more accurately simulate DoF:

Select the part(s) you want to keep in focus.
Invert the selection.
Save selection as a channel.
Feather the selection.
Blur the selection.
Reselect the channel.
Contract the selection.
Feather.
Blur.
Reselect.
Contract.
Feather.
Blur.

Lather, rinse, repeat. Possibly increasing the feather and/or blur amount each iteration (1 pixel, 2 pixels, 4 pixels, etc.) ... or not.

As a bonus this method would eliminate hard edges in the selection, and thus avoid (or better hide) the "mistake" in the first pic.

Mark


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:29 am 
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Nice shots, Mike. I've tried some simulated DoF in Photoshop Elements before, just using the brush to paint over the areas that I wanted in focus after applying the gaussian blur. The most difficult part of using this technique was making sure that there were no errors, such as the one on the door for the first image.
Back when I only used my compact, I used this effect quite a bit. Here's my attempt from a while back:

Image

What I did wrong in mine and I can also see that you did it in your last, is that I didn't make the other parts of the photo (such as the carpet in mine, or the concrete in yours) around the subject in focus. Thing about it if you were to take a real photograph: your subject would be in focus, and the surrounding subjects or objects would also be in focus. Your last one looks like a miniature model IMO because you didn't keep the concrete around the car in focus, giving it the appearance of a model car with a razor thin DOF, an effect that you can't accomplish with regular sized objects without the use of PP such as your photo, or the use of a tilt shift lens. You can still keep certain areas out of focus to give a sense of depth, like the far background with the building and trees, or the chrome bumper in the foreground.

Also, have you considered doing a bit of HDR? It could look nice on images like these, especially the ones with the reflective cars. The second would be lovely in HDR.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 5:50 am 
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Thanks for the comments. I knew the pickup would look fake, i actually hate seeing the very same thing but the people in it were distracting to me. You all were right, i didn't know how to feather the blur yet so the hard line was cutting that door.

I did use the hdr toning tool in photoshop to get what i have. Still learning the tool but from what i started with they are a lot better. Being i had only had the camera a couple of weeks at this point and fighting a hard sun i'm glad they are as good. I may post an un-blured version of those two.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:19 am 
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Mike,

If you want to get the best lighting for your subjects outdoors, I'd recommend shooting later in the afternoon or earlier in the morning, when the light is less harsh than the direct, harsh light around noon. That will also be very helpful on reflective subjects like cars, that reflect any bit and every bit of light that hits them.

By the way, for merging to HDR, I'd recommend using Photomatix Pro. It's arguably the best HDR software available, it offers tons of control over your image. It's available as a standalone or plugin.

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Gear: 7 Nikon Nikkor AI-S and AF-S lenses, SB-700 flash, Nikon D7000, Nikon FM, variety of accessories

"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs."
- Ansel Adams


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:14 am 
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Quick note: another way to deal with bright midday sun is to use an ND filter or two. Maybe pick up a 50mm f1.8 II and a couple of ND filters and take those to the next car show?

Mark


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 11:36 pm 
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I like these. 50's pickup trucks are awesome.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 4:51 am 
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Thanks Mark, I got my first ND filter with my 35mm f/2 I just got so I'll be ready next time. So, based off your comments I went back and got rid of the sim-DOF so here you go. I guess they have a little DOF on their own without me having to mess with them :D
Image
Hotrod1 v2 by sherpa1d, on Flickr

Image
Ford Truck1 v2 by sherpa1d, on Flickr

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Canon 550D | Canon EF 35mm 1:2 | Canon 50 f/1.8 II | Sigma 18-125mm DC OS | Tamron SP 70-300mm Di VC USD | Canon 430EX II
Military Issued Canon 40D | Canon 55-250mm IS


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 4:54 am 
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Here's this one too, it was so low I just held the camera over my head a bit
Image
Hot Rod Show Greenville TN July by sherpa1d, on Flickr

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Canon 550D | Canon EF 35mm 1:2 | Canon 50 f/1.8 II | Sigma 18-125mm DC OS | Tamron SP 70-300mm Di VC USD | Canon 430EX II
Military Issued Canon 40D | Canon 55-250mm IS


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:44 am 
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HikingMike wrote:
Thanks Mark, ... So, based off your comments I went back and got rid of the sim-DOF so here you go.


IMO, the first pic looks much better! Again, I really love the low angle you chose, and the way you cropped the pic also adds to that.

But, um, if I may contradict myself slightly--in the second pic, I now find the bumper and taillight of the front car a little distracting now that it's "in focus" (or not blurred, as it were). While I still think your framing and composition are strong, if it were me, I'd clone that out (or maybe "content aware fill" it out, if you have CS5). Or, if that's not possible (or it's too much work), then re-blur just that part.

But that's just me. Feel free to ignore - Mark


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 7:30 am 
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Lol, no, i really appreciate the comments. Both the bumper and the lady in the background bother me on that one. They had those cars shoved in so tight it was difficult to prevent that and the nasty reflections. I am happy with the learning curve i'm on, just wish i had been further along back then.

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Canon 550D | Canon EF 35mm 1:2 | Canon 50 f/1.8 II | Sigma 18-125mm DC OS | Tamron SP 70-300mm Di VC USD | Canon 430EX II
Military Issued Canon 40D | Canon 55-250mm IS


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