About photography Number 2

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Horus
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About photography Number 2

Post by Horus »

For the photography fans, I have been having a play around in PSP X2 and thought you may like a look at some of the results that can be obtain with a little time and effort.

I used a normal daylight picture that I took at the Ramesseum
Then another one of a full moon that I took in the UK.

First of all I used the ‘enhance’ features to improve both pictures for colour, contrast and any blemishes.

Using the first picture as the background, I used the ‘shadow’ feature to make the picture darker, it is not a black & white conversion. Using this method there is still some colour remaining and hopefully it gives the appearance of night time to the picture.

I then created another duplicate layer and turned off the original background.

On this duplicate layer I very carefully removed all of the original sky, it is quite easy to remove the sky itself but the hard work is in ensuring the actual skyline feature does not show up as being too harsh in the finished item.

Once it was removed, I ‘flooded’ the opaque sky area with a mid grey graduated colour to give the effect of a lightening sky.

I then combined the two layers to give the new nigh time picture.
I took the moon picture, adjusted the contrast, sharpness etc and then carefully cut around the moon shape and saved it as a picture ‘tube’ (a tube is just a shape or picture you may want to insert into future projects)

I then created a new layer and ‘pasted’ the moon (from the ‘tube’ folder) onto this new layer. You have to play around by changing its size to one that suits your picture.

By varying the ‘opacity’ of this new layer I could make the moon appear more or less visible as it shows through the ‘background’ picture.

Once you are happy with the result, just merge all the layers and save your picture.

Click to enlarge.
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Post by Kiya »

Horus I see you have really been playing around with your PSP x 2....love the finished image but when its enlarge its showing the grey sky grainy also there is a line along the top of pic from left-right.....I'm guessing that wouldn't show at normal size or when printed??
When you merged the layers ......is that the same as if you "flatten" the layers ??
I'm not to that stage yet for moving items from 1 pic into another but going to enjoy trying it when ready .
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Post by LovelyLadyLux »

Me too (not at that stage yet) but WOW!!! I sure can't wait to BE at that stage!!!!! I just hope the little bit of grey matter left rumbling around in my head will allow me to get there but that is totally FAB! LOVE IT!

I do have a question. If you take a photo with a camera that has 6 pixels and then take the same photo with a camera that has 10 and another that has 12.....(early and no coffee yet so I hope you get my drift here) and then you crop out say a face and enlarge it. Will the camera with the higher number of pixels produce a better enlarged picture of what was cropped? My camera Nikon D40 only has 6 pixels so do enlargements only go to a certain size before the grain just is so obvious? While another camera with 12 pixels means you could enlarge it more with better results?

And along that line of thinking - are more pixels in a camera necessary? Cause doesn't it have to align with how many would come out on your computer too?

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Post by Grandad »

Thanks to Keefy we can now get back and chat about making pictures :)

I have three things to post about...firstly

I have mentioned that this forum and particularly this (now part 2 :) ) thread has rekindled my interest in the subject. I bought a bridge camera about 18 months ago but must confess to using it almost entirely on AUTO, sorry Ashtree :( .

Yesterday, I sat on a bench in the garden, well small patio to be honest, camera on an old wobbly tripod, taking lots of pictures, using 2 seconds delay, of a bird feeder using all the possible settings. I was about to go and download (over 100 shots) to view the results and this little chap landed on the back of the seat.

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I hastilly switched to auto, super macro, manual focus, hand held to try to capture him before he flew off. The lens was almost touching him....
:gg:

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Post by Grandad »

I mentioned an old wobbly tripod in my LAST POST....No, not the one played on a bugle :) , and looked around online for inexpensive but adequate ones. Amongst those I looked at, a Hama Star 61 stood out, not for its quality but the range of prices offered for the same item. I post this just to warn everyone that a little time searching can save a lot of cash....
This is the tripod:
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Prices varied from£12.95 on Amazon, £14.99 on Play.com and £59.99 at Dixons, all free delivery, and others in between.
Just a word of caution.
:gg:

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Post by Grandad »

Finally, last of my three posts.
Well done Horus, I am not finding PSP easy and you are making great strides....I don't find the 'Help' very, well, 'Helpful'.

Kiya and others will remember last year when we had some fun playing silly beggers and creating outrageously unreal images.

This is one of mine from that, so called, competition :)

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Also a PSP X2 effort but the shadow is all the wrong colour.

There are 4 layers. The temple, the sky, the helicopter cut out, and the helicopter shadow.

Andy did some good surreal ones including aliens........where is Andy BTW, haven't seen him for a while?
:gg:

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Post by Kiya »

Grandad love the ladybird pic, I didn't realise you had to be that close using "macro" saves me asking another question ;)

Now the tripod it looks a tricky piece of aquipment to me but thats to come once I have a better camera hopefully a DSLR.

Great fun pic at Seti 1 temple with chopper wonder what Seti would have thought seeing that hovering by :lol:
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Post by Horus »

Kiya wrote:
love the finished image but when its enlarge its showing the grey sky grainy also there is a line along the top of pic from left-right.....I'm guessing that wouldn't show at normal size or when printed??
Kiya, I can only say that does not happen on my PC, not sure if it appears the same to anyone else?
When I view it enlarged on my PC there is no difference other than an increase in size and I cannot see the lines you speak of. I am wondering if your graphics card is having a problem displaying the resolution?
When you merged the layers ......is that the same as if you "flatten" the layers ?
Not quite, it depends upon which stage you are at the time in your photo editing. If you have a lot of layers open and you decide, “that’s it all done” then you would usually ‘Flatten’ all the layers into just one layer and then save the result as a file. But anywhere within the editing process you may just decide that several layers that you are working on can be combined together as you are happy with the effect you have. In that case you would normally ‘turn off’ all the other layers and either choose ‘Merge Visible’ or just ‘Merge’. Best to think of ‘Flatten’ as something to do when you are completely finished. In my picture for example, I ‘merged’ the first two layers containing the shaded background and the replacement sky into one image before adding the moon and a few more changes onto another layer.

LLL wrote:
If you take a photo with a camera that has 6 pixels and then take the same photo with a camera that has 10 and another that has 12.....(early and no coffee yet so I hope you get my drift here) and then you crop out say a face and enlarge it. Will the camera with the higher number of pixels produce a better enlarged picture of what was cropped? My camera Nikon D40 only has 6 pixels so do enlargements only go to a certain size before the grain just is so obvious? While another camera with 12 pixels means you could enlarge it more with better results?
Well first off, I hope your camera has more than 6 pixels, :lol: sorry you obviously meant Mega Pixels which of course is in the millions of pixels. ;)

6 Mega Pixels photograph would give you an image size of 2,828 x 2,121 pixels in Landscape mode.

10 Mega Pixels photograph would give you an image size of 3,652 x 2,739 pixels in Landscape mode.

12 Mega Pixels photograph would give you an image size of 4,000 x 3,000 pixels in Landscape mode.

So if you imagine trying to blow up a picture to a really large size, then the more pixels there were to start with, the more you could zoom into the picture before it started to ‘pixelate’ (when you start to see little squares appearing)
It is unlikely that you will have such a big difference between your camera settings to make a lot of difference when copying between them. A good example would be, if you took Granddads close-up ‘Ladybird’ picture and pasted it into another image that was taken at a low resolution, it would probably look false as it would have a lot more detail in a very small area than the original picture contains, so it would tend to stand out.
On the other hand if you had a picture of a ‘Ladybird’ on a general photograph of a bush and you zoomed in on the Ladybird, it would start to pixelate as you made it bigger. If you now copied and pasted this into another photograph of say a flower, it would again probably look false because it would not have as much detail (less pixels) as the flower picture had at normal resolution levels. It is usually most noticeable if you cut and paste between pictures that vary a lot in actual size say something out of a landscape picture pasted into a close up picture or vica versa, hope this makes sense.

Grandad, I bought one of those tripods a couple of years back from Aldi, a £9.99 :) bargain or what?
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Post by Kiya »

Horus got it now when to merge & flatten.........any advise on checking my graphics card ?
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Post by Grandad »

Horus, I can see what hawk eyed Kiya :) is talking about. Looks like 'noise' on the sky layer. Was that layer lower definition than the others? Or was the original picture much larger and lost some definition when reduced for posting?

Either way, not being critical, and as I said you are getting PSP sorted much better than I am. :(
:gg:

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Post by Kiya »

Hawk eyed Kiya :lol: :lol: I wasn't criticing either to your efforts Horus just since I've being doing this photography course I've been spotting things in my pictures & others that need rectified, some do say I'm too fussy but I think its worth it to get it just right :)
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Post by Horus »

I am afraid I just can't see what it is you are both seeing :dun: I have looked at it lots of times and it looks perfect (if you will excuse me using the word) to me, it looks exactly as I posted it and it looks correct on my PC monitor as a viewded picture from my folder, very strange. Daft question, but you are aware that the sky is suppose to graduate from a mid grey at the bottom into a much lighter colour at the top, if not then I think it may be your graphics cards or maybe your monitors that cannot display the same resolution, as there is definately no noise or grainyness when I view it even on the forum. I have just had a look on my laptop to see if it looks any different on that, but it looks fine.
I wonder if anyone else is seeing the same thing as you are, or if they see a normal clear picture, comments please :D
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Post by LovelyLadyLux »

Thanks Horus! You validated what I 'thought' but when it comes to technology it sometimes is BassAkward - so to speak. Mostly am thinking that the number of MEGA pixels ;) IS important if you're cutting out small portion of a photo and making 'em bigger.

PSP x2 also means PhotoShop Professional 2?

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Post by LivinginLuxor »

With my 8mp Nikon 8800 I've successfully printed (at Amoun Digital, cos I think they are the only place with such a printer) photographs, and Google Earth collages of Luxor at over 1metre by 1 metre with no sign of degradation - maybe the printer (a giant Epson) has software that helps, but friends can attest to the quality. I regularly print photos at A3 size on normal Luxor photo printing places with no problem.

Horus - just a mini improvement for your helicopter picture - stretch the shadow a bit to make it more realistic - also if you increased the transparency and fuzziness of the shadow, it would look much better. Shadows definitely are the hardest thing to do!
I might agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong!
Stan

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Post by Horus »

Thanks for the tip Stan :) but it was Grandads helicopter picture not mine ;)

As a matter of interest can you see the white line and noise on my first posted picture, as observed by Kiya & Grandad? as I am curious to find out the reason that they see it and I don't :)

LLL you asked,
PSP x2 also means PhotoShop Professional 2?
No, it is an abbreviation for 'Paint Shop Pro PHOTO X2 Ultimate' which is a Corel product (used to be Jasc) It is a lot, lot cheaper to buy than say 'Photoshop' and in my opinion it is easier to use (I have both). There is a later version just come out so X2 is selling cheap at places like Amazon. Personally there is not a lot to be gained from the later and more expensive version over X2, The latest version (3) is supposed to be for Windows 7 but I can confirm that X2 works fine in both 'Vista' 'XP' & 'Windows 7' It is a good one for beginners.
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Post by Kiya »

Horus I tried to take a copy from my moniter via camera, if you can zoom in you can see what grandad & I can see, the line is just about 1/4 inch above moon & all across the pic, above the line is much brighter to the rest of the sky.


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Post by Horus »

:lol: :lol: :lol: Thanks for that Kiya, that shows real dedication :)
Would you believe that I have zoomed on your picture, then increased my screen zoom level to 400% and I still cannot see it :lol: So not sure what is happening at all, I suspect it is something to do with the graduation colour of the sky that shows up differently on your monitors.
I will post a couple more pictures to try and test out the theory :)
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Post by Kiya »

Very strange, the picture is perfect it is only when enlarged we see the line & graininess in the sky only.
Will be interesting if Stan sees it too.
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Post by Horus »

Kiya wrote:Very strange, the picture is perfect it is only when enlarged we see the line & graininess in the sky only.
Will be interesting if Stan sees it too.
I think that may be the answer Kiya, it has something to do with your screen resolution :) Have a look at this site, it may explain some of what I am talking about.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/wind ... resolution

Just out of interest, my screen is currently set at 1280 x 960 because I don't like my icons too small, but it will set to 1280 x 1024, have a look at what yours is set to.
Last edited by Horus on Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by BBLUX »

I can see a series of horizontal lines. It is as if the graduation steps are getting strobed by my horizontal line rate. I'm using 1280x800 on my laptop screen.

Just tried changing to 1024x768 but still get the same effect :(
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