I have been reading through some of the photo critique threads, and really enjoy hearing everyone's opinions on image cleanup. As I have stated in a few previous threads, I am a complete novice when it comes to photography, aside from reading my camera manuals several times, and I have a few photos that I'm curious what other people think as far as cleanup:
This picture was originally taken from above the frog. He is attached to a window, and I had to steady the camera on the window above him. I rotated, cropped, and enlarged the photo, and adjusted the brightness and contrast to compensate for the cheap flash on the camera.
Here is the original:
This next photo I did a white balance in Camera RAW using one of the ladybeetle's black spots as a reference, a small crop, adjusted the brightness and contrast to bring out the beetle's spots (although I have noticed on some monitors the flower appears almost too bright), and a little sharpening:
This final picture I have done nothing to, because everything I do to it seems makes it look worse. It is from an old Kodak Advantix print that I can't find the film cartridge or CD to (hence, the print scan):
Again, I am just curious what people's different opinions are on cleaning up my photographs. Be as harsh and critical as need be; I'm pretty thick-skinned :). Besides, you can't learn what you're doing wrong unless someone tells you exactly what it is that you're doing wrong, right? Thanks for any and all input!
Cleaning up? If you mean post processing (editing) of your photos, most photo editing software has a lot of tools you can use. It is all up to you as to which you are comfortable with and what you ant the end result is. There is an old photograhy trick called "dodge and burn". Where you darken (burn) or lighten (dodge) certain part to give your photo some highlights. You can Google more on this technique.
I will comment on your flowers photo. Focus is good, DOF is can be better (using a bigger Aperture to get the background a little more out of focus). Here I did a quick dodge and burn. I darken most of the photo except for the area where the lady bug is thus giving the highlight.
Thanks for your input on my photo! I really like the effect the dodge and burn gave to it; it kept the contrast but toned down the brightness emanating from the flower petals. As far as the DOF and aperture goes, unfortunately the photo was taken with a cheap Kodak EasyShare P&S digital camera, and as you can see, even the presets with the largest apertures (portrait and close-up) don't create a very distinguishable foreground and background. So that's my bad with the cheap equipment lol. Thanks again, Glenn; I'm going to start playing around the with dodge and burn tools tonight!
I like how you made it appear like the photo was taken with a larger aperture; was that done with the blur tool in photoshop?
Thanks, Cornishman! I have been looking for a photo editor that is a little more user friendly than PS. What tool or setting in snapseed do you use to blur the background?
You've read my mind. You can teach yourself all of the constants of photography using an autodidactic approach (i.e. what the numbers on your lens mean, what effect you will get from a red lens filter with B&W film, why you shouldn't clean the periscopic mirror in your camera body, etc.), but like you said, there are a near-infinite number of variables involved that can only be taught with real-world experience and a knowledgeable teacher to slap your wrist with a ruler when you do it wrong. Besides, I'm laid off right now, so why not? I still have pell grant eligibility, too :) I'm going to look into it on Monday. Thanks for the suggestion!
I got a class schedule and talked to a counselor at the local community college, and I'm going to enroll in an Intro class this summer. Great suggestion!
Thanks, Robert! I also found a great book at the used bookstore today to help me out while I'm waiting for the class: 'The New 35mm Handbook' by Michael Freeman. It's a little old (published in '95), but it seems to have some great introductory information in it.