pacman inkee


watertower, originally uploaded by hep.

heavily processed image of a watertower on treasure island. if you are interested in how much lost exposure a pro post-processor can pull out of a poorly exposed image here is the original:

not that this original exposure is that bad, a little flat, but i wanted to show a friend how much you can restore with pchop these days so i used this image. perhaps the rest of you would be interested as well.

man, i dunno if i could do a tutorial. a lot of it is by feel, lots of layers + blending changes. blending modes are like my favorite part of photoshop. color dodge, linear burn. screen, overlay. all my babies! it takes forever tho and is such a pain in the ass, i only really ever do post on work stuff where it's required.
Fair 'nuff. How did you learn this stuff? Classes, books, internet tutorials, all of the above? It doesn't seem like the kind of stuff one can figure out just by playing around in photoshop (which is all I've done). I know how to do the basics--same stuff you can do in the darkroom: exposure, cropping/rotating, white balance, dodging/burning... but beyond that it's all a great mystery to me. I'm impressed with your skills! :)
i learned a lot of on the job i guess. plus i read a LOT of photoshop books. anything by scott kelby, plus all of his "photoshop for photographers" are really good. that will teach you basic editing. to really dive into restoration style post-production you just have to do a lot of work so you can learn by feel what looks best. healing brush is your best friend + blend modes. look up all of the poor man's HDR tutorials (those that don't involve restoring from the white balance latitude left in RAW format shots) because those will teach you a lot about blend modes.
Zowie. Though to be fair the unprocessed is closer to the real colors there, IIRC.
yeah, all hdr stuff does is equalize everything to the best possible exposure level from all angles if like, you had the ability to light everything individually and perfectly. unfortunately, you almost never get that IRL. it's like the avatar world cheaters hack hehe! i had to add in a red gradient cast to everything at the very end to try and add more warm late afternoon sunlight, but the unfortunate side effect of that is all of your grays start taking on a reddish cast. good for adding warmth back into an overcast sky, bad for trying to keep your concrete concrete colored.
is pchop slang for photoshop? i really do need to learn to use a photo program one of these days...
ja photoshop/pshop/pchop/porkchop (because its such a resource hog)
i have/do. it's what i use to manage all my professional work. however, i hate that adobe now basically is an OS with regards to resource hogging, and running lightroom + photoshop is a pain already. on top of that i usually have to have illustrator, indesign, or one of the other programs open which takes even more resources. so i tend to use other solutions for other workflows (like i have art shit that i use aperture for, and then family stuff is always in iphoto)
what are your favorite presets? i'm always looking out for the ~perfect~ set.
ja this is basically poor man's HDR. i can do HDR stuff too, but it requires that i shoot in RAW which i usually don't do for space issues (not on my camera card, on my backup machine. i gotta stop shooting so much volume )
This is pretty classy, I've never seen a spiral staircase outdoors much less on a water tower, you usually picture them with a straight latter. The only curve I ever recall seeing is like on a swimming pool where the railing curves into the part it's mounted on.