Back Modifications (12)
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Deep in Thought

By Rose73

I took this photo on Saturday evening. Yes, its a NEW photo - don't cheer all at once!! Wink - using my long lens at 210mm. I used a tripod with the self-timer. I chose an aperture of f/10.

I wanted to take a close-up of just the face– to focus on her expression. I liked the angle of the shot and the direction of the light, but her hand on the bottom right of the frame was slightly out of focus and also quite dark. I tried different angles and focal lengths, but it was difficult to avoid unwanted parts of the statue from intruding into the frame.

I wanted to keep the image in colour, and so had a look at Color Efex Pro4 (which is marvellous by the way. I felt like a kid in a toyshop playing around with it!) and looking through the different filters I picked the ‘Vignette' which obscures the out of focus hand, but not completely. I also added the 'Skylight' filter as well.

I was wondering if there is a way to maybe remove the hard lines of the object she is holding in her hand, which are still intrusive I feel? Not having tried cloning yet, are you able to give me some advice as to how to go about this – if its possible with this image?

I’ve been looking at a book I’ve got on Photoshop Elements under the heading ‘Clone Stamp Tool’. Is this what you used Pamela to remove the rock from the last image I posted - ‘Barnacles’?

It says the ‘Healing Brush’ leaves the ‘Clone Stamp Tool’ in the dust and is much better. I wouldn’t know what part of the image to copy the pixels from to use on this area. Also, it doesn’t look that straightforward in the book with all the different option settings to choose!
I look forward to your comments and feedback as always. Thanks.Smile

Tags: General Statues

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mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.7k 2395 United Kingdom
5 Apr 2021 12:14PM
Hello again, I'm so glad that you are getting out and about! You have learned a lot, haven't you... This has so much going for it, I would definitely vote for it in the main gallery. Settings, depth of field and focus look good, and equally important you had light where it was needed, catching the face.

Photographing sculpture is a passion of mine, and with figurative sculpture I see it as being in a sense an extension of portrait photography. Treat this as a living, human face... So while vignetting helps to avoid distractions you can also crop. I would get rid of a fair amount of the right side of the frame, give her space to look into but not behind her. Space behind the back of any subject - human, sculpture, bird, flower, building... is generally wasted space.

She's looking to our left - intuitively that suggests looking to the past, memories, regrets. Which suits the overall character of the sculpture perfectly. (I assume that this is in a memorial in a cemetery?)

You wanted to keep colour, but for me this is crying out for b&w. But that's the way I see...

Don't get too carried away with the delights of processing, it's a good idea to look back every so often and ask yourself if you are really improving the image. But I reckon you got this right, and your skills are improving.

I shall try a couple of modifications in a little while.

Edit - I had difficulty reading some of your description at first attempt, you have encountered the problem that the site has with certain characters if the text is edited! (We have tried several times to persuade the IT guys to sort this out but it isn't regarded as a priority... ) I'm glad you have got it sorted. Reading again - the clone tool and the healing brush both have their strengths and weaknesses, and it's really a matter of experience to see which works best. Don't forget to try different brush sizes, particularly important when cloning. A small brush for intricate detail, patterns. A large brush for bokeh.
dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1832 England
5 Apr 2021 12:38PM
First: Hooray! Here's to the next sortie.

Second, this is lovely... I agree with Moira about the crop, and with you about the need to simplify the left hand side of the frame.

A dark vignette often draws attention, so I'd be inclined to clone first, then use spot healing. Cloning lets you decide precisely what you fill the gap with, rather than leaving it to an algorithm, so it's worth mastering both.

Could we have the original to play with, please? It gives us a simpler base for some changes.

And yes - you'd have my vote.
banehawi Plus
16 2.4k 4227 Canada
5 Apr 2021 12:42PM
Hi Julie.

Well done with the new photo, and you've done well with the setup.

Im picking up where Moira left off.

You need to search Youtube for Photoshop tutorials, there are literally hundreds, and many will take you through all the basics with all the common tools. The Close tool and the Healing Brush are two very different tools for different tasks, and really cant be directly compared. It likely was the Clone tool Pamela used, - it is used to completely replace areas by copying other areas over the replaced area. Its like a copy and paste, all in one tool. The Healing tool is for repairing small areas, such as a small imperfection, - it works by making the blemish disappear by making it similar to the areas around it. Used for small areas, small repairs.

You can soften edges using the BLUR tool

Ive uploaded mods along the lines Moira mentioned, - Im sure she will also upload some. There are three mods, facing the way you have it here, flipper horizontally to face the right so you see the difference it can make, and a mono. All are cropped so theres less space behind the head and more in front. I added space at the front, that may well be a task best tackled when you have more experience, but try it if you find a tutorial!

Take a look at this list of tutorials: TUTORIALS!!

I did increase contrast a little, and apply a small amount of sharpening overall.

mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.7k 2395 United Kingdom
5 Apr 2021 12:48PM
I've added two modifications now.

The first is simply a crop - square, placing the eyes 1/3 down the frame which is a comfortable level for the viewer, and filling the top right corner with a triangle of hair; then a narrow white frame to contain the face, give her a private place. I considered adding vignetting where it has been cropped away by decided to leave the light.

Second mod is worked in Nik Siver Efex Pro: On the sliders: Brightness + 16%, Contrast +39%, Structure + 6%; Shadows and highlights sliders pushed to the right; Film effect Agfa APX Pro 100; Split toning, option 3, which adds a hint of yellow to highlights, blue to shadows; Burn edges for a dark vignette; Framing option 1.

Really enjoyed that, it's my sort of photography... Grin
chase Plus
15 2.1k 562 England
5 Apr 2021 12:52PM
Hi, great to see you getting out and about and you are really thinking things out really well.
The colour looks ok but perhaps a touch too yellow and the skylight filter will add to that.
Playing around with effects is a great way to learn what they do but try not to do too much all at once, take it steady.

Shifting that hand could be a problem, even for the all powerful clone tool and tbh it is detached from the face of the statue so for me becomes irrelevant, so, I cropped it away.

Cloning is an art in itself, misused is easily detectable as it can easily repeat patterns on your image. I do use it lots and set the method of cloning to 'lighten' or 'darken' depending what I want to achieve.
ALWAYS on a separate duplicate layer which will be non destructive and I can go back at any time to redo or undo stuff.

The healing brush is a useful tool but, again use with caution on a separate layer.

Ok, so I did a mod, cropped away the offending hand and increased the canvas to the left, more space for her to look into.
I used the clone tool on a separate layer to 'colour-in' the bg.
I did 3 mods in total, the first I reduced the yellows.
The second, a simple mono conversion.
The third, I went to Town a bit Blush, isolated the face by cloning away some of the lighter bits surrounding her.
Increased the exposure just a little and added a wee touch more contrast.
Added a frame to 'contain' the subject.

That is a lot to take in but the most important thing is after each bit of processing, look hard at your image...does it make it better or not ?
Good advice from Moira on that score.
Wow!! Your first modification is truly lovely Moira. The image looks great cropped as you described, and I like the square format! The black and white is also very striking. I have looked at a few of your sculpture photographs and were very impressed. I’m so glad you outlined the settings you used in Silver Efex for the black and white. I really like the effect you have given it.

Just thinking about learning to use the Cloning Tool is giving me a headache!!! Sad

I remembered while I was out what you had said about photographing a statue as if it was a human face, and focused on the eyes and the expression. I got totally absorbed while I was up there!

Quote: She's looking to our left - intuitively that suggests looking to the past, memories, regrets.

I really like this insight.... Yes, the shot was taken in a cemetery.

Thank you so much for your feedback Moira, and for your compliment. That is very encouraging. Smile

mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.7k 2395 United Kingdom
5 Apr 2021 1:14PM
Yes, I intended to mention - the big difference between the clone tool and the healing brush is that with the clone tool you are in total control, whereas the healing brush works on algorithms. Sometimes it gets it right, sometimes it doesn't... (If it doesn't work first time it can be worth trying again a time or two, eventually it may latch on to what you intend). I tend to use the healing brush for, for example, telegraph wires in the sky, twigs lying over a leaf - specific little lines.

With the clone tool you need to choose your source material very carefully, it needs to match in terms of light, focus as well as content. And the big risk is of creating recognisable pattern repeats, which will stick out like a sore thumb.

Here's a good exercise for practising cloning skills - photograph a damaged brick wall and then set about repairing it. It will teach you to follow lines, for example.

Edit - we were typing at the same time, thanks for getting back to us so quickly, it makes this worthwhile! Keep practising, keep enjoying.
Hi John,

Thank you so much for your compliment! I needed a bit of gentle nagging to get me out and restarted if I’m honest! Wink but I am so glad I did, so thank you.

Yes, I think I have a lot of studying and practicing to do with regard to cloning etc. I haven’t a clue where to start, but I see from glancing at Willie’s comment (haven’t read it yet fully) – will do after lunch – about searching for videos on the different tools to use.
I’ll upload the original image for you. Cheers. Smile
Thanks Willie for your feedback and for your compliment.

I have bookmarked the link to the Photoshop tutorials…thank you for that and for explaining the difference between the Cloning Tool and the Healing Brush and their uses – that is very helpful.

I like your modification with the added space in front of the subject….I look forward to trying that sometime in the future!
Thanks again.. Smile
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.7k 2395 United Kingdom
5 Apr 2021 2:38PM
Thanks for adding the original. It occurs to me that perhaps a totally different composition is available, focusing on the hand as the main subject and with the face out of focus in the background.

Link for the sort of effect that I have in mind, although the subject matter is rather different!
Hi Janet,

Thanks for your valuable feedback. I really like your third modification with the frame. Also the face looks a lot brighter and therefore stands out more, making the image more dramatic – if that’s the correct word.

Thanks for what you explained about cloning and always using a separate duplicate layer. Yes, there is a LOT to learn!!
Cheers Julie Smile

Quote:..although the subject matter is rather different!

Yes, I wasn't expecting a foot! Interesting idea though for composition...
Feet unfortunately are not my favourite thing!! Tongue Nothing personal to whoever's foot it is! Wink
dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1832 England
5 Apr 2021 3:43PM
Does it help to think of the clone stamp as a sort of malleable potato print?

It will pick up the detail from where you want, and reproduce it where you drop it. However, if you want the precise same pattern, or a pattern from a small area to cover a larger one, you need to keep going back to the source and alt/clicking again.
dark_lord Plus
17 2.8k 761 England
5 Apr 2021 4:15PM
The Clone tool was marveloius when it first came out. But essentially it'sa copy and paste tool so as well as the repetition any copied areas can stand out like a sore thumb. It's still useful.
The Healing brush still requires you to set a soure point but creates a blend with the area you're 'pasting' into.
Th Spot Healing tool, called the Inpainting tool in Affinity, requires no source pixels to be chosen but automaticlly decides what to sample from.
I tend to use just the latter two, but it depends on the image content.

After viewing the tutorials, find an image or two with lines, textures, distractions, sharp and out of focus areas. Pock a part of the image to work on. Let's say you wanted to move a piece of litter from a path or a discared drinks can on a wall. Maybe even set a shot up specifically. Try each tool in turn (on a copy image) and see what works best for you in the different situations.
pamelajean Plus
15 1.5k 2211 United Kingdom
5 Apr 2021 4:25PM

Quote:I’ve been looking at a book I’ve got on Photoshop Elements under the heading ‘Clone Stamp Tool’. Is this what you used Pamela to remove the rock from the last image I posted - ‘Barnacles’?

Hello, Julie.
Yes, I used the Clone Brush, this is what it's called in Corel PaintshopPro, which is the editing software that I use. So I'm afraid I can't go into any great detail about its use in Photoshop, but I'm sure you will find some tutorials that will help you get to grips with it. But remember, practice makes perfect, so just keep using it. You will find that it's one of the most useful tools you can have.
No doubt Photoshop has shape, size and opacity for the tool, as Corel does.

I have done two modifications from your original. Thank you for uploading that. I have done nothing else but cloning. I removed the hand and cloned in some more hair in the first mod, then went further and cloned out the stone behind the statue's face in the second mod. The stone behind her face was the most difficult because of filling in the green from the background, which was difficult. When you start to try this tool, try something easier than this!

John: Yes, that’s very helpful to think of it in those terms…easier said than done though!! Will have to have a look at those tutorials and then practice, practice, practice…… Smile

Keith: Thanks so much for your feedback....the distinction you've made between the three different tools is very helpful. Its much appreciated. Smile

Quote:You will find that it's one of the most useful tools you can have.

Hi Pamela,

What can I say about your modifications but WOW!! That is stunning what you have done! I’m so impressed!
Yes, practice makes perfect….I'll need to get started....
Cheers Julie Smile
pamelajean Plus
15 1.5k 2211 United Kingdom
5 Apr 2021 7:21PM
Thank you, Julie, for those kind words. Glad you liked them.
dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1832 England
5 Apr 2021 9:35PM
Pamela's mod does what I'd got in mind, but more thoroughly and skilfully than I could have managed.

And thank you for your kind words: they help and encourage all of us, a lot. Chatting through things is my favourite way to learn - and to instruct... A good cuppa helps even more, but that's not on the agenda for a few weeks yet!

Quote:Chatting through things is my favourite way to learn - and to instruct... A good cuppa helps even more

I couldn't agree more John...and a nice cup of coffee (and a chocolate biscuit!) makes it all the better! Smile

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