Back Versions (2)
Modifications (3)
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Head Shot

By strokebloke  
It was suggested that one of my next moves was to try a head shot on the local mallard drake.
I'm not sure that this is the drake referred to, but it's one of the locals Smile
Mods, constructive comments, always welcome

Tags: Portrait General Duck Wildlife and nature

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


25 May 2011 8:02PM
Great, if you had got any nearer yo would have been drawn in to the Black Hole, in his bill. Eric.

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Briwooly 12 452 5 England
25 May 2011 8:13PM
Great close up have up loaded a mod let me know your thoughts

strokebloke 8 493 17 England
25 May 2011 8:34PM
Hello Brian, I run CS4 not 5: but I'd like to know how you've done that. Can it be done in CS4?
You've obviously done something to sharpen it, but in addition the eye detail leaps off the page at you now.
The sharpening, if that's what you've done, is a bit beyond my taste, but that eye is 'magical'.
I suppose that you can't have one without the other, can you?
strokebloke 8 493 17 England
25 May 2011 8:37PM
I've just had a visit to your pf, & I DO like your ' Mr & Mrs Blackie'
Briwooly 12 452 5 England
25 May 2011 8:40PM
Jack you can have one without the other use the Sharpening tool in your tool menu and you can sharpen what ever area you require and to what ever degree hope this helps.

strokebloke 8 493 17 England
25 May 2011 8:48PM
Brian. Can you explain that please. What do you mean by sharpening 'tool'
I often use Unsharp Mask; & Sharpen Edges: How would you highlight the area you want to sharpen?
Jestertheclown 9 7.6k 252 England
25 May 2011 8:53PM
Hi Jack,

I agree that the sharpening in Brian's mod is quite extreme; a bit too much for me too but I guess it's all in the eye of etc.
I've uploaded a mod. in which I've selectively sharpened just the eye. I haven't touched anything else at all.
I used the magnetic lasso to isolate it then the unsharp mask at an amount of 200% (really!), a radius of 1px. and a threshold of 8. I then applied an "S" curve to promote some more contrast and brightness.
I used CS5 but I doubt that I've done anything that you wouldn't be able to do using CS4.
Hope it's OK.



Edit; Jack, if I haven't explained that sufficiently fully, you know where to find me!
Briwooly 12 452 5 England
25 May 2011 9:11PM
Jack if you need more advice message or e-mail me Grin

strokebloke 8 493 17 England
25 May 2011 9:25PM
Right, got that Bren (& BrianGrin)
Mine hasn't come out quite the way either of yours did,(Tongue) but what I'd done I saved as file "No.'b'" then opened the original & by clicking between them could see that what I'd done had made a difference.
Something else learned.
I suspected from things that I'd read on people's crit/comments that there must be a way to isolate individual parts of an image; but I didn't know how to do it.
Presumably, once a part is selected, by whatever means, any adjustment can be applied to it.
It doesn't just relate to sharpening or curves, does it?
damienvc 6 28 2 Belgium
25 May 2011 9:33PM
I don't know what options you had with the original shot, but the composition looks ever so slightly cramped to me. If you'd been able to include more of the right hand side of the duck's neck this might have helped bring the duck out more, if that makes sense. Great shot though - wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of him!
strokebloke 8 493 17 England
25 May 2011 9:42PM
Just loaded a V2 Brian & Bren.
Thanks for the offer from both for PM email. Very much appreciated.

damienvc. Well done. You spotted the deliberate mistake GrinTongue
I had a 70-300mm lens on. The drake positioned himself; I couldn't move backwards without disturbing him & losing the shot, so I made sure that I got all of his beak & as much of his head as possible.
Ideally, I could have done with being a foot further back.
Jestertheclown 9 7.6k 252 England
25 May 2011 9:47PM

Quote:Presumably, once a part is selected, by whatever means, any adjustment can be applied to it.
It doesn't just relate to sharpening or curves, does it?


Once you've isolated the bit you want, that bit alone becomes the "image" refered to by the erm, "image" button on your toolbar and you can do whatever you like to it.
Just to really confuse you; if you lasso one a part of your image, for example the eye, in this case, then go to "select", then "inverse" from the frop down, the eye will remain untouched but the rest of yoyur image will become the "image".
That may be easier to understand if you try it!


strokebloke 8 493 17 England
25 May 2011 9:50PM
Just comparing the two Mods with V2, I see that I could still have done a lot more.
But I understand the principle now.

thanks all Smile
Jestertheclown 9 7.6k 252 England
25 May 2011 9:54PM
Trial and error Jack. I'm not sure that your V2's lacking sharpness, although I did push it a bit by comparison, I rather think it could do with a little more contrast and brightness. I'm only talking about the eye now.
strokebloke 8 493 17 England
25 May 2011 10:22PM
Just done a V3 Bren. An improvement, hopefully, in line with your suggestion Grin
Grampy 8 507 71 England
25 May 2011 10:45PM
Evening Jack, I agree with the fact that it is cropped a bit close , I did a little mod to see how it would look with more background not particularly well cloned, I've tried to add a bit of brilliance to the color and the eye. I'm sure that with a bit more time the background could be added with success. I sugest that the slight lack in quality is because of the 800 iso. It's a nice shot but next time ask him to stand a bit further away Wink
Jestertheclown 9 7.6k 252 England
25 May 2011 10:57PM
You've got the idea Jack!

It's always a good idea to carry out these alterations using layers of course. That way, if something goes wrong you can easily rectify or remove it and depending upon how you arrange them, you can compare your adjustments with each other as you go along.
It's not something that I (usually) bother with when I'm producing mods, but I wouldn't edit one of my own images any other way.

strokebloke 8 493 17 England
25 May 2011 11:01PM
Good evening Phill. Thanks for the mod.
As Bren said
Quote:Trial and error Jack

But significant ground gained this evening Grin
strokebloke 8 493 17 England
25 May 2011 11:06PM
I've also found that if I save the selection entitled 'eye' I can return to it easily with each layer I use. Helpful Grin
Only discovered this when I found that upon moving from one function to another [say contrast to vibrance] the eye deselected and the vibrance affected the whole image again.
banehawi Plus
13 1.7k 3779 Canada
26 May 2011 12:29AM
A very good detailed shot. I like V1, and as it is looks fine, - with some more space around the head so its less cramped.

Heres a link to read for information on Layers and Masks, - the secret weapon in Photoshop:

You can apply any adjustment, filter, distortion, etc to any part of any image selectively if you use this method. You can do this also quickly by selecting the area, like the eye for a quick touch up, but spend tsome time with this link and you will be quite amazed by what you can do.

Sharpening has numerous approaches, and all have their fans. The reliable, repeatable approach is to use Unsharp Mask (USM) as follows:

Set Radius = 0.8

Set Threshold = 3.

Slide Amount all the way to the right, to completely oversharpen the image, - so you can see what over done looks like.

Then slide the Amount slider to the left until it looks sharp, and has no "halos" around edges.

Remember that you always sharpen the Re Sized shot for EPZ, - even if your original was sharp, - check anyway and apply some sharpening, as file size compression can make an image soft.

Hope this helps, and gives you hours of fun!


strokebloke 8 493 17 England
26 May 2011 8:18AM
Thank you Wille, for all of the info. Particularly for the link. That is excellent.

I will look into it, with some enthusiasm.

strokebloke 8 493 17 England
26 May 2011 10:36AM
Thanks Frank. Grin
you're beginnig to sound like JustJas Smile
pamelajean Plus
11 1.0k 1966 United Kingdom
26 May 2011 4:26PM
I have read all of this with great interest, Jack, and have nothing further to add in the way of advice or critique. I am so glad you took up the challenge of a close shot, and you did extremely well. Remember to leave space (if there is time to compose the shot) in front of your subject so that it doesn't look restricted or tight in the frame, give it room to look/move into.
strokebloke 8 493 17 England
26 May 2011 5:05PM
Hello Pamela. Thanks for your kind words. Smile
Following perceived wisdom from here (Grin) I've done a Mod of my own, extending the canvas at both the bill end and the head end and cloned in the rear of his head [shape etc taken from another photo] Then framed it. GrinGrin
And Frank & yourself are quite right, it does, indeed, look much better.
I've Emailed a copy of it to Phill [McCordall] as he did a quick clone last night as an example mod.
(though it has slightly over-sharpened it converting to giff for web transfer)

Brian, Bren & Willy have opened up a new world for me in PS.
Layers I've used in AutoCAD design drafting programmes for years, so they were no surprise to me in PS.
Masks are largely a mystery, so I have much learning to do. Being able to isolate specific items or areas within an image is like opening a Pandora's box. Grin

And of course I've got files full of rubbish images that I can practice on GrinGrinGrinGrinGrin

Kind regards,

Jestertheclown 9 7.6k 252 England
26 May 2011 5:34PM

Quote:I've got files full of rubbish

. . . haven't we all?
strokebloke 8 493 17 England
27 May 2011 3:50PM
Still on 2000 version; but it's more than enough for me now.
I occasionally do LA Building Control engineers submission check work & for the odd detail amendment suggestion. For that it is more than sufficient. I run Excell spreadsheet programmes for calc work & checks, and that's it.
I started off on the PC, from the drawing board, with version R13: that's an utter dinosaur now Grin

In all honesty Frank, I'm not dreadfully sorry to be virtually retired.
I'm 64; I've done my bit.
It's the new generations' world now, and I'm happy to let them have it, whilst I enjoy my retirement. Grin

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