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Experimental 2

By franfoto
Firstly I want to thank everyone who posted critique and did modifications on my last experiment and just to say how helpful some of the comments were and this is exactly what I wanted.

Today I am posting another experiment for critique, I know it won't be every body's cup of tea but for those of you who know what I am trying to achieve maybe you can suggest any improvements, and where I am going right or wrong as the case may be. I have included the shot that I started with on this one and thank you in anticipation for any feedback that you can give.

I feel a little handicapped at the moment having gone from Photoshop CS3 to CS5 (64 bit) and it is so different, It has slowed me down no end and I am teetering on the edge of whether to go back to the old one or trying out Elements 9 instead. (does anybody know what the '64 bit' is all about by the way?

Have a nice weekend.


Tags: Specialist and abstract Flowers and plants Digitally manipulated Digital art

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CarolG 14 199 20 Greece
10 Jun 2011 5:45PM
A superb conversion to V.1, Fran, excellent work. I use Elements 7, wouldn't want to change to CS5, thank you, too old to learn new tricks! Carol
barbarahirst 12 27 12 United Kingdom
10 Jun 2011 6:09PM
very impressive thats for sure.
Sorry dont know about software...
I think that the glass vase doesnt seem right to me ... but as I havent a clue how you have done what you have to achieve this awesome image of those flowers I cant really suggest anything .... sorry
But keep on with these they really are special
Regards Barbs
Maiwand 14 3 73 England
10 Jun 2011 7:02PM
Cant offer you any lucid or incisive comments an the shot Fran. Not clever enough at that game. I do know that I like your image. It is one I could look at and dream up all sorts explantions for it and I suppose that that cant be a bad thing.
fentiger 19 920 24 England
10 Jun 2011 7:59PM
Not sure this is as good as your first effort Fran. I think it works better on a single image.

I have recently gone from CS2 to CS4 which was a great move for me ~ no plans to move on to CS5 ~ too expensive!

andylea 12 37 1 United Kingdom
10 Jun 2011 8:00PM
v1 for me today fran cracking coloursand light dark moody and beautiful i love it have a great weekend Wink
Rock 18 10 2 England
10 Jun 2011 8:13PM
Yes !

Niknut Plus
10 2.7k 82 United Kingdom
10 Jun 2011 8:39PM
Can't make my mind up about this one ?......I like the post-processing, with a nice texture added, but it still comes across a tad 'heavy'....looks a bit (dare I say it) 'funereal' ????

Wish I'd got CS5, do all my faffing about with Elements 8, which does everything that I can throw at it..........Smile

My computer is running 64 bit.....but heaven knows what it's all's way over my head, so can't help on that one.....Sad
pluckyfilly 14 351 33 United Kingdom
10 Jun 2011 8:49PM
I use CS5 and found it rather different to start with but it didnt take me long to get the idea mainly the tools are slightly "different" if thats the right word. One thing you can do sometimes but it doesnt always work, using the lassoo tool I think it is - draw round the item you want removed then go edit>fill and it will either blur or remove completely the offending part of a picture using content aware. You might need several attempts but it can work!

superb manip in V1 and I like V2 - I dont know the difference in 32 bit and 64 but I think its just a stronger package.
Jestertheclown 12 8.3k 253 England
10 Jun 2011 9:36PM
As Keith says, this is a touch sombre. I'm not really a great fan of textures, particularly heavy ones so I'm probably not the best person to be commenting on this!
However, technically, I think it's very well done and you've obviously put a lot of thought and effort into the processing.
I've just opened it in CS5 and made a few adjustments and the possibilities are endless, as I'm sure you know, so I think opinions on the finished result will simply come down to a matter of what people like, a matter of taste.
Personally, I'd prefer it to be a little brighter and clicking on "auto tone," just to see what happened, gave the background a wonderful blue effect (which I liked) but as I say, it's subjective. We'll all have differing opinions, I think and the only one that will really count will be yours.

Without getting into any technicalities or reasons why, at all; a 64 bit operating system can be expected to work more quickly and efficiently than a 32 bit one.

I should imagine that there will be a load of information on Google if you'd like to know why or how that should be!

Shellio 9 2 United Kingdom
10 Jun 2011 9:44PM
Hi Fran

Great treatment, what I would consider though would be to try to make more of a contrast between the background texture and the flowers. The original yellow flowers make a good contrast but I think perhaps the pinky reds need a little bit more saturation. I wonder if you are aiming for an old style image. The table top or chair supporting the flowers looks a little dark to me.

I would have thought your Photoshop would have a disc to support both 32 bit and 64 bit operating systems.

banehawi Plus
16 2.3k 4177 Canada
10 Jun 2011 10:00PM
Youve gone from CS3 to CS5, - which in itself, is a learning curve.

64 bit requires that you are using a 64 bit operating system, such as Windows 7 64 bit. Its can access a lot more memory, - 32 bit Photoshop can access perhaps 1.7 Gb if you have 4 Gb installed. A 64 bit machine can have 32 Gb installed, and CS5 64 qill access more than 40 Gb of it, - so will be MUCH faster at drawing, and will use graphic acceleration if you have a capable video card.

It has a number of nice new features too, - content aware scaling to name but one. So stick with it. If youre not happy, go back to CS3, - NOT PSE 9.

The shot, - you dont actually say what your intent is, - we have to make assumptions, - so I would prefer if yu told us first, then I will come back and have another look. I do like V1 btw, - do you, and what were you after, - does this do it for you?

BlueRoom 14 73 20 United Kingdom
10 Jun 2011 10:30PM
Again, I like the dark dramatic effect you've gone for and achieved here, but the darkest areas are just that bit too dark and lacking in detail. I don't know if you've got to grips with layer masks but with these you can put a brighter layer over the top, turn it invisible, and with a light soft brush bring back hints of detail just in the areas you need them.
Stick with CS5 though, it's not all that different from CS3 (I recently made that switch myself) but a lot of the things it does it does so much better. To get the best out of it I think it's well worth investing in a book. I find the Scott Kelby ones helpful and easy to follow.
Don't stop experimenting though. Just look how much more flair, drama and originality your processed version has over the original.

DP_Imagery 16 24 6 Wales
10 Jun 2011 10:36PM
Like the processing and the resultant withering look to the flowers. The highlights in the vase do distract a little so perhaps simply cloning them out would work?

All the best.

franfoto 13 2 32 England
10 Jun 2011 10:37PM
Hi Will (banehawi)
I was attempting to get a sort of glow on the flowers to stand out from the darkness as if some kind of errie light was falling on it. On looking at it now I think I chose the wrong texture for the background, it seems a bit too heavy.
Thanks for the photoshop information, I need to delve into some tutorials and will put some time aside to google them, it seems to behave in a totally different way to what I had gotten used to. I'll persevere though, it will be worth it I'm sure.
franfoto 13 2 32 England
10 Jun 2011 10:46PM
Bruce, (dodo_returns).
The flowers were actually going over and I got some interesting shots while they were in this state. Fewer stems, fallen petals etc. Lots to play with from the session. Thanks for your comment.
Niknut Plus
10 2.7k 82 United Kingdom
11 Jun 2011 12:26PM
I've been thinking a lot about this image, & now knowing your intentions with an 'inner-glow', I've done a mod to try & create that effect.

I think it's 'lifted' the image somewhat, & I rather like the outcome.......can't remember what I've done, but it involved mixing layers with various 'blending modes' ,
with mutiple layers until this final version emerged......all good fun.........
franfoto 13 2 32 England
11 Jun 2011 12:30PM
Frank (focus_man) Thanks for taking time to do a mod, I think the blue background looks nice, also for your added input on the bit depth.
My intention with this upload was as above in my post to Will (banehawi), it was a case of trial and error as far as processing went and I should have made notes as to how I arrived at the finished image, I will do that for the next attempt. thanks for your comments.

Eric (blueRoom) thanks for the tip, I have recently discovered layer masks but not conversant with all that can be done with them yet. Would it be possible for you to enlarge on the brightening method as suggested in your comment, this would be most useful. Thanks also for the book suggestion, I will google the author.

Many thanks to all who have offered help and suggestions I really do appreciate it.

franfoto 13 2 32 England
11 Jun 2011 12:36PM

Quote:I've been thinking a lot about this image, & now knowing your intentions with an 'inner-glow', I've done a mod to try & create that effect.

I think it's 'lifted' the image somewhat, & I rather like the outcome.......can't remember what I've done, but it involved mixing layers with various 'blending modes' ,
with mutiple layers until this final version emerged......all good fun.........

Many thanks for the mod, it certainly has lifted it, Like you say, it's "all good fun", I get carried away and forget how I got there tooGrin

pamelajean Plus
14 1.4k 2168 United Kingdom
11 Jun 2011 4:30PM
I have read what has already been said with great interest. Looking at your original, it is obvious the flowers are not at their best, and drooping quite a lot, so this may have been the reason why you were inspired to go for a sombre look. which I think works well, though perhaps a little too dark overall. For a cleaner finish, I wonder if you could have shot this without the table, or extended your textured background to cover it, as it is just black in your manipulation.
BlueRoom 14 73 20 United Kingdom
11 Jun 2011 5:48PM
Hi Fran... enlarging as requested: It seems to me that most of your experiments are global in nature, by which I mean they affect all the pixels of the image equally. In my experience this is almost never satisfactory and in a manipulation like this you need to be able to exert more control. So if you have arrived at a picture like this and itís pretty much what you want but the darks have lost their detail, save your image as it is then go back to the layers and make adjusments that address those darks (curves, levels or opacity may be the most direct methods). When youíve done this your picture is completely spoiled because itís too bright and all the atmosphere has gone but donít worry about that, save this copy as a separate document.
Open your first save again and drag this new version on top as a second layer. Now apply a Layer Mask choosing ĎHide Allí from the menu and you are looking at your original dark picture again. With the Layer Mask selected (the black box next to the pic on level 2 in the Layers Panel) Choose a very soft brush at a low opacity and paint with white on the darkest areas of the picture and youíll see the lighter image come through where you paint. Anywhere you have gone too far change the paint to black and ease it back again, though it doesnít hurt to go a bit too bright as you can still alter the layer opacity as a kind of final adjustment.
When all is said and done this is only a sort of sophisticated method of dodging and burning, but so much more versatile and controllable.

I hope this helps.

iancrowson Plus
10 215 168 United Kingdom
11 Jun 2011 6:17PM
Interesting image. Very dark and sombre. Someone said funereal which for me was spot on.
It's great your posting these images as I am learning alot from reading the comments. I've spent dozens of hour in photoshop playing with layers, blending and masks not knowing where I' going or what I might 'acheive'. I had a book from the library which was just about blending modes, I'll try and find it's name.
I got CS5 and found my Mac much slower, increasing the RAM helped . The machine still goes on strike every so often, especially when I have lots of layers on the go.
franfoto 13 2 32 England
12 Jun 2011 2:22AM
Eric (BlueRoom) Thank you so much for getting back to me, the information will be very useful and I will definitely practice that method on this image.

It's good of you guys for being willing to share your processing knowledge, it helps so many other people as well as myself so everyone interested benefits.

I would have posted this last night but for some strange reason my email wasn't getting through so I have only just caught up with the comments.


Ian.... That book on blending modes sounds interesting so if you find out what it was called I would like to take a look at it. I'm glad you are finding some interesting comments and suggestions, what a great lot our EPZ friends are, I have learned so much since I joined 3 years ago as you no doubt have done too.

Eviscera 14 1.1k 149 United Kingdom
12 Jun 2011 2:17PM
Great advice.

I would just add its a bit of a compositional mess at the mo.

You could try lots of crops , even right into a quarter of the image and use a complimentary texture that doesn't clash with the oblique lines of your image.

I dont do still lifes but slapped a mod for the spacing.

franfoto 13 2 32 England
12 Jun 2011 3:35PM
Thanks to all for comments, critique, and mods, after seeing them I realise I have a lot to learn, especially yours Dave (Eviscera), you are on a totally different level and I really like your mod and your comments re. composition. Something I must keep in mind.
brownsilent 13 7 2 United Kingdom
12 Jun 2011 5:11PM
What you got in the end is surely very impressive. I still work with PS7 and don't have lots of these filters and helpful things. I think you've done a good job here.
Glostopcat 14 255 2 England
12 Jun 2011 7:16PM
Fine work Fran, I can't contribute anything to the debate really. I only use Picasa 3 and Photofiltre to edit my pics and both of those are free!
PhillipMinnis 10 94 4 Australia
13 Jun 2011 5:27AM
Another striking processing result! Although I think the tones, light and colours are wonderful, I find the bottom of the image too dark. I'd like to still be able to see the vase. Keep them coming....I like these! Smile


accipiter 11 61 England
13 Jun 2011 11:44AM
another good one. I would leave the background untouched but move the flowers forward ' into the light ' but this series is very dramatic. A

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