Montage

The technique of producing a new composite whole from fragments of pictures, text, or music.

The Hand 

Prison

Do you see the hand ….?
Abhorrent ! ….Disembodied , attached to naught .
What …. trembling ….despairs ,
are summoned forth ?
When your eyes connect ….
over a cold flesh caress .
Your hanging limbs ….
with darkness near ….
A named aversion ….dread is here ?
A twitching due …two secret fears !
The basement door is opened now ….
To close it…. You know not how .
Those secrets wished to be unknown ….
forever smite you in your home !

Previous Communications 

PhoneBoxhand2

Followed 

15thfloorshadow

Lightroom Presets

 

Earlier in the year I showed you how to use Adobe Lightroom for processing raw files. (refer to session 3 for instruction manual). Lightroom is a powerful raw editing program that uses the same processing engine as Adobe Camera Raw, but with more features, a better user interface, and image development settings. It also has the same type of file organisation, and cataloguing features of Bridge.

Just remember, like most Adobe products, they do not work over a network, so you will have to log in as offline/offline in order to use it.

Reminder: Lightroom needs to create a file called the Catalogue. This does not store your actual files, but details about those files, and if you are using Lightroom for the first time, you will have to create a catalogue. This catalogue should be on a hard drive or large capacity memory stick, as it can eventually get to several GB in size. If you already have a catalogue on your hard drive from the last time we looked at Lightroom, open it.

Open a catalogue When you open a different catalog, Lightroom closes the current catalogue and relaunches.

1. Choose File > Open catalogue. 2. In the Open Catalogue dialog box, specify the catalogue file and then click Open. You can also choose a catalogue from the File > Open Recent menu. 3. If prompted, click Relaunch to close the current catalogue and relaunch Lightroom. You can also change General preferences to specify which catalogue opens when Lightroom starts.

If you have no catalogue, Lightroom will prompt you to create one. Create it on your hard drive or memory stick, not on a network location. When using college Macs, do not use the local hard drive in the Mac, or your catalogue will only be on that particular machine. This session will be mainly relying on demonstration rather than this hand out, but Session 3 contains the full instruction manual for Lightroom 5 and Lightroom CC. Familiarise yourself with Lightroom. It is an industry standard raw editing program, and while Capture One is still more widely used because of its more advanced tethered shooting ability, Lightroom is still widely used and available as a package from Adobe with Photoshop CC for £8.95 as a student.

Lightroom.. a quick reminder:

Library Module – This is where you would edit metadata, add keywords and most of the functions of Bridge’s “metadata” module. Develop Module – This is where you would make edit changes to your raw file; Exposure, wight balance, colour balance, sharpening etc. Map Module – This is where you would edit geo tagging data to place on a map should your camera support it. Book Module – Allows you to create books to upload to Blurb and other publishers. Print Module – Print settings are made here. However, you may wish to continue editing in Photoshop and print from there. Web Module – Allows preset web designs just like Bridge.

Lightroom Presets. One powerful feature of Lightroom and one that can help with consistency is the ability to create, load, an d save develop presets. These are small files that Lightroom uses to apply your favourite image settings to any photograph with a single click.

 

 

In the presets panel on the left, click the + symbol to create a new preset.

In the dialogue box that appears, give your new preset a name, and select what folder to place it in. (You can create a new folder – see further down this hand out). Auto Tone should not be used as images will not be consistent. Tick the parts of your process you want to be saved in your preset. Caution!! Graduated Filters, Radial Filters, Tranform settings should not be included, as these may be image specific. Click Create and your preset will be saved.

How to Install Your Lightroom Presets:

1. Go into Lightroom and click on Edit at the top (next to File) on a PC or Lightroom then Preferences on a Mac.

2. Go down to Preferences and click on it.

3. There will be a new screen that pulls up. There will be six tabs at the top, click on Presets (second tab).

4. Click on the box titled, Show Lightroom Presets Folder.

5. Double click on Lightroom.

6. Next double click on Develop Presets Folder.

7. Copy the contents of the Pretty Presets Folder, found in your download, into the “Develop Presets” folder.

8. You are done! If Lightroom was open when you copied the Pretty Presets, you will have to close it and restart it.

Right click the preset folder you wish to import the preset to, and select Import. Navigate to the location of the saved or downloaded presets you want to install.

Exporting a preset

Right click the preset you wish to save out, and select “Export” from the drop down menu. Why use presets? They achieve consistency in processing, because you’re applying the same processes to each image They can speed up the batch processing of images by applying the preset at import. You can apply presets when manually importing from the import screen…

Or, you can set Lightroom to automatically apply them if you have “Auto Import” set. Auto Import will import your images into Lightroom automatically when you insert a card or plug in a camera.

Infra Red

HWALLIR

Hadrian

I have been experimenting with different infra red effects in photoshop . Infra red is good to use with landscapes ( I like the reds whites and candy pinks as they are so surreal ) but is also good in BW Infra red portraits . Architecture is another good option with its dark sky effect . Here is my favourite procedure which you could save as an action .

1 . If you have lightroom then firstly adjust all settings to your preference but i like to specifically fully open the shadows and lower the highlights with this infra red technique . Duplicate your image layer in photoshop and set it to overlay blend at 60 % opacity , name this ” Infra Red “.

2 . Next add a channel mixer layer ( You can click monochrome  or not to produce a slightly different effect ) and set reds to 100 , green to 200 and blue to – 200 . Drag this layer below your duplicated layer and above the original .

3 . Select your ” infra red ” layer and go to image> adjustments > Hue/saturation , select the yellow channel and put your hue to – 130 ( you can choose your own preferred hue here it doesn’t have to be -130 )and your saturation to 40 .

4 . If you want a more realistic effect it would be good idea to add a 10 % gaussian blur layer as real infra red film tends to be slightly blurry ( which i did in the second shot below ) .

5 . After this you can adjust using any other techniques you prefer to your own liking .

Above and below are some of my own images I have used with the same technique .

HadriansScytheInfraRed

Hadrians Scythe

iRWall2

IRTree

Wrynose Pass

Glitch Art

Glitch3

Glitch art is the aesthetisization of digital or analogue errors , of either artefacts or other bugs by either corruption or manipulation .

1 Open the image you are using .

2 Duplicate the image then darken and mask off the background using the quick selection tool .

3 Next use the marquee tool to create long thin rectangular shapes over the image where you want the glitching effect to be as below .

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 17.54.57 copy

4 Next select filter /distort/wave and type 2 for the amount of generators with min 20 and max 30 for both wavelength and amplitude . Also use filter/distort/pixelate/fragment as below .

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 18.00.52 copy

5 Continue with this method until you are satisfied you have enough glutting for your required affect .

6 Repeat this process twice and use free transform to move the image slightly left right up or down to enhance the glitching effect .

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 18.06.08 copy

7 Make a 50% grey layer and choose filter/filter gallery/halftone pattern with line pattern , 1 size and 50 contrast then choose the subtract effect . now darken that layer with control L/levels to your liking .

8 Use filter distory shear to bend the image to your liking . Also add any effects or layers as you require to achieve your desired effect as my image below .

Glitch1

 

 

 

 

 

Focus Stacking .

FS

Focus stacking comes in handy when we need to combat the DOF ( Depth Of Field ) . We take a series of photographs and merge them to make a complete image .

Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 20.47.55

Select file , automate and choose photomerge then uptick all the boxes at the bottom .


Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 20.48.19

Always crop the blurred edge when the photomerge has completed and also select all layers by cmd shift . Then auto align all the layers and then auto blend the layers . Tick stack images and click OK.

Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 20.48.36

RAW workflow Basics

RAW workflow Basics

No matter how good your image manipulation, or retouching skills/post-processing skills are, there is a very real need to be able to extract the maximum quality and information from your camera’s RAW files.

As discussed in previous sessions, RAW files do not have any embedded colour profile data, any sharpening applied, etc.  In fact, it’s just raw data, and nothing is decided until you export the file into Photoshop.

This affords many opportunities to correct many inherent defects or problems while the file is not locked into a fixed range of colour and tones, or colourspace.

The first issue is white balance:

While your cameras have white balance settings, these are only applied when shooting into a bitmapped file format (JPEG or TIFF).  When shooting RAW, nothing is applied. This allows for much more flexible colour correction at the post shooting stage.

Adobe Camera RAW (ACR) is the software we will be using at the beginning of this course, as its part of Adobe Photoshop, and easily accessed by everyone in College.  We will look at Lightroom and Capture One at a later stage.

In order to open RAW files in ACR, just open them in Photoshop, and ACR will load automatically if your camera’s RAW files are supported by your version.  If you have many RAW files, it is best to multi-select the files using the “cmd” key (CTRL on PCs) and drag all files onto the Photoshop icon on your Mac’s dock.

ACR will open. (see below screenshot)

Raw Workflow Pictures

The files selected are displayed as thumbnails in the left column, and a large preview of the selected image is displayed centre.

When white balancing RAW files,  part of the workflow you should be using happens at the time of capture by using a grey card. A grey card is a highly accurate grey card that is precisely neutral grey, and reflects 18% of the light falling upon it.  They are used for exposure metering, but the other equally useful role they play is in white balancing.

As they are precisely grey, you can use the photographed grey card as a known reference point for white balance.

In the above screenshot, clicking the centre 18% grey swatch with the white balance tool….

raw 1

…will colour balance the whole image to a neutral, correct value.

The real power of this tool at RAW level is when you have a collection of images all shot under the same lighting conditions.  This is easy in the studio, as you’ll be in full control, and if you make no changes to your lighting, you know all the images are taken under the same condition.  If this is the case, you can load all the images to be white balanced into ACR.

raw2

In the above example, there are three images taken under identical studio conditions that are not white balanced.  You’ll notice the top image was a reference shot containing a grey card.  If you select this image, then press “cmd” and select the rest… (see below screenshot)

raw3

You will notice that not only is the main previewed image now precisely white balanced, but the other images in the session have had the same values applied.

raw4

This method ensures precision across a range of images, and is particularly important in professional image making where colour is of extreme importance such as commercial photography where accurate representation of colours in products is needed.  However, even if you decide to make creative choices to change colour within an image, you really need to start from a known accurate white balance.

This method only works when the lighting conditions are identical across the whole range of image from a session.  If you try and do the same with a selection of images captured under differing lighting conditions, then you can not do this. (see below)

raw5

In the above scenario, one image was taken with flash, one under fluorescent lighting, and one under tungsten lighting.  As the colour temperatures of all lights are different, despite having a grey card in one shot, the images cannot be balanced by applying the settings of one, to all.  Every time lighting is changed; a new grey card image should be taken.

This is also true of location shooting.  The colour temperature of daylight will change throughout the day, as the sun rises and sets, and clouds roll in and out.  These changes are often imperceptible to you at the time, but the camera will record them.  While on location, take a grey card reference shot regularly, especially if you are aware of changes such as cloud cover, or height of the sun.

Lens Corrections:

raw6

No lens is perfect, and all lenses exhibit different characteristics. Some will distort straight lines slightly, some will vignette (darker corners) and some will exhibit what is known as chromatic aberration (CA).

CA is when light at one end of the spectrum (red for example) cannot be focused at the same point as the other end (blue), and this results in a coloured fringe around objects, usually blue or cyan on one side, and red or magenta on the other.  This is most noticeable in high contrast subjects such as tree branches against a bright sky.

ACR (and Lightroom and Capture One) have tools to remove this if you are using a sufficiently up to date version.

In ACR, this is in the lens Correction tool palette.

raw7

If you select the color Tab, there will be a box to tick to remove CAs.

raw8

Tick this box and the CA will simply be corrected.  (Some types of CA will never be removed, but this will mainly be colour fringing in out of focus highlights or background detail (bokeh).

CA removed.

raw9

Lens Distortions:

ACR (and Lightroom, Capture One) allow you to apply what are known as Lens Profiles.  These are preset corrections to perspective (straight lines being bent) and evenness of tones throughout the image (vignetting) that are pre-written for each lens type.  As your images are embedded with metadata (EXIF) that describes the camera settings etc. the software knows what lens you were using, and when the “Enable Lens Profile Corrections” box is ticked, your lens profile should be applied. (see below screen shot).

raw10

There are also manual controls under the manual tab to experiment with if you want to ADD distortions intentionally, or make manual corrections to images taken with no metadata (or with lenses without a profile).

Noise Reduction:

Images taken using higher ISO settings will obviously contain noise (grain), and again, this is best dealt with at RAW level (although it is possible in Photoshop, it’s best corrected at this stage while the RAW image is being corrected for other issues).

The thing to remember here, is that this is noise REDUCTION, not REMOVAL.  You will never completely remove noise from an image unless it’s very subtle to begin with.  Attempting to do so can result in other problems being generated such as loss of detail.

Noise reduction in ACR is located in the “Detail” palette.

raw11

There are four main controls to Noise Reduction in ACR (and Lightroom).

raw12

Amount

Adjusts edge definition. Increase the Amount value to increase sharpening. A value of zero (0) turns off sharpening. In general, set Amount to a lower value for cleaner images. The adjustment is a variation of Unsharp Mask, which locates pixels that differ from surrounding pixels based on the threshold you specify and increases the pixels’ contrast by the amount you specify. When opening a camera raw image file, the Camera Raw plug-in calculates the threshold to use based on camera model, ISO, and exposure compensation.  Values higher than 50 usually make the image look over-sharpened.

Radius

Adjusts the size of the details that sharpening is applied to. Photos with fine details generally need a lower setting. Photos with larger details can use a larger radius. Using too large a radius generally results in unnatural-looking results.

Detail

Adjusts how much high-frequency information is sharpened in the image and how much the sharpening process emphasizes edges. Lower settings primarily sharpen edges to remove blurring. Higher values are useful for making the textures in the image more pronounced. Use mainly low settings to retain a realistic looking image. Higher values make images look “gritty” and over sharpened.

Masking

Controls an edge mask. With a setting of zero (0), everything in the image receives the same amount of sharpening. With a setting of 100, sharpening is mostly restricted to those areas near the strongest edges. Press Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac OS) while dragging this slider to see the areas to be sharpened (white) versus the areas masked out (black).

Digital Capture and Workflow

Modern digital cameras capture images in a range of formats, commonly these are:

JPEG

(Joint Photographic Experts Group)

JPEG is perhaps the most common file format. It is popular due to the small file sizes it produces compared to other formats.

JPEG files however, use what’s known as a “lossy Compression” technique to make them small.

Data is thrown away in the compression, and this results in a loss of detail, colour fidelity and sharpness.

Capturing in JPEG is throwing away detail as soon as the shutter is pressed, and you can never get this detail back.

Always Shoot in raw .

For:

  • Small File Size
  • Images come off the camera in a format ready to use online
  • No further processing required
  • Compatibility with a wide range of devices.

Against:

  • Lossy compression results in loss of detail
  • 8 bit colour depth results in limited ability to edit images
  • Resaving images using “save as” to make a copy results in further compression again.
  • Fixed white balance difficult to correct after shooting
  • Locked into a 256 levels per pixel format so less flexibility to alter tonal range

TIFF

TIFFs are not compressed normally and suffer no loss of detail. They can record 16bits of colour depth (Billions of colours) and are full quality files recording all the data the camera recorded.

TIFF files are ideal for archival storage of your final edited work as they suffer no loss in quality.

(Tagged Image File Format)

  • While TIFFs do not use a destructive compression routine, they still have limitations.
  • They produce massive file sizes compared to other formats, and because they are a bitmapped image format, are no better than JPEGs at allowing post shoot correction of exposure and white balance.
  • Large file sizes mean greater use of storage space
  • Greater file sizes mean slower loading and writing of files, both on the computer, and especially in the camera.

RAW

For:

  • RAW files are not a bitmapped image format, meaning they are not locked into a fixed file format and do not have their colour palettes already mapped out into a finite amount of colours and profiles. RAW files are the raw data from the camera.
  • RAW files are smaller than TIFF files.
  • There is no in-camera processing of RAW files, so this can be done on the computer at a later time for more accurate, and sophisticated editing.
  • As no in-camera processing is done, and it is not a fixed image format, white balance, sharpness and more exposure modification can be done post shoot.
  • A RAW file is your digital negative
  • All changes made to a RAW file are not permanent and a RAW file can be reset to its “as shot” condition.

Against:

  • Still relatively large files compared to JPEG
  • The image requires a great deal more processing after shooting
  • You need extra software to utilise and edit RAW files.
  • There is a certain amount of knowledge and skill required to work effectively with RAW files.
  • Shooting TIFF files makes no sense at all, as a RAW file can be processed and saved as a TIFF file, and TIFF files are so much larger than RAW files.
  • TIFF files, while full quality, are still a mapped image format and will not allow for post shoot adjustments at the data level like a RAW file can.
  • Shooting in JPEG should only be done if you need instant access to an image that needs to be uploaded to the internet, or used immediately – where speed is more important than quality.
  • For everything else you should be shooting RAW.

While RAW files are not a bitmapped image file format, they still come in various types depending on the camera manufacturer.

Nikon = .NEF

Canon = .CR2

Pentax = .PEF or .PTX

Phase One = .CAP or .IIQ

Mamyia = .MEF

Olympus = .ORF

Sony = .ARW or .SRF