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The Dark Room -- Photo Editing and Picture Taking. Advice, tutorials, questions on all things photoshop, photo editing, and taking pictures of beads or glass.

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  #31  
Old 2013-12-23, 7:31am
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Originally Posted by Glass Lady View Post
Sorry, I don't understand "Curves"? I don't see anything using Photoshop Elements with that option.
I confess I've never used Elements, so maybe it doesn't have that tool. However, curves is much more powerful and gives better results than levels.

Of course, this is what I do for a living, and was taught to do so by the person who is the nation's leading Photoshop expert (Dan Marguils), so I may be somewhat biased...
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Last edited by Cosmo; 2013-12-23 at 8:35am.
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  #32  
Old 2013-12-23, 10:25am
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It looks to me that you simply don't have enough light in the first photo.

And while its possible to do amazing things in Elements (or any other photoshop for that matter), it would probably be easier to rectify it before you need to digitally enhance it, rather than afterwards.

I don't know about anyone else, but I always find really altered photos slightly 'uncanny' and it leaves me wondering why…?

While I always try and take my photos in natural light, I also use a lightbox, with a 100w bulb on either side of the box.

Even then, sometimes I need to bring in another lamp to get that diffuse, slightly luminous 'natural light' look. Glass is particularly hard to photograph, because its specularity is so high that unless you shield your light sources well, you're going to end up with reflections and flare off of it.

Basically, you always need waaay more light than you think you do
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  #33  
Old 2013-12-23, 12:07pm
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I totally agree about the photo not having enough light and about trying to achieve a better photo before having to edit. I'm still experimenting. This past weekend I tried taking a bunch of pics using my light tent and 2 tabletop lights with the daylight bulbs. I think they're a little better but the photos are still too dark.

I've played with the camera settings but still haven't hit on the magic answer.
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  #34  
Old 2013-12-23, 12:56pm
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I totally agree about the photo not having enough light and about trying to achieve a better photo before having to edit. I'm still experimenting. This past weekend I tried taking a bunch of pics using my light tent and 2 tabletop lights with the daylight bulbs. I think they're a little better but the photos are still too dark.

I've played with the camera settings but still haven't hit on the magic answer.
Can you adjust the exposure time on your camera?
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  #35  
Old 2013-12-24, 1:55pm
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I have always had dark pictures so what should a Nikon Coolpix be set at to let more light in? I have plenty of light but I don't think I have the settings on the camera right.
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  #36  
Old 2013-12-24, 2:33pm
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Many cameras have a manual exposure setting where one can set the shutter speed and F stop. If you are finding that you do not have enough light increase the ISO from say 100 to 400 or even 800 to achieve a higher F stop or shutter speed when in manual mode.

A quick way to see if your image is more or less properly exposed is to used a card that is half white and half black. When looking at the histogram both ends should be within the display.

Or adjust the exposure compensation for images with auto exposure. Some allow a +/-5EV range.

Check your manual for tips on using the camera for images that do not use automatic exposure control or setting the EV range.

Last edited by Alaska; 2013-12-24 at 2:38pm.
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  #37  
Old 2013-12-24, 7:25pm
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The easy way to brighten up a picture while taking it is to change the "EV" (exposure value) setting. You will need to check your manual for how to do that on your camera. To make the picture lighter dial in a +EV value. (-EV will darken the picture). If you change other things like speed, f-stop, or ISO the camera's automatic exposure system will adjust and your pictures will remain dark. The EV setting overrides the automatic exposure system.

Be sure to set it back to 0 when done taking your pictures. Because EV is part of the exposure system, it does not reset when you turn off the camera. It will affect every picture you take after you change/set EV.
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  #38  
Old 2013-12-30, 1:29pm
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Originally Posted by Alaska View Post
Many cameras have a manual exposure setting where one can set the shutter speed and F stop. If you are finding that you do not have enough light increase the ISO from say 100 to 400 or even 800 to achieve a higher F stop or shutter speed when in manual mode.

A quick way to see if your image is more or less properly exposed is to used a card that is half white and half black. When looking at the histogram both ends should be within the display.

Or adjust the exposure compensation for images with auto exposure. Some allow a +/-5EV range.

Check your manual for tips on using the camera for images that do not use automatic exposure control or setting the EV range.
I would stay away from changing ISO. Higher ISOs usually mean a grainier picture. Always shoot with the lowest ISO you can. If you need more light, lengthen your exposure.
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  #39  
Old 2014-01-09, 6:58pm
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As someone who is frustrated with her current camera, I've had to learn a lot of photoshop elements stuff.

I agree with the person who said there needs to be more contrast between the glass and the background. But I do rather like the light background (not always easy to pull off) but photo-editing a light background often leads to blowing out the picture completely (too light... losing all dimension and pop).

The trick is to watch the saturation and contrast. Some tend to overdo it and then you have something that doesn't look like what you're actually selling.

My attempt

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  #40  
Old 2014-01-10, 12:14pm
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Laura, I really like what you did with my photography...much better than my attempt.
Can you tell me exactly how you did it?
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  #41  
Old 2014-01-13, 11:59am
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Originally Posted by Glass Lady View Post
Laura, I really like what you did with my photography...much better than my attempt.
Can you tell me exactly how you did it?
The basics are that I found a spot in your background that was probably supposed to be absolutely white (not the whole background... just one little spot that looked like it was supposed to be whiter than other parts). That's one of the things most people do wrong... they just pick an area that they THINK is supposed to be white and click on it (as described below) without realizing there are lots of shades of white and it makes a difference for you to look for the absolute brightest white spot you can find.

In the future, I advise putting something very white (a small flat item that you will crop out later) into the photo. That, then, can be the thing you click on.

Anyway, hit CTRL+L. This will bring up the pop-up window for LEVELS.

Click on the far right eye-dropper (if you hover over it it will say "Set White Level")

Then find that brightest white spot in your photo and click on it.

If that doesn't look right, just keep clicking in different areas until you get what looks right to you.

Then click OKAY.

Sometimes there just isn't a good white to be clicked on. In that case, there are other options but they take a bit longer to explain than I have time for now.
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  #42  
Old 2014-01-15, 1:58pm
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Thanks Laura for taking the time to give me those directions. I like your idea about adding a small white piece to the area to use for lightening the background. Now I just have to find the time to work with it.
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  #43  
Old 2014-01-15, 6:13pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laura B View Post
The basics are that I found a spot in your background that was probably supposed to be absolutely white (not the whole background... just one little spot that looked like it was supposed to be whiter than other parts). That's one of the things most people do wrong... they just pick an area that they THINK is supposed to be white and click on it (as described below) without realizing there are lots of shades of white and it makes a difference for you to look for the absolute brightest white spot you can find.

In the future, I advise putting something very white (a small flat item that you will crop out later) into the photo. That, then, can be the thing you click on.

Anyway, hit CTRL+L. This will bring up the pop-up window for LEVELS.

Click on the far right eye-dropper (if you hover over it it will say "Set White Level")

Then find that brightest white spot in your photo and click on it.

If that doesn't look right, just keep clicking in different areas until you get what looks right to you.

Then click OKAY.

Sometimes there just isn't a good white to be clicked on. In that case, there are other options but they take a bit longer to explain than I have time for now.
Just so you don't get confused, this info above is the same thing that is in Lori Greenberg's tutorial on using levels. That is what I did with your photo in one of my earlier posts and I had also posted the link to her tutorial on Wetcanvas. Without having the leaves to look at in real life, it's hard to make the color adjustment accurate. What helped me was trying to get the background right. That is white Styrofoam, right?
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  #44  
Old 2014-01-16, 10:02am
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Originally Posted by Lisi View Post
Just so you don't get confused, this info above is the same thing that is in Lori Greenberg's tutorial on using levels. That is what I did with your photo in one of my earlier posts and I had also posted the link to her tutorial on Wetcanvas. Without having the leaves to look at in real life, it's hard to make the color adjustment accurate. What helped me was trying to get the background right. That is white Styrofoam, right?
Why would anyone get confused by my post?

Anyway, never looked at Lori Greenberg's tutorial, but there are about 8,000 places where you can find this info on the internet.

Color correcting is one of the most basic and most asked about things in photo-editing software.
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  #45  
Old 2014-01-16, 5:32pm
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Of course Laura would provide the same advice as Lori. They both give the identical steps needed to use a particular feature of the commercial software. Not much of a surprise there.

There are also a lot of youtube videos on Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. One of my favorite series of tutorials on Photoshop is on "My Damn Channel." The series is called "You Suck at Photoshop." To totally appreciate it, you need to watch the entire series in sequence.
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  #46  
Old 2014-01-20, 2:01am
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Why would anyone get confused by my post?

Anyway, never looked at Lori Greenberg's tutorial, but there are about 8,000 places where you can find this info on the internet.

Color correcting is one of the most basic and most asked about things in photo-editing software.
Confused as in you posting he same into after I already did. I felt I had to let the OP know that it was the same because she was asking how you did her photo when I had already told her what to do! lol!
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  #47  
Old 2014-01-21, 10:16am
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Confused as in you posting he same into after I already did. I felt I had to let the OP know that it was the same because she was asking how you did her photo when I had already told her what to do! lol!
OP directly asked me the steps to how *I* got the photo I showed in my example. So I responded with the steps to how I got the photo I showed in my example.

It's something I do on a daily basis, so rather than point OP to offsite URLs where she'd have to look for the steps to just the one thing she was asking about, I found it easier to just answer the OP's question.

I think there was very little confusion to be had by anyone regarding my clear and to the point response.

I'm sorry if you took offense (or feel you need to beat your head against a brick wall) to the fact that I answered a question in here. But I've learned that I can't second guess how a forum post will be taken, so I gave up trying long ago.

Let's just all get along and help one another. Better for OP to have too much info and help than not enough.
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