08-02-2011, 09:42 PM #1
Motorcycle Race - Dull Colors SOOC to the After Shot
This is my first post here in the Before and After section. I've posted quite a few of my drag strip photos in the SYS and Critique sections and have usually had really good feedback on them, so I must be doing something right. But, I wanted to try posting one here in the Before and After to see what you guys think. To see if maybe there's something in my PP that could be done better to enhance the images a little more. I look forward to seeing what you all think!
Link to the full sized after image: Z Max June 2011 :: IMG_0134.jpg picture by Stormchaser2o11 - Photobucket
1) As you can see there is definitely major cropping, as is the case with most pictures I take at the strip. Sometimes the fast paced action is just too quick to get a tight SOOC shot.
2) Using the Camera Raw Editor while importing into PS CS5.1, I first change the exposure to reach a level that looks most appealing to me. I tend to overexpose on the slider, then bring it back from there until I'm happy with it.
3) Due to this shot being taken in the evening and the lighting not quite being optimal and being on the shadowed side of the subject, I used a heavier fill light than I normally would, but I don't think the image suffered for it any.
4) This is normally the part where I up the warmth a little bit, but being that I was editing a few hundred pictures, I forgot to do that on this specific photo. If you think it could use a little more warmth, please let me know. If you think it's fine the way it is, I'd like to know that too
5) I go to the Tone Curve tab in the Camera Raw Editor and set it to heavy contrast preset, just slightly tweaking the points a little. Heavy contrast doesn't work well for every photo, but I believe it does well in this one.
6) I run a plugin by Topaz called Topaz Denoise 5 "I've used all the major denoise plugins as well as stand alone software, and for me, this one has blown them all out of the water" The plugin scans the image to determine how best to remove the noise, and then I usually stick with it's presets to get the desired result.
7) I run Topaz Lens Effects to apply sharpening to the image "like the denoise plugin, it scans the image to determine how best to apply the sharpening effects."
And other than adding a signature, that's the end of the PP for this image. Love to hear some feedback on what you think, or maybe a little insight into what you would have done differently. Thanks! =)
Last edited by ArmySoldier777; 08-02-2011 at 09:52 PM.
08-02-2011, 10:44 PM #2
Nice work, I definitely like the cropped shot. My only thought, and it's not a criticism of this shot, but to get the impression of speed, have you thought of using a slower shutter and panning with the bikes?
08-02-2011, 10:53 PM #3
Great job, bringing those colors back.
I wasn't born to follow, nor was I born to lead; I was merely born to choose-- and choose...I did.
08-02-2011, 10:56 PM #4
I think the exposure is a little dark, and the WB off slightly (not warm, but maybe green). I think a levels adjustment would work wonders. If you have a clarity adjustment in your raw processor try using that as well.
I'm not sure such a hard crop is the best, maybe more room to the left.
08-02-2011, 11:07 PM #5
@ Bruce: Thanks for the feedback! And yes, I tried a few shots like that but I ran into the issue of it being too slow and getting to much blur on the subject. I'm sure with practice and time I might be able to go down one or two more while still keeping the subject sharp. At the drag strip, I'm only about 1/5 of the way down the quarter mile track. I tend to stay towards the beginning to catch all the burnouts and wheelies. So by the time they're going fast enough for me to really catch any motion blur in the background, they're too far down for me to make any use out of it.
@Tito: Thanks for your reply. Really appreciate it.
@sk66: Thanks for that input. I thought about going in an upping the exposure during the original edit of all the photos, but I didn't have time to correct the overexposed areas that come with doing that. Had way too many pictures to go through. I definitely agree with what you're saying though. Now that it's been awhile and I'm just doing it for gaining knowledge and insight, I'll try some of those adjustments you mentioned.
I appreciate the time and help from everyone here
Last edited by ArmySoldier777; 08-02-2011 at 11:44 PM.
08-02-2011, 11:36 PM #6
Is this closer to what you were suggesting?
See Full Size Image Here: http://s1098.photobucket.com/albums/...IMG_0134-1.jpg
Last edited by ArmySoldier777; 08-02-2011 at 11:43 PM.
08-02-2011, 11:53 PM #7
08-03-2011, 01:54 AM #8
I think that's better also - and it shows more detail - like you can now see the gap showing the front wheel is off the ground - you can feel more of the speed
08-03-2011, 02:04 AM #9
Well I appreciate all the help from everyone getting it there Sometimes I find that when I'm editing so many pictures at one time, that they all kinda start to blur together and I miss some of the details that you pay attention to when you're only focused on 1. Hopefully seeing everybody's opinion on the editing process towards the final image will help me out a little more.
I am curious about people's opinions on cropping though. sk66 was the only one to mention it, and I went with just a slightly wider crop to the left, which I think worked out pretty well. But looking at the original image, is there a different way that any of you would've chosen to crop the picture? I tend to go for tight shots because I like to see details and I think sometimes that takes my focus away from the overall image, so I'm curious to hear what others would've done.
Last edited by ArmySoldier777; 08-03-2011 at 02:08 AM.
08-03-2011, 05:04 AM #10
As far as the cropping goes, when you have a subject - especially one that can see - then generally it's best to have some negative space in the direction the subject is looking - which is evident in your crop. Then of course, there is the rule of thirds and some shots can't alway comply. This crop does to the extent that the rider's head is on the top third imaginary line, but not on the vertical and horizontal third which can't work here - unless it was cropped with more negative space in front, which I don't believe would be all that appropriate here.