For Ron; question about type of image


Jono Slack

Strokes and Folks

HI Iliah
I know my 'sandwich' method isn't new, but it would lend itself well to Rich's image, and nobody had mentioned it. Your way of doing it is more sophisticated than mine, but I suspect the real truth is that if you know what you want, then you can usually thrash around until you get there.

I must admit to being a 'poor' photoshop technician - I find it quite impossible to read anything about photoshop anyone else has written - but I've found ways of doing most of the things I need over the past 5 years.

As far as levels are concerned - Curves are always 'better', but often one can improve an image considerably with a simple levels adjustment - usually with an adjustment layer.

Surely it all depends what the image is for - you want a 50mb stock file, you'd better use curves - you want a nice 19X13 inkjet print - maybe you don't need to? Of course, it also depends on the image itself.

It isn't just 'strokes for folks' it's also a case of being pragmatic.
Jan 29, 2005
Hi Jono,

While doing multiple adjustment layers, you can work with 8-bit copy of the image, and then move adjustment layers to 16-bit original, or substitute background in 8-bit copy - saves time and increases brush responsiveness when painting masks.

Being also pragmatic, I do not see how levels are easier then curves (Ctrl-M vs. Ctrl-L? :) ). If translation table between gamma in levels and curves is needed, it can be easily calculated. But with curves you can always add a point or two to improve image.

Lack of control in levels make us resorting to local masks more often, and painting them also takes time and effort.

The sandwich I suggested can be easily turned into action, and behaves predictably, which IMHO is very important for workflow.

But of course I believe in diversity too :)

PS. I forgot to mention - I suggested curve initially because that might work right in Nikon Capture in the similar manner.
Feb 7, 2005
Annandale, VA
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #23
Now that everyone has had their "licks" on this one, let the original poster articulate his request.

I wasn't interested in help with this particular image. Actually it appears as I remember it. I had asked Ron (or anyone willing to assist) how do you use the technique described in his eBook with an image whose histogram looked like a normal image but "reversed (swapped end for end). Thus the original NEF file looked like a wedge with the high end to the right.

I'm thoroughly familar with levels and started in Photoshop using it along with saturation. I then used curves in PS, then moved to NC when I got the D100, then to Ron R's tehcnique, followed by Photoshop ACR "Real world camera raw. Every single technique has its strengths and weaknesses for individual users whether it be by eyeball using PSCS levels, options - algorithms, then highlights...or N.C. The most money I've ever made from my work was with jpg's taken in Tuscany and post processed with Levels-options, highlights and saturation. Now, I would never take a jpg on our yearly holidays. The trips cost so much and take so much preparation I want to make sure I have the best shot at getting a good picture...or even saving marginal ones...these are our memories! Takes all kinds I guess.

The images I'm interested in are characterized by strong sky lights, whether from detailed clouds, solid bright haze or a strong blue. Some of you might argue practicality, some might argue the need for an elegant mathematical solution. All I wanted (and still want) is to understand RR's technique and master it so I can decide for myself which is best for me. IT seems pointless to argue which method is better.

Thanks, Rich
Jan 26, 2005
San Jose, CA
Rich Gibson said:
It seems pointless to argue which method is better.
It's amazing that an archane topic like photo-finishing techniques can arouse such strong emotions :lol:.

Pardon me for hijacking your thread, Rich.
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