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Learning NX2: my ongoing quest thread...

Discussion in 'Nikon Capture and View NX' started by Hovmod, Aug 14, 2008.

  1. Hovmod


    Aug 11, 2008
    Here's a picture I took of an old crane the other day. It was a bright shiny day, and I must have chosen a bad angle and some really stupid settings, because the picture turned out like this:


    So I played around with contrasts and saturation and some other little adjustments and came up with this, much better look:


    However, that coloured and oddly textured glare from the sidelight on and around the gear in front center is still there, and I'm not sure how to select and remove or dampen it without affecting the gears under it.

    What would you do to 'save' this shot?

    (I'm not really trying to save the shot, I'm trying to learn NX by picking a very bad shot...)

    I can provide the NEF and set file and so on if anyone's interested, but maybe the gurus among you have a two click solution? :D 

    BTW, the crane itself looks like this, and this one I'm pretty happy with:

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 15, 2008
  2. Tor, I'm amazed at the transformation from the first to the second image. Congratulations!

    The easiest way to select the glare area is to use a Color Control Point. The second easiest way is to paint that area with the brush.

    However, I don't think you're going to get rid of the glare. That looks at a glance (without downloading the file) to probably be an area with completely blown highlights, maybe to the point of being unsalvageable.

    Since you're taking the admirable step of learning how to use NX by working with such a difficult image, consider brightening the dark shadows on the right side a tad so you can see more detail. You could use the Color Control Points and/or the Paint Brush to do that.

    Your first image looks overexposed. Even you hadn't overexposed it you would have gotten that glare, though it wouldn't necessarily have become blown highlights. A really easy way to minimize or eliminate glare is to use a polarizer filter.

    By the way, that's a neat piece of equipment. I could easily spend an hour photographing it.
  3. Hovmod


    Aug 11, 2008
    Yeah, well thanks. It would have taken me a year in Photoshop to get nowhere near that result. :) 
    I find Capture NX remarkably intuitive and easy to work with, although I sometimes feel a little 'left out' by automatic processes...

    I can't get a colour control point to select anything that ethereal, really. Brush? Perhaps... I'm getting used to how it's often a good idea to pick the effect first, and then apply it with a brush or a selection. Very cool way to work. But I can't think of an effect or filter that will help here, except maybe painting over and trying to recreate, which wasn't what I wanted to do here.

    I was doodling with that too, but my attempts so far bring too much shite forward with the details, so I decided to obfuscate.. :D 

    Hm. Filters, huh? I was sort of hoping to "fix it in the mix" with this digital stuff, but I get the point. :) 

    Yes, they left that old crane (and another, not quite as cool one) when they converted the old shipyard here in town to pubs and clubs and shopping centers. That and the dry dock. I see people photographing it almost every day. :) 

    Thanks for your help.
  4. Hovmod


    Aug 11, 2008
    btw, all three pictures have artifacts and compression trash that I can't see in Capture NX, probably added by further compression by the picasa online conversion. I'll have to switch to some other web space provider, I think. Look at the border between the blue sky and the right leg of the crane, for instance, or the radial gradient towards the left of the sky. Not present on my version in Capture NX, as far as I cen tell. :shrug:
  5. Hovmod


    Aug 11, 2008
    From a beach in Gabon, here's a P&S snap of an unafraid little tweetiebird (a finch of some sort?) that wanted my bread. A cool observation was that they collectively took care of a young one, several of these were teaching it to steal bread and fed it when it failed. This one I think was the ring leader - alpha male, perhaps?

    But the shot is useless. Ridiculous background, underexposed dark subject.


    Cropped and processed I got here. But the bird got some sort of blue outline, and the chairs in the background look 'fake'. I think I overdid some adjustments. Contrast perhaps? Or just bad raw material (from a Canon Ixus something)?


    Cute bugger, anyway. I shared my bread happily with these guys, and focused on one of the best fish soups ever.
  6. The blue fringe is also in the first one. I think you simply enlarged it and also emphasized it during post processing.

    That can happen due to sharpening. Be sure to use selective sharpening. The background in a photo like that needs no sharpening and might emphasize existing negative aspects such as noise.

    One of the issues I notice about the background chairs is that they have a LOT less contrast -- hardly any difference between the highlights and shadows that existed in the first one. Something during your post processing caused it. Notice that the blue fringing is emphasized in that area also.
  7. Hovmod


    Aug 11, 2008
    Do you think the background got sharpened because of the yellow that shows through the chairs? Because I was only trying to sharpen the bird...
  8. It's hard to tell.

    You were posting as I was editing my previous post, so you might want to read it again.

    Gotta run!
  9. Hovmod


    Aug 11, 2008
    Nice. I'll try to make mine look like that before asking you what you did... :) 
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