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Please help

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by Iliah, Sep 11, 2005.

  1. Iliah


    Jan 29, 2005
    Dan Margulis is in the process of preparing "Professional Photoshop", 5th edition. It will have a lot to do with digital photography (not only Nikon, and not only dSLRs :tongue: ). Please help compiling a list of problems we are fighting. Here is mine:

    - white balance, including mixed light problems
    - poor contrast and microcontrast (local contrast) (lack of pop) (haze)
    - poor colour
    - false colour in certain colours
    - false colour in highlights
    - underexposure (to preserve highlights)
    - blown-out highlights
    - blown-out colour channels
    - plugged shadows
    - chroma noise in shadows
    - luminosity noise in shadows
    - overall noise
    - moire
    - superimposing several exposures to have more dynamic range
    - fringing
    - blooming
    - chromatic aberration (including increased CA at corners)
    - lens flare
    - softness of corners
    - digital vignetting
    - demosaicing artifacts
    - JPEG artifacts
    - not enough DR (which IMHO is a general term for some problems listed above)
    - unadequate colour mapping
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 12, 2005
  2. heiko


    May 15, 2005

    This is a pretty comprehensive list. I would add the following:

    1. Selective sharpening
    2. General aspects of sharpening photos, edge sharpening, etc.
    3. Selective noise removal (dark areas only)
    4. Enlarging pictures to poster size (and further processing to eliminate pixelisation, etc.)
    5. ACR adjustments and specific camera profiles

    Hope it helps.
  3. Iliah


    Jan 29, 2005
    Dear Heiko,

    Dan will definitely dedicate a chapter to sharpening. I was trying to make a list of digital capture problems, and maybe we should add a separate list of common post-processing tasks other then to defeat digital capture malformations. I doubt though he will consider blowing pictures up to poster size as a viable topic. But let's ask him.

    For now Dan is considering ACR as the main tool for raw conversion to be presented in the book, but I doubt he will bother with camera profiles, especially with ACR, where they are counter-productive.
  4. Here's more items to add to the list of topics Dan might want to address.

    1. Metering methods
    2. Color spaces and how they are used on the web and for print.
    3. RAW camera files and processing techniques.
    4. Way to avoid introducing artifacts into post processed images.
    5. Getting a handle on skin tones and color balance.
    6. When and how to use fill flash.
    7. Mastering depth of field and hyperfocal distance in digital photography.

    aka beaucamera
  5. Iliah


    Jan 29, 2005
    Dear Virginia,

    I'm afraid metering methods, depth of field, hyperfocal distance and fill flash - that is not for Photoshop book :) 
  6. heiko


    May 15, 2005
    Thanks for the reply!

    Regarding blowing digital pictures to poster size, I consider this a challenge to find a way on improving or finetuning on PS resize function (it works OK, but I still don't fell I can get the result of a 35mm slide film enlarged to a poster). (Maybe I should get a D2X for that, but, allas, there was the school bill of the kids, etc., etc. and more.)

    Regarding camera profiles in ACR, perhaps I didn't explain myself well enough. With all the sliders and settings I find in ACR, and on top of that an automatic exposure and other options, I was wondering if there are recommended "default" settings in ACR that I can save and use everytime I import? Or perhaps several "defaults" according to type of picture? I simply would want to get the best results when importing a RAW file to reduce further processing time. I know this can be a lot of work, as it probably would have to be explored and tested with different camera models.

  7. Iliah


    Jan 29, 2005
    Dear Heiko,
    Thank you for the explanations. Now I understand what you mean.
  8. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  9. kjoosten


    May 1, 2005
    Houston, TX
    I would second the comment concerning "smart" ACR. Maybe a collection of presets or settings to match certain film-like "looks" with particular camera models.
  10. Iliah


    Jan 29, 2005
    Dear Kent,

    I will pass "collection of presets" wish - but Dan's approach usually is pretty fundamental. I think he will provide a "universal" starting point instead.
  11. TOF guy

    TOF guy

    Mar 11, 2005
    Hi Iliah,

    How about lens flare, lens distortion ?

    Isn't there an equivalent for grey level mapping ?

    Personally, I wish to find a textbook which explains how digital art photography is done (Lee Standstead's pictures come to mind). I suppose one shoot a target with pigments similar to those used by the artist ?

    Then correction of small framing mistakes, like cropping, slant correction, "perspective" adjustement, or are these too basic ?

    Well that's all I can come up with for the moment.

  12. Iliah


    Jan 29, 2005
    Dear Thierry,

    Lens flare - noted.

    Gray scale and colour mapping - different things. Colour mapping occurs when some colour recorded is out of output gamut.
  13. Iliah


    Jan 29, 2005
    "This is a response to the many comments and suggestions about planning the 2006 edition of Professional Photoshop. They have changed my mind about two areas. I was surprised by how many people wanted a strong channel-blending section. I will upgrade what I had been planning.

    Also, at first I did not think that Iliah's list of common problems was particularly useful. Outside of issues of noise and moire reduction, everything is covered within the "color by the numbers" philosophy, so that anyone who truly understands the first half of the book would automatically have solved these problems. I now think, however, that it would be better to reinforce that at the end of the book. There is already a section in the final chapter that discusses how you would know when looking at a picture whether you wanted to correct it in RGB, LAB, or CMYK. I think there ought also to be a reverse list, that is, if you have Problem A in the image, it indicates that Procedure B should have been used.

    I agree with those who said that we need to know why Canyon Conundrum is doing so much better than anyone predicted before doing anything irreversible with Professional Photoshop. At the time I posted the inquiry, we were guessing, but now it's pretty clear what has happened and why I didn't foresee it.

    In my classes, I give a 2-3 hour introduction to LAB before anybody starts working in it. Students therefore have seen some of the fanciest stuff before they try the simple things. I have not had experience with people who have just been introduced to the most rudimentary LAB move (i.e. Chapter 1) and are struggling with it without knowing exactly where the book is going to go with it.

    That basic symmetrical move in the A and B curves, however, seems enormously powerful to people who are trying it out for the first time. Readers seem to have been able to figure out what type of image it works on best, and they are getting immediate results from it. I had thought that the book would appeal largely to an intermediate-advanced audience because most of the later chapters contain information that is available nowhere else. Everybody who's gotten to the second half of the book likes that, too, but the big push is from people who have gotten through only a chapter or two and found that it completely changed their workflow. These are the people who are doing the big word of mouth. It's only now that people are coming forward to say that they are getting a lot out of the later chapters. I still have hardly seen any commentary past Chapter 11.

    For the channel-blending part of Professional Photoshop, we may be able to shoot for the same thing: an immediate boost in quality, followed by a more detailed explanation.

    *As to the concern that I might do just a quick update to get the book out the door, no need to worry about it. As some of my recent posts have indicated, at some point in the near future I am going to have to decide what I intend to do when I grow up. I've already said that 2006 will probably be the last year for the Makeready column. One would have to suspect that this will be the last rewrite of Professional Photoshop, although I don't know for sure yet. I have a lot of interest in life outside of color. Certainly I would want this one to last for four years or so, just as the current edition has. I have no intention of having what is potentially my last book be an inaequate one.

    *The comment by **** Lutz about scientific imaging is well taken. I did put out a request for such images but to date have no good ones.

    *We definitely need a section on where Camera Raw fits into a sensible workflow. However, we will not go into specific shooting techniques. We have to assume that the start point is a photograph that has already been taken, and that the end point is a print-ready file.

    *There will be no change in title. First-time authors get pushed around considerably by their publisher. In 1994, I wanted to call the book "Professional Color with Photoshop", and I wanted a larger trim size. I lost these battles, in the first case because the publisher wanted to trick general Photoshop users into buying it, and in the second because it would have been more expensive to print. For this forthcoming edition, I plan to go to the 8x10 size of Canyon Conundrum, which will enable larger images. However, there is just too much equity in the Professional Photoshop name, which I still don't like, to consider changing it. Googling it gets tens of thousands of hits.

    *I am not going to change my basic writing style in favor of a step-by-step approach. These books are intended to teach people to *think* about color and not just to spit out a recipe. As for the jokes and literary allusions, they're staying in, too. The subject is difficult, and whatever can be done to make the book more appealing bedtime reading is IMHO appropriate.

    *Professional photographers are *part* of the target audience for this book, not the be-all and end-all. Many "amateur" photographers are at least as good, and more motivated to improve, than many "professionals." Plus, there's a whole universe of people who don't claim or aspire to be good photographers at all, but whose job is image prep. In my view, anybody who potentially could justify spending 15 minutes on an image could also potentially be a reader.

    *The book needs to retain its focus. Workflow-related topics that are specific to individual users are secondary. We will not discuss specific brands of printer or camera unless there is some highly unusual characteristic.

    *While I agree that the treatment of sharpening needs to be expanded, and that there the topic is very deep, I disagree that a book about sharpening only would be economically viable and I have no intent of producing one.

    *It was pointed out that at least two new books are in the works on channel structure. If it turns out that neither one is what people are looking for, and if there is no new edition of Photoshop Channel Chops, then we can revisit the question of a book on channel blending.


    About twenty people have replied to my request for images for this book, which is more than enough. I will be responding to them in the next couple of days, as well as posting a second request for specific types of images at a later time.

    I would like to thank those who took the time to post to the thread, and also for those who have offered constructive feedback about the Canyon Conundrum.

    Dan Margulis"
  14. I Hope there will be a constructive chapter about printing, ICC Profiling, matching what you see on the screen to printers, home and commercial, I have not yet been able to get a good workflow to get the same output that I see on the screen come out on any printer I have tried (and yes the monitor is calibrated)
  15. Iliah


    Jan 29, 2005
    Dear Andreas,

    three dedicated books you can look upon:
    "Real World Color Management", Second Edition, by Bruce Fraser,Chris Murphy, Fred Bunting;

    "Color Management for Photographers : Hands on Techniques for Photoshop Users", by Andrew Rodney

    "Understanding Color Management" by Abhay Sharma
  16. Thanks for the great suggestions, i will be getting the number 2 and 3 basedon your recommendation, I'm reading the first one of them right now, very constructive and useful.

    I posted the suggestions because many people like me have problems with this and could use a basic primer, adn then dwelve deeper into the books you mention.

  17. heiko


    May 15, 2005
    Hi Iliah,

    I'm glad to read that Dan considers a section on ACR, as this is often the starting point for getting the image into PS. The default settings in ACR definitely don't work well with me. What would be helpful is some set of rules or settings that would ensure a good import of pictures, and - if necessary to go further down the line - perhaps some recommended camera settings (such as tone compensation low, etc.) to get the most out of ACR and PS.
  18. Iliah


    Jan 29, 2005
    Dear Heiko,

    Yesterday I was shooting white eggs on white sand. For some reason default camera exposure settings were not working too good. The more I live, the more my default rule is to avoid defaults. Including this rule, too.
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