PS CS Problem / Question

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Flew, Apr 29, 2005.

  1. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    I probably should have posted this in the tech section, but I thought I had a better chance of getting help here. As some of you know, I recently bought PS CS. I had been using PSP 9 and was reasonably happy, but I wanted to be able to take advantage of the numerous actions that are available for Photoshop.

    Overall, I have been very pleased with the results that I've been getting, but have noticed a recurring problem that causes an otherwise decent shot to turn out not so good. It involves using the Shadows / Highlights tool. When I first started using PS, this tool was one that really impressed me. Judicious use really can make a picture 'pop'. Every now and then however, I see a really strange effect. When I bring up this tool, no matter how low (or high) I make either the S or the H setting, the image becomes extremely contrasty, to the point where highlights are very blown, and almost posterized looking.

    I always shoot RAW, and convert the NEF's to 16-bit TIFF's. I then bring them into PS and go through a standard process. One of the first things that I do is to bring up the S / H tool. On the affected shots, a non-zero setting on either the S or the H causes the problem. Essentially, I either settle for a bad looking image, or just don't use the S / H tool.

    Has anyone else seen this? Does anyone know the cause / solution? What am I doing wrong??

    You assistance is appreciated.

    Frank
     
  2. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    I have a saved S/H setting

    of 10/10, and that's all I would ever nominally use. Sometimes I dial it down further from there, to 5-6%.
     
  3. gho

    gho

    Feb 7, 2005
    California
    I rarely use the S/H tool unless I didn't use fill when I should have or something like that. I really don't like the look of the S/H tool, somewhat like you describe.

    Usually what I do is use the curves to bring up midtones (if I do it at all) and that way I have more control over the results.

    It could be I'm just misusing the S/H tool - maybe its just a old habit that curves is easier.
     
  4. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    Thanks Gregory. I am such a noob with PS, and I had heard good things about S / H. For some images, it works great; for others not so great. As I told Steve, this problem has made me explore the capabilities of the Curves and Levels tools in much more depth. That is a good thing. 8)

    Regards,

    Frank
     
  5. F15Todd

    F15Todd

    Feb 1, 2005
    Tennessee
    Frank I have the same problem. Right now I find I
    get better outputs by using D-light in Capture and
    then moving to Photoshop for other tweeks.
     
  6. Iliah

    Iliah

    Jan 29, 2005
    nowhere
    If you want, I can suggest a method that replaces S/H. Actually, it is more capable, and free of the bugs S/H has. But it is quite long, though can be coded as an action.
     
  7. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    Todd, This is exactly what Gordon told me.

    Iliah, I would definitely appreciate your inputs on this. I don't mind doing the action (assuming that I can understand the process).

    Thanks to you both!!

    Frank
     
  8. Another perspective on S/H tool.

    I like the tool very much. I'm wondering are you using all of the settings on the tool? Make sure the tool is totally opened by checking the more options box.

    Using a little bit of either S or H play with the tonal width or radius sliders. I've found that to reduce glare, a small amount of H with a moderate amount of tonal width and a large amount of radius works wonders sometime.

    When that is done play with the color correction slider to offset any reddening and then tweak the midtone contrast.

    Harlan
     
  9. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    Harlan,

    The combinations that are available are nearly infinite, so I won't say that I've tried everything, but I've tried nearly everything. 8)

    On most images, it does just as you describe, but on a few, it pushes the highlights into saturation with any setting that I tried. :?

    I'll continue to experiment, but for now, when I run across one of these, I just don't use this tool.

    Thanks for taking the time to answer.

    Frank
     
  10. Frank,

    One other step you can take after using the S/H is to go into brightness/contrast and lower the contrast a little in there. I find that helps too. Let me know if this works and if not, I will see what else I can do to help you.
     
  11. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    Melissa,

    I tried that, but once the damage is done, nothing seems to help. I appreciate your offer though, and may take you up on it as I dig my way through the intricacies of PS.

    Thanks!!

    Frank
     
  12. Iliah,

    If you send me your process, I will make an action for Frank if he wants me too.
     
  13. Me too, (humbly requests)

    Melissa

    I'd love to try the action also. I'm always looking for new ways of doing things!

    Harlan
     
  14. Re: Me too, (humbly requests)

    If Iliah, sends me the process I will be happy to turn it into an action. I just learned not to long ago how to make actions so I am a little slow at it but it can be done. I made one action and it worked beautifully and was based on a tutorial.
     
  15. Hi, Flew. I have had the same problem in the past and found that it was a combination of setting the amount of highlight recovery and radius too high, and having midtone contrast set above 0. Being less agressive on the first two I mentioned and setting midtone contrast to 0 greatly reduces posterization whilst still pulling hidden details out of the shadows. Like Steven, I use 10/30/10 or less - that is, unless I am working with layers and targeting a particularly troublesome shadow that is vital to the overall subject. I would also set as default midtone contrast to 0. All and all, I find the s/h much less destructive than NC/DEE if reasonable care is exercised in choosing the appropriate settings.
     
  16. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    Chad,

    Just the specific info that I need!! I'll try these settings and see if they do the trick.

    Thanks!!

    Frank
     
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