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Author Topic: QU & TTS Helps a Grey Heron to Overcome a Cheetah  (Read 17218 times)
Terry-M
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« on: October 07, 2010, 01:05:35 PM »

But it was beaten by 4 lions  Shocked
Last evening it was the “Nature” competition at my local photographic club, and, not wishing to boast (well, just a little  Wink) I got second place in the print section with an image of a Grey Heron with Ring-necked Ducks, see below. I wouldn’t normally have mentioned this here but the judge is on the “Nature” selection panel of the Royal Photographic Society and an expert on such matters.
The use of Qimage Ultimate, not only to make a print, but to process and refine the raw image made a huge difference to what could have been a fairly ordinary bird shot. The ducks passing by was fortuitous and added to the composition.
The judge commented on the sharpness of the feathers, "lovely" background tones and the reflections of ducks & small rocks. The good feather definition was achieved with TTS 2-300-90%, Ex Tone with the dark green background selected. This ensured both the heron and ducks were sharpened without inducing graininess in the background.
The print was made prior to the new highlight recovery enhancement so a curve was used to improve detail in the neck feathers. This has now been discarded and Refine H/L recovery has done a better job with just one click.
The judge also commented on the print crop saying it was "correct" to have the heron well to the left and looking across the frame. Of course, this was easily achieved with QU.
Technical: Canon 350D, 70-300 f4.5 IS lens at 300mm; f7.1, 1/400th ISO 200.
I hope this is some help to QU users to show what can be done to get the most out of an image.

Heron with Ring-necked Ducks at Slimbridge Wetlands Centre, Gloucestershire, UK.

Terry
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Fred A
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« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2010, 01:34:38 PM »

Quote
I hope this is some help to QU users to show what can be done to get the most out of an image.

Terry,
You left out one ingredient.
Your innate sense of photo scenic capture is what gives you a head start. You have more quality images from which to chose, and more to the point, you have "The Eye".

I agree, though, Qimage Ultimate took the print from a darn good print to a prize winner by judicious use of exposure settings, Fill light, and sharpening.

Thank you for the great photo to use as an incentive to improve.

Fred
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DdeGannes
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« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2010, 01:43:14 PM »

Congrats Terry for a very good photo and rendition.
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Owen Glendower
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« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2010, 02:14:21 PM »

Congratulations, Terry, and thanks for posting your settings.  I'm going to re-work some of my heron shots from past visits to Florida, now that TTS is available.  Previously, I couldn't manage the background properly.  Again, you're showing us the way!  Appreciate your generosity.
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Jeff
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« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2010, 04:29:59 PM »

It would have required a good selection tech with PS/Elements to achieve that, no doubt it could be done but many times the effort.

Another great shot.

Keep them comming.

Jeff g

 
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Terry-M
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« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2010, 09:28:16 AM »

Thank you guys for the nice comments.
Now, go and do likewise and put the QU techniques into practice.  Wink
Terry
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Box Brownie
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« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2010, 11:25:57 PM »

Hi

Nice to see the result of QU getting such compliments.......hang it was the tog not QU  Cheesy but as mentioned by others you have start with good seed materials Smiley  Great stuff

I look forward to trying the newer features and getting back on track but my main PC went west a few weeks ago and I have yet to build the new one Sad  Still, hope to get this sorted by the end of November, fingers crossed.

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Ken
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« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2010, 12:17:27 AM »

Outstanding image Terry!
Love the examples you guys leave for us. Gives us all something to shoot for. Appreciate your work!
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Owen Glendower
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« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2010, 12:36:33 AM »

The good feather definition was achieved with TTS 2-300-90%, Ex Tone with the dark green background selected. This ensured both the heron and ducks were sharpened without inducing graininess in the background.
But doesn't this mean that the NON dark green tones in the background (specifically the rocks; also the rocks in the foreground) DID have sharpening applied?  If so, I can't see any graininess in them.  Help me out here, Terry.  Still feeling my way with TTS.
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Terry-M
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« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2010, 08:05:35 AM »

Hello Owen,
Quote
But doesn't this mean that the NON dark green tones in the background (specifically the rocks; also the rocks in the foreground) DID have sharpening applied?  If so, I can't see any graininess in them.  Help me out here, Terry.  Still feeling my way with TTS.
See attached below, a screen capture of the Editor showing the settings.
The "green" tone selected was a sort of muddy green and the slider was set at 90% to enable some of the more "brown" tones to be selected for sharpening exclusion.
You will also see that shadow noise is ticked to eliminate any graininess that was there in the out-of-focus areas. This feature has to be used with care so as not to soften detail on the subject. However I find that  a notch up on the radius or an increase in USM percentage can sometimes compensate for this.
I hope that helps, there are no hard & fast rules with this as every image is different; I gained experience by spending time going back over old images and trying different TTS settings so I now have a good idea where to start on new images.
An example of this is on high iso macro shots (http://ddisoftware.com/tech/qimage-ultimate/another-perfect-use-for-tts-macro-shots/) where the technique of using a negative percentage to soften the background works in many cases, possibly combined with shadow noise ticked.
Another example would be a general scene that contains blue or even grey sky (blue sky is particularly susceptible to noise). Most of the scene normally needs sharpening but eliminating the sky prevents noise in that area.
Terry
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Fred A
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« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2010, 10:01:32 AM »

Quote
Most of the scene normally needs sharpening but eliminating the sky prevents noise in that area.

As a Photographer, I am not in Terry's league at all, but since Terry is covering the Tone Targeted sharpening very well, I thought I might touch on the selection of the exposure adjustments, AKA the Grid squares in Refine.
I got a decent shot yesterday, and processed it.  Not bad!!!!
Then I showed it to a good friend who said the hot area top left was distracting.
So I reprocessed selecting a different grid square, the one that had the bright area.
Selecting this exposure value improved the result dramatically.

My point!
Don't be afraid to experiment. Not only did I use the exposure from a different grid selection, but I gave the extra click which sent Refine into the next level of exposure selection, Recover Highlights! This will give you, as an indicator, a RED outline around your selected grid square.

http://wa3ssz.jalbum.net/Fred%27s%20Stuff/New%20&%20Odd/slides/_IMGHeron.html

http://wa3ssz.jalbum.net/Fred%27s%20Stuff/New%20&%20Odd/slides/_MG_9724.html

If you click the left and right arrows to the upper right, you can compare images easily.


Have fun!
Fred
« Last Edit: October 13, 2010, 10:03:52 AM by Fred A » Logged
Owen Glendower
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« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2010, 04:09:46 PM »

The "green" tone selected was a sort of muddy green and the slider was set at 90% to enable some of the more "brown" tones to be selected for sharpening exclusion.
You will also see that shadow noise is ticked to eliminate any graininess that was there in the out-of-focus areas. This feature has to be used with care so as not to soften detail on the subject. However I find that  a notch up on the radius or an increase in USM percentage can sometimes compensate for this.
I hope that helps, there are no hard & fast rules with this as every image is different

VERY helpful, Terry, thank you.  But here's another question which is related to my first one.

When using TTS, have you always been able to achieve what you want in one step?  Or, to put it another way, how would you apply different levels of TTS to two (or more) different areas of the photo?

It seems to me that this could be necessary for some photos.  For example, a photo's two subjects--both of which you wish to sharpen using TTS--are radically different in tone.  The background--which you wish to leave alone--is so variable in tone that it cannot be "selected" overall.

I assume that one would apply "stage 1" TTS, click "done," and then elect "create new" rather than "associate" in the dialog--and then open the new image and apply "stage 2" TTS.  Or am I overlooking something and/or making this too complicated?

In any case, the photos you've posted here and in other threads and the information you've shared constitute "case studies" which should be spliced into the Qimage manual.  Thanks again.



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Owen Glendower
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« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2010, 04:20:35 PM »

So I reprocessed selecting a different grid square, the one that had the bright area.
Selecting this exposure value improved the result dramatically.

It did, indeed.  Great examples, Fred, and thanks for making them so easy to compare.  Another "case study" for the Qimage manual!  Seriously, wouldn't that be a great project?  Review the forums for examples like these and collect them for easy reference?  Either that, or keep updating the "Qimage challenges" thread with links to examples like these.

I've managed to learn my way around the Qimage manual fairly well, but there's nothing like "real world" examples like these to open your eyes to the capabilities of this program.  Sometimes I can't believe that these forums are free.
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Terry-M
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« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2010, 05:12:09 PM »

Quote
When using TTS, have you always been able to achieve what you want in one step?  Or, to put it another way, how would you apply different levels of TTS to two (or more) different areas of the photo?
On the whole I have been able to achieve what I want in one step of TTS. To some extent you can apply different levels of TTS to different areas using the slider. A simple example would be say a flower with green leaves. Select the green for exclusion so the main sharpening would be on the flower colour but reducing the slider to say 90% would add a little usm to the leaves.
Using a flower example again, I have had a dilemma when say, I want to sharpen the mauve flower and the yellow stamens but not the leaves. In practice it's not been a serious problem because by trying different selections to sharpen or exclude and using the slider have got a good result.
Sometimes a 2-stage TTS would seem to be useful but life would get more complicated.  Roll Eyes
Have you a sample image as you described?
Quote
For example, a photo's two subjects--both of which you wish to sharpen using TTS--are radically different in tone.  The background--which you wish to leave alone--is so variable in tone that it cannot be "selected" overall.
If you have, maybe I and Fred could have a go and see what we could do with the current TTS.
Sometimes it may be best to not use TTS but the plain vanilla USM.
Before the ability to soften and sharpen in one stage was introduced I did attempt a 2-stage process by making a new image with the 1st stage applied and applying the second stage on the new image.
Terry
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Fred A
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« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2010, 05:25:18 PM »

Quote
Using a flower example again, I have had a dilemma when say, I want to sharpen the mauve flower and the yellow stamens but not the leaves. In practice it's not been a serious problem because by trying different selections to sharpen or exclude and using the slider have got a good result.

Then you select t0 sharpen. TARGET ALL EXCEPT, and click on the leaves with the eye dropper as the exception.

Fred
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