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New camera - a few quick fish pics


fiona

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The new camera arrived yesterday. Gee it's nice to have a reasonable camera. A Sony DSC-H2. It has its limitations but much better than the camera that I used to struggle with. The one I really really want is a Nikon D200. Like that's going to happen in a hurry! I can dream though. Maybe in a year or two.

I'm still getting used to it so I'm only putting up the reasonable piccies ... I'll post other fish as I get "good enough" shots of them.

Maingano - these dudes are only little

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Hongi. Those head stripes I like, contrasty and unbroken.

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The main man ... my dominant Yellow male. I took yellow OUT of this photo - it was a bit discoloured by the water. And sharpened it up a touch (as I generally do). Otherwise NO photoshopping.

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Nice pics Fiona :)

I mucked about a bit with the praecox. Not sure if it's my screen, but I found it hard to tell where the outline of the fish was. It looks better on my screen now (not sure about yours). Plus I got rid of the big stringy poo :lol3:

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Just lightened the shadows really, and removed a bit of the noise from the background via a duplicate layer in photoshop. Took 2 minutes and was a rushed job, but I think it makes a bit of difference.

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I'll say it does. I had a go at a similar thing using the slider on "levels". But had to go to the larger file size then downsize due to some pixellation in the background. Oh and you took the java moss out! Much better ... I'll have to go do it.

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Makes a big difference on my screen.

Andy one day we'll have you guys down for lunch. The girls can chat, the kids can play, and you can teach me all about photoshop :lol3:

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Yes that's a big improvement on the maingano too. The levels slider didn't do it for me. So a duplicate layer, huh? Then what did you do with the duplicate layer?

And what's the best thing for cleaning glass? I went around and cleaned it all but it didn't come up very well.

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The maingano one could be a lot better as well if you took the time to do it properly. It's amazing what comes out when you lighten the shadows. There's a definite rock vs black space when you lighten it.

Duplicate layers are awesome for removing unwanted noise. Just duplicate a layer, then apply a lot of noise reduction filter to the whole image. Then use your eraser to remove the blurriness from your subject. Play around with the eraser size and the opacity until you get it perfect.

I also like using the healing brush and the burn tool to remove annoying clutter from backgrounds.

I'm still very much the amateur when it comes to photoshop. I know just enough to clean up pictures, but I'd love to be able to manipulate images properly.....

Yeah yeah BaZ you've been saying that for years :lol2: . Maybe one of the half dozen times a year you drive past my house on the way north you'll actually stop in :roll

Oh and for cleaning glass, a lint free cloth and glass cleaner is the best ;)

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I've had another go at the praecox (below). So are you saying, duplicate layer OVER the original one, manipulate that, and use eraser to get the fish in the lower layer to show through the upper one? I am not sure.

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This version is a bit less dramatic. I just used the dodge tool to lighten the rear fish and the forehead of the front fish to differentiate them from the black background.

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And yes, you are right about the layers. Get the original image to come through the manipulated layer.

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Cool, thanks. Just that little bit of "dodging" makes a big difference. I've dodged (and burned) in a darkroom but not really with photoshop. I'll have to start doing it. I'll have a play with the maingano piccy tomorrow.

I've had ANOTHER play with the praecox. This time I increased saturation, just a little. I think it makes it "pop" just a touch more.

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Great shots fiona! The first one is my favourite.

I think you could further 'enhance' the praecox photo by editing the slightly blown out midsection of the fish. There's just a slight loss of detail because of it. When that happens to me it's normally either the natural reflection of the fish, or that I've used the onboard flash.

I'm unsure on what the fish exactly looked like but adjusting shadows/hightlights was easiest to see some potential effects.

Shadows amount - 0%

Highlights - 30%

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Whoa, that is brilliant! I'll have a go at that tomorrow.

First shot was lucky I think ... it just came out without anything other than cropping and some little bits of level adjustment (maybe) and a slight bit of sharpening with "unsharp mask": about 15% I think.

I am playing with presetting the focus ... it's an awkward job to go around the autofocus ... but autofocus is so SLOW and I keep missing shots. It's called "manual focus" in the book but it's a long way from having a focus ring. Also keep having things just out of focus. It's going to take a lot of practice. I'll have to keep saving for that Nikon eh?

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Andy, I can see all the places in the maingano pic where you have burnt and healed it.

I reckon my LCD settings are more intense. There have been a few Budi's pictures that look the same. (yes, he must be human :lol4: )

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Fiona put me down for some electric yellows and maingano when you get them to a decent size....

Need some more good quality stock to add to my bloodlines.... :)

Andy - yeah the last maingano job wasnt as good....the rock looked good, but the maingano in the background was obviously edited.... :)

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OK here is that praecox again, only I went highlights 40% not 30%. Dunno, played with the slider and on the screen that was where I ended up thinking it looked good.

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Now to play with the maingano piccy.

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I ended up playing with the piccy of the yellow rather than the maingano and this is what eventuated.

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Procedure:

Mucked around a little with the fish so it wasn't quite as glowing yellow. I must keep a record. I think I played with "highlights" and also changed colour balance towards blue again.

Extracted the fish (kept layers of each of the steps BTW so I had "masters" I could go back to).

Did some touch ups with clone (couple of spots).

Duplicated that layer.

Erased with feathering the translucent fins: end of caudal, pectoral, very back of dorsal (fish layer).

Erased with feathering on the other layer the rest of the fish apart from the fins. Set the transparency of that layer as a bit less than opaque. This was so that it would give the impression of background showing through the fins (fins layer).

Made a new layer. Sampled some colours from the original background - the browny ones - and made some rock shapes. Gaussian blur with radius of 40 (background layer).

Made visible the layers mentioned above and saved for the web.

I'm hoping it looks like a very blurry background and not TOO artificial.

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A definite improvement on the original I think. I agree it's sometimes hard not to overdo things, but what you're aiming for is so that nobody notices any 'enhancements' made - that's the true craft of photoshop.

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I have worked out a better way of doing the translucent fins ... erase only the fin area (fish layer), and in the "fins" layer, rather than erasing anything, just fiddle with transparency of the whole fish. Not done it yet but I will. I suspect it wouldn't matter which fishy layer is on top if they are otherwise identical, but to be pedantic I'd put "fish" layer over "fins" layer.

That's what I did below ... can't say that there is a lot of difference. But the above method is easier.

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Mucked around with maingano piccy.

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Procedure:

Duplicate layer of whole picture. Original piccy would be layer 1 (also kept an archive unaltered layer of this one).

Extract the two maingano.

Duplicate that layer twice (actually 3 times to keep one as "archive").

On one layer (2), play around with unsharp mask to enhance the edges. This also changes the look of the rest of the fish.

On the other layer, select the fish, shrink the selection so that it's a couple of pixels smaller than the outline. This layer (3) overlays the sharpened layer, so that it looks more natural. Played with that layer to enhance contrast and colour a bit while still leaving natural.

The order is, 3 overlays 2 overlays 1.

The idea is to leave it natural looking but enhanced, so that you can see the fish and not have them disappear into background. Does it work? OK I think, but not perfect. There is probably a way that is better. Although without taking too much work. Perhaps mixed with a bit of dodging of fish as per Andy's second example? Hmmm ...

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