View Full Version : Processing raw images exercise for March 2012: Jack's image

Roger Clark
03-06-2012, 11:26 PM
This month we will try a double header.

Our first image or raw processing is from Jack Breakfast. There are a number of artistic possibilities here involving how you would like to crop the image and there are some things one could do technically if you are into changing objects in the scene.

In this first post, I am attaching a jpeg so people will see the thumbnail on the thread starter. In the next post I'll try and post the dng file. If that still isn't working, I'll post a link to my website where the dng file can be found.

The usual BPN rules apply. The image belongs to Jack and he retains all rights with permission to post raw converted images in this thread.

So show us what you can do with this image....

Note on the monthly raw processing: we don't close previous threads (unless they turn nasty and none have) so if you want to try your hand at older exercises, please do. And for you landscape and non-bird wildlife photographers out there, I would like to see some other types of raw processing too, so send me a jpeg of a proposed image for the coming months. Landscapes, wildlife, city, macro, all are welcome.


Roger Clark
03-06-2012, 11:46 PM
Well, the upload to BPN still did not work, so the raw file can be downloaded from here:



Hilary Hann
03-13-2012, 12:39 AM
Thanks Jack and Roger, I've had a play with the image so will post it and list the steps I took.

The first thing I did was look at a composition which I would find pleasing and so I decided to eliminate most of the distracting vegetation around the bird and also thought to crop more as a portrait so that I could crop off the clipped feet. I thought the bright green was quite distracting for me, so I chose to subdue it somewhat without cloning. Possibly not ideal, but it's a start.

I followed my normal workflow as follows:
Processed the dng in the raw processor in PS CS5 (normally I'd do this in LR3)
Exp -0.05
Sharpening at default but with the masking at 28
In photoshop (CS5)
Layer from background (to free the base layer), duplicate and rename as duplicate and deselect. This stays at the top of my workflow as a comparison.
B&W adjustment layer with luminosity blend mode, settings 41,59,41,57,91,-80 (I used the magenta layer at -80 as that crisped up the highlight in the eye giving the bird a more focussed look).

Made a luminosity mask to enhance contrast, the USM set at 22,250,3. Used the Layer style to set the black to 49 to stop the blacks from clogging too much.
Duplicated the luminosity mask to sharpen the image ... high pass filter applied set to overlay blend.
Duplicated the sharpen mask and set to hard light filter.

Duplicated the original layer and applied noise reduction using the Nik dfine filter, used a layer mask to reveal the sharpened adjusted bird.

Added a Burn/Dodge layer and burned the two bright feathers below the beak with the brush set on around 17% opacity.

Made a new layer set on colour blend mode, selected one of the background colours and brushed over the bright green leaves at varying opacity. Selected a second background colour and brushed over sections of the leaf. Then used the erase at 3% with a soft brush to bring back a touch of the green.

Merged all layers apart from my top original layer (for comparison) and finally applied Color Efex Pro 4 - tonal contrast at 70% and Detail extractor at 18%.

Cropped and sized to BPN regulations to post.

Roger Clark
03-24-2012, 11:46 AM
Here is my effort on Jack's image:


white balance as shot (temp=4050 K, tint +24)

recovery=20 (not necessary but compresses dynamic range)
fill light=0
contrast =+25

crop and save as 16-bit tif

In photoshop:

select bright parts on left background
feather 250 twice and reduce with curves:
in=255 out=219
in=154 out=125

select right side background and refine edge:
shift edge=0

reduce with curves:
in=255 out=219
in=154 out=125

select shaded side of bird (right side)
refine edge:
shift edge=0

curves adjustment on shaded side (brighten shadow):
in=122 out=133
in=48 out=63

full image contrast adjustment with curves:
in=166 out=177
in=91 out=94
in=39 out=34
in=20 out=12

select birght areas at upper left and lower left and
feather 250 twice, then reduce intensity with curves:
in=255 out=231
in=145 out=120

save results as version b.

Open image b in ImagesPlus.
Apply Richardson-Lucy image deconvolution:
size=5x5, 24 iterations.

save as image version c.

Open images b and c in photoshop.
Put image c in layer on b and erase the c background
showing the image b background. (the Richardson-Lucy enhances
noise in the background, so this step avoids it).

save as imave version d (psd format)

flatten image and blur the backgroung a little.

select region around eye and refine edge
refine edge:
shift edge=0

brighten with curves:
in=127 out=143
in=21 out=20

select head and note histogram is a little below mid-level.
so select, refine edge
refine edge:
shift edge=0

brighten with curves:
in=126 out=139
in=28 out=26

unsharp mask amount=87, radius=0.9 threshold=6

save as version e.

resize to 800 high for BPN
unsharp mask amount=87, radius=0.9 threshold=6

save for web.


Jack Breakfast
03-24-2012, 09:59 PM
Wowzers...o boy folks...keep them coming...most exciting...huzzah to one and all! I'll do a version of my own a little bit later, but first I hope some other folks might offer their versions...I agree that the loss of feet is a distraction...I'm very fond of the greens, but that's my own opinion...anyhow thanks so much, Roger, for posting this in the first place, I'm very flattered that you saw some potential in this image.

Aziz Ahmed
09-13-2012, 05:43 AM
excellent stuff, thanks..