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Thread: Pathological Photo

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    Default Pathological Photo

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    Question: Can this photo be salvaged? I've tried to get a good selection on the out-of-focus twigs growing out of the head, but the tone is so similar, I've not been successful. I've tried channel splitting -- to no avail. Photoshop gurus: How can I remove these twigs?

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    Getting rid of the branches is fairly easy. Go to the Bulletin Archives on my web site and do a Google site search for "Protect and Defend" for instructions.

    The huge probelm with the image is the big diagonal o-o-f brach--it is an image killer.
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    Quick fix. Just used the paintbush and sampled colours and painted about 70 percent opacity. Went over some areas trying to blend them in.
    Last edited by Jackie Schuknecht; 03-15-2009 at 08:18 PM.

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    Julie Kenward
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    Nicely done, Jackie!

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    Gail Spitler
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    Jackie - very nicely done. Would it be asking too much for just a tad more explanation of what you did here?
    Thanks
    Gail

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    Sure Gail. The reason I use the paintbrush is because I find it looks better than cloning or QM IMHO in a subtlely variegated BG. First bring up the paintbrush and then sample a colour that is close to the part that you want to remove. Looking at the image all the time to take in variations in subtle tonalities. If the colour changes I go through the process again and select another colour and paint at around 70 percent opacity. When I get close to an edge I really enlarge the picture and am very careful. I may drop the opacity to 50 percent if I have to go back and forth a few times to eliminate the object so I won't get a hard looking line. If I paint over an object that I want in I enlarge and erase. Once I am all done I look at the image and may go over top areas that I think may need further blending at 70 percent, carefully choosing a colour and blending in some more. I always use a soft edged brush, size depends on the area to be painted. Whew.that's a lot. Any further questions let me know. I hope I have explained myself. Time consuming but worth the results I think.
    Also I point I forgot to add when you get close to an edge I sometimes go as low as a two or even one pixel brush and go around the edge very carefully.
    Last edited by Jackie Schuknecht; 03-19-2009 at 07:16 PM.

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    Jackie, Thanks for the repost and the tips. What you did was great, especially where the twigs intersected the head.

    The image however, has not been salvaged. The huge o-o-f angled branch lower right and the remaining mass of clutter are all image killers....
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    I knew that Artie, but he just asked about the twigs around the head:) Maybe this technique will help some others though, I use it a fair bit to remove distracting branches, etc., on a fairly clean BG.

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    Understood Jackie. I was just going back to the ORIG question.
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    Thanks very much, Jackie. I have now learned a new technique in PS, which I am new to.

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    Lance Peters
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    Hi David - another idea - is to think about it before you take the shot - the more you get right in camera - the less there will be to do afterwards and that is a good thing. I try to spend only a few minutes each on PP my images - any more than this and I begin to question whether there was more I could have done in camera.
    :)

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    Oh, absolutely. I couldn't agree more. I date back to the days of slide film where each shot cost $$ and post-processing wasn't an option.

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    Why would you want to do that? It's part of the scene. This world is not perfect why mess with it trying to make it that way. I fear we've embrassed perfection to a degree that we can't trust photography anymore to give us a true representation of what was seen. This is my philosophy anyway. You don't have to agree but I'd leave it just the way it is. It looks great!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by RSchmidt View Post
    Why would you want to do that? It's part of the scene. This world is not perfect why mess with it trying to make it that way. I fear we've embrassed perfection to a degree that we can't trust photography anymore to give us a true representation of what was seen. This is my philosophy anyway. You don't have to agree but I'd leave it just the way it is. It looks great!!
    Sorry, should have used Spellcheck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by RSchmidt View Post
    Why would you want to do that? It's part of the scene. This world is not perfect why mess with it trying to make it that way. I fear we've embrassed perfection to a degree that we can't trust photography anymore to give us a true representation of what was seen. This is my philosophy anyway. You don't have to agree but I'd leave it just the way it is. It looks great!!

    Do exactly what?
    BIRDS AS ART Blog: great info and lessons, lots of images with our legendary BAA educational Captions.: we will not sell you junk. 30+ years of long lens experience/e-mail with gear questions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur Morris View Post
    Do exactly what?
    Remove the twigs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RSchmidt View Post
    Remove the twigs.
    Because they look bad... and distract from the bird...
    Maybe one way to salvage this image could be to paint over the entire mess of the OOF diagonal branches and the ones in the lower left. Try maybe to make it look a little like an illustration in an old book. Otherwise, the light OOF branches grab the eye and REFUSE to let it go!!!

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    I have a fundamental issue with adding and subtracting from images. I fear I'm wondering off topic, so won't elaborate. It's fakery and seldom if ever disclosed to those looking at or "buying" them! The images are not as they appeared. They are some other art form, not photography! That's my 2 bits.

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    RS, You are surely entitled to your opinion. Most of us here are on the other side of the fence on the issue..... Nuf said.
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    @RS: I think the real question, though, is: Would anyone buy the photo Art originally posted as-is? It's great if your personal style is to be as true and real as you can be, even admirable. I certainly won't hold that against you, or anyone else who follows that approach. However if I was looking for a bird photo to buy and...hang on my wall, publish in a magazine, etc. I probably wouldn't choose the original upload. Lot of "stuff" going on...lot of "content noise", details competing for attention. The subject if the bird, not the branches.

    Looking at it from that angle, I see cleaning up such a photo, as best you can, as doing a service to the viewer, and potentially doing a similar service to a buyer. People want to see the bird. :)

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