Old 08-18-2016, 06:23 PM   #1
John West
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Cool Poor processing???

This image made it into RP (and is getting a fair number of "likes") but the more I look at it the more I think some bad decisions were made in my post processing. The old slide had some "issues" that I tried to deal with in Photoshop but perhaps I could do better. But before starting over I am curious as to what the critical eyes here think, you guys often see stuff my old eyes miss. Unfortunately I cut off the right bit of the train in the original, so I can't fix that.

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Old 08-18-2016, 08:18 PM   #2
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I wish I looked that good after 53 years.

I might have done something about that upper right corner of the sky though.
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Old 08-18-2016, 09:14 PM   #3
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I might have done something about that upper right corner of the sky though.
Interesting you should mention that. I've been working on that, maybe finally with some success. My initial efforts did more harm than good but I think I finally fiddled with some success. I'll be posting a new and improved version later after I see what else others here might suggest. I rescanned the original and found some other things I could improve (including a bit more of the train on the right). Thanks.
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Old 08-18-2016, 09:33 PM   #4
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First of all, looks great!

Second, I am a bit sensitive to this, I think, but part of the shot has a bit of a feel of oversharpening. I am referring to the partially shadowed foliage lower left, which looks a bit too "pebbly", for lack of a better term, to my eyes. Looks like a pile of individual lettuce heads. Now, that sounds highly negative. Not intended to be; just looking for a language to describe. Just seems a bit off, a bit too crispy. For all I know it might be right as I don't shoot scenes of this type so I don't know what grows there and what it is supposed to look like.

But I will finish with a pet peeve of mine. The sky, the plain blue parts. Pixillated. Very common in slide scans, or at least I see it fairly often on RP. I suggest doing a magic wand selection and applying a blur tool. I've never understood why everyone scanning slides doesn't do this in post processing.
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Old 08-18-2016, 09:33 PM   #5
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My scanner takes a little off the edges, Epson, I then scan it as a sheet and use the tool to crop myself if it is a problem. There are a few spots in the sky(center) and the corners which always seem the worst, I just try to clone the whole corner if I can't crop. I have seen a lot worse skies where they are more "splotchy", not sure why they scan that way?

The only rejection I got a screener's comment was when I tried to shortcut the cleanup with blur too early before I got everything cleaned up.

Anything else??? Interested to hear others, my thought more processing can introduce other problems so it looks good to me. Thanks for taking the time I know it takes and the commentary!!!!

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Old 08-18-2016, 10:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John West View Post
Interesting you should mention that. I've been working on that, maybe finally with some success. My initial efforts did more harm than good but I think I finally fiddled with some success.
Some simple cloning with a soft brush would clean that up in a jiffy.
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Old 08-18-2016, 11:09 PM   #7
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....part of the shot has a bit of a feel of over sharpening. I am referring to the partially shadowed foliage lower left, which looks a bit too "pebbly", for lack of a better term, to my eyes.

The sky, the plain blue parts. Pixillated. Very common in slide scans, or at least I see it fairly often on RP. I suggest doing a magic wand selection and applying a blur tool.
I think what has been bothering me is the over sharpening. The whole original is rather soft, and the section you mentioned very soft. I did a lot of sharpening, both generally and selectively. I think I over did it.

I don't see the pixelation in the sky, but that is me and why I am asking here. One of the things I learned, I think from you, is to use a slight amount of gaussian blur (like 2 pixels) to solve issues like that whether I see them or not. I forgot to do it on this one before posting.

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Some simple cloning with a soft brush would clean that up in a jiffy.
That is what I ended up doing, but it was not easy. Because of the slight color variations in the sky it was easy to end up with a splotchy appearance. But with enough fiddling I got a reasonable result. How "soft" a brush would you have used? I'm guessing there is a better tool but I haven't figured it out yet.

Thanks to all.
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Old 08-19-2016, 06:02 AM   #8
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Question Better?

How does this compare to the previous version? If it is an improvement, is it a significant enough improvement to resubmit as a replacement for the original?

The input is greatly appreciated. The infinite variations possible with Photoshop sometimes paralyzes the decision process. Not to mention the learning curve. I obviously like the new version but a lot of folks here seem to have a more critical eye than I do.
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Old 08-19-2016, 07:41 AM   #9
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How does this compare to the previous version? If it is an improvement, is it a significant enough improvement to resubmit as a replacement for the original?

The input is greatly appreciated. The infinite variations possible with Photoshop sometimes paralyzes the decision process. Not to mention the learning curve.
Yes, this should make those who can't stand the dreaded "cut off train" a bit happier. On the other hand, objects that are cut off just a little seem to bother me the most.

The less-magenta sky is better as well.

Oh, did you remove the film from the slide mount to get this result? That's a real nuisance to do, but sometimes it's worthwhile.
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Old 08-19-2016, 09:08 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by miningcamper1 View Post
Yes, this should make those who can't stand the dreaded "cut off train" a bit happier. On the other hand, objects that are cut off just a little seem to bother me the most.

The less-magenta sky is better as well.

Oh, did you remove the film from the slide mount to get this result? That's a real nuisance to do, but sometimes it's worthwhile.
I think the reason I cropped the train originally on the right side was to avoid the "cut off a little" issue. Wonder what others think.

The changed sky ended up a little too cyan for me so I have subsequently added a bit more blue. Is there no end to the tinkering!

No, I did not take the slide out of the mount. Interesting suggestion.
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Old 08-19-2016, 11:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
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No, I did not take the slide out of the mount. Interesting suggestion.
When I shot this one, I was paying no attention to the refueling switcher at left, so it was partially cut off. When I scanned it, I thought "that should be in", so out of the slide mount it came.


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BTW, after the switcher went back to work, I was invited to visit inside the FA. Some days everything goes just right.

BBTW, I've also been known to digitally hack off a bit of anything like poles or spires that are too close to the edge.
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Old 08-19-2016, 03:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John West View Post
How does this compare to the previous version? If it is an improvement, is it a significant enough improvement to resubmit as a replacement for the original?

The input is greatly appreciated. The infinite variations possible with Photoshop sometimes paralyzes the decision process. Not to mention the learning curve. I obviously like the new version but a lot of folks here seem to have a more critical eye than I do.
Some miscellaneous comments.....

First of all, great catch! The timing of the train's arrival could not have been better. I can see those Tanglefoot shadows advancing like an army on the ballast near the caboose.

I was OK with the original. I just assumed that the lens you were using just wasn't quite wide enough to get the whole scene in. The fact that you've been able to get as much back on the right side as you have is a real bonus. I would definitely resubmit.

I tend not to be as critical of other people's photos as I am of my own, unless they have really, really annoying flaws, and this one never came close to that category. I am especially forgiving when someone took the photo on a date when I was all of about 5 years old and had no idea that anyone was still running steam engines on REAL freight trains. I am just glad you were there to capture it, and I am hoping we can find similar light when we attempt to re-create that scene in the fall.

I am curious.....do you recall what focal length lens you were using? I tend to wonder why I lug my 16-35 around all the time when I rarely use it on charters. It's great for the Rock Tunnel shot, but not much else. I am thinking this location might just be a good use for it.

Last comment.....the Brakeman on the rear platform of the caboose looks like he's taking a cell phone video of the head end of the train going around the curve! If some yo-yo on a future charter elects to stay on the train during the run-by and does exactly that, we can all point to your photo and proclaim that it is historically correct!
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Old 08-19-2016, 06:25 PM   #13
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The fact that you've been able to get as much back on the right side as you have is a real bonus. I would definitely resubmit.

.....do you recall what focal length lens you were using?

.....the Brakeman on the rear platform of the caboose looks like he's taking a cell phone video of the head end of the train going around the curve!
I do think I like the version with the bit more of train on the right side, even though it is too tight. I am fairly certain I was shooting that with my old rangefinder Minolta with a 50 mm lens. No extra lenses in those days. Also the rough railfan usage had knocked the bright line viewfinder (that was high class before through the lens viewing) caddywampus, and the view finder probably showed more room on the right than I really had. A lot of my pix from those days suffer from that problem. In the full pixel version of the image the brakeman almost looks like he is leaning out with a camera in his hand. I began to wonder if a railfan had snuck on board, but on more careful inspection I decided he was giving the headend a highball that wheels were all turning and on the track.
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Old 08-19-2016, 06:59 PM   #14
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I like your submitted entry.

I love your tinkered version. It is just more appealing with teh sky and the over sharpness gone.
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Old 08-19-2016, 07:38 PM   #15
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...to all who took the time to help me. While photo processing generally reflects personal preferences, it is fun and helpful to get reaction from other folks who may have a better....or just different....eye for certain things. This is a helpful forum. I guess I'll go put the new version in the cue and see how long it takes for the admins to get around to uploading it. The old one did pretty well in terms of "likes" but I do think the new one is a bit better.
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Old 08-20-2016, 12:36 AM   #16
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...to all who took the time to help me. While photo processing generally reflects personal preferences, it is fun and helpful to get reaction from other folks who may have a better....or just different....eye for certain things. This is a helpful forum. I guess I'll go put the new version in the cue and see how long it takes for the admins to get around to uploading it. The old one did pretty well in terms of "likes" but I do think the new one is a bit better.
rejected - same as previous
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Old 08-20-2016, 01:46 AM   #17
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rejected - same as previous
I hope not, I submitted it as a replacement. But I have to admit you can't rule that out.
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Old 08-20-2016, 05:05 AM   #18
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They did pretty well. I uploaded the replacement this afternoon and it was in place by this evening.
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Old 08-20-2016, 01:47 PM   #19
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I hope not, I submitted it as a replacement. But I have to admit you can't rule that out.
I misread your words; I took them to mean you were submitting afresh. Regarding non-judgment tasks, aka other than screening, I find they generally get to things within 24 hours.
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