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Old 11-05-2012, 11:47 AM   #9826
platnumn
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Originally Posted by SkimSTI View Post
Thanks guys.

its a major composite image. about 5 of my own shots all pieces together to create that one. the right side was full of signs and other crap in the background. the road is all fake. lol. had fun with that one!
Skim,

I'm loving the shot but I am curious as to what Armin says regarding:
A) The cloned background -- maybe you could blend some of those spots so it doesn't look duplicated. The 3 bushes look SO similar that it took my eyes away from the car.

B) The middle of the car - where all the black and see-though is -- being on the same horizon level as the trees. For example, I struggled for a second to find the drivers side mrror, but this was only after a first glance.... I have no idea if this is a bad thing though, as for composition purposes it seems to flow very nicely.

Anyway, this is overall a sick shot that I have gone back to admire several times.
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:49 AM   #9827
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Originally Posted by SkimSTI View Post
new GT3 shot ive been working on. Armin, i took into account what you said about the white balances on this. Dale also helped me get my windows under control. i like the way it turned out
Also can you explain what (if anything) you did in terms of lighting the car. Everything looks so perfectly exposed -- you said you took 5 shots, did you just selectively blend them or was an external light source used?
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:57 AM   #9828
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Originally Posted by INKMAN View Post
Here's another one from the same day as the last one I posted. Very simple background but I think the colors work well together. I'm happy with this shot. I'm finding that I like simple set ups. Nothing crazy in the background, just nice and clean.
Inkman -- what lens are you using? Can you link me to your Flickr profile so I can check out your EXIF data more easily?

The drivers side front headlight area looks a little soft. I believe a little clarity increase would go a long way to shore up the lines on the car. EDIT: going back and looking, if you look at the drivers side wheel, it definitely looks soft. Try a clarity increase or maybe Armin can suggest something else?

Also, the car is a little too centered, and the horizon line seems to be tilting slightly to the left (could be my eyes ). Did you crop this photo? If so, Maybe crop a little less to really put that car in the bottom right 1/3rd

Anyway, I feel you on the 'simple' background, as it's really nice and clean. Also your red car on the fall-colored background looks fantastic!!
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:59 AM   #9829
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:18 PM   #9830
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Originally Posted by platnumn View Post
Skim,

I'm loving the shot but I am curious as to what Armin says regarding:
A) The cloned background -- maybe you could blend some of those spots so it doesn't look duplicated. The 3 bushes look SO similar that it took my eyes away from the car.

B) The middle of the car - where all the black and see-though is -- being on the same horizon level as the trees. For example, I struggled for a second to find the drivers side mrror, but this was only after a first glance.... I have no idea if this is a bad thing though, as for composition purposes it seems to flow very nicely.

Anyway, this is overall a sick shot that I have gone back to admire several times.
haha thanks. in actually, the true background of the image had plants and all kinds of **** lined up in the grass. so while i might have cloned things a little similar in the open areas, they truly were lined up in rows. now that i look at it, i definitely should have spent more time making the background just right. i can always go back and retouch it.

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Originally Posted by platnumn View Post
Also can you explain what (if anything) you did in terms of lighting the car. Everything looks so perfectly exposed -- you said you took 5 shots, did you just selectively blend them or was an external light source used?
all natural light on the car man. I used 3 layers on the car itself. one to properly expose the front end and remove some spots, then on layer 2, the door side of the car, was dark, so i brightened that up and removed the number. and then layer 3, were just the wheels, they were also sitting in the shadow, i brightened those up to my liking...

most important thing when doing this, layering the car and such, since it begins looking slightly artificial, is painting some light on the ground to give the appearance either a flash is being used (or just to match the brightness all together)


its crazy... after doing composites like this, and staring at the image for several hours at a time, you begin to lose yourself in the edit and i have a problem of missing some things (like the similar plants on the right). i got really caught up with making the windows look right and getting the perspective to look right. after all, one of the most important things is to make the car look like its one with the background...

just for you guys, here is the before and after:

This is where i started.

Before:




and this is where we ended:

After:

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Old 11-05-2012, 12:30 PM   #9831
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Originally Posted by platnumn View Post
Inkman -- what lens are you using? Can you link me to your Flickr profile so I can check out your EXIF data more easily?
Now That I look at it again it does look soft in those spots. I used my 85mm f/1.8 for that shot. I shot it wide open and I believe the ISO was 1600, I'll have to check. The noise reduction may have softened things up too much. You can click on the Flickr icon under my info, that brings you to my photo stream unless you're talking about something else. Let me know, and thanks for the critique.

Here's the link the exif info

http://www.flickr.com/photos/6670235...in/photostream
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:34 PM   #9832
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Originally Posted by INKMAN View Post
Now That I look at it again it does look soft in those spots. I used my 85mm f/1.8 for that shot. I shot it wide open and I believe the ISO was 1600, I'll have to check. The noise reduction may have softened things up too much. You can click on the Flickr icon under my info, that brings you to my photo stream unless you're talking about something else. Let me know, and thanks for the critique.

Here's the link the exif info

http://www.flickr.com/photos/6670235...in/photostream
I think some of it is just the DOF of that lens. I wouldn't worry about that. But I did just look at that image at 100% and there is definitely something weird going on with your editing. I'm not sure if it's the noise reduction or sharpening or what, but it looks almost like it's a painting. It does not look normal at all.
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:41 PM   #9833
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Originally Posted by SkimSTI View Post
This is where i started.
Before:
and this is where we ended:
After:
HOLY ****! Is there really no 'BOW DOWN' emoticon?!

That's amazing, I have a completely new level of respect for your editing work after looking at that. Thanks so much for including it.

Also, thanks for pointing out your processes. It's always nice to get inside the mind of the photographer and see why you did the things you did (i.e. adding light to the ground to match the car). Amazing.
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:41 PM   #9834
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I don't think it's anything weird. It's just lack of experience and poor technique. My camera gets very noisy over 800 and the background will look extremely grainy, so maybe like you said, the noise reduction may have something to do with it. I'm getting a tripod very soon so I will be avoiding these issues!
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:43 PM   #9835
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Originally Posted by INKMAN View Post
Now That I look at it again it does look soft in those spots. I used my 85mm f/1.8 for that shot. I shot it wide open and I believe the ISO was 1600, I'll have to check. The noise reduction may have softened things up too much. You can click on the Flickr icon under my info, that brings you to my photo stream unless you're talking about something else. Let me know, and thanks for the critique.

Here's the link the exif info

http://www.flickr.com/photos/6670235...in/photostream

INDEED, shooting at 1.8 can have that effect on everything except the thin point of focus.

Also, Armin would point out that you'd have no need to shoot at 1600 if you were using a tripod!!

Thanks for linking me to your Flickr! Did you add the NR to yourself or was it your camera or lightroom?
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:50 PM   #9836
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HOLY ****! Is there really no 'BOW DOWN' emoticon?!

That's amazing, I have a completely new level of respect for your editing work after looking at that. Thanks so much for including it.

Also, thanks for pointing out your processes. It's always nice to get inside the mind of the photographer and see why you did the things you did (i.e. adding light to the ground to match the car). Amazing.
haha thanks man! its loads of work. i NEEDED that car. but as you can see, the original just wasn't cutting it.... some times we have to make it happen. I am definitely no expert at this composite stuff and still have a long wayyys to go with making things seamless.

when i have no new car shots to process, i get bored. i go back into my drive and pull out old images that i would have previously scrapped and see what i could do to make them work.

here is another one i have worked on, which got some really good feedback on facebook. (its a composite as well, but a pre planned shot) shot the car on the freeway, in a ****ty location. then 5 minutes later i got into the city and saw where i wanted the car... make it happen!


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Old 11-05-2012, 01:03 PM   #9837
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Originally Posted by platnumn View Post
INDEED, shooting at 1.8 can have that effect on everything except the thin point of focus.

Also, Armin would point out that you'd have no need to shoot at 1600 if you were using a tripod!!

Thanks for linking me to your Flickr! Did you add the NR to yourself or was it your camera or lightroom?
NR? I don't know what that means. I also can't stand the auto focus of my camera. It drives me nuts.
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Old 11-05-2012, 01:55 PM   #9838
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Originally Posted by SkimSTI View Post
haha thanks man! its loads of work. i NEEDED that car. but as you can see, the original just wasn't cutting it.... some times we have to make it happen. I am definitely no expert at this composite stuff and still have a long wayyys to go with making things seamless.

when i have no new car shots to process, i get bored. i go back into my drive and pull out old images that i would have previously scrapped and see what i could do to make them work.

here is another one i have worked on, which got some really good feedback on facebook. (its a composite as well, but a pre planned shot) shot the car on the freeway, in a ****ty location. then 5 minutes later i got into the city and saw where i wanted the car... make it happen!

WOW, that's a good idea, a great way to hone skills. That Audi shot is great, I love the feel of it. So, 5 minutes later you saw a spot you liked, snapped a picture of it, then inserted the car later?

Awesome man.
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Old 11-05-2012, 01:56 PM   #9839
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NR? I don't know what that means. I also can't stand the auto focus of my camera. It drives me nuts.
Sorry NR = Noise Reduction.
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Old 11-05-2012, 01:57 PM   #9840
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Originally Posted by INKMAN View Post
Here's another one from the same day as the last one I posted. Very simple background but I think the colors work well together. I'm happy with this shot. I'm finding that I like simple set ups. Nothing crazy in the background, just nice and clean.
Quote:
Originally Posted by xluben View Post
I think some of it is just the DOF of that lens. I wouldn't worry about that. But I did just look at that image at 100% and there is definitely something weird going on with your editing. I'm not sure if it's the noise reduction or sharpening or what, but it looks almost like it's a painting. It does not look normal at all.
Quote:
Originally Posted by INKMAN View Post
I don't think it's anything weird. It's just lack of experience and poor technique. My camera gets very noisy over 800 and the background will look extremely grainy, so maybe like you said, the noise reduction may have something to do with it. I'm getting a tripod very soon so I will be avoiding these issues!
Quote:
Originally Posted by platnumn View Post
INDEED, shooting at 1.8 can have that effect on everything except the thin point of focus.

Also, Armin would point out that you'd have no need to shoot at 1600 if you were using a tripod!!

Thanks for linking me to your Flickr! Did you add the NR to yourself or was it your camera or lightroom?
Quote:
Originally Posted by INKMAN View Post
NR? I don't know what that means. I also can't stand the auto focus of my camera. It drives me nuts.
It does look particularly soft overall, and honestly I wouldn't ever shoot wide open on an 85 É1.8 unless I absolutely needed too. The DOF is pretty thin and while it can work okay for portraits, cars are just a bit too big for it to get good sharpness overall. On a cropped sensor, I would probably stop it down to É2 or É2.5.

On top of that, the AF is definitely not correct, when looking at larger versions on your Flickr. You can see exactly where the focus is because there's a sliver of really sharp ground, but the car is not in that sliver whatsoever. I know your camera isn't the best for AF, but where did you have your focus point set to? If you're on a tripod, you can always just set it to manual focus if your AF isn't working right.

It also does appear that your noise reduction (NR) and maybe sharpening is turned up a bit too high, giving it that painted effect. I definitely wouldn't have shot this at ISO 1600 if you're on a tripod.
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Old 11-05-2012, 01:59 PM   #9841
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So, 5 minutes later you saw a spot you liked, snapped a picture of it, then inserted the car later?

Awesome man.
yep. 'plates' as i like to call em... blank images where i think a car would look nice. (i know im not the only one doing this)

in the Audi case, i shot the car at 1/80th to keep it sharp. 5 min later got into the city and saw my spot (i drive by it daily on the way to work) and i snapped the shot at 1/5th to get excessive blur. obviously at those speeds, a roller shot of the car would be pretty much impossible, i am not THAT steady.

its quite easy to do if you have what you want in mind already... because in this case, knowing what my car shot looked like on camera, i left the lens at the 35mm i shot with (24-70) and shot at nearly the same angle i shot the car with. this kept the perspective nearly the same.. dropping in the car was easy.
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Old 11-05-2012, 02:02 PM   #9842
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I'm ordering my Manfotto tripod and ball head very soon. I have to read my manual about the focus points. It's extremely frustrating trying to take pics of my kids and the focus isn't where it should be and a car is obviously standing still so it shouldn't be that difficult.
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Old 11-05-2012, 02:07 PM   #9843
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Originally Posted by SkimSTI View Post
yep. 'plates' as i like to call em... blank images where i think a car would look nice. (i know im not the only one doing this)

in the Audi case, i shot the car at 1/80th to keep it sharp. 5 min later got into the city and saw my spot (i drive by it daily on the way to work) and i snapped the shot at 1/5th to get excessive blur. obviously at those speeds, a roller shot of the car would be pretty much impossible, i am not THAT steady.

its quite easy to do if you have what you want in mind already... because in this case, knowing what my car shot looked like on camera, i left the lens at the 35mm i shot with (24-70) and shot at nearly the same angle i shot the car with. this kept the perspective nearly the same.. dropping in the car was easy.
I've been wanting to do this. I've tried it with random backgrounds and it never ends up looking quite right. As you said, the hardest part is getting the right perspective. It's great that you kept the same focal length and took the background shot a short time later. The rolling shot you put together looks great.

Quote:
Originally Posted by INKMAN View Post
I'm ordering my Manfotto tripod and ball head very soon. I have to read my manual about the focus points. It's extremely frustrating trying to take pics of my kids and the focus isn't where it should be and a car is obviously standing still so it shouldn't be that difficult.
Center point and AI Servo for action. You are then responsible for keeping the focus point in the right spot (on the subject). You are forced to crop to get the framing you want. It's not ideal, but it's done that way because the center point is the most sensitive (AF-wise). With the 85mm the AF should be plenty quick.

I just ordered some new strobes. Hoping it will work a little better for on location portraits than my Speedlites.
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Old 11-05-2012, 02:10 PM   #9844
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I don't believe I have a center point option unless that is the default option. I will double check when I get home though
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Old 11-05-2012, 02:14 PM   #9845
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new GT3 shot ive been working on. Armin, i took into account what you said about the white balances on this. Dale also helped me get my windows under control. i like the way it turned out
Good job on the windows. The white balance looks better, but it's still not quite right. The passenger side of the car has gotten a bit muddy now, and overall it's not that nice yellow anymore, it's starting to look more like the BMW Phoenix Yellow, and that's no good. The overall color balance just doesn't make sense, because it's a bright yellow on the front of the car, but a dark muddy yellow just about everywhere else. On top of that, you still have leftover blue halos on some of the edges from the original photo, particularly on the edge of the rear bumper and on the roof. Speaking of the roof, it's a little lumpy too, with a tiny hump on the passenger side of the car.

The darkness on the side of the passenger side of the car that makes the yellow muddy also doesn't match at all with the new exposure on the wheels. The wheels stand out just a bit too much...if the wheels are going to be that bright, then the exposure and color balance on that whole side of the car should match it.

The background has a few flaws as well. The hedges are too patterned, and there's even some trees that aren't clone properly and have a smudge on them. There's also a bit of banding on the clouds, but it's hard to really critique it unless we can see a higher resolution version. There are also parts of the ground that need more attention to detail...one area is a little too blurry compared to the surrounding area, and there's little pebbles and debris that could easily be cloned out.

Am I being nitpicky? Yes...and the reason why is because I know you want to elevate your work to a higher level, and you just aren't going to do that until you fix problems like the ones I mentioned. A good comp is going to look like it was never a comp to start with...while it might be good enough for 99% of the people who look at the photo, you won't reach that higher echelon unless people who do comps on a regular basis can't tell it's a comp.
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Old 11-05-2012, 02:24 PM   #9846
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I am still trying to work on this issue. If anyone has free time and is willing to help, I am looking for screenshots of the SmugMug Image next to the Photobucket image. It would also be helpful if you could include some/all of the following info:

Operating System
Web Browser and Version
Monitor Model
Etc...

Here are the two images:

SmugMug:

Photobucket:


And this is the type of comparison I'm looking for:

Chrome Comparison (SmugMug vs. Photobucket):

Firefox Comparison (SmugMug vs. Photobucket):


^In these comparison screenshots I think you should be able to see that there is a very obvious difference between the SmugMug and Photobucket uploads, which is seen on both Chrome and Firefox (on my desktop PC). When I view the same images on my laptop they look the same (on both browsers)! It appears to be some kind of combo issue with the desktop PC and SmugMug uploads.


Due to the fact that I am able to see a major difference between the two uploads on the same monitor, I don't think it is a monitor issue. I realize there will be some minor variation from monitor to monitor, but I think this problem is larger than that. Monitor variation is not going to show up on screenshots anyways.
Just saw your post on DGrin...I think if ANYONE can help you with this, it'll be them. Very strange, I'm still stumped!
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Old 11-05-2012, 02:27 PM   #9847
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Am I being nitpicky? Yes...and the reason why is because I know you want to elevate your work to a higher level, and you just aren't going to do that until you fix problems like the ones I mentioned. A good comp is going to look like it was never a comp to start with...while it might be good enough for 99% of the people who look at the photo, you won't reach that higher echelon unless people who do comps on a regular basis can't tell it's a comp.

i knew you'd eat that edit apart. and i thank you (and a few others) with the help man!

i will agree to spend more time on future comps, if i decide to do them. and be sure to look everything over and triple check my work. Definitely couldn't have made it to this point without your guidance, my friend. <3
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Old 11-05-2012, 02:43 PM   #9848
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I need to clone out the leaves on the left but I wanted to try something a little different with this one. Suggestions?

I call this one "Leaving Honda behind"

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Old 11-05-2012, 02:58 PM   #9849
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Originally Posted by SkimSTI View Post
yep. 'plates' as i like to call em... blank images where i think a car would look nice. (i know im not the only one doing this)

in the Audi case, i shot the car at 1/80th to keep it sharp. 5 min later got into the city and saw my spot (i drive by it daily on the way to work) and i snapped the shot at 1/5th to get excessive blur. obviously at those speeds, a roller shot of the car would be pretty much impossible, i am not THAT steady.

its quite easy to do if you have what you want in mind already... because in this case, knowing what my car shot looked like on camera, i left the lens at the 35mm i shot with (24-70) and shot at nearly the same angle i shot the car with. this kept the perspective nearly the same.. dropping in the car was easy.
CRAZY -- I'm assuming you were not the one driving when these shots took place? That's my problem, I hate letting people drive my car, yet I know nobody will use the camera in the manner which I need them to!
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Old 11-05-2012, 03:03 PM   #9850
SkimSTI
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Originally Posted by platnumn View Post
CRAZY -- I'm assuming you were not the one driving when these shots took place? That's my problem, I hate letting people drive my car, yet I know nobody will use the camera in the manner which I need them to!
correct. i carpool to work with my bro. so i was passenger. i let NO ONE drive my car. eff that.
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