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OT: Tweaking digital pictures

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  • OT: Tweaking digital pictures

    I could use a little help getting some pictures looking good enough to put on a website. I would like to blur the background a little bit on a couple of them. Others just need a little creative tweaking.

    Thanks!
    Location: North Central Texas

  • #2
    Yea, those pesky naked chicks running around in the background of my pictures bug me too.
    Ed
    Ed Pacenka

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    • #3
      I use photoshop 7.0 and paint shop pro 7.04.

      to do something like that I would have to cut the subject out put it on a different layer then blur the layer with the background leaving the subject not blured.

      using layers and mask you can make some realy nice pictures.

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      • #4
        Tattoo has one way of doing it. You could (using photo shop)

        1. create another copy of the layer.
        2. apply gaussian blur from the filters menu to appropriate amount of blur is set on the copy.
        3. Select the brush tool and choose "clear" as an attribute, set brush pressure to about 40 and opacity about 20 and erase thru the blur till the underlaying sharp layer shows thru where you want it sharp. That's what we sometimes do for correcting ruddy complexions.

        This is a pretty fast and through process. If you opt for Tattoo way you could do a CTRL T on the sliced piece, enlarge it a tad to better fit over the hole. Then do the Layer,Matting,Defringe, Remove black mat, Remove white mat and that will clean up the edges before you merge it all down. When you're all done with it hit the filter, sharpen, unsharp mask and start with about 100, 4, 4 and your home!

        If you don't have PhotoShop and are serious about your photography, get a copy. It's not really a luxury but a necessity for the serious digital photographer. If you have trouble getting started with it drom me an email and I can get you going with it.



        [This message has been edited by Your Old Dog (edited 09-05-2005).]
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        Thank you to our families of soldiers, many of whom have given so much more then the rest of us for the Freedom we enjoy.

        It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.

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        • #5
          Joel,

          Another nice thing about Adobe Photoshop is that almost anything you want to do you can do a google search and most likely find a tutorial. Adobe also has great community forums with lots of people from all over the world willing to help.

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          • #6
            For the Photoshop enthusiasts, any suggestions for dealing with $700 the program costs? Seems like you would have to be extremely interested to dump that much into digiphoto software. For those who want to do lesser things (about 80-90% of Photoshop capabilities) the subset called PhotoShop Elements 3, might do the trick. Photoshop CS (the $700 version) is famous for having a steeep learning curve. If you only use it occasionally you will get frustrated very rapidly (though clearly some posters here are faster studies.) Elements 3 is $70-100 depending.
            Steve
            Steve

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            • #7
              Some very good ideas, but I don't have photoshop.
              Location: North Central Texas

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              • #8
                SCH, I too use Photoshop CS, the �full blown’ version. Although, as you and others have mentioned, it may be overkill for most folks not interested in the technical aspects of image processing. This version of Photoshop does indeed have many features that could/may overwhelm folks that simply want to deal with the immediate task at hand and not have to �come back up to speed’ each time. Learning CS is akin to ACAD in that there is a big commitment for both time and frequent use.

                PSP, Paint Shop Pro, along with a number of other suggested programmes will indeed perform many tasks for most folks. Last Old Dog

                Not affiliated with the revered Your Old Dog

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                • #9
                  I'm still using a copy of PaintShop Pro 5 that I bought at least five years ago. I believe I paid $99.

                  It's somewhat simpler than newer versions, but for me, it's perfect msince in general use I'm rarely doing more than cropping and resizing.

                  For some more involved graphics work- I've done some pure-digital art, basically paintings done entirely in the computer using a graphics tablet- there are a few newer options I'd like to have, but so far it's worked just fine. Some things just take me a little longer to complete, is all.

                  I believe PaintShop can still be had, for considerably less than Photoshop- though if that's the case now, it might not be for much longer as Adobe has bought out JASC, and will probably srop the PSP line. (Mainly since it was a far cheaper and nearly-as-good direct competitor.)

                  I have an older copy of Photoshop Elements, but I haven't used it much. I didn't like the interface quite as well as PaintShop. I also have an older full copy of PhotoShop- 5, I think. I've used that a couple of times for formats that PSP couldn't open, but even then it was typically just to convert them to .tif, .gif or .jpeg so I could continue working on them in PaintShop.

                  So I'd say find a copy of PaintShop Pro (5 to 7.0, I think) or get a copy of Photoshop Elements. Either one should be under $100.

                  There's a freeware app out there called GIMP. I downloaded it and tried it once, on a remote computer that didn't have any graphics applications, and I found it impossible to get started with. The interface was rather too enigmatic. Had I had more time to fool with it, or had I taken the time to read a tutorial or two, I'm sure things would have become clear eventually.

                  But I'd heard about it from happy users that swore by it, so I'm sure it has it's applications. Might give it a try simply because it's free- and, I'm told, pretty full-featured.

                  Doc.
                  Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)

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                  • #10
                    Joel, What works for me is to put the object to be photographed some distance in front of the background, usually some 6 to 8 inches or more does it. Then focus on (the closest to the camera lens) the part of the object. By doing this it will automaticly make the background out of focus. Good luck and try moving the camera to different positions and taking 6 or so shots of the same subject. When you compare them it will help you to frame and compose so that what you are trying to convey comes across readily. Jim
                    Jim, By the river enjoying life...

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                    • #11
                      I may have several copies of Photoshop Lite. It's a program that is frequently included with new digital cameras and it's a give away. It operates similar to PhotoShop so if you decide to get more involved the learning curve is less than normal.

                      Photoshop CS versions are seldom mastered. I'm told that by a guy who teaches a course in PS CS at Uiversity of Buffalo. He says the most you can hope for is to control the program to do what you want to do.

                      But as others have said, PS is like hunting canarys with an elephant gun if you just want to resize.
                      - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
                      Thank you to our families of soldiers, many of whom have given so much more then the rest of us for the Freedom we enjoy.

                      It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.

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                      • #12
                        The Photoshop Lite is a good deal.

                        I have also been able to get copies of older versions of Photoshop from work. We use it there and when they buy new versions the older ones become available. Perhaps others could be persuaided to part with older versions for a affordable price.

                        Yes, it is overpriced.

                        Paul A.
                        Paul A.
                        SE Texas

                        Make it fit.
                        You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

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                        • #13
                          The best thing to do was to use selective focus on your camera with the appropriate F stop. Oh, your digital doesnt do that?

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                          • #14
                            I recommend Paint Shop Pro version 7. There is also version 8 and 9. Those I cannot recommend. I worked as a private beta tester on those two versions and they simply are not stable enough to use. That happened for a number of reasons that I won't go into here even though the non-disclosure agreement has expired. It had to do with JASC being bought out by Corel.

                            PSP 7 is very powerful and I prefer it to Photoshop which I also have.

                            There are tons of PSP tutorials online including a few I have written. Here is one on how to make a semi-transparent gif image. This is a neat little trick that I thought of myself.

                            http://vts.bc.ca/trans.htm



                            [This message has been edited by Evan (edited 09-06-2005).]
                            Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                            • #15
                              <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by BillH:
                              The best thing to do was to use selective focus on your camera with the appropriate F stop. Oh, your digital doesnt do that?</font>
                              -Mine does. Works great, too.

                              You might also keep in mind that there's plenty of cheap mid-range film cameras that are fixed-focus and have no apparent depth-of-field. Who said he was using a digital? Might be a scanned Polaroid...

                              Doc.
                              Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)

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