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Do you touch up your photos?

  • Yes, almost always.

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  • Sometimes

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  • Photos, what are they?

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What photo software do you use? Do you sharpen them or crop them? Do you auto adjust the brightness/contrast? What else do you do?
 

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I was just given a Nikon 550 and new to the digital computer technology. All my pics are hand-held,flash under a flourescent light. I never pass up an opportunity to learn and appreciate all the good stuff goin on here. thanx, WOODY
 

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woody606 wrote:
I was just given a Nikon 550 and new to the digital computer technology. All my pics are hand-held,flash under a flourescent light. I never pass up an opportunity to learn and appreciate all the good stuff goin on here. thanx, WOODY
Great start. Make the investment in a tripod. They are cheap and make a world of difference.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dphoto&field-keywords=flexible+[highlight= rgb(255, 255, 136);]tripod[/highlight]&x=0&y=0
 

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I use Photoshop all of the time and have for years. We use it extensively at work for promotional and advertising pieces and I use it quickly to adjust watch images.
 

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I use Picasa3. I don't think I've ever taken a macro pic where I haven't done some alterations to it. I crop all my pics. My camera isn't that great, so I often need to correct imperfections that show up. I use the retouch feature to clear off dust and smudges. I also use the tuning feature to help adjust lighting and color.
 

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I here you Man, this whole Doctoring Photos up, is like a chick stuffing her Bra, wearing extensions, Wearing make-up. It is like False advertising. Their stuff aint that big, their hair aint that long and they dont look like that. So Why make something look good when it really doesnt? That and I wouldnt know how too use the crap even if I had it! Hell I could have it and dont even know I have it.:%


Watchguru58 wrote:
RipitRon wrote:
Hell I can barely figure out how to down load the damn things, let alone alter them!
Ron,

You and I are in the same boat brother :%:%:%:lol:c
 

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Almost all photo editing software is available for a free trial period. Download one program at a time and spend a month with it so you can see how you get along with it. Visit your local bookstore and read through the 'how to' books to find solutions to tasks you have trouble with. Sooner or later you will hit the right combination of software and book that will make your picture taking easier and give you a higher percentage of good shots without investing a lot of watch money in books and software.

Picasa is freeware but is extremely complicated to learn. Photoshop is also difficult to learn and expensive. Photoshop Elements 5 & 6 are fairly easy to master and were inexpensive. The latest versions, 7 & 8 are more expensive and more complicated.

I use Paintshop Photo Pro X2 most of the time. The help screens walk you through to make a particular change. I DO NOT play with the color cast at all since I'm colorblind. I rely on the camera to adjust the color balance.

I almost always crop the pictures I use to sell or review watches but post ALL versions in my Photobucket albums. I sometimes adjust contrast & brightness particularly with black dial watches or with black leather straps.

I use a gray card in some of my pictures and almost always use a black background. That allows me to use Nikon Capture NX2 to adjust the histograms or to balance contrast, brightness, highlights and midtones separately. The key is to learn by experimenting. Bad pictures show you what you did wrong, especially if you kept a log, and can be easily deleted before you even save them to a hard drive.

Always use a solid tripod and try not to shoot long exposures because they sometimes cause color shifts. Use the medium size image and shoot at f8 or f11 to get good detail and the best lens sharpness. Cropping your images will reduce them in size. Loading them into a service like Photobucket will also reduce them in size so they don't end up too large when you insert them into forum postings.

If you're using a light tent, try to raise the watch at least 6 inches from the floor of the tent. That way you get light on the bracelet/strap below the dial. If you stand the watches on the floor of the tent, it is very hard to light the bottom part so you'll have to experiment with the placement of your lights. Expensive light tables have a translucent top so you can shine a light from underneath and that helps keep the light even on both sides and top & bottom.

Buy a notepad and keep a log of every picture you take. That will help you remember how you arranged the lights and what exposure you used on the duds as well as the shining stars. Take a number of pictures at the same exposure but change the direction the watch faces by a few degrees. You never know how a slightly different angle will affect how the picture looks.

The Invicta acid etched dials on a Pro Diver will prove that point. Every slight rotation of the dial facing the lens will show a different pattern of reflections. Similar differences show up with MOP and Meteorite dials.
 

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I just have a little Pentax cheapo so I embelish my pics slightly.

If you seen how I take these things you'd laugh your butt off.

They're taken on my computer desk using (most times) a sixty watt light bulb for light.

I do use an LED flshlight to highlight the details sometimes or to do the lume and dark shots. I also utilize a tripod.

I usually sharpen the pics slightly and adjust the color. The incandescent light causes everything to be too green. Sometimes I adjust the contrast, too.

I only use the Photo program that came with the camera. Not very many options.

I do like to experiment with different lighting effects though.



This was done in pitch dark with a flashlight reflecting off a yellow wall.
 

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I use photoshop, gimp, and paint shop pro. I have been a photography and videography enthusiast and I used to teach underwater photography and videography for years. Using touch-up software is no different than using darkroom techniques. As long as the image is not altered for content, no additions, subtractions (except for cropping) , airbrushing of objects within the image. The effects that are employed in touchup correspond to darkroom procedures like pushing", filtering, altering development chemicals, enlarging, cropping, gelling etc. Photo software is not "cheating", actually it is an art form in and of itself ! There's a great series of books on the subject/s called "The Computer Darkroom - Trading your chemicals for the ALT key" published by Sybex. The series assumes that you were very familiar with darkroom technique and equates the techniques to software manipulations.


 

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I use Photoshop CS3.

I:

Crop
Brightness & Contrast
Levels
Sharpness
Dodge or Burn
Blur
Clone tool
and resize

I must say that even the Pros do this. A perfect picture is impossible without enhancing.

Even the most beautiful models on the covers of magazines get their pictures retouched.

If you don't believe this then search youtube.
 
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