Peter Eastway Enhances Landscape Details
One of the files that I use is photograph of King Amagilidon; I haven't pronounced that correctly I know, but King A. He's up on Mount Nemrut which is in the middle of Turkey and the cumulous is the, all of the rocks on the top of the mountain behind him and there are these statues and there are two terraces: one on the other side where they're all lined up and on this terrace, they're all higglety pigglety. So I'm standing on a little wall looking down at the statue in front of me and I have stitched, you know about seven or eight shots and that's, it's got a bit of a curve and that's why you've got that curve shape coming round there. Now that was what I struggled to get; people say, how long did it take you to make this image and the answer is around three months. You might say, three months, you are a loser, Peter. Spending three months on one photograph and I would have to say, yep. But what I got out of being a loser for three months was quite a lot of knowledge about how far you...
can push things and so if wasn't that I spent a full three months doing it, it was rather I would spend a couple of nights and I really struggled with it. I made some very precise masks to work on this and then I just put it away and I said I just gotta yeah. So let's show you what I mean. So I'm looking at the photograph, so that's the stitched image put together. I've processed the files in Capture One.
So stitching, what's some of the programs people can use to--
Well you can use Photoshop, this possibly did use Photoshop; I can't remember. PTGui is good, so I just stitched, yeah, Lightroom does it now.
Capture One does not. So um, I've ended up with this and I quite like the fact that you got the walls going down the side and yeah, the head is about this big and he's right in front of me. I want that head to be center stage. That head is really important. I want the other heads to be also, they're secondary importance and I want the rest of it to be an ambiance. So I'm thinking, alright, how do I lighten that head. So my first approach is I add in a curves adjustment layer and I lighten him up. Now when you look at the mask, you'll see that I'm gonna test my Apple skills, you see that the mask is quite precise and that was intentional; I spent a lot of time creating the mast for each of the heads and then I saved those as you know, you come up here into Select and you can save the selection and then from that you can create a mask. So I've, let me come back, now I always tell people that I can be socially be pleasant or I can operate Photoshop at the same time, but I can't do both.
And masking again is a technique; it's gonna be available in a lot of the downloadable videos and tutorials available through Creative Live that talk specifically about masking. So as we said up front, we're gonna show you what we did and break down the layers, but we won't get diverted into the actual techniques, 'cause all of those are covered in so many different ways on Creative Live modules.
Okay so I've got a precise mask, I've lightened him up a little bit and I'm thinking, hm, it's really hard to get that head to be separate from the background. So what about darkening down the background and now suddenly the head is starting to stand out.
So background or foreground?
Okay the background from the head, but you're right, the foreground. Thank you Tony and you'll see the mask. I've started off with the same mask in versed and you can see all of my higglety pigglety drawing. I don't actually, sometimes I go and clean up the masks afterwards, but generally not because if they're too pure, sometimes the masks then, it makes the photograph look--
Yeah that's right. So oops, let's come back to here. Click the right buttons, there we go, Pete. You catch up. So I'm figuring okay we're on the homeward trial so I've added in a little bit of contrast, you know thinking okay, he's looking flat.
Yep so I was just gonna say, it's good point you've mentioned a few times both in this module and in different session, that changing curves changes the color intensity.
It has as well. If we look at the curve,
You can see it pretty hard.
Push the curve. And I'm also in my curves, I'm in normal blend mode 100 percent so there's nothing funny at this stage in that. I have to keep an eye on that 'cause there are a couple of blend modes, things like that in here as well. So yeah, just simple curve adjustments. People are gonna say, how do I use the curve and again it's how far do I go? You'll know because you're looking at your color corrected monitor and when it looks right, you're curve is in the right place. Certainly worth doing some lessons on using a curve from using your black point, your white point. The steeper the curve, the more contrast; the flatter the curve the less contrast and of course the higher up, the lower down, the lighter or darker it is. So I'm looking at my head there on the screen and if I want to get a little bit of modeling in it 'cause I'm thinking, okay this light is very flat. There isn't really any direction. Let's create a little bit of direction and so I'm darkening down the left hand side. Darkening it down a little bit more and then once again just giving it a darker look again. I know looking on the screen here, that looks a little bit heavy and so, but it'll come good in the end. So I've adjusted that head and he's you know, he's sort of part of the way there. I've put him into a group, I've also done the left head, the same sort of way, but I need to go and turn those on. Go with me two ticks and we'll turn those on. I've got the, sorry the left head one, left head two. You can see the heads coming on there in the background. Little head behind there, so this was painstaking work so when I said three months, you possibly understand why that I spent so much time doing it. I'm just gonna check that I haven't got another layer turned on up above, 'cause it sort of just looks a little contrasty. Nope, it's all good; okay just the screen. Okay so now it's, you know, I've got the light happening. It's yeah, there's a lot of layers sitting in there but I'm still not quite happy about how the image is working so, wow this is interesting; I'm just gonna revert to here. Okay. So my, just for those, right here we go, hopefully that's right. Things were moving. The pin was very sensitive. Okay so, I'm now turning on, you see the rocks in the background there? What I'm trying to do is make sure that those rocks are not dominant without this mask. I'll show you the mask. So I've just painted out the rocks one by one and then I've darkened them down so that they're not, they're not sort of not interrupting the flow.
Sorry I was just--
About the second or third layer up, when you were down at the bottom there. Um you had a difference in, go up. You had a difference in your opacity and your fill; 100 on opacity, fill was 53. Can you, would you mind taking, yeah there it is. Would you mind taking a second if you could and explain the difference in why that might be that way?
Oh I was hoping you wouldn't see that. (laughing) No let me do that. I'll just turn off the other layers and bring us back up there. So that we're just looking at that one layer. It's just a matter of intensity. Normally, and it's a good question because although you can see that I'm adding in these layers here, you can see curves three, copy three, copy four, copy nine, copy 15, you know copy 14. So I'm showing you the layers in order, but the layers might not have been added in that order so I might have worked on the top layer first and then come back down and so I'm making adjustments backwards and forwards all the time. So it's a really good question. And sometimes what you'll find is that when I get to that particular layer with, it's got fill, I probably could've probably should've used opacity. It was just making an adjustment there. Why is that not turned on? Here we go; that's quite. The fill there is just softening down the effect a little bit. It's just taking a little bit of time to catch up. So I just went, yeah. So I made an adjustment. Now I could've gone into the curve and I could've adjusted the curve, which is the way that I would always work when I'm starting, but as a shortcut, I just go in and change the opacity, I changed fill. Fill and opacity for this sort of work, probably identical, but I know that there is a subtle difference between, but you'll have to find a Creative Live video that tells you that. For my work I don't involve myself. Thanks for that, does that answer? So just a way of controlling things and as we, as Tony said, you know, we are essentially just exploring these, I'm struggling here.
The thing that happens too is as you're exploring it, what'll happen is you start, it accelerates for me. I start off without really having a clear idea other than how I felt about this picture and why I want to work with this picture, why it was important to me. You know, you come back from shoots and you sometimes know there's this shot you can't wait to look at, but as I start to explore, I'm still feeling my way and then eventually you can see the end. You can kind of get a feeling for what it's gonna look like and suddenly everything speeds up and then I find the technology and the software can't keep up with my thinking. Whereas at the beginning, I'm sort of, you know, another glass of wine, really that's not working, then suddenly it all locks in and away you go.
And that's exactly right. So I'm still exploring the image. I'm thinking I need to darken everything down so that that head stands out. I come up again and I darken down further. I'm just exploring; it's still not working. What about the sky? The sky is not changed too much but I'm just darkening down that background a little--
So just the masking on that sky, notice you've got with the horizon, did you choose to mask out the sky? Or, okay. So it's just a general mask.
Yep, but with those heads specifically 'cause I don't adjust the head. Then I've gone for broke, so we're going for the moody image now a little bit. And then I'm thinking, this color is just looking yuck. So what I did was I added in a black and white adjustment layer and the reason I use that is because it allows me to pick up the yellows at certain in areas which, yep there's yellow in the heads and also in the reds and just lighten them up so that I give that luminance. Trying to make them look a little bit like alabaster I guess so they're standing out. I'm thinking, okay that's not looking too bad. What about just putting a little bit of a color tone in it? You know how hard it is for me to be purely black and white. I mean, I just need, so, and I thought you know, let's just copy all of that up, fill in the corners--
So that's like all you did in the previous one? Stamp visible.
Stamp visible. And walk away. So I'm gonna come back and look at that afterwards. So I'm almost there. So from here, it's you know, just like your turn. It's just a simple further exploration. So I've darkened down the rest of the image. Again I've put a little bit of a pink on them. Okay so maybe pink, magenta is that working? I'm not too sure, but the heads are just sort of sitting there out there. So here I've used a layer filled with 50 percent gray and soft light blend mode.
Which a lot of people would call a dodge and burn layer.
Dodge and burn layer. And then when you look at that, oh I've gotta turn off all the others; there's how do I do that, tone? Quick way just to show me that layer. No you can't it's one, yeah thank you. And you can see where I've darkened in, darkened down, the sides just to left so turn that off again for me. You did that well. So I've now got that shadow--
You realize that's the second time in about 50 years I was able to show you something. (laughing)
Told you I can be socially pleasant or upright Photoshop. So you can see there those shadows that are coming in and now they're grounded. It looks much more real even though they really were there, you know we're frigging around with the photo a little bit. So we lighten it up; ah, that's looking a little bit better, but the sky may be a bit too light so strong vignette; maybe too strong for me these days, just darken the top a little bit. Certainly building that drama. Let's come back and look at those background heads. So I don't want those background heads fighting with the foreground head so I'm just darkening the background heads a little bit. Look at my brightness and contrast a little bit more modeling on the head there. Adjust the color balance, just fractionally and then I come back and I go, alright let's get rid of all of the color out of the rest of the image. So just those pink heads and then what did I do at the end?
Black and white.
So does that explain how I really don't understand exactly, well I don't necessarily know where I'm going to go I've got an idea; I'm going in that direction. And where we end up with, I'm happy. And funny on a book that I did with David Oliver, the rendition was that, that we ran on the front cover of the book and then when it came back on the book I said, hm, don't like that. Went back to the file and turned it off. Tony I have monopolized the computer for too long.
Not at all, not at all.
And you know again, it's really interesting to see that well hopefully the viewers get to see that, there's no exact method to getting to something that's creative.