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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
TRADE SECRET #2 Realistic Representation of Lume With Base Watch Image.
© 2011 neophoto & Gear Ninja Style - Exclusively for Watchtalk Forums
So anyone with knowledge of HDR can perform this technique automatically as the principles are the same. Before 'HDR' was an automated 'API' or software filter, this had to be done 'a mano' or by hand. Indeed, some of us are old enough to remember doing this without software at all ( don't ask- you don't want to hear about it- trust me).
Objective:
To simultaneously convey the visual experience of viewing GID (weather chemical lume or Tritium) without totally obscuring the details inherit in the watch face.
Approach:
Take two or more photographs in precise register* that capture the separate visual effects to be composted in register in software later so as to convey a combined image that is a base watch face, plus requisite glow color with glow edges.
Technique:
1) Tripod mount camera and prevent movement of either the subject or the camera.
2)Capture an image of just the glow of the lume after exposing the face to bright light for a typical duration. Bracket exposures. This typically entails timed exposures in total or near total darkness.
3) Capture images of the watch using ambient illumination or ambient plus artificial light.Bracket exposures.
4) import the selected best images into photoshop layers . They should then therefore be in precise register to each other.
5) using photoshop Blending Options, combine the Lume captures with the 'straight' images of the watch to create the desired combination.
6) Add glow effect to cloned Lume shots using whatever API's or filter you have.
7) use layer masking to selectively block unwanted regions from appearing in the composite image.

NOTES: I use PS V6 and CS5. This recipe is for PS V6. I'm sure it's the same under CS5.
*Register= Registration. this is a term derived from both cell animation as well as lithographic printing. It simply means exactly matching the positioning of 'layers' so that edges that are combined or blended together appear congruent with no 'double images' (which would indicate off registration)

This is a very basic recipe. I use this technique on thousands of images.
What's the most time consuming part? Strangely, it's spotting out all the dust. NEVER use a PS filter as that will affect part of your base image even as it's supposed to only attack dust and scratches. I sometimes send files to India, where legions of people do nothing but make selections and spot images for cheap and fast!




 

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that's creative,
I never thought of doing that, I've just been going at it the hard way I guess, :thumbup1:
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Repeat After Me. "There are no Heros; only Solutions Providers"

To me, this method of lume capture is kind of cheating!
PLEASE EXPLAIN"CHEATING" ?
was Ansel Adams a 'cheater'? He used a similar technique in darkroom printing that he showed me using his famous 'Jiggle Jig'. All his students got to make one and use it in their dark rooms. In the digital darkroom, there are NO RULES only RESULTS :biggrin:
All technologies have limitations. The so called "Straight shot" is a mere approximation of reality. The artist and technocrat are empowered to use any tool at their disposal to align the final result, with their vision or as Ansel would have said, 'Pre-Vision'.

My motto? "Sensa Limiti!"
 

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I would have loved to have met and been taught by Ansel Adams.. I could only imagine what he could accomplish today, it's mind bogglin..

back to your post, I need to learn PS and how to "layer" shots before I could get into this sort of thing.. is this similar to what HDR programs do, with balance? and here you are in effect pushing the "gain" on one specific aspect in the photo for effect..?

sorry for my beginners questions, I don't have a grasp on PS or photography exactly.:wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I would have loved to have met and been taught by Ansel Adams.. I could only imagine what he could accomplish today, it's mind bogglin..
Actually I and others in my college class took his workshop only 7 years before he passed. He was shooting with a Hassy 500cm and was thrilled NOT to have to lug his 8X10 on a mule's back ;) Fabulous writer and teacher. He would considered himself the grand daddy of HDR, had he been around lately. indeed the zone system was the direct antecedent to HDR!

back to your post, I need to learn PS and how to "layer" shots before I could get into this sort of thing.. is this similar to what HDR programs do, with balance? and here you are in effect pushing the "gain" on one specific aspect in the photo for effect..?

Well PS already has a lot of functionality that allows you to adjust tonality, gamma and color. This technique of using layer blending is highly specialized because it's highly selective tonality wise and slider controls allow you make many manual adjustments. HDR filters affect selected areas or the whole image rather indescriminately, hence the rather 'artificial' look sometimes. Have a look at these images that I made to teach 'manual' selective range extension (HDR). It's a bit crude since it was made 20 years ago, but you get the idea. Lacking Zone-system compactions, you shoot three images to lock in on zone VII, Zone V and Zone III, then combine them using Layer blending in PS to result in an image for the full gamut of tonality captured. So when I first heard of HDR I thought. WHEW! automation at last :)

sorry for my beginners questions, I don't have a grasp on PS or photography exactly.:wink:

ABOVE- three composited images

ABOVE- the source images

Now imagine doing all this with jewelry shots (watches included) ! No more lost detail in crushed highlights or shadows, plus you can fiddle like crazy with changes in lighting between the elemental images
All in good time. Just give up everything else and you'll be an expert in no time ;)
 
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