Digital post-processing

I'm far from being a photoshop/gimp guru however, this is not intended to be a tutorial for experts and pros. Just a few simple notes for beginners.

1. Proper exposure is important. No matter the powers of photo-editing software, underexposed areas are grainy, which is not at all aesthetically pleasing in digital photos. Furthermore, both over- and underexposed areas lose a great amount of detail. This seems to be much more severe in digital than in analog photos. The acceptable-exposure range of a film is larger than of a digital chip.

2. That said, it's probably better to shoot in raw than in jpeg, to mitigate the effects mentioned above. Besides other things. For post-processing, I use gimp exclusively. Raw (Nikon .NEF) photos are handled with UFRaw plugin.

3. The general rule of a thumb I use, with a few exceptions, is that less is more. What I like about photos, besides a fresh perspective, interesting composition, and proper focus where it is desired, are clean and popping colors, and the right amount of contrast, with good definition of details in black&white pictures. What I don't like are overdone HDR, skin-smoothing, and color-obscuring techniques (I speak to you, Instagram).

4. Now to UFRaw and gimp: Let's start with UFRaw. The native gamma (luminance) compression/expansion parameter 45 seems too large for my taste (too dark shadows) in most lighting conditions. I usually lower it to 40, and would go even lower but that also results in more grain. Unless the photo or some of its areas are overexposed (which is sometimes unavoidable without a proper optical filter), I mostly adjust the curve setting in the shadow range. Often the shadows seem way too dark but again, be careful because the more you deviate from the native settings, the lower is the resulting photo quality.

What I don't like about digital photos is that they look differently on each screen. Often, especially when shooting on a cloudy day, I enhance the color saturation by about 10%. For black&white pictures, the value/color curves and contrast settings can be manipulated more freely. With colors, unless the editing is selective, such approach could make colors look awkward and unnatural, like bright pink skin. I usually set grayscale mode to "channel mixer", to mimic the effect of using optical color filters (I actually bought some but am lazy to use them).

When shooting in the middle of the day, the pictures tend to have a bluish tint. Increasing color temperature comes handy. If you don't have this option directly, open "curve settings", suppress the blue curve, push up the red one. This can be applied directly to a jpeg using gimp. Most of the other edits maybe as well, but I use UFRaw. One more trick: Open Colors -> Levels, and adjust input-levels sliders to mark the leftmost and the rightmost ends of the histogram. This stretches the tone-scale to cover the entire light spectrum, so the darkest shadows become black and the lightest highlights become white. Generally, it improves the "flat" impression of the picture. There are notable exceptions, like that the mood of a heavily overcast day is better expressed using darker shades, while an image of a sunlit forest with beams of light looks better in bright tones (reference: Bruce Barnbaum).

5. "Artistic" processing: This I usually avoid since I don't think it fits many photos. Anyway, here are a few techniques:
a) Textures: I sometimes use paper textures to give a slight "paint"-feeling to the images of towns. The paper texture and the original image are edited in two separate layers, where I play with blending modes (normal, screen, overlay), and layer opacities. I also adjust color levels to get the effect of "bold" colors of a painting.

b) Cross-process: The effect of developing a color negative in the chemicals for slides, and the other way around. I never tried it since being afraid to destroy the film. Somewhere I found the following way to mimic the effect digitally, albeit the result looks quite different from the real-thing examples I've seen: Open "Curves". For the green and the red ones, decrease shadows, increase highlights (increasing contrast), like sin x function in (-Pi, Pi). For the blue one, increase the curve in shadows, decrease in highlights (decreasing contrast), like sin x in (0, 2Pi).
am Donau/na Dunaji

c) Vintage-look: Apply the following color levels: Blue and magenta in screen mode, yellow in multiply mode. Set opacities of the first two between cca 5-15%, and of the latter one to 30-60%. This results in a faded-color, yellowish image. To increase the image definition, duplicate the original image layer, and set to overlay mode. Adjust the opacity to get the right level of definition.

Side-note: IMO, nature looks best without any "artistic" edits.


2017-01-04 15:19:12.167101 | RobertVag

Do you want to look better in a bathing suit? Are you concerned about your health? Whatever your reasons are for wanting to work out, working to become more physically fit is something everyone should try to do. Here's some advice that will get your quest for fitness off to a strong start.

One way you can keep your fitness level up while on the go is to work your stomach out while driving. Simply tensing your stomach muscles for five count then relaxing, multiple times over the course of your commute will not only make the time pass quicker, but will help to tone that stomach in otherwise wasted time.

To stay fit it's important to break bad food habits. While a healthy diet contributes greatly to overall fitness, it can be one of the hardest goals to achieve. Most people enter a fitness program accustomed to eating unhealthy foods. This is a habit that can be broken. The quicker the fitness enthusiast acclimates to a healthy diet the faster cravings for junk food will disappear.

Despite what some say about this, do not exercise on an empty stomach. You need fuel in order to exercise and also to avoid passing out which can be dangerous. Even something small, like some fruit and low-fat yogurt, can help make a big difference in your daily workout routine.

A great way to get fit is to consult with a professional bodybuilder. A lot of bodybuilders have their own web sites where they offer a service that gives you the opportunity to pay to have your own consultation with them. You can get their experienced advice on your diet and workout routine.

As you can see, staying fit isn't as intimidating as it seems. Fitness is very important, and now you can join the millions of people who exercise and reap the health and mental benefits. Follow these simple fitness tips and you'll be well on your way to looking, feeling, and being great!

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2017-10-01 22:33:36.806791 | AngeloCam

No matter how you do it, losing weight is an individual thing. Friends can help you but they can't lose the weight for you. You've got to take charge of your weight loss from the beginning if you want to get serious about losing weight. The following tips will help.

2017-10-09 00:02:28.508432 | CaseyHen

Some people, especially those running on busy daily schedules tend to use the pills to help maintain weight since they can not afford to follow all the diet programs. This is not advised. It is recommended that one seek advice from a professional in this field before using the pills. This can save one from many dangers associated with the misuse.

The diet pills should always be taken whole. Some people tend to divide the pills to serve a longer period of time. This is not advised and can lead to ineffectiveness. If it is required that one takes a complete tablet, it means that a certain amount of the ingredients are required to achieve the desired goal. It is also recommended that one does not crush the pill and dissolve it in beverages. Chemicals found in beverages have the potential of neutralizing the desired nutrients in the pill thereby leading to ineffectiveness. The best way to take the tablets is swallowing them whole with a glass of water.

The diet pills speed up the metabolic processes. This is the key factor that leads to the burning of all the fats in the body. This means that one passes out lots of urine, which subsequently leads to dehydration. It is imperative that the user take lots of water round the clock. This will help curb dehydration, which can lead to health problems. In addition to that, water offers the required medium for the function of the nutrients and elimination of the fats.

When buying the review of diet pills, it is imperative that one gets the most recommended dose. People tend to compromise the quality and effectiveness of the tablets due to the variation in cost. The low priced pills depict poor quality, which means their effectiveness is not reliable. Some have also been found to cause health problems. The dose should also be taken as recommended. Over dose will not speed up the process but rather lead to complication. This will increase risk of side effects. If the taking of the pill is forgotten, do not take more to compensate for the lost time.

The diet plan enclosed with the diet pills has also to be followed. According to the requirements, the termination of the diet must be done even with no results. This means your body is irresponsive.

2017-12-03 00:05:00.664580 | RobertGam

Doctor Who is now considered a British Institute and has come a long way since it first aired on November 23rd 1963. The very first show saw the Doctor travel 100,00 years into the past to help some dim cavemen discover light. After 26 seasons and seven Doctors later the series came off our screens in 1989 much to the disappointment of the huge devoted fanbase. In 1996 an attempt was made to revive Doctor Who but it wasnt until June 2005 when it came back with a vengeance with Christopher Eccleston as the ninth Doctor that put the series back on the map as it were. It then went on for 5 years with David Tenant portraying the Doctor until 2010 when Matt Smith took over the role. Today it is still a great family show and has attracted many new fans.
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