First Reluctant Effort - George Shadoan

Okay, I give up! First effort at PS. Wilfred's sharpening did not work for me on this photo, so no sharpening. Drop shadow per Rich. Konica color print film. 400 ASA. changed to greyscale in PS, a little global added contrast but nothing else. Your comments for improving this image will be appreciated.

Camera:   Contax G1
Lens:   Planar 35/2
Film:   Konica 400
Exposure:   f8 auto
Posted:   01-Jun-2002

Rating: 7.00 (3 ratings)


not so bad...

I think it looks pretty good. PS is a very powerful and feature-intensive tool. It took me years to get it "right" and that was after going blindly through version 4 and 5 before finally in 5.5 I felt a decent grasp of it and how to use it well. Foremost was a good book. I highly recommend "Real World Photoshop". In this image I like the pano effect here. The tones are good and it's an interesting subject. Looks like a great place for a Sunday stroll.

Richard Sintchak     01-Jun-2002 at 12:02


I really like the scene here. Well done. Wellcome to the club of PS learners ;-) Jerome tough me how to do the drop shadows only some weeks ago.

Knut Skjærven     01-Jun-2002 at 12:12

very nice!

I don't have the full version of PS -- just PS Elements, which has plenty of features I don't know how to use yet either. I think the drop shadow would look better if you added a bigger border of plain white all the way around, at least on this dark gray website page. Mind you, I don't know how to do the shadows at all myself. I'm guessing that you didn't sharpen because it's so hard to get that to look right with tree branches, but I bet you could sharpen it just a little bit for a slightly crisper look without getting those artifacts. But it looks fine the way it is. I can't use Wilfred's method because it involves using "Fade" after you apply it, and if PS Elements has a "Fade" I have yet to find it. But I try to apply the main idea of sharpending before resizing, and I think I'm starting to get a bit better at it, I hope. Even without sharpening, sometimes the brightest spots of light shining through tree branches look too bright so I sometimes go around and smudge them or burn them in a bit so they don't stand out so much. I would maybe try to very slightly burn in the white spot at the end of the path. It looks like there could be a little detail that could be brought out a bit more whle still leaving it bright enough to pull the eye down there to the end. So there's my two cents. Anyway, it's a very lovely photo. Hope you enjoy learning PS.

Robin Kleb     01-Jun-2002 at 13:55


George, the no-sharpening decision was likely your very best decision. I suspect all will tell you here--there is are times when the application of a tool in PS is best left un-done--if you are not feeling adept at using the program. This image has great composition. The low but head-on, straight down the middle approach draws me into the soft light at the end of the alley. I am not sure that any application of the contrast tool is necessary--the elements all have great exposures--there is a beautiful light-dark-light-dark array going down the left and right side of the alley--and that really enhances my depth perception here. Mark, would you have handled this any differently; this scene is very much up, your alley. Next time perhaps you might want to change the color of the drop shadow to one of the less prevalent tones of the main image. That would give the drop-shadow more impact. Use the dropper tool to sample a less prevalent gray or black tone say in the posts or tree trunks and color the foreground color--then make your drop-shadow from that color. It might be more effective.

Jerome Belthrop     02-Jun-2002 at 05:08

Vintage appeal

George, I'm in the same PS boat as you...strictly a learner, even after two years! There is a real appeal to your image. Don't know where it was shot but it has a "vintage" or "old fashioned" look that is quite charming.

Drayton Cooper     02-Jun-2002 at 14:17

Size matters

Nice subject. I agree with most of the suggestions, not much more to say really. My software (PhotoDelux) has a great default image quality tool. I always try it to see what it 'thinks'. If it looks good I keep it. If not, I look at what it did and use it as a guide. I'd play around some more with contrast/brightness adjustments. The other ideas presented here will give you more things to try. Post the images a little bigger. I usually post at 1200 pixels wide for the horizontal and 900 for the vertical. This allows those who wish to see the image at a larger size. It would help me evaluate the detail a little better. Use even multiples of 100 on the horizontal. It helps the website interpolation software create a better screen image. I normally eschew the borders and drop shadows. I find them distracting but, a lot of others are quite fond of them. Also, after I post an image I view it on the website to see how it looks. Sometimes it?s a bit different than it looks in image software. You might have caught the missing left side border.

MARK MILLEN     02-Jun-2002 at 15:50


I proof read my comments several times before I hit the 'Submit' button. As soon as I did I noticed an error. When I say I post at 1200 pixels wide I meant for horizontally oriented images. The vertical for this could be any number, depending on the crop. The vertical compositions at 900 pixels wide could also be any height and, you'd always have to scroll. I prefer it though because I want to see the detail. I've thought that some people might try to use pirate the images but, the most you could get is an 8x10. Also, the image will always be best when using the original size files.

MARK MILLEN     02-Jun-2002 at 15:59