"You Are The Difference!"

― Artistic Expression Critique'Sweet Hitchhiker' (composite)

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davechinn
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'Sweet Hitchhiker' (composite)

Post by davechinn » Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:05 pm

It is rather hard to photograph cars, planes, or people without having bystanders or other obstacles mysteriously appear in the scene. This composite wasn't necessarily the case ... well maybe yes because of the distraction in the background of the main subjects. I decided to do a composite of the soldier, lady and motorcycle with sidecar solely because of the background. The building is at the same location of the subjects. I'm not sure what the building is, but because of its location and vintage appeal I was able to use it for this composite and another one as well. I decided to leave it in color rather than b&w. I also wanted a vintage look with maybe a Norman Rockwell appeal, but I'm not totally convinced of success. Your thoughts?
Attachments
DEC_5212w color.jpg
'Background' (original version)
Sweet Hitchhiker DEC_5269w color.jpg
'Sweet Hitchhiker' (original version)
Sweet Hitchhiker DEC_5212w color.jpg
'Sweet Hitchhiker' (Composite)
http://www.davechinn.com/

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Post by Psjunkie » Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:31 pm

Great imagination Mr. Chinn and well done...Rockwellish or not I like the look..from a technical standpoint the work you've done around the woman from the elbows up needs another look, it is not seen on the man.

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Post by minniev » Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:13 pm

Wonderful concept, Dave, I love it. Rockwellian is fine with me. I see some areas for selection improvement around the woman - the part against the sky has a bit of brownish halo, and the legs have a residual from the original photo I think around the selection edge. The man doesn’t seem to have these issues (women are so much trouble!) The sky has a lot of noise which is fine, and often present in vintage photos but with vintage it’s usually grain and grain to me seems present throughout, where this (like modern noise) is worse in the sky portion. Might can fix that by applying a noise texture layer over the whole thing when you get done. My own predelictiion would be for warmer colors more like the hand tinted kinds or early films but the blues are nice too, just different. You have such creative ideas! I wish I had more of that!
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Post by Duck » Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:20 pm

I love it. The new background works so much better than the original. I also like where you are going with the processing, trying to give it that "Saturday Evening Post" feel.

As has been pointed out, there are some issues. The halo, while clearly visible around the woman, is clearly visible around the the whole original image where it meets the sky. So mush so that I can trace it (yellow dotted line in example).

Additionally here are some points I feel would help make this a stronger image;

As always, one of the best ways of analyzing how strong a subject stands out is to do a quick B&W 2 bit litmus test. You can see how the strongest subject is the female, because of the dark dress, while the gent's uniform blends in too much with the tones of the sky and his skin tone. some judicious adjustment of overall tones to the uniform can help separate the soldier from the background and bring his face out some.
Sweet Hitchhiker 0.jpg
This image shows some of my markup notes where some simple adjustments can be made. One thing that stood out to me as I studied the image was the placement of the building within the scene. Since it is a composite you do have a lot of control as to where the building goes. I noticed that the line of the roof and the line of the bike's handlebars created an awkward tangent. A lift on the building can change this without ruining the overall look.
Sweet Hitchhiker 1.jpg
This final image is just a quick application of some curves adjustments with masks to make some tonal corrections. You can also add a little more blur to the background to help with the separation but that is a totally subjective adjustment.
Sweet Hitchhiker 2.jpg
Hope this helps.
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Post by PietFrancke » Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:03 pm

very cool - love Duck's advise and "todo" image - particularly about the tangent areas - perhaps kill the Service word. Also tempted to further color down the greens. I like what you did here.

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Post by davechinn » Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:44 am

Psjunkie wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:31 pm
Great imagination Mr. Chinn and well done...Rockwellish or not I like the look..from a technical standpoint the work you've done around the woman from the elbows up needs another look, it is not seen on the man.


Not sure why I didn't see that Frank. Thanks for pointing it out to me.
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Don’t shoot what it looks like. Shoot what it feels like.
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Post by davechinn » Fri Aug 17, 2018 11:15 am

minniev wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:13 pm
Wonderful concept, Dave, I love it. Rockwellian is fine with me. I see some areas for selection improvement around the woman - the part against the sky has a bit of brownish halo, and the legs have a residual from the original photo I think around the selection edge. The man doesn’t seem to have these issues (women are so much trouble!) The sky has a lot of noise which is fine, and often present in vintage photos but with vintage it’s usually grain and grain to me seems present throughout, where this (like modern noise) is worse in the sky portion. Might can fix that by applying a noise texture layer over the whole thing when you get done. My own predelictiion would be for warmer colors more like the hand tinted kinds or early films but the blues are nice too, just different. You have such creative ideas! I wish I had more of that!


Thanks Minnie, I'm not sure why my intended goal to aim towards Rockwell was all about. I wanted to take it further, but I got lost in the process and couldn't figure out how to proceed without making the image a total disaster. Something I need more knowledge and practice on if I want to pursue this style again in the future, which I do.

I have made corrections to the area around the lady's shoulders, but I can't seem to see anything around the legs that you are referring to for correction. The sky DOES have a lot of noise and shouldn't have. I'm not sure where and what layer that came in on, but I do see it and knew it was there and being lazy, I didn't do anything to correct it. I have since made some corrections to remove the grain. A textured layer would have been a better choice, per your suggestion, also I have warmed the image up just ever so subtle. I appreciate your thoughts/suggestions for improvements.
Dave
Attachments
Sweet Hitchhiker #2 DEC_5212w color.jpg
http://www.davechinn.com/

Don’t shoot what it looks like. Shoot what it feels like.
David Alan Harvey

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davechinn
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Post by davechinn » Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:57 pm

Duck wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:20 pm
I love it. The new background works so much better than the original. I also like where you are going with the processing, trying to give it that "Saturday Evening Post" feel.

As has been pointed out, there are some issues. The halo, while clearly visible around the woman, is clearly visible around the the whole original image where it meets the sky. So mush so that I can trace it (yellow dotted line in example).

Additionally here are some points I feel would help make this a stronger image;

As always, one of the best ways of analyzing how strong a subject stands out is to do a quick B&W 2 bit litmus test. You can see how the strongest subject is the female, because of the dark dress, while the gent's uniform blends in too much with the tones of the sky and his skin tone. some judicious adjustment of overall tones to the uniform can help separate the soldier from the background and bring his face out some.

Sweet Hitchhiker 0.jpg

This image shows some of my markup notes where some simple adjustments can be made. One thing that stood out to me as I studied the image was the placement of the building within the scene. Since it is a composite you do have a lot of control as to where the building goes. I noticed that the line of the roof and the line of the bike's handlebars created an awkward tangent. A lift on the building can change this without ruining the overall look.

Sweet Hitchhiker 1.jpg

This final image is just a quick application of some curves adjustments with masks to make some tonal corrections. You can also add a little more blur to the background to help with the separation but that is a totally subjective adjustment.

Sweet Hitchhiker 2.jpg

Hope this helps.

I need more practice and knowledge with this type of processing . As with anything the more we do the better we get, but for some, such as me, it will take longer.

I'm not familiar with the B&W 2 bit litmus test but seems I should investigate. It looks to be pretty effective and I appreciate you pointing it out to me. You are correct to some degree on building placement. Composites does give one a lot of control. To me, the building was stationary, where the main subjects were the added features that gave me the control to move about where ever I prefer. I suppose I could have reversed the choice, but never have done composites in that way so I didn't consider it. Maybe I should give that portion a try. I hope I'm making sense to where anyone ready this will understand what I'm trying to get across. The handlebars and building didn't have any importance to me, but maybe should have. Something I need to keep an eye on when doing composites. Composites are always a work in progress so there will be mistakes that matters and there will be some that won't. I'm convinced the average individual viewer will not pick up on most mistakes, but that doesn't correct any issues, so therefor need to be corrected from the beginning.

I thought about adding a little more blur but decided against it, but I still may do so later. Overall your suggestions and edit does help. My thoughts and theory on exposure was to stay in the guidelines of the direction of lighting, which is why the faces were on the darker side. I just didn't want to go too far and overdo it, which I am guilty of in the past. Its always a challenge for me to stay within certain guidelines so to speak. Always an education and its much appreciated Duck !!!
Dave
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Don’t shoot what it looks like. Shoot what it feels like.
David Alan Harvey

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davechinn
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Post by davechinn » Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:04 pm

PietFrancke wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:03 pm
very cool - love Duck's advise and "todo" image - particularly about the tangent areas - perhaps kill the Service word. Also tempted to further color down the greens. I like what you did here.

Thanks Piet, Duck's pinpoints really does help me to see the areas in need of correction for improvements. I never considered removing the wording on the building. To me, it sorta added to the vintage style I was wanting, but I do appreciate the suggestions.
Dave
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Don’t shoot what it looks like. Shoot what it feels like.
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Post by pop511 » Fri Aug 17, 2018 3:05 pm

As is always there are so many ways to accomplish your work in P/S.
The two models and bike that were cut out of another picture. Create a clipping layer above. Fill with 50% gray and change blend to overlay. Now you can use your dodge and burn brushes on your models. Be very gentle on flow and opacity.
Has the look of a 2nd world war picture. B&W conversion?
Have fun;
ed davis

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