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  #1  
Old June 30th, 2014, 12:40 PM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Location: Alamogordo, New Mexico, USA
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Default Life in the hills

Alamogordo, New Mexico snuggles up to the foothills of the western escarpment of the Sacramento Mountain Range, which can be reasonably considered as the southernmost portion of the extended Rocky Mountains. The range rises to almost 9700 ft MSL. (We live at 4572 ft MSL.)

So we can reasonably say that we live about 1/2 mile west of the Rockies. (When I lived in Albuquerque, we said we lived "65 feet" west of the Rockies.)

There are a number of homes that are substantially up into the foothills. One of the most impressive is this one. located near the mouth of Marble Canyon:



Douglas A. Kerr: Life in the hills

It is about one mile roughly southeast from our home, and almost 500 feet higher (just about at 5000 ft MSL).

This was shot from our back yard with - wait, I forgot where I was. Nobody is supposed to care about that.

From this elevation shot one cannot appreciate the scope of this edifice. Better to look at it from overhead (the previous view was from about the azimuth of the upper-left corner of this shot):


Copyright 2014 Google Earth

If we zoom out a little:


Copyright 2014 Google Earth

we see (upper left) that same small motor home we saw in the elevation shot. I suspect that houses the watchman for this property.

To put this into topographic perspective, we zoom out a bit more:


Copyright 2014 Google Earth

You see the location of our home and "the mansion". Just to its northwest we see the southeast corner of the "main" portion of Alamogordo.

This is fabulous country, "Where the desert meets the mountains."

People ask, "Well, how close is the desert, actually?" "In the back yard."

Best regards,

Doug
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  #2  
Old June 30th, 2014, 01:11 PM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Hi, Gang,

I am often uncertain as to how to best process shots such as the one that led off my earlier message in this thread.

In scenes such as this, in particular I often am disappointed in how the greens of the vegetation end up. They seem "feeble".

I'd appreciate some tutelage in this area.

Here is that same crop ex camera except for reduction to about 37% of its original pixel dimensions.


The greens are already a little feeble here!

Thanks for any help you can give me.

Best regards,

Doug
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  #3  
Old June 30th, 2014, 07:42 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Hi Doug,

My first glance gave me an idea of your lifestyle in luxury, but then I read the text!

The colors can be enhanced by adding a curve layer in Photoshop or Elements and setting the blend to "multiply" at about 3-5% or so. Then another curves layer with a slight S curve to gives some punch. I'd also sharpen with the unsharp mask set to 12-2& and the pixel size to 60 to get rid of the veil of haze and increase local contrast. Then use the Edit-Fade sharpening to blend for Luminosity.

Asher
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  #4  
Old June 30th, 2014, 08:22 PM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Hi, Asher,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
My first glance gave me an idea of your lifestyle in luxury, but then I read the text!
Well, our little place (1550 ft²) is fabulous, but hardly that opulent.

I'll do some pix on it again one of these days.

Quote:
The colors can be enhanced by adding a curve layer in Photoshop or Elements and setting the blend to "multiply" at about 3-5% or so. Then another curves layer with a slight S curve to gives some punch. I'd also sharpen with the unsharp mask set to 12-2& and the pixel size to 60 to get rid of the veil of haze and increase local contrast. Then use the Edit-Fade sharpening to blend for Luminosity.
Thanks for the hints. I so rarely use Photoshop I forget about such techniques.

I keep forgetting about local contrast enhancement via USM. What strength does "12-2&" mean?

Thanks again.

Best regards,

Doug
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  #5  
Old July 1st, 2014, 04:16 AM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Kerr View Post
Hi, Gang,

I am often uncertain as to how to best process shots such as the one that led off my earlier message in this thread.

In scenes such as this, in particular I often am disappointed in how the greens of the vegetation end up. They seem "feeble".

I'd appreciate some tutelage in this area.
Hi Doug,

Besides various Photoshop postpocessing operations one can use, such as the Low-Amount with Large radius USM, almost all scene types can benefit from Topaz Labs Clarity (either as a PS plugin or through the Topaz Labs photoFXlab host, or even with IrfanView). Especially lifting the hazy/dusty veil and adding some selective saturation is pretty easy and effective with 'Clarity'.

Quote:
Here is that same crop ex camera except for reduction to about 37% of its original pixel dimensions.


The greens are already a little feeble here!
And here is a Topaz Labs Clarity adjusted version (also avoids creation of halos):


Cheers,
Bart
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  #6  
Old July 1st, 2014, 07:01 AM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Hi, Bart,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart_van_der_Wolf View Post
Hi Doug,

Besides various Photoshop postpocessing operations one can use, such as the Low-Amount with Large radius USM, almost all scene types can benefit from Topaz Labs Clarity (either as a PS plugin or through the Topaz Labs photoFXlab host, or even with IrfanView). Especially lifting the hazy/dusty veil and adding some selective saturation is pretty easy and effective with 'Clarity'.
I got the demo version and have just started playing with it. It looks like a great tool.

How do I make it a plugin for IrfanView?

Thanks so much.

Best regards,

Doug
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  #7  
Old July 1st, 2014, 07:04 AM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Hi, Asher,
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
The colors can be enhanced by adding a curve layer in Photoshop or Elements and setting the blend to "multiply" at about 3-5% or so. Then another curves layer with a slight S curve to gives some punch.
I tried that. Very nice.

Quote:
I'd also sharpen with the unsharp mask set to 12-2& and the pixel size to 60 to get rid of the veil of haze and increase local contrast.
Good.

Quote:
Then use the Edit-Fade sharpening to blend for Luminosity.
Not sure I know what that means. Remember, I rarely use Photoshop.

Thanks so much.

Best regards,

Doug
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  #8  
Old July 1st, 2014, 08:53 AM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Kerr View Post
I got the demo version and have just started playing with it. It looks like a great tool.
They also have a number of YouTube video tutorials about it. That might help to quickly get up to speed while the trial period lasts. Clarity is one of my Must-Have plugins, together with their Detail plugin for creative and output sharpening. They often give away discount coupons for their products to attendees to their Webinars (or maybe also their quick-tip Thursday sessions).

Quote:
How do I make it a plugin for IrfanView?
In the IrfanView Image menu, select the Adobe 8BF PlugIns option and there select the Filters dialog. There you can add filters to your list. Look for the path where the 32-bit version of the plugin is located (on my system it's C:\Program Files (x86)\Topaz Labs\Topaz Clarity\Plugins). That should do the trick.

Cheers,
Bart
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  #9  
Old July 1st, 2014, 09:32 AM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Hi, Bart,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart_van_der_Wolf View Post
In the IrfanView Image menu, select the Adobe 8BF PlugIns option and there select the Filters dialog. There you can add filters to your list. Look for the path where the 32-bit version of the plugin is located (on my system it's C:\Program Files (x86)\Topaz Labs\Topaz Clarity\Plugins). That should do the trick.
Was able to do that.

Thanks.

Best regards,

Doug
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