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Challenge: "Girls Choosing Leaves for Magic"

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Can you increase the "magic" in this resized as shot AR non-corrected snapshot "Girls Choosing Leaves for Magic"?

I don't mean special effects, just make it special for them. Any tools; just say how!



Asher
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
To kick it off, here's a B&W version using Channels and sharpened. New layer added with texture to get shadows especially on the girls shirt on the right and to draw eye in.



Asher
 

Dierk Haasis

pro member
My solution cannot be done afterwards:

I'd put a flash on the camera, set the camera to shutter priority, define an appropriately long shutter speed (say, 1/15th), put the flash on balanced TTL.

The result would be a photo showing an aura around people and moving things.

Curiously I just find that the ones I did a few years ago (still on film with an F100) haven't been digitised by me before I sent the originals to the client. The Magical Kingdom Surrounding Our Wolrd approach was very fitting since the event in question was a midsummer feast with real witches (they claimed to be witches).
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Andreas,

Your versions brings magic! The blurred b.g. adds depth. You haven't significently sharpened the ponytail of the girl on the right and with the leaf so defined, you have succeeded.

Asher
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Anyone want to tackle the blown out arm and shirt too? My solution was the added shadow pattern of a tree.

Asher
 

StuartRae

New member
Asher Kelman said:
Can you increase the "magic" in this resized as shot AR non-corrected snapshot "Girls Choosing Leaves for Magic"?
It's just an idea that I can't quite get to work.

What's the most important thing - the leaf.
What's the most beautiful part of the image - the hair of the girl on the left.

Use Light Machine to put a small glow spot on the leaf, and a larger oval one on the hair.
Darken and desaturate the background.
Make the hair colour richer.
Sharpen with focal blade (probably not necessary)

I can't find a sensible way to get rid of the horrible blown highlights on the girl's upper arm.

 
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Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Hi Stuart,

Thanks for the trojan effort! Having the leaf remaining green might work.

The color of th left arm is not robust enough for your manouver there. Sorry, my fault!

Asher
 

StuartRae

New member
Asher Kelman said:
Hi Stuart,
Thanks for the trojan effort! Having the leaf remaining green might work.
Asher
Oh dear! I must have been processing under the influence last night :)

Perhaps the idea is fundementally flawed. Here's another less extreme example along the same lines, with the background blurred a bit.

 
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Daniel Harrison

pro member
Well here is my try, Not a photoshop buff, infact I just happen to have the CS2 trial on my PC at the moment and thought I would give this a go.

bit of a crude job, but hey, I don't want to spend all night on ot ;-)

Blur Background
Crop
Clone head out
dodge white shirt a little
Warmify x 2


 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Stuart,

Good, you protected the flaw in the file!

Daniel, That crop adds intimacy.

Maybe without the added little girl, decreases the sense of the great interest of a bunch girls in their own world.

Asher
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Harvey,

I like the square format! You kept the 3rd girl and brought even more shade.

I'm appreciating the different expressions.

Asher
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Roger,

I see you too added a gentle shadow on the white shirt. The leaf stands out. I wonder could there be some green light from the leaf on the girl's face?

Asher

O.T. BTW, I'm going to post RAW pictures from Tom's last Huntington shoot for more challenges.

Send me a note if you have pictures of interest,including faces, to retouch.

Asher
 

Roger Lambert

New member
I am always one to...

listen to my wife.

What I mean to say is, I am always one to listen to my wife! :D

She had a suggestion for the picture, which I followed up on, here:

(BTW, in case anyone likes the effect in the first picture, which I have used very subtley, it is all within CS2. I use the "Find edges" command, then fade it down to about 3-6% on either "difference" of "exclusion" under the layers section.

Depending on your choices, it can produce an effect ranging from a very subtle surrealism, to a painterly effect, to a cartoonish "Yellow Submarine". I have no idea if this news or of any interest to folks - just thought I would mention it.) :)

 

Roger Lambert

New member
Did I say that...

I listen to my wife? Evidently not well enough, I am afraid. :D :D

Here is my final version, I hope up to her standards: :)

 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
So she wanted you to turn on the magic lights?

In that case, maybe one should float on top of the leaf? Ask the wife first!

Asher
 
Asher Kelman said:
Anyone want to tackle the blown out arm and shirt too? My solution was the added shadow pattern of a tree.
The blown out details can tackled via a mixture of calculations and curves to get a mask of the blown out areas (multiply the red and green channels to get an alpha channel and then use curves to shift the midtones close to black).

Using this mask, create curves adjustment layer to darken the image. Next, add noise to the layer mask and then fade this using multiply mode so the curves adjustment to darken the blown detail is now filtered with some noise to create texture. Blur the layer mask slightly (Gaussian blur radius 3 for this scale) and fade this in multiply mode (again, so only blown detail is affected). While this fails to create detail, it does take the blown detail and adds enough texture to make it look bright but not blown.

Other than that, this is a mixture of selective increases saturation, selective background blur to isolate the girls and leaf, plus a crop. Time, 10 or 15 minutes which is mostly masking work. I can post a PSD for those who want to see the process (top to bottom progressive layer tweaks).

The final dash of magic was to take the layer mask for the saturation, copy the saturated magic leaf, hit it with the motion blur filter, make 5 copies of the blurred version and selectively merge the, then transform that into a curve using the polar coordinates filter, and the tweaking it using free transform to blend with the composition.



While special effects were not requested, they do give it more of a magic touch.

enjoy,

Sean (ever the realist who can branch out with direction)
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Sean,

Thanks for that work! Now that we are this far, would anyone like to offer how they would light this to get it right at capture, the magic, that is?

Asher
 
Asher Kelman said:
Thanks for that work! Now that we are this far, would anyone like to offer how they would light this to get it right at capture, the magic, that is?
Asher,

You are welcome. To shoot this in one go I would explore it using 3 things.

1) A windy day to blur the foliage in the background more than you would get from defocus alone. Fans could emulate wind too. This could also blow the girls hair about adding a certain wild magic to the scene.

2) Use flash or studio strobes to light the girls and have the background darker. Perhaps softboxes or umbrellas overhead.

3) Some type of UV reactive paint on a fake leaf or a fake leaf of UV reactive paint and a bright UV light onto the "leaf". The girls outfits might need to be changed to ensure they are not reflecting the UV back. Or, even simply using a black light on the ground at the girls feet. We just need something to make the magic of the leaf happen.

Using this, I would work towards getting the shot by dragging the shutter with rear curtain sync and adjusting the light until it works how you want it.

enjoy,

Sean
 

Roger Lambert

New member
Asher Kelman said:
Sean,

Thanks for that work! Now that we are this far, would anyone like to offer how they would light this to get it right at capture, the magic, that is?

Asher
Shoot at night, and paint with light with camera on tripod on bulb setting? Use colored gels over flashlights, perhaps, to illuminate the flower differently from the girls and the background.
 

Brian Lowe

New member
Here is my take on making magic

Adjusted in Lightroom.
Photoshop added a light effect, lens flare and a little burn on the face cheek.

Total 2min

Brian

 

Bernard Wolf

pro member
Here's my take on this image. Some shadow/highlight tool, motionblur with layer mask on the right side and a few other small tweaks that I have now forgotten.

 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Bernard, that is another good effort!

I like the fact that you kept a reflection on the little girls hair so she is noticed!

She now becomes an important observer in the picture,

Thanks, I'like how each person adds another nuance by doing things in their way!

Asher
 
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