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Old 05-12-2014, 05:07 PM   #1361
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I definitely have to get photoshop. I've been playing with gimp, but need photoshop to augment lightroom for some more effects
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You can download a free and legitimate copy of Photoshop CS2 here. It's not the latest version, and it isn't supported any more, but it has been working fine on Windows 8.1 for me.
Another option is Photoshop Elements, which is $65 downloaded from Amazon. It will do 80-90% of what the full version of Photoshop will do and the interface is virtually identical to the full version. And since you already use Lightroom the interface will be familiar.

Elements lacks some of the more sophisticated tools in Photoshop, which for me is the pen tool that I use often, and for the most part won't work on 16-bit files. But if you do most of your processing in Lightroom and then go to Elements that may not matter much if at all.

Not being familiar with CS2 I don't know what is not there but by now I'd wager that Elements has options that CS2 does not. But you can't beat the price!
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Old 05-12-2014, 05:40 PM   #1362
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From my hike last weekend, a creek lined with ferns and redwood trees:



I should have used HDR on this one, I think. Instead I tried to use exposure compensation to avoid blowing out highlights too much, then I developed the shadows in post. This trail was narrow and busy, so using a tripod was out of the question. It was also pretty dark under the redwood tree canopy, so I had to work with higher ISO settings.

Here is another one:

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Old 05-12-2014, 05:46 PM   #1363
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That's a tough one with the deep shadows and spots of direct sunlight. I like the shot though.
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Old 05-12-2014, 07:36 PM   #1364
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Nice shots FIREd. I usually wimp out and stay away from scenes with too much dynamic range, unless I am actually aiming for the strong graphic effect of deep shadows against very bright highlights.
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Old 05-12-2014, 10:31 PM   #1365
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Thanks for the Photoshop purchase pointers Major Tom & Walt! I was going to wait until after summer, but with these options I'll go for it now.
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Old 05-12-2014, 10:46 PM   #1366
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Nice shots FIREd.Those ferns are really catching the light.
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Old 05-12-2014, 10:55 PM   #1367
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Shot today at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery. Quite a place. Really puts everything in perspective.

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Old 05-12-2014, 11:45 PM   #1368
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Went out for a ride in the early evening to explore a part of town that I have spent very little time in - West Oakland. The hour before the sun goes down has always been my favorite part of the day.





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Old 05-12-2014, 11:57 PM   #1369
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On the way back from SF this afternoon, I passed a friend who was on her way into SF. She let me take a quick snap, and processing this photo reminded me that I really need to learn how to do great black and white conversions.

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Old 05-13-2014, 02:52 AM   #1370
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If you use lightroom or photoshop silver effex is as good as it gets for b&w conversions.









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Old 05-13-2014, 10:00 AM   #1371
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Wall mural on building on old route 66 in Pontiac, Illinois

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Old 05-13-2014, 04:35 PM   #1372
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Thanks for the Photoshop purchase pointers Major Tom & Walt! I was going to wait until after summer, but with these options I'll go for it now.
There's one other thing that occurred to me later. I started with Elements, registered it, and of course Adobe sent E-mails ~once every other month or so urging an upgrade to the full Photoshop, which I ignored because of the high price and at the time Elements was more than enough to learn. I went through two or three versions of Elements.

But they later offered CS5 at the upgrade price and I bit on that. They've since gone to a subscription model, and for a while offered the "Photographer's Special" of both the current version of Lightroom and Photoshop CC for $9.99/month. It's supposed to stay at that price for as long as one subscribes. I bit on that too, since I figured it was about a wash with upgrading to current versions every 18 months or so. And frankly, we spend more than that on coffee.

So it might be that if one buys Elements they may offer that or a similar deal after a few months.

The below are some that I shot this morning in bright sunlight, 85mm macro lens with a 36mm extension tube.
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File Type: jpg Potted_flowers-1.jpg (116.4 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg Potted_flowers-2.jpg (78.0 KB, 7 views)
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Old 05-13-2014, 09:19 PM   #1373
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If you use lightroom or photoshop silver effex is as good as it gets for b&w conversions.
Thanks for the tip on Silver Efex. I'm more interested in techniques I can use with Photoshop without the help of plug-ins, so that I can understand the process as I'm applying it. I currently use either channel mixer, calculations, or gradient map - whichever gives the best-looking conversion, but I think I need to get a little more proficient at how I implement these.

Of course, it may also be that I'm not taking good enough pictures to use as source material, and that is a distinct possibility!
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Old 05-13-2014, 11:48 PM   #1374
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There's one other thing that occurred to me later. I started with Elements, registered it, and of course Adobe sent E-mails ~once every other month or so urging an upgrade to the full Photoshop, which I ignored because of the high price and at the time Elements was more than enough to learn. I went through two or three versions of Elements.

But they later offered CS5 at the upgrade price and I bit on that. They've since gone to a subscription model, and for a while offered the "Photographer's Special" of both the current version of Lightroom and Photoshop CC for $9.99/month. It's supposed to stay at that price for as long as one subscribes. I bit on that too, since I figured it was about a wash with upgrading to current versions every 18 months or so. And frankly, we spend more than that on coffee.

So it might be that if one buys Elements they may offer that or a similar deal after a few months.

The below are some that I shot this morning in bright sunlight, 85mm macro lens with a 36mm extension tube.
I had some bad timing on my Lightroom purchase. I bought Lightroom just before they offered the 9.99 deal. At least I got it at the student price. Then I took a Lightroom class and the teacher suggested the 9.99 combo subscription was a good deal. But I didn't want to pull the trigger on that right after buying Lightroom. Enough time has passed now that I can go that route without feeling guilty of misspending.

Great shots of your flowers by the way. Those reds are striking. I can't wait for some flowers to pop here.
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Old 05-14-2014, 12:06 AM   #1375
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Has anyone had any experience with damaged lens elements? I was inspecting my Canon EF 24mm f/1.4 lens today and discovered a small chip on the rear element. I think it may have happened when I dropped it several years ago. I haven't noticed any problems with the images it produces but am sending it off to Canon for a repair estimate anyway.

I have read that small scratches and chips on front elements usually have little effect on the images unless you are shooting into the sun, while damage to rear elements can be of more consequence.
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Old 05-14-2014, 12:33 AM   #1376
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I'll probably hang in there with LR3 and CS5 for a while longer. $10 a month seems pretty reasonable though to be up to date with the current versions ...

This is an HDR taken yesterday after our mid may snow storm.

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Old 05-14-2014, 01:15 AM   #1377
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A street portrait from my archives. This was taken on Hollywood Blvd in Feb 2005. These 2 young men were in Hollywood for the day from Compton. They looked at my camera and asked if I was looking for stars to photograph.

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Old 05-14-2014, 02:16 AM   #1378
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Extras for the film Dreamgirls (a film about Motown and in particular, The Supremes) leaving the set. Downtown Los Angeles. Jan 2006.

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Old 05-14-2014, 03:00 AM   #1379
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One more for tonight before I bore you all to death. Downtown Los Angeles. Jan 2006.

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Old 05-14-2014, 08:01 AM   #1380
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Playing around in PS last night I cut out one of the flowers with the pen tool. Saved one as a .jpg and another copy as a .png file (the background is transparent although it will display as white in a browser) and was a bit surprised to see a big difference in the images. Both are from the same .psd file.

Edit to add: Just noticed that clicking on the .png file here, the background displays as black.
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File Type: png Cut_flower.png (709.1 KB, 12 views)
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