Whetting Your Appetite For Travel -- Travel Pics

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  • mil - That's quite a river cruise from Sydney to Budapest to.... :)

    BSP51 - I took a Photoshop course at a Community College about 15 years ago. That's probably not a desirable, or available, option now. I also have several books. One author I recall as being particularly helpful is Scott Kelby. His book, "The Photoshop Book for Digital Photographers" was very well done. I also recall using several web sites where you could download custom filters into Photoshop to create the watercolor-like effect Doug produced and others. Just for the heck of it, I clicked on a few bookmarked sites that I haven't used in 10+ years and they are no longer there.

  • edited November 2020

    Doug, I’d love to see if you could enhance the photo of Cathy’s male lion, could you ask her permission?

  • BKMD - Thank you for the advice!

  • edited November 2020

    So, what I like about Rudis is that he has a Lesson Plan, like any good teacher. It's logical, one thing builds on another. I've taken several PS courses, and they mainly teach button pushing-- push a button you get an effect. Use a Filter, and you get an effect.

    Rudis teaches technique and art appreciation. Rudis background is in painting, as an artist, so he has the eye, and in the advanced courses, teaches color theory. You'll spend 100 hours learning his 30 days course, but, do it as fun, and you'll really be able to become a master if you wish.

    You can go either way --

    1. You can take a course that teaches you how to use some of Photoshop's tricks -- canned filters, and effects. It's sort of an intro to Photoshop, but then you'll probably get tired of the tricks and application of standard effects. They are sort of like recipes that don't give the cook the room to create something with subtle flavors, etc.

    2. Or, you can learn how to combine PROCESSES, making a WORKFLOW of sequences you can use. So, instead of a watercolor effect applied to an entire photo, you can apply light, color gradations, tonal gradations, highlight and shadow control -- essentially turning pixels on and off at will, and telling them what color to become!

    So, let me show you what I mean:

    This image took a lot of steps:

    1. I wanted each subject to stand out, at different light levels. The snaks and charmer were "masked" or cut out, so that colors, tones, softeness, saturation and light could be applied to each separately, apart from the background.
    2. I wanted to change the near noon lighting to sunrise or sunset, so I gave the entire image an orange color wash, then, brushed away areas that I did not want to have that effect, so as to make them pop out more.
    3. I lightened the eyes so your eyes would be more drawn to his, so I spotlighted his eyes, then feathered the light.
    4. The original image did not leave enough room above the charmer's head, so I added elements to the picture that were not there at all, adding to the size of the metal grate behind the charmer, and adding more wall.
    5. I love the purple, so I enhanced it. I love the orange turban, so I gave it more vibrance and saturation.
    6. I spotlighted his face, which was originally more hidden.
    7. The edges of the image were infused with a darkening gradient to draw the viewer's attention toward the subjects.
    8. You'll notice that the baskets and snakes "pop", so they were masked and then Brightness and Contrast was applied to the mask.

    So, the entire mood of the picture was changed with these changes. But to do all of this, it won't be done by just applying a photoshop pre-set, filter, or trick because they usually make global adjustments -- to the entire image, rather than local, subtle ones.

    But, it's a choice -- if it's too daunting, do something more introductory. But if you, want to become creative, spend the 100 hours learning how cook without measuring cups nor measuring spoons (actually, at CIA, that's what they did to us -- gave us a recipe, but not measuring instruments -- "awww, use a ladle" the instructor said, "but, taste, taste, taste!).

  • mil -- here's some comments for your consideration.

    1. Time is the big deal. When you get to the point of retirement, like me, you have much more freedom to do as you'd like. And getting involved in photography at a deeper level when you have a lot of time, is excellent.
    2. Adobe Photoshop has evolved, from a program one used to buy for $400 plus bucks, to a monthly subscription, called Creative Cloud. The advantage of the latter is that it includes the editing program Adobe Lightroom, and the major surgery program, Adobe Photoshop. It's a reasonable montly fee, if you have the time and inclination to use it. And, with the montly subscription, UPDATES are automatic. New tricks, new tools are added every year in a major update; bug fixes and smaller changes occur every so often.
    3. Phone photos are fine, great, and getting better. You can really make them something when you have the time to use Photoshop on them, if you want to go that route.
    4. Your photos are distorted, just like mine are, because when you upload them to Tauck, they reduce the dots per square inch, or dpi. That has an advantage -- no one is going to steal your photos, or at least the copies are going to be unprintable.
    5. Watermarks don't prevent folks from stealing your photo. Watermarks can be erased in a couple of minutes in Adobe Photoshop. The way to protect your photos is to use a program like Photoshop and upload them at 72 dpi or dots per square inch. They pass muster on a computer screen, but print as a blur. The photos I have on the Tauck site were all uploaded at 72 dpi. Even though they look pretty good, some are really gorgeous when printed at the standard 300 dpi -- crisp, clear, much more subtle coloring. So i
    6. So happy you make the effort to take sunrise and sunset shots. Actually, it's more often the case to not shoot the sun, but where the sun shines -- with your back to the sunrise. The sunrise itself usually appears as a white blob with no pixel information in it. So, the idea is to use the COLORS OF THE SUNLIGHT, AND THE SHADOWS AND ANGLE of the light to make amazing photos. Then, watch, if you did not quite identify it, the stages of the light -- oranges to blue as the sun sets below the horizon.

    Hope this helps.

    Doug

  • edited November 2020

    Your latest shots are great. Love the colors. Expressions are catching. Great silouette of the camel caravan -- would be really nice with some editing -- more saturated background, tone down the blasting sunlight -- notice how much more vivid and intense your colors are in the non-backlighted images. Goat is clear, good texture, but the image would pop if you cropped in -- get rid of the negative space in the sky and grass, get rid of the leaf hanging from the right side, bring out the clouds in the sky with contrast, and color the sky a bit more blue. Just saying -- don't take it as critical. Good bokeh with the sideshot turban guy, good sharp definition of the face, interesting expression, good placement of his eyes according to the Rule of Thirds, great color. Just pm me if you don't want me to comment -- but I've paid big bucks to have Dickman critique my stuff. LOL.

    Doug

  • Also, consider Photoshop Elements rather than the full Photoshop. Elements has 90% of the features of the full version (at least it used to when I was active editing photos) and is a LOT cheaper. Unless you're a pro, Elements should do the trick.

  • After reading BKMD, I took a look at the description of Photoshop Elements 2021. It does have a lot of features that Photoshop has, and is labeled as an enthusiast level program. Then, there is Adobe Lightroom, designed for photographers (who do not want to do major surgery on their photos). So I'm thinking, it can be a pretty confusing decision, as where to start to alter your photos.

    It seems to me that it's really complicated. Your choice depends on what level of mastery you want to attain, how much you have in resources -- time and money, what purpose you're going to use your pictures and skill set for, and what you think you'll be happy with learning.

    I don't have statistics, but most photo bugs use Adobe Lightroom to view, sort, categorize, rate, and organize their image files into a database tree structure. I do mine by two databases -- vacations by date, at one level, by areas of interest in another (people, objects, backgrounds, skies, animals, liked objects . .).

    Then, after the importing and sorting of your photos from your camera, photo bugs use Adobe Lightroom to edit their images -- change luminosity or tone, color, sharpness, exposure, brightness, contrast, and on and on. And that's where many may stop.

    The second step is to progress to Photoshop/Photoshop Elements. That is major surgery -- not just changing colors, lighting, etc. but combining two images or parts of images, or removing parts of images. It's literally surgery. It's like cut and paste.

    So, I think it's a progression. Learning the basic editing program (Lightroom), then Photoshop. Diving only into Photoshop Elements or Photoshop, is, at least by Blake Rudis' teaching, is sort of like going to High School without first going to Middle School. The latter is foundational.

    But, there are exceptions. My sister-in-law has learned Elements and has used it for years. She meets with her group and learns new techniques annually. But, it's specific. The program is used for scrap-booking.

    So, these are thoughts or a map, if you want to get into area of altering what comes out of your camera.

  • MIL: Love your image of the man in the turban side profile. Well done in all aspects as Quirky Eye pointed out. Award winning, in my opinion.

  • Doesn't he look like someone out of a movie?

  • Mil and Quirky-

    You should always ask permission and give proper attribution before reposting someone's image on the internet. Ok for your own albums or slideshows with friends (fair use), but not appropriate to repost without attribution. This image is mine, all rights reserved.

  • milmil
    edited November 2020

    Ken from Vegas, my apologies, That image was on my screen saver collage @ work. , you are right about asking permission, but I did not claimed it was mine.. again my apologies- and just for you to know I did LOVE it, that's why I have it in my computer... I will delete it from the upload group.
    Have a great weekend.

  • Really sorry, Ken. You're right. I didn't know whose it was. I should have made sure and asked permission to modify it.j

  • Mil and Quicrky-
    No problem guys. These things happen. Thanks for your responses.

  • You three have me totally confused, whoever the photo belongs to, it’s great.
    Last year, on a Tauck tour, I showed a fellow traveler one of my unique photos and she was very eager to have a copy. Fortunately the internet was not good where we were because I did not want to say no, I deliberately forgot to give it to her, she was a magazine editor and I felt she might want to use it or sell it on. So, yes, I guess we should be careful.
    I’m very grateful to Doug for being so kind in mailing me a print of one of his wonderful photos which sits proudly on. a wall in my house, with his name on it.

  • edited November 2020

    I don’t see the big deal with travel photos. I would be honored to have someone “steal” my photo or to have Doug apply his PS talents to one of mine. I just need to figure out how to post them 😁.

    As for morphing into a tutorial. Thank you all!

  • I apologize, Cathy and Steve, sorry that is disquieting. I've regarded the forum rather informaly, have contributed to discussions on photography and image making, sometimes going off topic in others' discussions. I'm working on being more careful.

    But the history of my contributions has been about cameras, equipment, various photography related issues, and tips for taking travel photos. I've contributed over months, even years to this forum. So I've been pretty loose about offering tips, advice, my own travel images, and sometimes suggestions for improving our travel photos, and felt that over time folks knew me and were part of those discussions.

    It's hard to tell, but usually, it was a process folks seemed to enjoy. More recently there's been a discussion about photo-editing, and I've presented a number of images modified in Photoshop, as I am taking advanced courses in PS, showing how our travel photos might be edited and enhanced.

    We've also talked about various schools of thought on whether one should Photoshop photos at all -- there are those that take a more documentary approach.

    And there's always been different points of view as to taking pictures at all while traveling, whether it takes away from the Tauck experience. So, over time, there's been some really interesting discussions relating to photography in this forum.

    But I'll be happy not to comment about other's images, unless asked.

    Actually, I've been rather ambivalent about discussing photography lately -- after all, it is a Travel Forum. On the other hand, there are those that are interested in travel photography and want to share their photos and improve their skills. There might be those that are delving more into travel photography and would like a bit of help.

    Maybe Tauck could have a sub-section on Travel Photography -- wonder how much interest that would generate?

  • milmil
    edited November 2020

    __Images_Quirky_Eye . No need to apologize.... your so called " Tutorials " are not but great info. ,that will help us to take better pictures or improve the ones we have taken , helpful advise from someone willing to share and that obviously loves photography. We all appreciate it and thank you for it.
    I really think the forum has lost it's purpose of sharing travel experiences and everything related to it, like photography.
    reason why I have decided to log out for good- it's beginning to look like forums on Tripadvisor... and there is enough negativity out there already to be searching for more...
    Ken from Vegas again my apologies and thank you! for the decent way you handled the situation..
    and to the very outspoken person that called me a THIEF, my best wishes....
    Everyone I wish you all great Holidays, stay safe and do a little soul search.. it's ugly to put so much anger out there..
    Mil- :)

  • edited November 2020

    Thanks for your support. Here's my latest: Hartley's in Australia.

    Okay, so if anyone is into Photoshop, the glow of the subject here is called the "Orton Effect", and combined with the delicacy of the feathers . . . And mil is right -- oftentimes green is such a wonderous background! Aw mil, don't log out . . . let's bring some fun in.

  • BSP51. If you have a fav photo you'd like me to try my Photoshop hand at, PM me. Send a copy of the original image (to preserve its detail) to [email protected] I'll try some editing and send it back to you. Let me know what you think you'd like, if you have any editing preferences. I will also show you the steps I used to produce the edit, since you are considering learning to edit, perhaps in PS. I'm always enthusiastic for folks to learn new stuff.

    I can't just use an image that you post on this website, because Tauck reduces the dots per square inch. But if you send it to my email address, the file size should be preserved unless your server reduces it. Obviously, I'll destroy my copy of your image after you approve of the edit. But if the edit is something you like, you can have it printed at 300 dpi.

    And, no guarantees that it will be any good. :)

    Doug

  • BSP51. There are many photo competitions with cash prizes. In fact Wilderness safaris just published their winners, that’s why ‘stealing’ others photos could be a problem. I’m just always surprised by which photos are chosen as winners. And of course Tauck has a photo competition too. We tried to send photos once but couldn’t figure out how to do it at the time and never bothered since. Their winners are the most baffling of all.

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