CS5 – a practice run


I decided to upgrade my software to Creative Suite 5 and it arrived on Friday. Thank goodness that Tom is still at University, the discount given to students is 80% and he can put it on two machines. I wanted to try it out on a challenging piece of work and chose this image.

This image was actually taken as a test shot after I had first gone into the greenhouse. I felt it needed some fill and used a camera mounted flash, not having a trigger with me, set to fill not key. When I looked at the image in camera I made the choice to use a reflector as I didn’t want to spend hours in photoshop getting rid of the flash glare.. As it was a test shot I have left it alone until now thinking it unworthy. So the challenge was on for CS5 and I didn’t want to spend more than a half hour.

Here is the original un-retouched JPEG, I shoot in RAW with a JPEG copy, and my comments with what it is that needs to be done to the image.

As you can see a real challenge to accomplish in half an hour.

I had to try out this new content aware feature in CS5 so selected the pipe on the left with the lassoo tool and then used the fill command set to content aware. It took a minute or so to analyse the image a returned a rather broken trellis but in the interest of time I decided to accept and move on. Next was the board on the left which i repeated the same as before and got another good result. Boyed up and eager to see if it could handle anything harder I tried the same to the flash glare, bad result so I undid that and went to work with the clone tool.

The next problem was the man in the background. If he had been in full shot I would have rather liked it but he was cut in half and just looks wrong. The content aware feature was no good, time was clicking and so I decided a crop would help. This enabled me to straighten the horizon at the same time.

Next I created three masks on three different layers. The top background to the window frame, the lower foreground again to the window frame and then the subject herself. Making a mask for the subject allowed me to try out the new features in selections. Supposed to make it incredibly easy to cut out hair. It wasn’t and I will need a lot more time practising with this feature. Not as straightforward as the reviews have made it.

Using these masks I blurred the background with Gaussian blur and tweaked the subject’s contrast. This also finally obscured the gent in the background.

Time taken just under 30 minutes….not perfect for gallery exhibition but enough for an A4 print.

Here is the final edit

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