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Photographer
MC Seoul Photography
Posts: 406
Seoul, Seoul, Korea (South)


Not really the kind of work I show here, but I don't really frequent any other retouching forums.

In addition to normal studio art, I also do sports reporting and photography. I do ice hockey in terrible rinks with terrible lights. I often have to shoot through glass with smudges (but try to avoid those if I can help it)
due to the crappy light and high speed I have to shoot at less than ideal settings. Also because I'm shooting so many pictures, its hard to shoot raw due to space reason.. I'd burn through all my cards in a single game if I was conservative. I should consider buying a monster card for this...but anyway...
I have to shoot 1/350 3200 ISO and F5.6 I was hoping opening up the f-stop a little might give me a little better detail and focus. I also have a 2.8 lens i use sometimes I shoot at 1/350 800 ISO f2.8. I use the 5.6 sometimes for a longer lens. the other one is shorter.

What I've settled on and created an action for is this:
noiseware 5 full noise suppression aggressive on luminance

unsharpen mask at 30 radius 40 threshold, adds nice contrast and a little detail

Smart sharpen 100% 7.0 radius gaussian blur, really brings out the detail

inverted vivid light surface blur (15 pixels) blended, desaturated, and set to overlay (40% opacity), highlights some of the finer detail points

then a couple of dodge and burn layers using the quick dodge and burn look from Calvin Hollywood and painted where I needed it (mostly players white white uniforms as it shows up on them), just to add some depth to some uniforms.

Here is a typical shot:
https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/ … 6782_o.jpg
It's a high quality facebook photo, using the color profile I use, so it's actually pretty much dead on to what I see in Photoshop, not really any big compression on it.
another example here:
https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/ … 1254_o.jpg


Due to the movement and things like that, not every shot is going to be a nice crisp shot like you'd get in the studio, but what I'd like to do is do more with the colors. Like those blue uniforms. I'd like to somehow lighten them up just a bit and give them some detail and depth, but I'm not sure how to go about that.

Unfortunately I can't start with perfect photos, short of spending a lot of money on bodies that can handle higher ISO better and extremely fast/long lenses, they're about as good as I'm going to get. I'll try a few in raw next time to see if I can get a much better result.

Any thoughts?
Sep 08 13 09:44 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Studio Kucijarov
Posts: 7
Belgrade, Central Serbia, Serbia


If you need retouching services be free to contact us
Sep 08 13 10:10 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
DougBPhoto
Posts: 37,841
Portland, Oregon, US


MC Seoul Photography wrote:
Unfortunately I can't start with perfect photos, short of spending a lot of money on bodies that can handle higher ISO better and extremely fast/long lenses, they're about as good as I'm going to get. I'll try a few in raw next time to see if I can get a much better result.

Any thoughts?

For what you are dealing with, your results seem pretty good, especially if you're not using bodies that are known for better high ISO.

Sep 08 13 11:13 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
IGP Photo
Posts: 151
Oakland, California, US


I shoot sports in similar conditions, and I agree that you're getting good results for what you have to work with.
Sep 08 13 11:25 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Ledo retouch
Posts: 1,132
Lodi, California, US


that is a lot of work to go through, most noise reduction/sharpening
could be handled in ACR/LR. That might ease your workflow a little.
Sep 08 13 11:32 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MC Seoul Photography
Posts: 406
Seoul, Seoul, Korea (South)


Studio Kucijarov wrote:
If you need retouching services be free to contact us

Because that's what I was asking. I am asking for suggestions on improving a specific area of what I'm doing.

Sep 08 13 05:28 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MC Seoul Photography
Posts: 406
Seoul, Seoul, Korea (South)


Ledo retouch wrote:
that is a lot of work to go through, most noise reduction/sharpening
could be handled in ACR/LR. That might ease your workflow a little.

I've created an action. With most photos I simply crop it and rotate a little if I need, and then click the action. After the action is done, I paint the dodge and burn effect (it's a layer group that can be painted on) in a couple spots that can benefit from it. Net/light uniforms
7-8 minutes total for a photo, and of course I don't do every photo.
It was a lot of work before the action, but this is pretty fast. I'd just like to do something to give a little more detail and depth to the blue/darker uniforms.

Sep 08 13 05:32 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ACPhotography
Posts: 8,618
Plainview, New York, US


I shoot Ice Hockey in crappy rinks, I'm rarely below 6400 and I'm always at f 2.8 to get a less than ideal 1/500 shutter speed, I'd prefer 1/800. WB off the dirty ice, which most times is pointless anyway because the lights cycle in both color and exposure so I always shoot raw and correct both WB and exposure in post. There's one outdoor rink that I'm at 12,800 and a 1/320 shutter speed, I just can't get any more without really upping the ISO even more... (Strobing the rink isn't possible)

I didn't look at the images at first but I went back and did... I think you need to totally rethink both the way you are shooting and the way you are processing. None of my Photos go into PS except if I'm going to watermark them or slightly sharpen at the size I made them... This isn't the critique forum and I can't really say much more...
Sep 08 13 07:20 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MC Seoul Photography
Posts: 406
Seoul, Seoul, Korea (South)


ACPhotography wrote:
I shoot Ice Hockey in crappy rinks, I'm rarely below 6400 and I'm always at f 2.8 to get a less than ideal 1/500 shutter speed, I'd prefer 1/800. WB off the dirty ice, which most times is pointless anyway because the lights cycle in both color and exposure so I always shoot raw and correct both WB and exposure in post. There's one outdoor rink that I'm at 12,800 and a 1/320 shutter speed, I just can't get any more without really upping the ISO even more... (Strobing the rink isn't possible)

I didn't look at the images at first but I went back and did... I think you need to totally rethink both the way you are shooting and the way you are processing. None of my Photos go into PS except if I'm going to watermark them or slightly sharpen at the size I made them... This isn't the critique forum and I can't really say much more...

Feel free to say more.
I'm trying to keep the ISO lower to avoid the excessive noise. I use a Pentax K-30
since I shoot from the boards, I have been using my Tamron 24-75 f2.8 I find it's not bad. there is nothing beside the boards, so I can move end to end, but I've gotta shoot through dirty glass sometimes.
The last game I shot the whole thing with my 70-300 4-5.6 (at 5.6). I could push the ISO up to get a higher shutter speed. Do you think that would be more beneficial? I'll that this weekend as I've got another set of games to go to. I guess noiseware does a pretty good job of reducing the noise.

Raw is an issue for me though. I might shoot the first period in raw and the rest in jpg and see how it turns out for me. Give me a nice comparison. Shooting all raw would require that I change cards before the end of a period almost. The rink I'm going to this weekend has better lighting, so I'll be able to use a higher shutter speed  anyway. Some pictures I am going for a more stylized look anyway.  A larger faster memory card is in the works.

This is one I shot last year, no editing except for noiseware:
https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/ … 6866_o.jpg

It was just this year as I've been studying various editing things more I've wanted to do more with some of the better photos that I've liked. But I don't mind being told that I should be shooting at ISO 6400 or 12800 if it'll benefit me in the end. I would still like to edit them after, and do things like sharpen and stylize them a bit.

Sep 09 13 12:53 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ACPhotography
Posts: 8,618
Plainview, New York, US


You have 2 choices when it comes to shooting hockey. You either strobe the rink which allows you to overpower the crappy overhead lights and shoot at a low ISO and a higher F stop but you have to have enough power to do so.

Your other choice is to shoot wide open on a 2.8 zoom lens (most everyone uses a 70-200 along with either a 300 2.8 or a 24-70) and use high iso and a minimum of 1/500 shutter speed. Even at 1/500 you are going to get some blur, 1/800 seems to be the sweet spot but unless you're in an arena that lit for TV cameras you probably wont be able to get it.

I shoot Nikon, I can't really help you with Pentax. I can tell you that I'm shooting 12 bit lossless compressed Raw. 14 bit takes up a little more room and I'm not seeing much of a quality difference.

I shoot from the bench when I can, portholes when they exist but otherwise I'm shooting through the glass like everyone else. Hockey is probably one of the hardest sports to shoot. I have actually made my own lens hoods that allow me to get up against the glass the the hood cuts down on the reflections from behind me, if I don't happen to have it on the lens I'm usually shading the reflections with my hand.

You shouldn't have to be going into PS unless you want to do something artsy, I tend to prefer sharpening through PS than the Lightroom export so many times I'll sharpen certain web slated shots in there. Otherwise all my processing is done in Lightroom, you can use your raw converter of choice. Batch editing doesn't work well, the overhead lights will cycle in both color and exposure. The more you do the quicker you get because you'll instinctively know exactly what to adjust.
Sep 09 13 06:20 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MC Seoul Photography
Posts: 406
Seoul, Seoul, Korea (South)


The lights here seem pretty consistent from what I've found. I haven't noticed any variation in white balance through a game or anything like that.

I have no opportunity to shoot from the bench and port holes don't exist here. If I want to avoid the glass, I have to go up into the stands, and I don't want that angle.

Maybe bumping up to 6400 at 2.8 would get me 1/750 (mine goes 750 -> 1000) at that rink. Next weekends rink I should be able to get 750 at 3200 without issue. If needed the camera can go to 25600 ISO. Though it's pretty messy.  According to the site I just found, pentax's raw format is a 12 bit/channel format as well.

I'd like to hear more about your lens hood if you're willing to share. It sounds rather interesting. I'm guessing a foam or rubber that you can push against the glass a bit to make a seal?

I like the noise removal plugins I have for photoshop so I have been using lightroom less and less lately. Almost not at all. I know a lot of the players in this league and often share the photos with them so if I get a decent or interesting photo of them I like to give it a little extra care before sharing it with them.
Sep 09 13 07:17 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ACPhotography
Posts: 8,618
Plainview, New York, US


I'm using D3s/D3/D700 so I'm going to assume I have a lot less noise to deal with than with Pentax but from the images you posted their skin looks weird, I'm assuming that's a product of the noise reduction smoothing everything.

If you're not a member at the Fred Miranda forum, I suggest you become a member and hang around the Sports forum there, you'll find much more useful info over there than here in the Retouching forum. You'll find that Sports shooters in general frown on a lot of post processing work, most don't have the time either as they do have to deliver photos in a timely manner.

For accurate comparison here's a few of my son that I posted to FB... All shot through the glass...

https://sphotos-a-iad.xx.fbcdn.net/hpho … 8550_n.jpg

While not shot through the glass on the boards this was still shot through a piece of plexiglass.

https://sphotos-a-iad.xx.fbcdn.net/hpho … 0964_n.jpg

And here's the other side of that shot...

https://sphotos-b-iad.xx.fbcdn.net/hpho … 6613_n.jpg
Sep 09 13 08:01 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Robert Randall
Posts: 13,842
Chicago, Illinois, US


I'm not certain what it is you want to do with the blue uniform, but I took the liberty of making an adjustment to share with the thread that might open up a few options for you. You can find the file on Drop Box at the link below...

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/u702x17icuq4 … n=31631484

If you're not familiar with DB, when you click the link I've provided it will take you to the image page. Notice the DOWNLOAD icon on the upper right.

The correction process is pretty simple, but allows for a large change in the file without the normal side effects associated with the use of a harsh curve. I took the most detailed channel, in this instance, the blue channel, and applied it at 100% normal mode to a blank layer above the background image. I then changed the blend mode of that layer to SCREEN, and changed the opacity to 50%. I introduced a HS layer and intensified the color of the blue in the image. Also, if you double click on layer 1, you'll notice I adjusted the blend if sliders to allow more of the native shadow tone to come through the correction.

The blend modes and opacities I chose were purely subjective on my part, feel free to experiment with any mode you choose.
Sep 09 13 08:24 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MC Seoul Photography
Posts: 406
Seoul, Seoul, Korea (South)


I realize they're a darker color and won't stand out as much as the white uniforms, but I just wanted to get a little more detail into them to make them stand out a little more/just look a little better. They tend to look like this blue blob I find, especially on how easy it is to dodge/burn/add contrast to the white or lighter colored ones.

That actually works quite well on that photo, as it was one where he was standing and I could capture it well with good focus and detail very easily. I'll have to try that on some other photos and see how it turns out. I'm also going to try shooting at a higher ISO and see how that turns out, maybe together I can get the look I'm going for here.

quick question..how did you apply the blue channel to a blank layer? Photohsop refuses to do that for me, saying it can't apply it to a blank layer.
Sep 09 13 09:16 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MC Seoul Photography
Posts: 406
Seoul, Seoul, Korea (South)


So the problem was I was starting from the blue channel and hitting apply image with the blank layer selected on the layer side of things.
If I go to the layer and choose the blank layer there and hit apply image it works fine, i was able to blend the blue channel.

Thanks that seems to be exactly what I was looking for in terms of being able to work with the blue a little more
Sep 10 13 12:14 am  Link  Quote 
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