View Full Version : auto levels?
11-03-2006, 02:51 PM
what is your opinion on the use of auto levels in ps7? looks great on the screen but translates to heavy contrast adn crappy colour in finished prints ....anyone else finding this? I found the same using the sharpening tool.... any insight from you manipulating gurus would be appreciated...
11-03-2006, 07:01 PM
I use Adobe CS2 which has both auto levels and manual level sliders.
I prefer the manual level adjustments, and only rarely use autolevels.
Did you get a copy of Nikon Capture software with your D80?
If so, if you shoot in RAW, you can use Capture to make preliminary adjustments.
The cool thing is; Capture knows your camera and settings, and you can make changes to whatever settings you had on your camera, ---after the fact.
Say you accidently left your WB on Incandescent for an outside shot--oops, you can open the file in Capture and switch the WB back to Daylight and the photo will be as if you shot it ont he Daylight setting. This only works if you shoot in raw (NEF) format.
There are some good tweaking tools in Capture.
Here is how my workflow goes: (I shoot in raw only)
I view and sort my image files in Nikon Viewer, (its fast)
Viewer lets me send the image file over to Capture, where I tweak any cam settings, then Capture lets me send the image file over to Adobe CS2 for final processing.
It sounds like a lot of hassle, but after a few times, speed is aquired and
the results are worth it.
Look on your upper tool bar or use your Photoshop Help and type in levels and it may tell you whether or not you have other level adjustment options or whether you can edit the defaults.
Your problem with crappy prints could be the color space choice in
#1 your camera
#2 the color space that PS7 is using
#3 the color space that you printer is set on.
If that's the problem, tie back your hair so you don't end up pulling it all out!
11-04-2006, 03:17 PM
Hi Kim, I not an expert by any means but I don't like auto anything. But that's beside the point. I found if your monitor isn't calibrated, your prints will not look as good as you see on the screen. Have you calibrated your monitor? Check out this link and see what you think.
11-04-2006, 07:55 PM
thanks Damar and Susan....honestly..film sure is simpler!!! I dont shoot Raw images...havent seen the need, however, i see your point and could "save" alot of images by shooting raw and that whole capture thing..i see i have lots to learn...i'll have to check the box and see if i got that.
Here is the funny thing about these images...i dont print my own btw, i use my regular "pro" shop...on a chance, i took the image to a seperate lab, with the same results. I cant figure it out....i just cant!!!! they are dumbfounded by my results as well....especially on the images that i sharpened...weirdly, its like the colour was affected when they were sharpened...muddy looking....i'm exasperated...so i guess i will tie my hair up instead of pulling it out. I appreciate your help!
11-04-2006, 08:25 PM
hey, i just discovered what i think my problem is...but not sure how to fix...
I found this in the help menu of ps7 "If applying Unsharp Mask makes already bright colors appear overly saturated, convert the image to Lab mode and apply the filter to the Lightness channel only. This sharpens the image without affecting the color components."
So...now how do i convert to lab mode...i tried, but i cant figure it out..anyone???
11-04-2006, 09:27 PM
Kim - check this out - http://www.tipsfromthetopfloor.com/psc/psc17.php
I am wondering if the place doing your printing is also adjusting the images you are sending them. Since many (most?) people sending pictures in to be printed may not adjust their images very much, perhaps they make standard adjustments to get good prints, but these adjustments on top of those you have already made are just too much. That's just a thought.
11-05-2006, 12:36 AM
Upper Tool Bar, select
I have a different PS vesrsion, but this should be
pretty basic to most versions
Convert back to 16 bits when you are done with editing.
11-05-2006, 08:12 PM
Ray...yes, they do...they know my work and then know when they can and cannot..when in doubt, they will show me untouched and retouched...
Damar...thanks, i actually found it on my own after about an hour..gosh, iwish i had looked here first...what the heck is 8 bit and 16 bit and what should i be in when i'm editing?
thanks for you help....you are my editing guru!
11-05-2006, 10:53 PM
what the heck is 8 bit and 16 bit and what should i be in when i'm editing?
8 bit, 16 bit and 32 bit are color depths - which means the amount of color information available for each color channel. The higher the color depth, the more color information is available for each pixel. Generally, you work in 8 or 16 bit color with your usual RGB image. When I work with RAW images, they are in 16 bit, but when I save them as jpegs, they become 8 bit.
32 bit color depth is typically used when working with HDR (High Dynamic Range) images where you need the greater color depth information. Not all Photoshop features are available in 32 bit.
I believe damar meant to say, "Convert back to RGB when you are done with editing," not "Convert back to 16 bits when you are done with editing." When you switch back and forth between LAB and RGB modes, the color depth remains the same unless you change it manually, at least in my experience.
11-06-2006, 01:28 PM
11-06-2006, 10:33 PM
Kim I steer clear of auto levels. It makes way too many assumptions. I found ther best results can be found by OPening the levels palette (Ctrl/L) and then hold the Alt key down and click the left hand arrow on the histogram (not the bar at the bottom), the whole image will go white, move the arrow along till you start to get black "sparkles"(this is your true black point). Then do the same at the right hand side, the image will go black move the slider till you get white "sparkles" (this is your true white point). Take finger off the Alt key and move the middle slider (this is your neutral grey loactor). The results are more consistent.
11-07-2006, 03:41 PM
thanks WEndy...i'm looking into that right now
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