Susan Keller – Fix-It #9

January 13, 2008

in Susan Keller

Contributor: Susan Keller from Short On Words

Jumping right in…

Beautiful girl, interestingly textured wall for background, nicely exposed for available light. Main problem: very blurry image. Guess what? You can’t really unblur a blurry picture.

What you need to do is avoid the blur in the first place.

Let’s look at the stats: ISO 100, 135mm (from a 75-300mm zoom lens), f/4.5, 1/50 sec. The blur is the likely result of too slow a shutter speed for too long a lens. Remember the rule of thumb Elaine gave in past Fix-its? In order to avoid hand-held camera shake, your shutter speed needs to be approximately 1/x where “x” equals the mm length of the lens. So 1/50 second is a safe shutter speed for a 50mm lens, NOT a 300mm lens. To fix this blur (but keep proper exposure), the photographer could have bumped the ISO up to 400 and dropped the shutter speed to 1/200 sec and held the camera really, REALLY steady. (note: *I* tend not to be terribly steady, so I try to err on the side of shorter shutter speeds).

Software Used: Lightroom 1.3 and Photoshop CS3

Actions: Totally Rad (TRA) and Red Leaf Studio (RLS)

Here’s my Lightroom screen. The first photo is the SOOC RAW image. The second image is the white balance corrected image (I used the WB eye dropper in Lightroom and clicked on her shoe for a “neutral white” sample). The next four are my edits.

fixit 9 snipit

First up …

Fix-It #9-Edit-2

My processing in Photoshop:

1. TRA Select o sharp action, to sharpen her face and uniform lettering

2. TRA Boutwell Magic Glasses (free sample) to add local contrast, 60% opacity

3. RLS Groovy action – to lighten, brighten, ever so slightly cross-process

4. RLS Retro Brown action – adds a slight tint, 22% opacity

5. TRA P-O-S Lens action – to add radial blurring (I used a layer mask to keep action off face and letters)

Last up:

Fix-It #9-Edit

My processing in Photoshop:

1. TRA Select o Sharp action, to sharpen her face and lettering

2. TRA Bullet Tooth action (to desaturate, lighten, increase contrast)

3. TRA Can o Whoopass for more contrast and to recover some detail

4. TRA f/zero action for some selective blurring

5. TRA highlight & shadow separator to bring out uniform & wall detail (I used a layer mask to keep the effect off her face)

note: in the spirit of full-disclosure, even after my “fix”, this is not an image that would print well, and it certainly couldn’t/shouldn’t be enlarged greater than 4×6. The magical amazing world of Photoshop can fix an awful lot of stuff, but it can’t really make a blurry picture NOT be blurry.

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