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Post Processing

 

In this module, we’ll discuss post-processing of your lensball photographs. We’ll talk about making simple adjustments to enhance your photos using software like Photoshop and Niks Color Efex.

You can also use other software like Lightroom, iPhoto or any other post-processing package in your computer. However, we recommend Photoshop since we’ll be using the layer mask option quite often.

Section 1: Simple Adjustments and Enhancements

Part A: Simple Adjustments (1:31)

Simple adjustments involve enhancements to contrast, saturation, shadows, highlights and any other part of the photo that needs work. But the most basic adjustment is cropping and inverting the image.

Crop your photo to remove the unwanted elements of the image. Then rotate the photo at 180 degrees so the image inside the ball is the correct way up.

Part B: Enhancements (4:50)

For the photo enhancement purpose, you can use Niks Color Efex software which is freely available on the internet. Download it now before Google decides to remove it.

Niks Efex offers a lot of amazing preset filter programs and some of them are particularly useful for lensball photography.

Pro Contrast is one such filter. It offers different ways to apply the filter, for instance, Neutral, Auto-enhance, Dynamic Contrast, and Strong Contrast.

Dynamic Contrast will give your photo some additional contrast and color. Dynamic Contrast essentially boosts the dynamic range of the photograph. It also allows you to manually adjust the color and contrast according to your requirement.

Detail Extractor is another useful filter which can help sharpen the image inside the ball. If you want to make the filter affect only the area inside the ball, you can click the +ve or –ve control points to increase or decrease the radius of the effect respectively.

Brilliance Warmth is another filter which can enhance the color and saturation.

Darken/lighten centre is another filter which offers the option to either lighten the inner or the outer area of the image.

 

Section 2: Focus Blending

Part A: Focus Blending (10:53)

This is a bit more advanced technique which allows you to get both a sharp image within the ball and nice bokeh around it. You’ll need 2 images for this and it would be better if you use a tripod when taking the photos. Also, line up your photo so that you don’t need to use image alignment later in Photoshop.

Follow these steps:

  • Compose your image with the lensball. Take the first image with a large aperture of f1.2 to create the bokeh around the ball.
  • Take the second image with a smaller aperture of f9 to focus everything within the ball so it’s sharper.
  • Import both images to Photoshop and layer them together. Drag the image with the sharpened ball (shot with f9 aperture) over the image with bokeh around the ball (shot with f1.2 aperture). Photoshop will create a new layer 1.
  • Apply a black layer mask on layer 1 (sharpened ball image).
  • Use the white paint-brush to reveal the sharper image inside the ball. Merge the layers.
  • Rotate the image at 180 degrees. You’ll see the final image with blurred background and sharp image correct way up inside the ball.

Part B: Enhancement (17:25)

For photo enhancement, you can use Niks Color Efex to process the image and give it a bit more punch. Follow these steps:

  • Select Pro Contrast filter and then apply the Dynamic Contrast effect for some additional contrast and color.
  • Apply Brilliance Warmth filter to enhance the color and saturation.
  • Apply the Detail Extractor filter to sharpen the image inside the ball.
  • Apply the Darken/lighten centre filter to adjust the brightness of the inner area of the ball.

 

Thanks for your attention during this 6th module. We’ve finished all the modules and I sincerely hope you learned lots of creative lensball photography ideas from each module.

Go out now and create a new world!