Is auto levels necessary when doing post-process?


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hlw8888

Senior Member
Aug 16, 2007
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Somewhere in heartland
#1
cos recently i realised my PS steps have some flaws, so need to rectify them. my experience is that sometimes look nice, sometimes abit weird leh. if like that hor, quite hard to batch process sia. :(

can u help me see which one looks better? 4 in 1 pic.



Top left - apply Distortion Control only in Capture NX
Top Right - apply Distortion Control + D-lighting in Capture NX
Bottom Left - apply Distortion Control in Capture NX + assign Finepix color profile in PS CS only
Bottom Right - apply Distortion Control in Capture NX + assign Finepix color profile & Auto Levels in PS CS only

If the pic too small, i will re-adjust and upload again.
 

hlw8888

Senior Member
Aug 16, 2007
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Somewhere in heartland
#3
I only batch process very generic and subtle tweaks to my photos. If you really want to deliver, nothing beats getting down and dirty and tweaking each photo manually.
oh i see. ya, if want the best quality, manually is the best but also quite tiring sia. :(
 

Jan 23, 2005
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#4
oh i see. ya, if want the best quality, manually is the best but also quite tiring sia. :(

Automated batch processing certainly can give you acceptable pictures in the majority of cases. I think all of the four versions you show are acceptable. But if you can't decide which is "best", how do you expect a computer to be able to do it for you? Plus, whatever looks best in this specific case may not work that well for another photo.

If you spend some time planning/setting up your picture before you release the shutter, a minute of manual intervention at a later stage isn't really that much. In all likelihood you will fine-tune only a small set of "keepers" anyway.
 

zoossh

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Nov 29, 2005
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#5
bottom right has appropriate contrast and more neutral cast. but suggest that u do batch process only for keeping purposes. those you want to post and share, select them and process them individually, becos no batch workflow can do that for you.
 

hlw8888

Senior Member
Aug 16, 2007
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Somewhere in heartland
#6
Automated batch processing certainly can give you acceptable pictures in the majority of cases. I think all of the four versions you show are acceptable. But if you can't decide which is "best", how do you expect a computer to be able to do it for you? Plus, whatever looks best in this specific case may not work that well for another photo.

If you spend some time planning/setting up your picture before you release the shutter, a minute of manual intervention at a later stage isn't really that much. In all likelihood you will fine-tune only a small set of "keepers" anyway.
bottom right has appropriate contrast and more neutral cast. but suggest that u do batch process only for keeping purposes. those you want to post and share, select them and process them individually, becos no batch workflow can do that for you.
thks for the opinions. :) i'll take note next time.
 

johnmaeda

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Dec 16, 2007
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#8
Automated processing is a pre-programmed function. the computer actuali decides on wat levels to tweak to.

it really depends on the outcome u want. manual tweaking, thou more time consuming, allows u to adjust the levels to your own liking. but if u juz want some fine tuning and are to lazy to manually tweak them, den auto levels wld be a better choice.
 

BUZ_BUZ

New Member
Aug 25, 2006
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#9
My experience in Auto Level is that its tends to change the colour, together with the contrast.
Sometimes it works very well. But at times it make the photo too bluish.
And depending on the scene, sometime it can be too contrasty too.

Well, just personal taste, I find that the bottom right pic has a very light bluish cast in the rocks which
I personally don't quite like.

I tend to use Auto Contrast more often.
But seriously, manual tweaking using Level, Curves, Brightness/Contrast will give a more optimal results.
 

IsenGrim

New Member
Jan 28, 2008
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#10
er the water and the tree branch in btm left looks good. sharp and contrasty. has a warm feeling. but the upper portion of the picture is a little over exposed. the top right picture's upper portion looks better. have a blend of both worlds ba. make use of layer masks and apply image->use extreme levels to get precise selection.

btm right looks cool and sad.
 

tunster

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Oct 26, 2003
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antony.sofohk.com
#11
What auto-level does is to cut away the unused black and unused white to give the highest contrast of the photo.

If your photo is alread in the range then it basically does nothing. So it really depends on your shot.
 

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