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R.M.S Winchester Castle

R.M.S Winchester Castle

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If someone asked me what my favorite ship photo was, this would be a top contender. Union Castle Line's Winchester Castle 1930, shown flying through the sea on her trials, as photographed by Stewart Bale. This is scanned from the "Shipbuilder and Marine-Engine Builder feature on her, November 1930, page 876.
 

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I've seen the original photo in the Shipbuilder - What have you done to clean it up? Stunning work, my friend!
Mike - The Sun Viking
 

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For this picture I did no cleaning but here is my own procedure for adjusting a picture I end up using 90% of the time: First of all, I scan at 720 DPI which gives me a picture of very roughly 5000x2500. I do all the adjusting with the larger picture before reducing to the maximium allowable on this site. (500 kb or a width of 1025, whichever happens first when reducing!)

Usually the first thing I have to do to a scan is kill some of the HIGHLIGHT. Many of the photos I see posted on SN should have the highlight feature reduced to get rid of glare, Then I test the CONTRAST to see if it needs a tiny more or tiny less, but it is always a tiny amount. AS THE CONTRAST INCREASE THE BRIGHTNESS MUST BE REDUCED. Never over-contrast! It just looks noisy.

Then in the end I adjust any SHADOW. Too often shadows are black voids. You should see the object through the shadow.

From here I choose a background TONE by increasing or decreasing the TEMPERATURE in color. Warmer gets me that SEPIA color, warm+tone to the left gets me pale green. Never leave a picture just gray scale, it just looks dirty. FINALLY I increase the SHARPEN until just before the fine details, like guy wires, starts to look "noisy" or white and fuzzy. Then I reduce to the necessary size for the site.
 

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...I wanted to add to this that when adjusting a photo, work slowly and steadily at first, following the entire photo with your eye as you increase or decrease a value! Just moving a bar a tiny amount chnages the whole appearance of the photo. Once you've gotten it adjusted to a general something you like, then work on fine tuning. If it just is NOT working and you feel you've tried everything, then you can play around with extremes. You may be able to salvage the picture, which is what inspired me to do those Nocturnes.
 

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Good primer on photo editing practice. I do pretty much the same. The program I have has a feature "Enhance Detail", that I use on the large preliminary image, before I do the slight sharpening. It reall helps rescue a murky picture to something worth looking at.
 

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