Has anyone added CM to the Picture Postcard Workflow??

Do you have a systematic way to process your images?
ggroess
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Postby ggroess » Thu Nov 12, 2009 1:48 am

I'm curious to see what people are doing with the PPW work flow and how they are using CM in the place of some of the mode conversions and channel moves.  Any takers??

Greg

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Postby mikemeister_admin » Sun Nov 15, 2009 10:09 am

Hi Greg,

If you are asking if CM can add value to PPW, then the only area I use it for are

a) colour casts- I've an action which calls CM on a new layer and then on exit sets the blend to colour mode
b) Lab Sat - the idea of an L mask is much easier in CM, than doing it manually, because you can curve the mask & see the result there and then. 
I have 2 ways I do LabSat - manually in CM (normally from rgb) or as a PS Action which stops to allow me to choose a mask.  I only use the former when I am taking a little more care.

Now if we ask the question how could CM help in PPW - I think there is one area it could easy help

The problem with rgb channel luminosity blending is that you blend & curve in Normal mode (so that you can see what you are dealing with) and then change to Luminosity and PS then does it's 6:3:1 interpretation.  So you can not see what you are actually doing.  It would presumably be a piece of cake for CM to have a mode where it shows channels as they are, but if you select All, it shows the Luminosity blend (preferably in b&w).

That would mean we can see where we are going instead of driving blind !
Chris


ggroess
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Postby ggroess » Sun Nov 15, 2009 4:31 pm

Chris,
That is an interesting observation regarding the ability to view the channels as they are currently.  I will make sure Mike sees your note.  He did get a chance to go to Dan M's talk in Las Vegas in October and is stewing on some of the ideas presented...

Can you do something for me....

Could you post an image that you are confident in before and after the PPW work flow.  I want to tackle it using some things in CM that I have been trying out and I want to do a fairly direct comparison.  I have not been very successful with the PPW work flow and I want to see if the things I am trying have any value.  Or send it to me in e-mail if you do not want to share with the forum??

Many thanks...
Greg

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Postby mikemeister_admin » Sun Nov 15, 2009 6:11 pm

NO !

I am very bothered about the channel blending/curving step, but also as far as I can see you have to be experienced enough to know that the early steps take you to where you want to go.  For instance, channel blending (where you are running blind) and the false profile before a Lab Multiply move.  I just do not have that level of experience.

I thought it would be an interesting exercise to re-do some photos the PPW way and then compare them to my normal approach - and so I've have been putting aside a number of before/after images for that purpose, but I've got a bit side tracked. 

One way we could play this is to post an image and get people to try it both ways - but it would seem that the Color Theory forum is the place for that.  If my memory is correct, nobody used PPW in the last image that was submitted.  The point that Dan is surely making is to have the steps, colour, luminosity, colour - which is presumably what most of us having been doing for sometime (or maybe rolling the first two together).  There then is the techniques that can be used in each step, where he shows examples.  He is also quite happy to keep flattening layers (although he keeps copies of the end of each step), but I need some form of history (so I can go back another day and compare). 

I have modify my PS Actions (and included them on my website) to include PPW as well as my normal ones - so I now have ones called Colour Cast CM, Channel Luminosity Blend, Shadow/Highlight (I use a plugin as I'm still sticking with PS7, but will use CS2 if I'm pushed), Lighten/Darken Hightlights, LabSat, LabCMYKmultiply and 3 of Dan's sharpening actions.

I did like the point raised the other day, that it is probably better to do a number of quick corrections of an image and then pick the best bits of each one, rather than spend a lot of time doing one correction.

The technique, from PPW, that most interested me was the mask on Lab saturation which seems to greatly improve my corrections - which was a stimulus for...

A long term-ish project of looking at old paintings (16C +) to see if I can learn anything from what they did (I am artistically challenged and need to improve in that area).  It is throwing up lots of thoughts and problems for me and I've only just finished my second painting (I spend at least 2+ elapsed days analyzing and playing with them).

This is where I've got to so far http://www.broadhurst-family.co.uk/lefteye/MainPages/c16plus.htm

But if there is any way I can help, I'll be glad to - and (push-push) I'm looking forward to the new Workflow Course!
Chris


ggroess
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Postby ggroess » Sun Nov 15, 2009 8:21 pm

Chris,
I understand your answer...it was not unexpected...

I have been following the color theory discussion as well and have some conclusions I have drawn.  It seems like everyone is looking for a all encompassing work flow that does everything for everyone.    The discussion about a new book from Dan has been focused on this issue quite clearly.  

My take away from this has been that what people really want is a cup of Dan's experience and intuition regarding images and the problems they may or may not contain.  The problem with this is that only Dan has that experience and it comes from years of color separation, correction and pre-press requirements.  This is something he cannot possibly give to anyone. He's sees things in a color separation world.  Just as a photographer sees things in a lighting and compositional world. The collective "they" are hoping that he really has some secret...some transcending technique that he seems to be dangling out there and not quite sharing...For me it is actually reassuring that it seems like none exists.  Because, well for me it seems to not be there.  

Every image probably needs some form of "correction" from sharpening to color cast to combination's of all of the above...the trick is to figure out quickly what needs help and what does not.  Again, experience and thousands of images speed the process along...This is actually one of the biggest stumbling blocks to the work flow class...Just as Dan has no magic image bullet, neither I nor Mike has one either.  Part of it I guess is letting go and just getting information out there.  As Mike has said to me on more than one occasion...Nothing makes you write a class faster than starting a class with nothing ready and having to have something for the next week...

More fuel for the work flow fire...

Your exploration of the masters is interesting and for me it begs multiple questions...none of which I am ready to ask just yet..save this one...Are you trying to get your head around the entire image by dissecting it?  or looking for some commonality that you can bring forward into your work??  

Greg




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Postby mikemeister_admin » Mon Nov 16, 2009 8:34 pm

I'm not looking for commonality, but rather a voyage of discovery of things that perhaps are instinctive but I have not really written down or memorized (mine is terrible) and techniques that they used to make master-pieces - it is making me look at painting rather than just admiring them.  I really need a tutor, because after painting #3, I realise I've made some pretty bad assumptions.

ggroess
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Postby ggroess » Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:58 pm

Know any museum curators?  That is quite a heady assignment. Are there any local "art" classes you could take regarding composition?? 

Really, as I look at your pages; most of what you are covering is composition.  Light / dark patterns, leading lines, Rule of Thirds,  Golden Curve, S curves, Texture, Contrast, Lighting, Color Contrast, Action etc. are all parts of the composition of the image.  It is the combination of these elements that make the image or break it...

I have very little art background save 1 class in compositional theory in college and personal learning..many of the examples you are looking at might be "damaged" by time and poor fundamental things like pigment and canvas.  Have you tried the same thing on say an Ansel Adams print or a Cartier-Brisson. While the masters are great for art education your questions about lighting and color are possibly being hidden by time and grime....

Greg


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Postby imported_ganna » Sun Mar 24, 2013 4:05 am

Greg, I'm sure you have circled the globe a few times on this subject by now. Any idea when CM 201 will be in the pipeline?  :D

ggroess
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Postby ggroess » Sun Mar 24, 2013 2:16 pm

Martin,
I want to say soon and mean it...easier said than done...

I have been talking to Mike and Lee regarding the format and some of the content.   I find myself really teaching it to people in the one on one classes and I need to just get the material written and the videos produced. 

Current plans are for the class to be 2-3 one half hour videos for a week with written materials and assignments to back that up.  I'm looking at 4-6 weeks for the duration and I am open to suggestions as to how you would want to get the materials. 

Part of the problem is how fast we have gone from a world where written class materials are all you need, and now with high speed internet and conference calls the format and content changes quickly.

I need the push and the encouragement...don't be afraid to keep asking...
Greg


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