Barton on Sea...

We love a challenge! If you have an image that you think can be better, post it here and see what the rest of us can do with it.
mikemeister_admin
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Postby mikemeister_admin » Fri Apr 22, 2011 3:05 am

Thanks for the link to fotopedia Lee, I just checked it out and they have some excellent photos there.(I bookmarked it).

One other thing that I forgot to mention about changing the sky's color......if the sky was a pale blue, that would make everything in the picture pale, so if we were to just make the sky a darker blue, we wouldn't have a true color representation of what everything else in the picture should look like if there had actually been a bluer sky.

The same holds true for other colors in the picture that may influence the colors of nearby objects.  I'm sure you've seen a picture where there is a lot of one color.....say a red rug, and that red rug's color makes anything resting on it have a red hue to it....people, pets, furniture, etc.  In most cases, that red "reflection" isn't desirable in the other objects, but if we were to alter the color of the rug, the red reflection wouldn't look right, since the reflection would no longer match the rug.

This is also a part of what I meant when I mentioned making the scene look accurate or making it look good to us.  If we make the sky a more vivid blue, that added blue should also be reflected in everything else in the picture, but if we just increased the color blue, that would change colors that we don't want changed, instead of just adding a slight blue hue to the objects.

ggroess
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Postby ggroess » Sat Apr 23, 2011 1:30 pm

Art,
Depending on what method of altering the red rug used you would also alter the reflections of the red on other objects.  Remember the hanging ornaments from the CM101 class you can adjust masks to allow for those kinds of actions in an image.

More to the general points about image adjustment/correction;  When you make an image in color or black and white the camera captures the world as it sees it.  In the "good old days" of film and chemistry process there was always adjustments going on to make the image look better.  You shot multiple exposures to bracket the image so you could choose some processing options, you push or pull processed the film to adjust for 1/2 stop exposure problems.  Then you went into the dark room and dodged and burned your image using the enlarger, your hands, paper cut outs or feather dusters or whatever you had on hand the whole kitchen sink as it were. 

It is/was through that adjustment of the image that we are correcting for the perception problem our equipment has.  It cannot see like we do. As much as the camera companies want you to believe in "real color" the issue will always be one of interpretation. 

This is why when I look at everyone's work; unless I find a really glaring mistake or a measurable issue that is a part of the lesson I try to state my response as a opinion or question.  It is the subjective part of your color perception I do not want to critique rather I want to focus on giving you options for making the image look good to you.  My example would be a color blind person...If they corrected the image so that it looked good to them we would all be going crazy trying to help them "get it right"  but to them it might just be right...I try to imagine how frustrating that must be being told every time that your color is wrong...I imagine myself saying very loud and proud..."It looks great to me!"

Part of image correction is accepting that you cannot get everything 100% right; that compromises must and will be made.  Your media, your mind, and the viewer all conspire to make this one of the most interesting pursuits.  As I have been caught saying many times..."What color is the grass in your dreams?"  It hits home to the point in that we all have ideas about what is right for color.  It is the blending of my perception of color, with the equipment and tools I have, that produces results that pass most peoples tests.  I generally always get it wrong...but often times more right than wrong...It bothers me when I have that pointed out but it also drives me forward to do better next time. 

Lastly, and I mean this in all good intentions...opinions and belly buttons are very common.  We all have them...and they are generally good..so long as we accept that ours are just as cruddy/dusty/lint filled as everyone else's.  ;D

Don't stop the discussion just when it is getting good...My opinions are mine and...
Your opinions are welcome always...
Greg


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Postby mikemeister_admin » Sat Apr 23, 2011 3:02 pm

Then to add to the confusion is whether or not your monitor is calibrated.  I just got this new computer, and the first thing I did was to calibrate this monitor with a Spyder 3 Pro. (I hate it when I have to get a new computer.  It takes forever installing your old software.) Then you have to wonder if whoever ends up viewing your pictures has a calibrated monitor also.

ggroess
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Postby ggroess » Sat Apr 23, 2011 3:08 pm

Indeed and then there are differences in browsers and color profiles and ...and...and...
It is a wonder we all don't just give up and go outside to look at flowers...

Greg

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Postby leeharper_admin » Sat Apr 23, 2011 7:45 pm

I'll add that even if your audience have calibrated monitors, they might not have calibrated them to the same white point (color temperature value) that you have. If you've not submitted your vote to the survey that Greg has put up on the forum (here: http://www.curvemeister.com/forum/index.php/topic,3527.0.html), please do so when you have a moment.

I wouldn't worry overly whether your audience have calibrated their monitors though. Anyone who really cares about seeing color accurately (as intended by the photographer/client) will have a calibrated monitor; anyone who hasn't calibrated their monitor either doesn't care too much (or know any better),  or - if they do care, but cannot afford a calibration device - they will not expect things to look absolutely correct. Those people without calibrated monitors won't see your images at their best - which is a shame - but neither will they see any other images properly, so your images will be at least on a par with everyone else's - and its more than likely that your knowledge of curves will mean that they will look better than most...

Lee.

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Postby leeharper_admin » Sat Apr 23, 2011 7:58 pm

Art,

In terms of strongly colored objects reflecting color casts onto other neighboring objects, this is only a problem some of the time. To take an example from Dan Margulis (close your eyes Greg ;)) if someone is wearing strongly colored clothing - and the clothes are reflecting a cast under the person's chin, the cast will look unnatural, and should be removed; whereas if a warmly rendered building is visible in the reflections of a canal (for example), the amount of color in the reflection will be unnatural (the photographer will not have perceived it as strongly), but it will look nice, so there's really no need to correct it.

Having said all that, a reflected cast will be far less colorful than the object causing the problem (i.e., the red rug will look more saturated, and the hue will be purer than the cast in the other object). Because of this difference between the two objects, it is usually fairly easy to correct the cast in Lab.

I second what Greg said - let's keep chatting!

Lee.

sjordan93436
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Postby sjordan93436 » Sat Apr 23, 2011 9:07 pm

Continue chatting... 

Contrast (slightly off topic).  The Dan M workflow is color correct, contrast enhance, color boost.  His quick way to boost contrast is to compare channels and apply image from good channel to bad channel.  Perhaps with curving.  then the layer is set to luminance.  (I hope I got this right and did not over simplify). 

One problem with that approach and people is  brightly colored objects especially clothes  I then use blend-if or masks. 

My idea was to use a black and white conversion method or plugin to a new layer and then change the layer to a luminance.  It is easier for me to see and fine tune.  In this example, it brought out the rocks but the contrast was too high.  I re did it but had to set the opacity to like 30%. 

The Dan M method is quick and obvious if you know what you are doing.  The b&w conversion is easier for a beginner like me to understand.


ggroess
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Postby ggroess » Sat Apr 23, 2011 9:24 pm

Steve,
Have you tried this workflow:

Color Correct, Contrast range using Zone system Pins and channel replacement in the same step, color boost using LAB in CM?

The middle step goes something like this...actual mileage may vary...open the image in PS copy the background to a new layer (sorry PSE users this is one workflow I have not been able to copy into PSE..I can modify it but channel access is required...)

Switch to channels in RGB and examine each one, quickly decide which channel is the strongest; open it in CM you will get a single channel in CM and a black and white image to adjust; use the zone system pins to pin the brightest highlight with detail and the darkest shadow you want detail in. Currently I use the zone 2 and 8 pins for this.  adjust the mid tones as needed and apply the changes in CM and return to the channels. Take the next strongest channel and repeat the process; for the weakest channel copy the strongest channel into it using apply image command from the image menu.  Set the Layer mode to luminosity.  verify your choices and flatten the image.  then move on to Color boost.

I know that sounds like a lot but it is very fast and I have been finding that it is getting me solid results.

Greg

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Postby mikemeister_admin » Sun Apr 24, 2011 3:19 pm

Steve said:
One problem with that approach [blending channels together] and people is brightly colored objects especially clothes; I then use blend-if or masks.


With strongly colored clothes this needn't be much of a problem. Let's take as an example a red dress - the dress will appear much brighter in the Red channel than it does either in the Green or Blue channels; when blending channels together we just need to remember that we'd like to keep it that way. Therefore (in this scenario) if we blend another channel into the Red, we need to do so using the 'Lighten' blend mode; the Lighten blend mode will not allow the dress to get darker, but it will allow the Green (or Blue) channel to lighten the Red channel - so the blend will still enable us to increase detailing and shape in the Red. Of course, if we wanted to darken the Red channel as well - but still protect the dress - we would need to blend through a mask.

I think that the workflow that Greg describes sounds really solid and should produce excellent results - but in situations as with our theoretical red dress we might still need to remember that the 'Lighten' and 'Darken' blend modes can help us out when a straight blend (Normal mode) is causing trouble.

Cheers,
Lee.

sjordan93436
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Postby sjordan93436 » Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:19 am

Lee, thanks for the tips on preventing the color blow outs. 

I will repost another try with the pins.



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