Posts Tagged ‘processing’

Concerned About Color Management?

February 10, 2012

Mt Ritter and Banner Peak above Thousand Island Lake, Ansel Adams Wilderness, Eastern Sierra back country.

Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak 2006

In today’s digital photography world it’s possible to feel like the odd man out when we want to keep a natural feel of color to a scene. Keep that sense of being in a scene that really existed by standing in it and thinking it does exist and it isn’t fantasy. Maybe it’s just being old fashioned or sticking to the roots of what inspired us to begin shooting landscape photography. Maybe it was the books we chose to purchase it we were in inspired before the internet craze? Facebook, Flickr or the internet wasn’t the way people found 90% of their inspiration back then as they do nowadays. There has been trends in the cycle of photography some strange and some just evolution. Back in the 80’s and 90’s landscape photographers used something called a tobacco graduated filter, it was a fad that died just like disco. Today we have “The Magenta Cast” and the “Glow Filter” (gaussian blur / Orton Effect), shoot I’m embarrassed to say I have a few of those images!!

Look at how heavy my hand was at adding magenta, extra warmth and too much saturation, I'm guilty and don't like how fake this one feels to me.  Just can't be proud to look at it this way, I call this a need for saturation or Color Vomit.

Maybe that will be like saying, “I used to wear platforms with live fish in them” ?

Did a canyon really change color in the last decade??  Faux cast added in second shot.

Has anyone noticed a change in color of the canyons of the Southwest or am I seeing things? I last visited Antelope Canyon in 2005 and noticed a lack of magenta casts in the photograph during that time period and now it seems that canyon has more of magenta cast in it from most photographs shared on the net from Upper Antelope. Am I out of my mind or this is trend of adding a magenta cast right now?

We have to use photoshop as a tool 99% of the time to make our adjustments but there is a certain amount of discretion that highly varies between photographers. It should vary, we are all different. Many of the newer photographers not knowing how to use it well enough to express their imagination to it’s fullest potential feel limited without the knowledge of how to use it. Others overdue and that’s their intent, either way you can learn to connect with the way you would like to present your artwork or photographs. It just takes a little bit of time and if you’re concerned about color management consider backing off on the magenta a little.


White Balance – Another Approach

November 10, 2011

Court of the Patriarchs in Zion National Park

This image was taken the previous year at Zion. At this location it can be a little precarious getting down to the water’s edge so the average group will not be found here. It’s a man made waterfall despite it’s realistic look. I’d like to disclose that I cloned out part of a footbridge in the far right hand side.

While I was processing this image, I found there were so many different white balances inside the frame. The blue sky at dawn had it’s own, the alpen glow had it’s own, the peaks were in between the the sky and the fall foliage, plus the waterfall had so much of a blue cast and the shadows in the far right corner were even cooler on the white balance scale. You may often see some guru talking about white balance and if you set it to an exact setting it fixes all your problems, I find that very hard to believe when many scenes have so many different white balances inside them so it helps but it’s not a fix all. A general setting will help but it’s highly likely you will need to make adjustments during your processing or blend multiple RAW files with different WB* settings. For this image I used Nik’s Color Efex Pro (sieren discount code). The brilliance & warmth slider made some of the white balance adjustments pretty easy and I masked them with a brush to keep the parts I wanted and discarded what I didn’t want to use. Also, I used the Remove Color Cast option for the “too blue” waterfall because the selective color adjustment in PS didn’t do enough. Although it still remains cool, it’s personal taste how warm or cool you may want something to be. Tonal Contrast was also used to bring mid tones to only specific areas I wanted them in. I thought I would share a few processing steps some people may have trouble with.

This year there was a log jam from a flood here at this waterfall so I didn’t bother shooting it but found another little piece of Virgin River shoreline with a couple of golden cottonwoods that I hope to share later after I get back from the Joshua Tree Light Painting Workshop this weekend.

*WB abbreviation for white balance.

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