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Archive 2012 · Pollution over the sea
  
 
fracas
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Pollution over the sea


I shooted this photo to show the effect of industrial smoke over the sea of Taranto, in southern Italy.

I am looking for your help to improve PP.
In particular I found difficult to set white balance; finally I setted Temperature to 3100 and Tint to zero (and increased saturation in the red channel)... do you think it is pleasant?

Thanks for your help.
Best, francesco








Jan 04, 2012 at 10:37 AM
sbeme
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Pollution over the sea


I think its very pleasant.
I like the mirroring of the sky in the water and depth created by the darkness there.
It is pleasantly tinted, but not accurate in terms of color temperature/balance. Without knowing the actual scene its hard to be sure what color temp it should be at. The simplest trick probably doesnt work here: Find one or more "neutral" spots that should be pure gray, near white (but not blown out) or near black, use the eyedropper tool in LR or in a curves layer in PS to reset the white balance. I suppose you could try this on the clouds, but they would not be terribly appealing set as a neutral gray and chances are they had some reflected light coloring them anyhow. I am not at home to study this more, but you could try reducing the reds/yellows and/or reducing the color temperature signficantly if you are trying to be more "accurate". I do like the feeling this image has currently.

Scott



Jan 04, 2012 at 12:42 PM
fracas
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Pollution over the sea


Thanks Scott. Yes, the simplest trick (which I usually adopt too) in this case does not work well and carries to a very low color temperatur and to innatural colors. In particular the clouds are not real clouds but are formed by the smoke coming out of the steelworks below and therefore are a bit reddish and not gray. However my goal is not to be accurate but to produce a pleasant picture... thank you again for your comments.

Cheers, Francesco



Jan 04, 2012 at 01:24 PM
JHut
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Pollution over the sea


For me, this shot would be more pleasant if the reflected smoke were cropped out and the shot had more of a panoramic feel. Below are a couple of versions.














Jan 04, 2012 at 03:03 PM
 

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RustyBug
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Pollution over the sea


Interesting shot.

Owing to you concerns being aesthetic rather than accurate a couple thoughts come to mind for me.

My first thought is my typical guiding principle of "What's the point?" that you are trying to convey to your viewer. In that, I mean are you trying to present a pleasant picture, or are you trying to present a point about the pollution, but in an aesthicly appealing way?

I say this, and it seems like a minor distinction, but before you explained the cloud formation, I thought you had captured "real clouds" above the stacks to emulate fake pollution to illustrate your point. Now, that I know they are the "actual pollution" clouds, I'm wondering if your point is to drive the pollution point as social commentary, or simply to make an aesthetically pleasing image.

Since color & mood are related, the answer to your WB (for me) rests in whether you want your viewer to be relaxed/calmed by a pleasant image, or do you want them to stand up and take notice (i.e. disturbed) by an image that alarms them, but done so in an aesthetic that it shows your artistic diligence.

My take on the image is that the since the pollution is most noticeable in the sky rather than the water, I wanted the reflections and shoreline itself to be (eh, sorta) close to neutral as the eye might expect to see all the colors at play. Then, to accentuate the 'red' pollution I applied a filter over the image and masked off the shoreline and water to retain their 'neutral' colors. The last thing I did was to try and use the central plume as a transition from "clean" to "dirty" to try and develop a leading line/color to draw the viewers eye from the shoreline to the cloud to "connect" the two.

The one thing that I had a little concern for is the fact that many times a city's sodium vapor lighting can put that same kind of reddish hue into the clouds ... i.e. how to distinguish the fact that this is a pollution cloud vs. a regular cloud simply reflecting sodium vapor lighting ... except maybe to use a "dirty yellow/green" filter to taint the clouds instead of red. I think yellow/green is more of a 'sickening' color, whereas red is more of and 'angry' color. Hence, I stayed with red despite the possible sodium vapor confusion ... hopefully cranking the red/brown strong enough that it doesn't come across as reflected sodium vapor lighting.







Jan 04, 2012 at 03:15 PM
fracas
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Pollution over the sea


RustyBug wrote:
...whether you want your viewer to be relaxed/calmed by a pleasant image, or do you want them to stand up and take notice (i.e. disturbed) by an image that alarms them, but done so in an aesthetic that it shows your artistic diligence.


The second one: I want to document the situation in an artistic way

Rustibug, thanks for your advice on PP ... I also prefer the red filter



Jan 04, 2012 at 04:17 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Pollution over the sea


Di Niente




Jan 04, 2012 at 04:20 PM





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