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Archive 2013 · Looking forward for feedback and critics
  
 
Beluha
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Looking forward for feedback and critics


Hello everyone.
I`m taking pictures for almost 4 years already (for the last 14 months in China), but I assume I have got a problem which consists of the fact, that I have never been receiving professional feedback on my works.
It seems to me that users here upload photos one by one in order to get help. I hope you don`t mind if I will ask you to review my latest post just to give general assessment. What I personally think about my photos comparing to photos uploaded here, is that something is wrong with my colors as result of processing in photoshop.
Would be kind of you to drop a line.
These photos were made during the trip from Chengdu to A Ba mountain, when group of professional athletes were covering dangerous route by bicycles: http://photoslav.net/cycling-above-the-clouds-challenge-of-will
Thank you.



Aug 31, 2013 at 05:09 PM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Looking forward for feedback and critics


Most contributor to this forum are probably not working professional photographers. (I haven't made my living by photography for since about 1975, for example.) However, for what it's worth, I find your images excellent travel photos. In general they are nicely composed and and show their subjects well and tell the story.

One suggestion: Try to find more interesting and varied light to add more visual variety to your collection. A few images within an hour either side of sunset and sunrise, and perhaps some cloudy sky or bad weather images would help the collection be more visually interesting.

Gook luck!



Aug 31, 2013 at 08:16 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Looking forward for feedback and critics


+1 @ Karen ... overall nice set.

I didn't see anything glaring @ your colors. My rule of thumb is that things that should be neutral have range of less than 5 (I won't quibble over 6-8 too much) points differential between the Red, Green and Blue channels. I did several spot checks on things like your tires, pedals, hubs, etc. that I expected to be neutral and saw them be have pretty tight R,G,B numbers (i.e. no strong casts).

Shooting uncontrolled ambient lighting is always a challenge at WB relative to cyan sky/shadows/golden hour, etc. I see virtually nothing here that concerned me about your colors, within a reasonable degree of latitude. Of course, for drama and artistic rendering, it's all fair game as well.

Welcome to FM and the PC Forum ... looking forward to seeing more.



Aug 31, 2013 at 09:15 PM
Paul Mo
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Looking forward for feedback and critics


Good comments above.

For me, your next step is to make an 8-image photo story (edit).

You have too many images for us to critique - except generally.



Sep 01, 2013 at 05:48 AM
Beluha
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Looking forward for feedback and critics


Rusty Bug, AuntiPode and Paul Mo, thank you for sharing feedback and wishes. Though it was the first serious landscape photo attempt. My major is street portrait. Will upload some photos soon.
RustyBug wrote:
+1 @ Karen ... overall nice set.

I didn't see anything glaring @ your colors. My rule of thumb is that things that should be neutral have range of less than 5 (I won't quibble over 6-8 too much) points differential between the Red, Green and Blue channels. I did several spot checks on things like your tires, pedals, hubs, etc. that I expected to be neutral and saw them be have pretty tight R,G,B numbers (i.e. no strong casts).

Shooting uncontrolled ambient lighting is always a challenge at WB relative to cyan sky/shadows/golden hour, etc. I see virtually nothing here
...Show more
Could you please explain me:
1) How to measure colors in particular areas?
2) How to adjust them accordingly?
3) What`s the reason pedals and other areas have got R,G,B in it instead of neutral?



Sep 01, 2013 at 07:48 AM
Beluha
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Looking forward for feedback and critics


AuntiPode, you were taking active participation in this (http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1237750/0#lastmessage) topic. It seems to me that colors on that landscape are a way better than mines. Could you please suggets me how can I achieve better result?


Sep 01, 2013 at 07:52 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Looking forward for feedback and critics


3) equal amounts of Red + Green + Blue = Neutral
(i.e. they are supposed to have R,G,B, that's how color is constructed)

1) you can measure in various ways with software such as LR or PS or others. Also, if you are using Mozilla / Firefox Browser there is a tool option that let's you measure the RGB values ... very handy for checking online stuff without the need to download an image.

2) color adjustments ... lots of ways to skin this cat, but more important to know why you are making adjustments first rather than specifically how. If you really don't need to make adjustments, you can do more harm than good if you aren't careful.

BUT ... the short answer is that I don't think you need to concern yourself much with it at this time as your images looked like they had pretty good WB. The only reason I mentioned it was because you expressed concern @ color ... not a lot to be concerned with based on what I saw/measured.



Sep 01, 2013 at 04:01 PM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Looking forward for feedback and critics


Please pick one or two images from your site and I'll give them my best adjustment suggestions.


Sep 01, 2013 at 11:56 PM
Beluha
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Looking forward for feedback and critics


AuntiPode wrote:
Please pick one or two images from your site and I'll give them my best adjustment suggestions.












Thank you!



Sep 02, 2013 at 05:34 AM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Looking forward for feedback and critics


It's a bit difficult to evaluate color when the images don't include the chosen color space information. I had to guess and establish them as sRGB. If they were made in a different color space it would likely change the color rendition.

Here are a couple of possibilities based upon some assumptions:






















Sep 02, 2013 at 07:52 AM
 

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RustyBug
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Looking forward for feedback and critics


Here's an example of my trying to find areas that I expect to be neutral and the results I found. With these multiple areas showing less than a 5 point differential, I have little reason to suspect any need for a WB correction in the lower tonal value areas ... if my goals for the image are to be neutral.

I have of course made assumptions that these areas "should" be neutral (sans a known neutral reference), but the likelihood of them all not being neutral (naturally) and a color cast improperly placing then in a neutral state ... figure the odds. It is important to note what type/color/direction your lighting is, and what angle of reflection your "checkpoint" area is. That can influence your interpretation of whether or not they should be neutral, or if you want them to be warm/cool to reflect the mood/lighting.

But, this is my starting point for assessing ambient lighting for color cast/WB ... i.e. checking "assumed" (or desired) neutral areas. I tend to think of it akin to the Zone System, but for hue/color rather than tonal values ... i.e. I place my desired neutrals to neutral. In the case of this image, my desired/expected neutrals are already neutral.

Then as a "double check" ... I can always ratchet up the saturation to 25%, 50%, 100% and watch the changes to my neutral check points. My neutrals will remain neutral even as my colors turn garish. If they aren't neutral, their color will come along for the "wild ride" toward 100% saturation, giving me the clues I need to know which way to correct/adjust my color.

Again, with points like the ones I found (i.e. tight RGB numbers where I expected neutrals), color correction is no longer an immediate concern in the lower tonal value areas. Anyway, this is some insight into what I mean by R,G,B values @ <5 points apart for neutrals. Note, these neutrals are in the shadows. You can also check your numbers in mids and highs. Sometimes shadows,mids, highs won't always reflect the same degree of neutrality/cast. That's largely why I use Photoshop Color Balance Layer, so if I need to make an adjustment to the highlights, but the shadow areas are fine, I can adjust one segment, without significantly impacting the other area. In this image, there appears to be some magenta (low Green value) in his hair that could warrant addressing in the higher tonal values.

Now, the issue is simply a matter of style, taste and mood that you want to convey. At that point ... anything goes for artistic rendering. This is likely more than you need to be concerned with for now, but I guess the main point is that you can try to judge your color cast either by your eye @ what looks good to you, or by checking numbers. For those of us who might be a bit color challenged, looking @ the numbers can help.

HTH







Sep 02, 2013 at 11:36 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Looking forward for feedback and critics


Moving on to the higher tonal value areas, I expect the bars to be neutral/reflecting the light that is falling on them to give me a clue for the light that is falling on our subject.

In review of them, I see some heavier Blue, with relatively equal amounts of Red & Green. So, I have made some adjustments in the Color Balance Layer to bring the RGB values all closer together. But, since my lower tonal values were already RGB neutral, I am going to target the upper range of tonal values via the highlight segment of Color Balance, hopefully not impacting the lower tones too much that I want to retain closer to neutral. However, in this case, the amount of adjustment I used in the upper values still made some impact to the lower values. So, I then applied some gradient "Blend If" to restrict things from the lower values.

Also, it should be noted that depending on which side of the bar I'm checking, I'll get different numbers. Realizing that the light is falling from one side vs. the other, I'll give more credence to the side that reflects lighting most similar to that which is falling on my subject.

While I target <5 variance R,G,B for neutral, it isn't always achievable due to subject/lighting angles/mixed lighting colors and nearby surfaces reflecting color influence. But, it still gives a clue to which direction I might want to make adjustments ... inside <10 and I'm still closer than if it is off by >20. It is an iterative objective process that winds up with the final decisions being subjective. If I've gone through the process of considering low/mid/high neutral RGB's and I don't like it ... I'll put it where I want it, but at least I know which/what/why I'm moving things around. Often times, I find that where a cast did exist, the correction to it can render things a bit differently such that I pull the saturation down just a bit (which I may have also driven slightly upward via some USM) too.

If we look at the pant leg of the three versions OP, Karen, mine and check the numbers we can see how much variance there is between the three channels. None of them are perfectly neutral, but one has more blue than the others, and one has less green (i.e. more magenta) and one is a little more balanced. Is the more balanced one "correct" ... maybe not, but the point is that we get to put things where we want them. Going from a 35-40 point spread to a 10-15 point spread @ RGB values renders the area more neutral ... but that's assuming that we actually wanted them to be more neutral.

Imo, it's tough to get color where we want via global tools, which is why I use Color Balance Layer @ low,mid,high and "blend if" to selectively adjust. But going back to the earlier comment @ neutrals looked neutral ... that is also noting that most folks are going to try to make color changes via global methods @ WB. Imo, there is a point at which "close enough" is pretty good because once you globally push one way, you are also globally pulling the other way. However, if you are wanting push the saturation/vibrancy of your colors more ... the differences might start to show up a bit more.

In the end, where I want it, is where I want it. These are just tools that can help us get it wherever that might be, particularly when it can be challenging to asses color by eye alone. Most folks will not go through this kind of process and it is time consuming, so there is a time/place for using it or not. But, a "quick check" of your RGB values at high/mid/low can give you a clue to compare with what your eyes/brain are telling you. Then, you can decide how much you think it needs to be changed/corrected/adjusted for ... or not at all, so you can just get back to capturing excellent images.

HTH













Sep 02, 2013 at 12:06 PM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Looking forward for feedback and critics


As you can see, some folks are more analytical and method organized. I just fiddle with controls I believe may help, based upon experience, until I like the results. I can show what I did but it's hard to explain why I did it, except it "looks better" to me.


Sep 02, 2013 at 02:22 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Looking forward for feedback and critics


Hi Rusty, let me play this back. I opened an image and used the eyedropper to find some neutral areas. I think your definition is a close RGB grouping. Had trouble staying under 10 for the spread.

As a check, I added saturation and they remained fairly close. Might work better if I had found better neutrals, which is probably a matter of experience.

Then you change the hue of each channel to neutralize the neutrals?





Sep 03, 2013 at 12:00 AM
ben egbert
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Looking forward for feedback and critics


AuntiPode wrote:
As you can see, some folks are more analytical and method organized. I just fiddle with controls I believe may help, based upon experience, until I like the results. I can show what I did but it's hard to explain why I did it, except it "looks better" to me.



This is what I would do if I could trust my color vision.



Sep 03, 2013 at 12:01 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Looking forward for feedback and critics


ben egbert wrote:
Hi Rusty, let me play this back. I opened an image and used the eyedropper to find some neutral areas. I think your definition is a close RGB grouping. Had trouble staying under 10 for the spread.

As a check, I added saturation and they remained fairly close. Might work better if I had found better neutrals, which is probably a matter of experience.

Then you change the hue of each channel to neutralize the neutrals?


You could fabricate a test image with multiple swatches @ some various colors interspersed with some known neutral swatches (i.e. a color checker image). Toss a random filter color layer on top of it to induce a color cast and then see if you can reverse engineer/restore the colors to neutral numbers That way you would know that your neutrals are actually neutral while trying to develop your eye/process.

Using any other image and we are "assuming" and "placing" that our neutrals are actually neutral and/or in neutral light. There will always be a degree of subjective vision needed for a sanity/practical "cross-check" because we have no way of guaranteeing that we have actually selected a neutral ... and it is possible that we are making an unwarranted correction. That's why I check multiple shadows/mids/highs and study the light ... it does increases my odds of not being fooled and to be able to detect a cast, but it still isn't a perfect guarantee, i.e. we still need to gauge the overall image subjectively for fine tuning, but it does reveal certain things that we might otherwise overlook.



Sep 03, 2013 at 12:23 AM
ben egbert
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Looking forward for feedback and critics


RustyBug wrote:
You could fabricate a test image with multiple swatches @ some various colors interspersed with some known neutral swatches (i.e. a color checker image). Toss a random filter color layer on top of it to induce a color cast and then see if you can reverse engineer/restore the colors to neutral numbers That way you would know that your neutrals are actually neutral while trying to develop your eye/process.

Using any other image and we are "assuming" and "placing" that our neutrals are actually neutral and/or in neutral light. There will always be a degree of subjective vision needed for
...Show more

I tried this with a color checker and was able to find some pretty neutral areas. Then I add a color filter and attempted to back engineer the colors with the Hue sat sliders. It does not work as I expected. The filter I used was deep red so I expected to use the red slider to fix the cast. I assume the idea is to get the three neutrals I had found back to their starting numbers.

In Hue sat, red selected, I tried hue, sat and lightness. I can get some numbers right for one neutral but not all at once and it tends to look garish.

I think I just don't know how hew sat works. I seldom use it other than for desat where I might desat red 20 and add back 20 lightness then fade to taste.



Sep 03, 2013 at 03:12 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Looking forward for feedback and critics


That's why I prefer using the Color Balance layer. It is a pretty easy thing to read the numbers and see that 120,127,127 needs 7 points more Red to equal 127,127,127 (i.e. mechanical). Realizing that you could also pull down the Green and Blue channels by 7 points each to yield 120, 120, 120 or add 10 points Red, 3 points Green, 3 points Blue for 130,130,130 or go +4,-3,-3 for 124,124,124.

In that regard, it gives you finer control ... as well as the ability to target/weight the influence toward shadows/mids/highlights. Sat hue doesn't give you that kind of control ... at least not nearly as "mechanically". Follow this with a "blend if" to restrict a given tonal range when you have mixed lighting and you can usually dial things in pretty good.

Many folks set black points and white points for their tonal values independently, but few will bother to set their hue values independently ... most dive-bombing onto white and letting everything else fall where it may. Imo, this is fine for snaps and blogs, etc (i.e. context for my comment @ OP's colors). But for fine printing ... not evaluating your low/mid/high tonal range neutrals independently is leaving too much to risk at where they'll fall if you make an adjustment to one, but not the others.

It's certainly not a "click here" WB convenience, but I find it the preferable way to asses/correct/adjust my colors before proceeding on to the styling/taste aspect. Imo, if your neutrals aren't neutral ... you might be telling on yourself ... unless your artistic rendering/lighting clearly tells the viewer that they aren't supposed to be neutral.

Even if not perfect, every little bit helps to give the viewers eye/brain information from which to see the image. That's why for some images, the color balance of the light remains uncorrected to reveal the color of the light and others are corrected to reveal the color of the subject under neutral light. As long as you align your WB to your message/intent (imo), either can be fine.

Edited on Sep 03, 2013 at 04:17 PM · View previous versions



Sep 03, 2013 at 03:56 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Looking forward for feedback and critics


Gotcha, that worked, a new tool for me to use. It works the way I expected hue saturation to work.


Sep 03, 2013 at 04:01 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Looking forward for feedback and critics





Sep 03, 2013 at 04:07 PM
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