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Archive 2013 · White Feather
  
 
eeneryma
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · White Feather


North Fork beach last weekend. Any pp suggestions appreciated.



eeneryma 2012




Sep 07, 2013 at 12:02 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · White Feather


Looks like a lot of cyan in the feather. I realize it is reflecting the overhead cool sky @ AI=AR, but it might be a clue to your WB that you could warm it up to accentuate the ground color if you wanted. Feather looks a bit blown @ 255.

Pulled down some sat in blue & cyan and tweaked at levels. Never really got the color where I thought it should be, but mostly to illustrate the white @ closer to neutral as the anchor.







Sep 07, 2013 at 06:46 PM
eeneryma
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · White Feather


Hi Rusty:
Thanks for your input. I like what you did.
I've been playing a lot lately since you introduced me to the color picker and color balance adjustment which I'd never used. I've been getting some great results on photos that I've had trouble with getting the color the way I wanted it.
What is interesting is that the point I picked on the feather to test color "highlights" was at the very point of the feather, the brightest and whitest spot. Then I picked a deep shadow spot between the cracks to test and adjust the shadows. There didn't seem to be a suitable spot to test for midtones, but not sure about this.
When you say you were adjusting the sat in blue and cyan, were you doing this in the color balance adjustment window, or in the hue and saturation adjustment window?




Sep 07, 2013 at 09:10 PM
 

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RustyBug
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · White Feather


I tried to use the color balance on this one (which is my default workflow starting point) and I never got the results I was looking for, so I tried selective color and saturation, ultimately using saturation. This image really doesn't have much collateral damage potential since the blues/cyans were pretty localized, and just desaturating the cyan/blue seemed easiest.

Without any known neutrals (other than the feather), gauging WB is . If the feather were displaying as one consistent color, then it would be easy to neutralize it for establishing WB. But with two different areas, that means the feather is being illuminated from the open sky on one side and the open sky + direct sun on the other. If we take the direct sun as key and open sky as fill, then that side of the feather seems correct and we just need to tend to the colored fill of the open sky, and the most prominent area that this is noticeable is the feather, moreover than the ground.

An image like this ... who can tell what the "real" color is of the ground/lighting. For me, as long as something registers as the "correct" color, then mentally, that validates the correctness of the other colors. Seeing a "cyan feather" makes a mental suggestion that something is awry, and infuses doubt regarding the other areas of the image. Removing that doubt (even if not 100% technically accurate) from the viewer to me helps to anchor the credibility of the other colors/lighting.

Given the fact that we have vast creative license/liberty and that nature/natural light can be so varied ... we have a ton of latitude. But for me, I find I can "get away with" a whole lot more once I've removed the tells, and anchored something (usually the neutrals) for the viewer.

+1 @ "playing a lot" ... you'll develop your own understanding of the influence of "split lighting" @ ambient WB = X amount of warm direct sun (key) + Y amount of cool indirect overhead sky (fill) and how that relates to AI=AR, followed by the functionality of the differing tools available for our use to make adjustments. But it does take a bit of a sleuthing mindset, rather than a "click here" approach.

As a predominantly ambient shooter, the ability to understand what the ambient conditions are (given their vast range of possibilities) presenting to your subject is, imo key to bring your image to where you want it to be ... wherever that may be @ creative license/liberty as we are now our own profile engineer (rather than the film engineers @ Ektachrome vs. Kodachrome vs. Fujichrome, etc.).




Sep 07, 2013 at 09:47 PM
eeneryma
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · White Feather


Thank you for your analysis and explanation. I wish there was a magic button to press to get it right first time every time, but then it would take away all the fun.


Sep 08, 2013 at 03:38 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · White Feather


The interesting thing for me is that back when shooting film ... it seemed like the only "magic button" I needed was the shutter (I shot chrome). Now, I've got buttons and sliders galore to contend with.



Now that we have become our own profile engineer/lab tech/finisher, it is much more pliable and akin to shooting negatives regarding the latitude @ finishing, color correction, artistic rendering and creative license/liberty. With chrome "what ya shot was what ya got". With (negative) film, there was always the lab to analyze and interpret WB and/or correct/adjust the print from the negative and you may have to get the lab to change things to how you had envisioned them ... which was part of why I shot chrome (except for weddings @ VPS 160).

Color theory @ CMYK was something that fried my brain back in the day, so I avoided it like the plague by shooting chrome. I had no idea (back then) what really constituted a film profile and its response throughout its range.

Now, we start with a linear response (raw) and get to profile it ourselves (or re-profile the jpgs). This gives us the latitude to render our highlights less sensitive to cyan (for instance) by desaturating the cyans and restricting that restriction to the upper tonal values. Same can be applied to the shadows or we could increase the sensitivity to yellow in the midtones, or decrease magenta, etc.

The engineering that went into the film profiles wasn't something that most of us ever thought about. Mostly, we just "liked the look" we got from Ektachrome vs. Kodachrome vs. Fujichrome (similar applies @ negative color or B&W films). But now that we have been granted the opportunity to be our own film profile engineer, I think it behooves us to garner a better understanding (much still to learn) of how/why light is being captured/recorded the way it is ... BEFORE we start tweaking on things.

Film did not have the latitude to change its profile or WB once it was manufactured, but the lab/darkroom did afford the opportunity for adjustment/correction, both on a technical and/or artistic basis. Now we have the ability for both. Shooting was so much simpler when the only "magic button" was the shutter (ignorance is bliss ) and I was clueless @ color theory and film profiles.

But now that Pandora's Box has been opened in digital, I see things differently than before and continue to try to get better at understanding how we can make our images become what we want them to be. For me, the "well, that's the way the camera captured it" no longer holds a valid excuse for why a bride's dress has a cyan tint to it or why a blonde has green tint to her hair.

I know darn good and well the bride wasn't wearing a cyan dress and she didn't spend $$$$ on "the dress" to have it shown to the world as cyanic. It is a symbolic representation of purity and deserves to be rendered without the impurities of poor color correction. For me, this concept applies to a lost feather as much as it does a $1,000 dress on a $25,000 day. Whether it was the professional lab, or a professional retoucher or ourselves @ DIY ... somebody has been "fixing" these things for a very long time (largely unbeknownst to the masses) and hence some of the $$$ cost for professionally corrected wedding photography,etc. vs. "that's the way the camera recorded it".

Sure, the ambient light is a radial/spherical gradient and because our subjects are three dimensional, AI=AR can pick up differing color/WB/reflections. N/E/S/W vs. overhead orientation can make a difference, particularly the closer the sun approaches the horizon, the greater the difference in light color can be. There is also an intensity and specular variance between the warm direct light vs. the cool indirect light.

Depending on ambient conditions, time of day, orientation and AI=AR involved those differences can be virtually non-detectable or they can be very obvious. What we choose to do with those differences is up to us. Those differences can be the bane of an otherwise wonderful image or we can adjust/modify/correct to remove that distress/annoyance the they generate to detract from the rest of the image. Detecting their existence is necessary to provide the opportunity for such correction. For some of us it comes naturally to a keen, critical eye. For others of us, the use of or analytical editing tools can be of great value. Imo, if we are striving to make "fine art" or works of excellent craftsmanship, this area (but one of many) of fine attention to color detail is part of what embodies the "fine" aspect of "fine art". Likely few will feel it necessary or pertinent to a snapshot, but for critical review I think it is (but one of many) an area that goes largely unattended, citing the excuse of "it is the way the camera recorded it", rather than owing to a lacking of either control, understanding or concern.

However, we can also use that knowledge to harness those differences into more dynamic and dramatic imagery the more we come to understand the nature of natural light and our interaction with it relative to our subject. Sometimes we contend with the lighting variances as they illuminate our subject ... other times the lighting variance can be the subject. Here are a few that I feel illustrate the gradient nature of ambient light. While these are rather extreme examples compared to the subtlety of it that we more frequently encounter, they serve as a reminder for me that the radial/spherical gradient lighting color/intensity is the reason why we see (cyanic, magenta, warm, etc.) cast variance between key/shadow sides when shooting ambient light, iaw AI=AR.

I've rambled much here and my alligator mouth may be a bit larger than my hummingbird skills, but hopefully it has a worthwhile nugget or seed that finds fertile ground in there that might be of value somewhere down the road.



















Sep 08, 2013 at 12:42 PM





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