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Bridge over troubled (color blind) waters
  
 
lighthound
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Bridge over troubled (color blind) waters


I think Rick is rubbing off on me with the song titles.

This is another from last weekend. I "think" I have this one dialed in as there were plenty of pick points to choose to set my colors. I'm not sure about the saturation though. I like it rich but I don't want it overcooked.

Thoughts?


Edit: Figured I'd better offer up another with the sat turned down by -3 just for comparison and to get feedback on.



Dave




Mountain stream






Desat by -3




Aug 19, 2017 at 05:31 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Bridge over troubled (color blind) waters


Full sat for me, and I like this one.


Aug 19, 2017 at 09:10 PM
sbeme
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Bridge over troubled (color blind) waters


Pretty scene and well done
They are very close
Greens are a bit unrealistically intense imho but that is overridden by aesthetics
Tree trunks look great
Nice job!

Scott



Aug 19, 2017 at 09:50 PM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Bridge over troubled (color blind) waters


I have reasonably good color vision and I get lazy about color balance figuring I can always tweak it in post processing based upon what "looks right". For more serious work, a gray card or equivalent is a good tool to make color balance quick and easier to adjust in post. One handy item I try to keep in my kit is a gray lens wiper. It take little space and is easy to pack or just stick in a pocket, purse or bag. I can use it as a gray reference and it also cleans my lenses.

For after the fact correction, when you haven't included a gray reference item, one technique is to look for something in the scene that ought to be about a middle gray. Helpfully, weathered wood and certain types of rock are often the right gray and often in common scenes. For the bridge example, I'd expect the weathered bridge rail post is likely a medium gray in certain spots. (In the image below I've marked a zone where I'd expect reasonable gray values may reside.) Taking advantage of available gray candidates in Photoshop you can use the color dropper to "shop" likely spots and read the red, green and blue values. For a good spot the values ought to be about 100 in all three colors. You'll find in the example posted an excess in green values as you shop with the dropper, suggesting too much green in the color balance. One way to correct is to note the average or approximate excess or surplus color values and add a color balance layer. In the color balance layer dial in the corrections based upon the color dropper estimates and apply them to the middle tones, since they are values for an estimated middle gray spot. In the example below, I fiddles with different values until multiple dropper spots seemed to dance an average around neutral. (There are no doubt better and more methodical ways to do this, but this is how I muddle through it.)

In scenes with spots that are just black and just white, you can make similar color dropper value estimates and adjust shadow and highlight color balance which may be different from middle tine color balance.












Aug 19, 2017 at 10:36 PM
lighthound
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Bridge over troubled (color blind) waters


ben egbert wrote:
Full sat for me, and I like this one.


Thank Ben! I'm never sure on the saturation because it seems all I ever do is remove color but they are often viewed as overcooked.

Dave
---------------------------------------------

sbeme wrote:
Pretty scene and well done
They are very close
Greens are a bit unrealistically intense imho but that is overridden by aesthetics
Tree trunks look great
Nice job!

Scott



Thanks Scott! My wife also said there was a lot of green but she dismissed it because there is simply so much green in the image. I think Karen found it though and I have attempted to correct it. I see no difference visually other than looking at the numbers. Let me know what you think.

Dave
---------------------------------------------

AuntiPode wrote:
I have reasonably good color vision and I get lazy about color balance figuring I can always tweak it in post processing based upon what "looks right". For more serious work, a gray card or equivalent is a good tool to make color balance quick and easier to adjust in post. One handy item I try to keep in my kit is a gray lens wiper. It take little space and is easy to pack or just stick in a pocket, purse or bag. I can use it as a gray reference and it also cleans my lenses.

For after the
...Show more

Thank you so much Karen! That is fantastic information and it gives me comfort to know I wasn't too far off in my process. Kent had shared almost exactly the same process with me some time back. And unless I get lazy and fail to use it properly it seems to work well for me but it take me a long time to process a single image.

I really wish PS had the same "sync" feature as LR has so I could just apply the corrections from one image over to others that have the same lighting.

The first image below shows my initial color pick points I had used and the corrections made on all 3 tonal values. Notice my mid tone (point #2) on the bridge. I was close! But I think one thing I failed to do was locate a spot/spots with all 100 or close to it.

If you would please, could you tell me if the spots I chose for the shadow and highlight point selections look like good spots to use? I struggle with this part a lot because I'm not sure if they are correct spots or not.

This time around I used multiple points in the area you pointed out and adjusted until they were pretty close to even.

This one look a little better?
You people have amazing eyes. Like 4K to my 720!

Dave











small cc tweak




Aug 20, 2017 at 12:10 AM
 

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AuntiPode
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Bridge over troubled (color blind) waters


I'm not sure lichens are reliably gray, but in this case they seem close enough. The main idea is that if you can pick a number of points that you imagine "ought" to be gray and find a color bias in most of them, that gives you a good approximation of what sort of color balance change/s to make.


Aug 20, 2017 at 09:04 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Bridge over troubled (color blind) waters


3 out of 4 less than 5 apart, the 4th one only 10 apart. You're in good territory for technical neutrality. Aesthetically, to the eye, you're looking good also. I might look to pull down some of the sat in the background yellows. I dig the color in the stream, but the source behind them competes a bit for our attention, so some (selective) pullback to the non-interest areas might strengthen the interest areas.


As an aside:
The flip side to "ought" to be gray ... is what color things out to NOT be. Bear in mind, of course, the diff between an item that is illuminated with direct sun vs. open shade. Making (global) adjustments from one can have over-compensating effects, or give an warmer / cooler cast.

Sometimes that is fine as the cast invokes mood (when desired). Other times, masking color changes between diff illumination sources is prudent, to keep the tells / overcompensation at bay.

As to this one ... the FG is looking pretty good, the bright BG is trying to distract us away just a tad yet.



Aug 20, 2017 at 12:48 PM
beavens
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Bridge over troubled (color blind) waters


Color starting to look much better and I'm with Kent about the BG trying to distract. Instead of burning I blurred with a heavy hand for illustration as the usual food for thought.

Nice scene nicely seen!

Jeff








Aug 20, 2017 at 01:22 PM
solarishead
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Bridge over troubled (color blind) waters


Nice image and very interesting conversation about color correction. I've never thought of using samples to look for color bias but it makes perfect sense.

I've recently started using Jimmy Macintyre's approach and have been happy with it. His technique for finding the grey point is a bit more precise.

Here's a link to the video if interested:

Powerful Color Correction Photoshop Tutorial:



I tried the technique with this image however, and it didn't work well because there is literally nothing in the image that is white so I think the techniques mentioned above are probably more appropriate.

Just out of curiosity, when making many adjustments to an image, when is the best time to perform color correction? Specifically wondering if it's best to do first or last, or ever both?



Aug 26, 2017 at 11:10 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Bridge over troubled (color blind) waters


solarishead wrote:
I tried the technique with this image however, and it didn't work well because there is literally nothing in the image that is white so I think the techniques mentioned above are probably more appropriate.


Nice video ... pretty quick and to the point. I thought he might "tweak" on the curves after using the eyedropper, but he didn't go there. I reckon that could be the "next" video.


The one thing to bear in mind regarding the "chosen points", is that A) there is an assumption being made that the point is SUPPOSED to be neutral. B) there is an assumption being made that different points are SUPPOSED to be neutralized.

The caveat to "A" is that we can take ANY COLOR ... and if the tonal value is high enough, it will appear white. Thus, not all "brightest" points are always THE point for choosing as the basis for assessing the light color. Most times, likely ... just be watchful / studious of the light and an area's inherent color properties to not be fooled, i.e. (think about what's happening vs. blind faith on the brightest area).

The caveat to "B" is that sometimes we actually want the adjustment of an area toward neutral ALLOWED to push / pull / shift the other areas to ACCENTUATE the color difference of the lighting when in variable / mixed lighting vs. uniform lighting. Here again, that "think" thing comes in handy.

The 50% gray layer technique in the video ... could be a handy way of finding your middle tonal values. I think you could also do something similar with analyzing at different values (i.e. 25% gray, 75% gray, 90% gray ... 10% hue, 90% hue, etc.) by using different fill. That one will be a nugget to tuck away for some some additional refinement (say like finding the most offending area of a color cast).

The threshold layer ... yup, it helps me find the points. Main diff, being I select multiple points vs. only a single point. Sometimes, a single point will be angled toward the sky / nearby object / grass, etc. and be reflecting the reflected light. So, like how we have global adjustments and selective adjustments for contrast, sharpening, etc. ... same here. By selecting multi-points, it helps me to look and see if / where I'm contending with global vs. selective issues. In my "pick 4" points, 3 outa 4 (Sesame Street's one of these things is not like the others) usually is my baseline global (noting why #4 isn't following suit) adjustment. So, I try to pick points not only in reference to their tonal value, but also their angular position to the source(s) of my color.

One that comes to mind is the black shoes on Ben's nephew wedding shots. The point on the shoe can be chosen on the side or back of the shoe (which may be darkest), but if the shoe is in or near the grass or colored wall, etc., it will picking up those colors. However, if we choose a point on the toe (which may NOT be darkest tonal value), it is pointing upward toward the sky and receiving the same source light that is acting as our key / fill light.

The threshold is a good tool ... but, here again it too isn't always a stand alone tool to be used by itself. You may still need to use your good ol' noggin' a bit too.

Just out of curiosity, when making many adjustments to an image, when is the best time to perform color correction? Specifically wondering if it's best to do first or last, or ever both?

I do mine on my first adjustment layer (PS). I seem to recall Scott Kelby advocating color first as well (but, don't hold me to it, that was years ago I glanced at one of his books).
(Technically, I have my original source layer, and a duplicate of that, then a color balance layer.)

Here's the reason:

If I have my color properly neutralized to the light, then my image's color contrast is at its optimum amount of hue contrast without an overburdening cast limiting the amount of hue contrast that I have to work with in the subsequent adjustments. Meaning, I don't have to ratchet saturation or contrast to get t contrast that already exists, but is being covered up by the overall cast (kinda like a hue "veil", acting somewhat like veiling flare for contrast reduction). In this manner, I do less damage / artifacts in the generation of the "overcooking" process to achieve similar contrast levels.

Kind of a "less is more" perspective. Less cast = more contrast. Less push = more clean.

For artistic rendering ... I can always take and reduce the amount of adjustment to "put it back in" if there are those times that I really feel it is pertinent to the mood or color of the light for it to be revealed.

But, if I go on about the other tasks of pushing things around, and THEN try to correct color, it can be like reigning in two horses going in opposite directions. That's not to say there isn't some additional refinement of color in intermediate or later stages, but in Demming fashion, I find it prudent to address the lion's share of it earlier, rather than later, as it has cascading implications on some of the other processing decisions to be made.



Aug 26, 2017 at 12:10 PM







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