Monday, 28 October 2013
Exercise: Colours into tones 2
For this exercise I have chosen a landscape to enhance the aerial perspective. This is the original image.
Here is the default black and white conversion in Silver FX Pro.
Here is the enhanced version in which I have increased the contrast slightly by applying a 76% filter strength to the red channel (18 degrees on the colour wheel) which has darkened the blue of the sea.
I thought I would repeat the exercise with this more dramatic image from my archive.
Default conversion in Silver FX Pro
By applying a 100% filter to the yellow hues, the contrast of the sunlight area in the centre has been increased and the plants in the foreground have been made lighter, making them more prominent.
Conclusion: This was a useful exercise in learning how to adjust the different channels and to see what effects can be achieved.
Sunday, 27 October 2013
Exercise: Colours into tones 1
Following the notes in the course folder, I used Silver FX Pro to process this image (RAW files are processed and saved as TIFFs in this application) of fish sellers in Mindelo, Sao Vicente CV:
This is the default generated by the Black and White conversion option on the filter menu, showing the default settings in this screen shot with no colour filter applied.
Concentrating on the the lady with the red t shirt and the green bowls behind her, this is the first adjustment; lighten the red: Hue 16 degrees, strength 60%. The red t shirt is lighter and the green bowl is darker.
Reversing the adjustment lighten the green; Hue 109 degrees, filter strength 68%. This has darkened the red considerably.
Conclusion: The three images above have a fairly even distribution of tones but because of the effect on the skin tones, the effect of lifting the red has a more pleasing effect and makes the image tones appear to be better balanced i.e. less dark tones overall.
Exercise Strength of Interpretation
The objective of this exercise is to process two images into black and white and demonstrate that the processing applied to colour images will be less marked than the effects on the black and white images. Here is the first which I think is more suited to a low key black and white image:
My second image I think is more suitable for a high key black and white image:
First of all, the original:
These are the values used for the high and low key images, both colour and black and white.
High Key: Brightness: +39%
Contrast: + 45%
Low Key:Brightness: –14%
Contrast: – 35%
In addition to this adjustment, the low key image was improved by the use of a red filter adjustment which darkened the green tones on the mountain side:
Thursday, 24 October 2013
Today was another successful meeting of the group. As usual, students showed work before lunch and there was a discussion about portraiture after lunch.
The first to show work was John. He explained that his was a different idea that he was still working on – he wanted our reactions.
His images were single blocks of colour with a written description of an image (his words) with a caption of the image as it was published. John read his description, and then handed out the prints for us to look at and to read the original caption.
After completing all of the readings, John showed us the book of war images from which he had taken his descriptions.
- Older man; benign, confident, characterful countenance; avuncular
- Young woman; confident air, attractive, unrepentant, disbelief
- Young man; shy, disturbed
Friday, 18 October 2013
Art Photography Now has put contemporary art photography into some sort of context for me. It is making me consider projects in different ways and in different genres. (The book is divided into seven genres; Portrait, Landscape, Narrative, Object, Fashion, Document and City although there there are some overlaps - work that will fit into more than one genre.
There is till a lot about art that I do not understand but I’m slowly getting there.
Thursday, 17 October 2013
Exercise: Black and white
Earlier this week I was out walking and photographing on one of my favourite routes, looking at ideas for potential black and white images. My route took me past MOD training grounds and I was not disappointed when I came across an abandoned armoured personnel carrier used for rough terrain vehicle recovery exercises.
I photographed it from every angle, inside and out. Here is the colour image of the interior:
I was interested in the graphic quality of the shapes and the contrast of the tones within the image. I anticipated that the black and white version would look more interesting without the distractions of colour.
Here is the Silver FX2 Pro screen where the image was converted. I tried several of the pre-set categories and thought that this Full dynamic (harsh) worked the best for the subject. Basically the contrast has been increased to 34% and the highlight and shadow protection sliders have been moved along their scales by approx. one third. There are no colour filters applied. Prior to processing I had reset the levels in Capture NX2 to make an acceptable colour image.
Here is the saved image with the original exposure details:
4440: 1/100s f5 18mm ISO 800
I think this image is perfectly suited to black and white and works well with all of the subtle tones exposed.
Wednesday, 16 October 2013
Exercise: Interpretive processing
I’ve created three versions of this derelict public house in Plymouth:
I wanted to emphasise the “grimy” feel of this location. I converted the image to black and white and added a lot of grain. I think this works very well. This effect was achieved using Silver FX Pro2 as an add in to Capture NX2.
My second interpretation included a pink sky – sunset or sunrise. This works well because the pub was originally very pale pink and it looks as if the walls are reflecting the pink light from the sky. The effects for this image and the subsequent image were achieved using three or four colour control points to modify the colour and/or brightness and contrast of certain areas of the sky.
I’ve changed the contrast and brightness of the sky for this version for a “Gothic” horror effect. It might be a bit exaggerated but I like it.
Friday, 11 October 2013
Exercise: Managing tone
I chose to process this contra jour image:
After processing: I decided that the contrast didn’t need adjusting. The black point, white point and midtone adjustment seems to have taken care of the contrast as well.
RAW processing: Altering the exposure had little effect on this image’s black point so I moved the slider to achieve the correction. Again the contrast didn’t need adjusting.
Exercise: Managing colour
This is an interesting image, the white balance was set on direct sunlight so the shade areas have blue cast as expected. However, the reflection of the sunlit deck in the centre windows has the expected colours.
JPG processing: I usually shoot in raw so I don’t often use this control but I have experimented with it. The black and white point droppers made no difference as there are correctly set with only small areas of the image clipped. First of all I tried the neutral point eye dropper and while this reduced the blue cast a bit it was not sufficiently noticeable.
I then tried adjusting the blue channel but the sunlit area became to yellow as I reduced the blue. I then started to play with the Contrast:colour range tool and reduced the colour cast even more.
However this was a bit fiddly and compared with using RAW and just re-setting the white balance it took much longer to come up with a satisfactory result. Using the RAW image gave this result by changing the white balance setting and making the image cooler (from 8000K to 7250K)
Following this, I was able to make a local adjustment using a colour control point to reduce the warmth of the sunlit area (-38 on a scale of –100 to +100) I deliberately left some warmth there, reducing the warmth excessively made the image appear odd.
Finally, I adjusted the brightness and contrast:
My second image has a different problem. It was taken under theatrical lighting with the white balance set to Auto. However the lights had strong amber gels giving a distinct yellow cast. I carried out all edits on the RAW file this time:
I set the white and black points using the relevant eye dropper tools and the mid tones with this result:
I dialled back the blue channel just an touch and reduced the brightness.
Summary This has been a useful exercise because I have not used the levels and curves tools very much in this application (Capture NX2). I will continue to practice these adjustments when they are required.