Thursday, May 28, 2009

Color Corrected Image

Looking Glass Falls in Autumn 2

It is a slow week this week blog wise. I am still working on the histogram post. I am having trouble getting images of histograms for illustrations. It is difficult to discuss them without a visual reference. Plus, our plans fell through this past weekend. My parents had come up to visit and we planned to go to a local festival. However, it rained all weekend and we decided to stay in. We still had a good visit though, and that is all that really matters.

More after the jump.

One thing that I have been working on is a color corrected version of an image I took last Autumn. The photograph up top is the result of the color correction. The original had a slight blue cast to it that was particularly pronounced in the water itself. The original photograph is shown below for comparison.

Looking Glass Falls in Autumn

I had been wanting to make some prints of this image, but color cast had been getting on my nerves so I hadn't ordered any prints. I spent a few days on and off working on the image to remove the blue cast. At first I tried simple white balance adjustments. However, none of the adjustments made really satisfied me. While they corrected the water, the other colors were affected too much for my liking. Eventually, I used a combination of the HSL color range saturation and lightness adjustments. Those allowed me to target just the blue ranges leaving the other colors alone. Plus, I could use those other color ranges to put a little more pop into the colors that was lost by removing the blue tones globally. I am much more satisfied with the photograph now.

One other adjustment that gave me problems was sharpening. I had originally processed this in Nikon Capture NX 2. However, when I reprocessed it with Lightroom 2 / Photoshop I seemed to loose some fine detail and crispness that I had in the original version. I finally pulled out a couple of my Photoshop CS4 books and tried a couple of other sharpening methods and got results that I was much more pleased with. I'm not sure that the final image has quite as much detail as the Capture NX2 version, but it is so close now that it is hard for me to tell the difference.

Keep shooting


Pixel Peeper said...

Oh - I do like your waterfall picture! And I admire your patience and persistence and skill in post processing. There are times when I try a few things to improve a photo (I have Photoshop Elements), but oftentimes I end up deciding that the original looked better or "more real." That "undo" button comes in handy...

Your color corrected photo of the waterfall is worthy of a post card or a poster!

Craig Lee said...

Thanks. I really like it too. That is why I "stuck it out" this time with the processing. Well, I guess I did let it sit for a few months as I took it in Autumn. One thing about any sort of software/application is that you have to play around with it to truly learn it. Having some good books is always handy too, but you have to dive into it and get your hands dirty as they say. Plus, making mistakes is a great way to learn.

With this one, I would play around with it for a bit. Decide I didn't like it. Put it away. Come back to it a day later and try something else. And on and on until I was finally happy with it.