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Author Topic: Crop & Color-Adjustments - Call for advice  (Read 5396 times)
froghald
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« on: April 17, 2006, 04:43:02 AM »
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I captured this image to preserve the very special mood of the scenery which was somewhat darker than the image appears.

I tried some cropping & PS-Work (see http://www.pbase.com/froghald/image/58467482) but I'm not really satisfied with the result.

Has anybody some suggestions for cropping & warping the image in order to express the dark mood of this trail?

TIA Froghald
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2006, 11:00:26 AM »
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If you want to express a dark mood, I'd suggest trying converting it to black & white and playing with the contrast, probably making the contrast much greater than it would be for a color photo.  That has worked for me in times past when I wanted to produce that sort of atmosphere.

Lisa
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larkvi
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« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2006, 11:25:48 AM »
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Quote
Has anybody some suggestions for cropping & warping the image in order to express the dark mood of this trail?
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Well, for starters, soft, diffuse lighting on an overcast day with a blown-out high-key sky does not really scream 'dark' or 'moody' to me. Consider taking this shot on a day with shadows, in the early morning or late afternoon, when they will not be too harsh, but will nevertheless break up the vertical lines of the trees with diagonal interest. Unless you can get a cloudy, polarized sky, crop it ou for the most part.

Try a lower camera angle relative to the trees--right now it feels like a vista point, which is generally thought of as inspiring, bbecause the camera is higher than some of the trees. Try shooting from a low vantage slightly upwards to give the sense that the trees are looming over the viewer--perspective distortion could even help here by making the trees look like they are closing in above the viewer's vantage point.

Lisa's suggestions on black and white and contrast are exactly what you should do, but keep in mind that you will not get great contrast effects on a negative that is so lacking in contrast anyways--you want deep shadow and rich, true blacks to evoke a dark feeling.
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froghald
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« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2006, 04:14:02 PM »
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Thank you for your hints. I think I have an idea for the image, when I'm going to capture the scene next moon-night ...
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jdemott
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« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2006, 05:10:53 PM »
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Here is a quick attempt at some Photoshop adjustments.

1. Converted to black and white in two steps--first mainly using the blue and green channels for the foreground and second mainly using the red channel for the remainder.  I selected those just by examining the channels separately.

2. Added a hint of clouds in the sky.

3. Eliminated the large horizontal branch or trunk that gave a very distracting line in the composition.

4.  Adjusted contrast both locally and globally to try to separate the large tree shapes from the background of brush or foliage, and to give the desired emotional feeling.

5.  Cropped to focus the eye on the path in the center that draws the eye into the scene.

[attachment=473:attachment]
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John DeMott
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« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2006, 05:35:40 PM »
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After my recent post I thought I should probably add one other point--the most important compositional decisions can only be made with the camera, not with Photoshop.  The shapes in the forest that you see are very interesting, but there is a big challenge in finding the camera position that will emphasize the interesting points and avoid showing the distracting elements.   The forest is very challenging because there are so many elements in close proximity and they often overlap.  The horizontal branch that I eliminated in Photoshop is a case in point.  The foreground rocks in this recent photo work well to bring the viewer's eye into the scene.

Interesting lighting can also make a big difference.  It can contribute mood (which I think you are very interested in) and it can help emphasize particular elements (such as those that have strong side lighting) while helping to hide others that are in shadow.  I wonder what that area would look like at dawn, particularly if there was some mist in the air or there were some interesting clouds in the sky.
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John DeMott
alainbriot
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« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2006, 05:49:16 PM »
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One possibility:[attachment=474:attachment]
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Alain Briot
Author of Mastering Landscape Photography, Mastering Composition, Creativity and Personal Style., Marketing Fine Art Photography and How Photographs are Sold.
http://www.beautiful-landscape.com
Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2006, 09:13:29 PM »
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I think larkvi has some excellent suggestions about the lighting and the camera angle.  Upon reflection, I don't think my original suggestion of converting to B&W and increasing the contrast works well with this particular image, because of the low contrast.  You need to find a time with more high-contrast lighting conditions there and try again (or try for a composition which sets the trees off against the sky).  It looks like a delightful place to revisit, though.  I wish I could go for a hike there next weekend.  Alas, too far away!

Lisa
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sgwrx
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« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2006, 03:11:32 AM »
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how about this?

[attachment=482:attachment]
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froghald
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« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2006, 03:22:09 AM »
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The helpful discussion shows again how different one subject can be interpreted (I think that's for what we love photography).

After all, I think the b/w-suggestions are needing another shooting under better conditions.

On the other hand, Alan's idea to emphasize contrast and sharpness leads user's view to the most interesting rocks and burned trees. Furthermore this suggestion can be used to make a "nice picture" from this shot. O.K., the dark mood I remember from this scene is not preserved but you can't get always what you want ...

Anyway, I have to hurry if I'm going for another shooting there since spring is near and the fresh green would ruin this very special atmosphere.

Thank you very much.

Froghald
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