Friday, February 03, 2012

As you like it

I talked about making black and white images from color photos a couple of days ago. Here's an example of the differences between the two. I really like both the color and b/w versions of this picture. But the original, right out of the camera, was not at all to my liking. It didn't look like what I saw at all.

This retouched image looks closer to what I saw in person.

The problem with the original is that the colors are not quite right. There's probably an adjustment on the camera that I can make to correct that, so I'll do a little research (it might have to do with the light metering mode). For this picture, I used Photoshop to see if I could make the colors match the reality a little better. After some fiddling around I think I got it. That's what you see in the top photo.

Taking out the color gives the picture an eerie quality and highlights the tree trunks.

The second photo is the black and white version. Again, I used Photoshop to remove the color and then adjusted the contrast a bit. I notice the details on the tree trunks a lot more in the b/w version than I do in the color one. And just for fun, here's the raw image that came out of the camera:

The original picture. The moss is too lime-green and the tree trunks are too faded.

See what I mean? Well, you might not since you weren't there when I took the picture, but you can certainly see the difference between the original on the bottom and the retouched photo on the top.


  1. Walt, is there a contrast control on your camera's menu... if so, try whacking it up a bit. All digital cameras seem to have the contrast set too low [for my liking!]

    Also, as digital 'film' costs nothing once you've bought the card, experiment with all the different settings until you regularly get what you as seeing. I took a load of pix of the same subject to get mine set up.... and it still under reads on certain shots, so I end up compressing the pix a bit with 'levels' in Pottyshop. My bro' uses HDR shots to get what he's seeing, as opposed to what the camera sees... it's our eyes that are the problem... we make mental adjustments that the camera cannot.

    WV is "stabilin"... you need a tripod to stabilinize the camera to do good HDR shots [or lean against a big tree, wall, etc.]

  2. You improved on God's work. Bravo! Although he might get missed. Next time you're in the woods, you should watch your back.

  3. How were the crêpes?
    As far as winter: the American groundhog: 6 more weeks of winter
    The Canadian one: Spring is in the air

    However they are right only 37% of the time.
    All I can say is that the rain and freezing rain are creating havoc in some areas - not too much white stuff.

  4. It looks like your color temperature and saturation may be a bit out of whack.

    First, you can bring along something white—the back of a white business card will work—and reset you color temperature when you're in strange lighting situations. Color temperature can go strange on overcast winter days.

    Second, make sure the "vivid" setting on your camera is not enabled. This can over saturate certain colors.

    Once in Photoshop, remember the lighting when the shot was taken. Was it bright enough to really have whites in the final image. Use the "levels" tool to try to match the original contrast.

    Also in Photoshop, don't forget the "photo filter" tool. This harkens back to when color film was real sensitive to color temperature. Look for neutral objects in the image, and use this filter to make sure they neither lean red or blue.

    I hope this helps.

  5. One can easily see the difference between the top pic and the bottom. Since I got my phone, I rarely use my camera.

  6. Yes, I see what you mean. The original is faded in general, but the moss does look garish. Nice work on the retouching.

  7. I have to say I love the first one (the color one you re-touched). I think you nailed it.

  8. Walt,

    The top photo looks for real. The bottom photo looks washed out. I like the black and white too but the top is best. I find in iPhoto the "enhance" feature usually brings out the true colors. Nice pictures as always.


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