whites not white enough - apparently
i took this pic whilst walking the dog recently. The first image is straight from the camera and i thought represented what i saw quite well.
Comments from a photography site i posted it on (well one chap only actually) were that. oh here is what he said..
Can anyone achieve what the quoted person is suggesting. IE. make the photo look much better by making the frost brilliant white. I personally don't think it needs it (and that's what counts in photography) but i'd like to see interpretations.
As i type this i think it may be in the wrong category so admin/mods please move to where you think it best fits.
I'm afraid i've had to reduce the quality for posting.
The pic in it's same size higher quality can be seen if you go through the unfinished front end of my site and into my photoblog at davidlamarra.co.uk.
I look forward to your thoughts and re-touches.
i dont know that i agree with your one critic. this is actually a natural effect, the blue snow. the sunlight is low giving it a more yellowish cast. this yellow in turn is absorbed by the snow and more blue is reflected outwards, giving it its cast.
now, regardless of that, you can do what he suggests if you like. i did 3 separate images here. i wont try to explain each since they all came from one source layer file and i just pulled out interesting looks as i went. but, various effects were obtained using channel mixer al, hue/sat/brightness al, hue map, copy merges and new layers from that, blend modes and so on. on the final test i ran a magic wand based on hue and an adjustment layer on that of channel mixer where i simply pulled out the blue from the layers and adjusted the other colors to compensate.
so, i'd say this is one of those 'beauty is in the eyes of the beholder' things.
I don't agree with the critic either. Having said that I think there are some things you can do to strengthen the image. Whether it is from the sun or out of your camera, the yellow cast in the snow is annoying. Working in LAB, I Z curved the A and B channels and biased it slightly more to the blues but at the same time strengthening the suns rays. Also I think the 3/4 tones can be deepened a bit by adjusting the Lightness curve and the image was sharpened globally. My adjustments result in neutral grey frost in the background and blue biased in the foreground.
Last edited by Duv; 11-23-2005 at 02:19 PM.
It's pretty clear that you already have the interpretation you want. However, here is what it looks like with less blue.
Using PS CS2, I selected a blue with the eyedropper tool, then in Select>Color Range, I adjusted the fuzziness to include the areas I wanted. I then used Image>Adjustments>Desaturate. You can't say whiter than that !
Duv's been reading Margulis I see :-)
My guess is the "blue" snow is a result of the color temperature of the
shadow area which would most likely be 6500-7000k. Your camera is probably reading the warmer temp of the setting sun, thus a more blue color in the shadows.
I don't find that unappealing. You might try a Selective Color Adjustment layer if you want to correct the snow more to white.
I like your original. But I also like all the others posted here. So I guess it’s your call.
You could try
Image > Adjust > Equalize
which gives it a little more punch.
I am posting mine just ‘cos it’s a bit different.
Black and White (except the rays and the water) then oversharpened.
I feel you are already satisfied with your result, which is is logical for low light. If . . . you'd prefer a lighter snow you could do it like this.
This requires the "free" transparency filter. I think it can be found on Trimoons site.
Run the filter "eliminate white" (this will give you a transparency less white)
place a white layer under the filtered version.
Multiply to taste.
If you think you may have lost detail in the water or the horizon.
Use a mask with soft brush to paint in the horizon and the water.
Although I'm being somewhat verbose in explaination, the whole process takes only a minute.
The second question that should be asked.. Is Nacoya happy and satisfied with her original out of camera image? I suppose if the answer is yes, that's it, let's go home. She says that the camera shot was what she saw. Well, perhaps loosely speaking. Anything out of a digital camera comes out soft and needs a bit of sharpening and usually is a little bit "flatter" saturation wise than real life. So white white snow aside, should we spend time fiddling with an image if the original poster is happy with their original shot. Sorry Nacoya. Didn't mean to talk to you in the third person impersonal but any thoughts are appreciated.
BTW, Nacoya, some nice images on your website.
Last edited by Duv; 11-23-2005 at 05:52 PM.
Right lets see what we have here..
firstly for reasons of clarity .. nacoya is a he not a she and he is my dog. the name nacoya is part of his pedigree name. That is where my nick comes from. Also I am a he and i took the pictures my official title is in the photos.
The blue tint/cast. White balance when looking down the throat of the sun is just not going to be correct and as i can't shoot RAW and it's not a dslr there is not a lot i can do straight from the camera. Hence the requirement for a touch of PP. Also the wide angle/ high f/stop required to draw the rays has it's downsides. Less light for a start.
I'll never get through all of this without missing something.
Personally the gold award (if i must) goes to panpan that is about as far as i'd want to push that pic. The blue cast is minimised and the rest of the image remains mostly the same.. Good job panpan, ta..
And to everyone else. a big thanks also you have given me a few techniques to explore for the future on similar kinds of shots. New ones to me as well so thanks.
One thing i did point out to the critic is that it isn't snow. It's a morning frost. Not quite the same in terms of density so it's never going to be brilliant white. Oh and ken F .. it's a rising sun .
And dave thanks for the kind words on my blog. I try to put up an image every day even if i've not taken one that day. hence the wide variety in quality and content. Also i have only had my new camera for a few months and am still getting used to it.
ps : just a thought for next time.. i think i'll set the WB on the camera manually to a reference pre-shot and see what that does. I'm sure that there will be many opportunities throughout the oncoming season..
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