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Adjusting Saturation and Lightness for Emphasis

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  #1  
Old 08-21-2004, 10:39 PM
gmitchel gmitchel is offline
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Adjusting Saturation and Lightness for Emphasis

I decided to try reducing the saturation and increasing lightness for distracting background/foreground features as a way of adding emphasis.

Here's a picture of the Roman Forum. There are lots of distracting buildings in the vicinity. I wanted to draw the eye to the Arch of Septimus Severus. So I masked other features and reduced their saturation and boosted their lightness.

http://www.thelightsright.com/sample...forumsmall.jpg

Comments are welcome!

Cheers,

Mitch

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Old 08-21-2004, 11:25 PM
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Duv Duv is offline
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Hi Mitch

My own personal feeling is that the image looks overexposed and really doesn't effectively isolate the Arch. It's just personal taste, but for me, I would slightly increase the shadow detail in the Arch (Shadow/Highlights) and darken plus increase saturation in the distracting areas with a teeny amount of guassian blur. Just my preference as I prefer the more saturated look.

Cheers
Dave
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Old 08-22-2004, 07:28 AM
Vikki Vikki is offline
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I imagine you were going for the look one sees when viewing a landscape scene where the distant hills, etc, are faded and desaturated. I don't think this works for your image. One of the main reasons is that the "distractions" are not far enough in the distance. In this case, the technique has actually "highlighted" the areas you want to distract from.
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Old 08-22-2004, 11:14 AM
gmitchel gmitchel is offline
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No. Actually, I was trying for, and succeeded in capturing, a look from the Michelin Green Book on Rome.

I guess some people like the effect; others do not.

Keep the comments coming! I'm taking none of this personally. I'm just curious to see how people feel about this sort of effect. On other sites, the comments are mixed.

Cheers,

Mitch
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Old 08-22-2004, 11:18 AM
W. Rose W. Rose is offline
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Hi Mitch,
I like your photo, but like Vikki and Dave said the technique doesn't seem to fit the photo. But that is only my take on it and maybe this is the look you wanted. Please don't take this as a knock on your work because i didn't intend it to be.
Wayne
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Old 08-23-2004, 12:50 AM
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Leah Leah is offline
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I don't personally feel it's done much to reduce the distractions from the background -- in fact, because it doesn't look "natural", it probably makes me look at the background more, in a "what has been done to this photo" sort of way. Maybe if you reduced the intensity of the change it wouldn't have that effect on me, but at the moment it does.
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Old 08-23-2004, 07:59 AM
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Ed_L Ed_L is offline
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Again, this is not a knock on your work. I agree with the others, that it doesn't work for this image. I wonder if you could make it stand out more if you used a curves adjustment only on the Arch to emphasize the detail, while leaving the remainder with somewhat of a lack of detail? Just a thought.

Ed
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Old 08-23-2004, 08:30 AM
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Janet Petty Janet Petty is offline
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I agree with the comments by others. This technique, while nice, looks somewhat out of place for this photo. Your center of focus, which I assume to be the arch, gets pushed out of the limelight into oblivion. I can see this technique working well on a less busy subject. Danny Raphael posted this link to a site where a lot of the photos are similar to yours. I'm sure you can see the difference in isolating the subject area.

http://www.davidcolepictures.co.uk/index.html

BTW, the photo itself is great. Hmmm, how about cropping it and using your technique? That might work.
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Old 08-23-2004, 08:51 AM
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Duv Duv is offline
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Just a couple of other thoughts. Perhaps a slight levels on the arch to bring out a bit more detail. Has the background in the first arch been desaturated? What about leaving foliage and lawn fully saturated. It looks like you also nailed the people in the front right. Maybe also a white to transparent gradient might work gradually increasing detail in the lower half of the image.

Cheers
Dave
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Old 08-23-2004, 09:50 AM
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byRo byRo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leah
I don't personally feel it's done much to reduce the distractions from the background -- in fact, because it doesn't look "natural", it probably makes me look at the background more, in a "what has been done to this photo" sort of way. Maybe if you reduced the intensity of the change it wouldn't have that effect on me, but at the moment it does.
IMHO.. exactly.

...now some deep philosophical (or very silly?) comments

When we look at an image, we interpret pretty quickly exactly what we are seeing - this is real, this isn't. There are great pencil sketches / pen and ink / watercolor etc..... which we see as such, and don't mix up with a real photo. This one seems to fall in between real / unreal and keeps us uneasy. If I hadn't read the text before looking at the image I'd say it was a collage! So...if we are going for 'real', we can enhance, but must obey, natural optics. If we are going for 'art' then it should be quickly identifiable as such.

Did this make sense?

Roland
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