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  • help with colors//contrast?

    I'm wondering about how to edit colors so that they really pop. A lot of Lachapelles photos have that sort of effect, and ive been trying to figure out how to create colors like that, for example:

    http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d1...een/colors.jpg
    http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d1...goodbyepic.jpg
    http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d1.../Clipboard.jpg
    http://www.davidlachapelle.com/edit/...ilera_02.shtml

    also on this page:
    http://www.davidlachapelle.com/gallery/index.shtml
    the photos 'Breakfast of Champions(eggs) and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers Photo and a few of the other ones really illustrate what I mean.

    if anyone could help me figure out how to achieve that, id be greatful, thanx!

  • #2
    Its really quite remarkeably simple but this question gets asked quite a bit.
    The first step, obviously is to start out with a picture with lots of colour in it. If your photo is a bunch of people in black and navy outside a concrete building, you're never going to get this kind of effect unless you change the base colours in the image first
    You'll notice a lot of the images have a lot of magenta and orange colours, they really pop and stand out.
    But basically this is how to do it.
    First get your levels right. This is a neat trick for getting levels - See the 3 little triangles under the levels graph? press alt and hold down the one at the far left - the picture should disappear, move it to the right until you start seeing pixels appearing on the white, these are your darkest points, remember one of those points and get the black eye dropper and select one of these points, then do the same for white, using the arrow on the far right.
    Once your levels are right, go to hue/staturation and increase sat by 20-40.

    And thats all there really is to it. If its a well taken shot you should need to alter the levels, just the saturation.

    Attached is an example image I randomly ganked off google image search to demonstrate. Obviously I havent done any work on the image other than levels and sat boost, so you'll have to use your imagination a little
    Attached Files

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    • #3
      There is a whole series of actions at 1-Click that are useful for this type of thing. A "velvia" type of action works well and one called "simpleIntensify" I find gives a quick and easy lift to flat images. The intensity of the effect can be easily adjusted as well.

      I am experimenting with a couple I'd not really used before that boost images in just the shadows and highlights. These seem quite interesting for more controlled effects. They are not free unfortunately but I find them excellent in a variety of situations.

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      • #4
        I did a bit of a crude and quick fix on this one but I just wanted to show you another approach. The shadow on the face of the guy in the middle needs to be toned down as do the highlights on the face of the girl on the right. I took the image into Lab mode and applied the a channel to itself (Blend Mode: Overlay, Opacity:100 and masked out the faces - this was to prevent them getting too red). Why did I use the a channel? Well because the a channel is the red/green channel and those are exactly the two colors that I want to boost in this image. Finally you could just do a color balance on the faces or up the saturation slightly so that they don't look to dull in comparison to the costumes. My version is a bit excessive and probably should be toned down by a third to a half.

        Sincerely Syd
        Attached Files

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        • #5
          Sorry I forgot to mention that you need to remove the sign on the wall. It is distracting. Also I only went and looked at your examples after I had posted and realised that the effect you were looking for was really exaggerated. So, accordingly, I have upped the saturation even more.

          Sincerely Syd
          Attached Files

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          • #6
            I see different styles but one has to do with reversing the lights and darks or tonal mapping. I use my Paint With Light action (www.atncentral.com) and the Illustrated look that I've posted awhile back. HDR for Dummies action (google it) can accomplish this with many photos (not all).
            Attached Files
            Last edited by cspringer; 06-07-2006, 07:43 PM.

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            • #7
              thanx you guys so much, as always, you guys have been a huge help,

              nancy j, im going to be trying out that method soon, it seems to be exactly what I'm looking for, thanx!

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