Which of these do you like best?

Started Apr 26, 2013 | Discussions
Docno
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,095Gear list
Like?
Which of these do you like best?
Apr 26, 2013

As many of you will know, Google purchased Nik software a little while back and made their full collection of plug-ins available at a very good price. I'm really enjoying playing around with these, and started experimenting with the different photo paper simulations in the Color eFex module. But I may be starting to lose perspective. The stuff I'm liking is getting father away from 'reality' (whatever that is). I'm fine with that in principle, but I'm starting also to wonder if my aesthetic preferences are starting to 'drift' also.

So out of curiosity, which of the following RX1 portraits do you prefer? The first one is a more 'standard' and realistic treatment. Basically just lightened face (using the Viveza plug-i) and vignetted the background to draw attention to the subject. The second one I went a little 'wild', upping the contrast and simulating Fujichrome Sensia 100 paper and then shifting the colour caste. Is it over the top?

 Docno's gear list:Docno's gear list
Sony RX100 Sony RX1 Sony Alpha DSLR-A900 Sony Alpha NEX-7
Sony RX1
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
OpticsEngineer
Senior MemberPosts: 2,468Gear list
Like?
Re: Which of these do you like best?
In reply to Docno, Apr 26, 2013

The first one is better.   The overly bright regions are the second one are distracting and draw attention away from the face.

 OpticsEngineer's gear list:OpticsEngineer's gear list
Olympus XZ-1 Canon PowerShot SX40 HS Canon PowerShot SX260 HS Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX20V Fujifilm XF1 +22 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Docno
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,095Gear list
Like?
Oh, and this is how the image started....
In reply to Docno, Apr 26, 2013

Straight conversion from Raw... everything set to zero. [I didn't notice the sunlight on her nose/mouth at the time -- very amateurish mistake, though it was probably a quick snap].

 Docno's gear list:Docno's gear list
Sony RX100 Sony RX1 Sony Alpha DSLR-A900 Sony Alpha NEX-7
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Docno
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,095Gear list
Like?
Re: Which of these do you like best?
In reply to OpticsEngineer, Apr 26, 2013

OpticsEngineer wrote:

The first one is better.   The overly bright regions are the second one are distracting and draw attention away from the face.

Thanks - useful to know. I actually pulled back on the highlights on the second one (after all the processing), but clearly not enough in your eyes. Interesting....

 Docno's gear list:Docno's gear list
Sony RX100 Sony RX1 Sony Alpha DSLR-A900 Sony Alpha NEX-7
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Dennis
Forum ProPosts: 13,587
Like?
Re: Which of these do you like best?
In reply to Docno, Apr 26, 2013

#1 for me, though I don't mind #2 ... it looks slightly unnatural to me (too bright/punchy for being in what's obviously shade).  I'm not a stickler for natural, but I generally prefer it (though these days I tend to think my photos are dull compared to all the punched up stuff out there).  Funny, even though I prefer #1, it starts to look a tad dull after looking at it with the brighter shot after a few seconds.

- Dennis

-- hide signature --
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
salla30
Senior MemberPosts: 2,434Gear list
Like?
Re: Which of these do you like best?
In reply to Docno, Apr 26, 2013

i prefer the first one.

the second one is too "busy" - ie the background and dress are too emphasised and detract from  the subject.

All in my opinion, of course!

 salla30's gear list:salla30's gear list
Sony RX100 Sony RX1 Sony RX100 II Sony Alpha NEX-5N Sony E 35mm F1.8 OSS
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
salla30
Senior MemberPosts: 2,434Gear list
Like?
Re: Which of these do you like best?
In reply to Dennis, Apr 26, 2013

"(though these days I tend to think my photos are dull compared to all the punched up stuff out there)."

Yeah i think that too, about your photos...

Only kidding, I mean mine of course

Maybe Im lazy or just can't afford the time to spice up images, but I tend to try and get the best shot out of the camera and leave it at that. But I do think to myself, how do they get that "look" from the same camera as me.

Or... maybe it's because I find LR and PS SOOOOO darned complex apart from doing simple stuff, that it's on my life's too short list!

 salla30's gear list:salla30's gear list
Sony RX100 Sony RX1 Sony RX100 II Sony Alpha NEX-5N Sony E 35mm F1.8 OSS
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
becasabot
Regular MemberPosts: 384
Like?
Re: Which of these do you like best?
In reply to Docno, Apr 26, 2013

First is the best by a safe margin.

The second has too much punch, fluorescnce. Especially the dress is the first thing the eye catches and keeps drawing the attention. The hat with more saturated colors is OK though. Also the first picture's background is warmer, the green, the soil, it feels more natural and it's nature ! The background in the second feels plasticky to me.

However note that in the film days I was one who prefers Fuji Sensia to Velvia and to speak the truth I was constantly surprised at the Velvia madness. More saturation, more sharpness and especially high contrast helps a picture to seem like a good one very easily, butI think they are overly used. Among those sharpness is the one I use more freely however saturation and  contrast must not always be on the high.

Good work with the first one, I also like the background vignette there, it lights up the lady.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
SDF
SDF
Senior MemberPosts: 2,131Gear list
Like?
Re: Which of these do you like best?
In reply to Docno, Apr 26, 2013

I like the 1st one better. Warm and natural.

 SDF's gear list:SDF's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix X100 Sony RX1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 Sony Alpha NEX-7 Sony Alpha NEX-6 +3 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Docno
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,095Gear list
Like?
Re: Which of these do you like best?
In reply to salla30, Apr 26, 2013

salla30 wrote:

<snip>

Or... maybe it's because I find LR and PS SOOOOO darned complex apart from doing simple stuff, that it's on my life's too short list!

Seriously, try the Nik software.  For example, a few clicks in the Color eFex module gives you the look you want from an almost infinite number of possible combinations. They don't have to be as 'extreme' as what I did here... as subtle as you want. For those images with real potential, you're done in a couple of minutes, no more, if you want.

http://www.niksoftware.com/nikcollection/usa/index.php?view=intro%2Fmain.shtml

 Docno's gear list:Docno's gear list
Sony RX100 Sony RX1 Sony Alpha DSLR-A900 Sony Alpha NEX-7
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Docno
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,095Gear list
Like?
Re: Which of these do you like best?
In reply to becasabot, Apr 26, 2013

becasabot wrote:

First is the best by a safe margin.

The second has too much punch, fluorescnce. Especially the dress is the first thing the eye catches and keeps drawing the attention. The hat with more saturated colors is OK though. Also the first picture's background is warmer, the green, the soil, it feels more natural and it's nature ! The background in the second feels plasticky to me.

However note that in the film days I was one who prefers Fuji Sensia to Velvia and to speak the truth I was constantly surprised at the Velvia madness. More saturation, more sharpness and especially high contrast helps a picture to seem like a good one very easily, butI think they are overly used. Among those sharpness is the one I use more freely however saturation and  contrast must not always be on the high.

Good work with the first one, I also like the background vignette there, it lights up the lady.

Thanks. That seems to be the consensus. The punchy look is something new for me... maybe I got punch-drunk with it

 Docno's gear list:Docno's gear list
Sony RX100 Sony RX1 Sony Alpha DSLR-A900 Sony Alpha NEX-7
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Docno
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,095Gear list
Like?
► Now please look at these ◄
In reply to Docno, Apr 26, 2013

So there's a clear consensus that the natural look is preferable, at least among the folks here. Now it's possible there's a contrast effect operating here... having the photos side-by-side could make the punched-up one look over the top and/or the natural one look dull.

So what do you think of the images below? No natural background in this case... that might make a difference. And I'm not showing the 'originals' so as to avoid a contrast effect.  [Bit of background: I messed up on these shots... stupidly took them at F8 without checking, which meant they suffer badly from camera shake in the low light]. Anyway, I like the boosted oranges and blues, but maybe its senility setting in. Should I be worried?

 Docno's gear list:Docno's gear list
Sony RX100 Sony RX1 Sony Alpha DSLR-A900 Sony Alpha NEX-7
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
elliottnewcomb
Senior MemberPosts: 6,325Gear list
Like?
Re: Which of these do you like best?
In reply to Docno, Apr 26, 2013

Docno wrote:

As many of you will know, Google purchased Nik software a little while back and made their full collection of plug-ins available at a very good price. I'm really enjoying playing around with these, and started experimenting with the different photo paper simulations in the Color eFex module. But I may be starting to lose perspective. The stuff I'm liking is getting father away from 'reality' (whatever that is). I'm fine with that in principle, but I'm starting also to wonder if my aesthetic preferences are starting to 'drift' also.

So out of curiosity, which of the following RX1 portraits do you prefer? The first one is a more 'standard' and realistic treatment. Basically just lightened face (using the Viveza plug-i) and vignetted the background to draw attention to the subject. The second one I went a little 'wild', upping the contrast and simulating Fujichrome Sensia 100 paper and then shifting the colour caste. Is it over the top?

I would combine the stronger contrast with some blacks of the background of #2 with the original softer colors of #1

-- hide signature --

Elliott

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
salla30
Senior MemberPosts: 2,434Gear list
Like?
Re: Which of these do you like best?
In reply to Docno, Apr 26, 2013

thanks a lot for this. I will give it a go.

I got the "mother of all packages" in PS and LR, but find i barely scratch the molecules on the surface of it's features, which depresses me, so i end up not even trying, and then get peeved that I should be considering other software.

Good you give me a shove in the right direction!

 salla30's gear list:salla30's gear list
Sony RX100 Sony RX1 Sony RX100 II Sony Alpha NEX-5N Sony E 35mm F1.8 OSS
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
elliottnewcomb
Senior MemberPosts: 6,325Gear list
Like?
Re: ► Now please look at these ◄
In reply to Docno, Apr 26, 2013

Docno wrote:

So there's a clear consensus that the natural look is preferable, at least among the folks here. Now it's possible there's a contrast effect operating here... having the photos side-by-side could make the punched-up one look over the top and/or the natural one look dull.

So what do you think of the images below? No natural background in this case... that might make a difference. And I'm not showing the 'originals' so as to avoid a contrast effect.  [Bit of background: I messed up on these shots... stupidly took them at F8 without checking, which meant they suffer badly from camera shake in the low light]. Anyway, I like the boosted oranges and blues, but maybe its senility setting in. Should I be worried?

boosted blues are nice, boosted orange is distracting for me, wood grain on table is odd, what is her hair color?

and, a full eyebrow shot is highly requested, err I mean recommended.

-- hide signature --

Elliott

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Stephen McDonald
Forum ProPosts: 11,944
Like?
Re: Which of these do you like best?
In reply to Docno, Apr 26, 2013

That's not a fair question. Anything in which she appears, we will like.

-- hide signature --
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Dennis
Forum ProPosts: 13,587
Like?
Re: ► Now please look at these ◄
In reply to Docno, Apr 26, 2013

All by themselves, I like these, though in the second, I think her face is too bleached out.  The oranges do distract a little, but not in a significant way for me, and the blue & orange work together I think.

- Dennis

-- hide signature --
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Dennis
Forum ProPosts: 13,587
Like?
Re: Which of these do you like best?
In reply to salla30, Apr 26, 2013

salla30 wrote:

Yeah i think that too, about your photos...

Or... maybe it's because I find LR and PS SOOOOO darned complex apart from doing simple stuff, that it's on my life's too short list!

I know there's a world of knowledge out there and my "comfortable" knowledge of Lightroom pales in comparison, but I can easily play around and get punchy results that rival a lot of what I see out there (a lot of it, I'm guessing, is done in-camera, or with plug ins, or frequently with mobile apps).  But when I move that clarity slider, for instance, I can recognize the "curb appeal", but when I move it back, I just tend to prefer the natural look.

Years ago, I watched a video (on VHS !) by an elderly gentleman who had apparently won many photo competitions and the advice he kept repeating was to submit photos that instantly grab the judges attention, because they spend seconds on each photo.  I feel like that's what we're seeing so much of these days, whether due to excessive sharpening or HDR or oversaturation - photos designed to grab your attention (even from thumbnails) but then lack anything to hold your attention (in fact, the techniques used to make the photo attention-grabbing often kill the detail or subtlety that might hold your attention).

OK, there's my 2 cents

- Dennis

-- hide signature --
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Dennis
Forum ProPosts: 13,587
Like?
Re: Which of these do you like best?
In reply to Docno, Apr 26, 2013

Docno wrote:

Seriously, try the Nik software.  For example, a few clicks in the Color eFex module gives you the look you want from an almost infinite number of possible combinations. They don't have to be as 'extreme' as what I did here... as subtle as you want. For those images with real potential, you're done in a couple of minutes, no more, if you want.

http://www.niksoftware.com/nikcollection/usa/index.php?view=intro%2Fmain.shtml

The new price is great ... I'm sure I'll end up with it at some point (when I have some time to spend working on some photos).

- Dennis

-- hide signature --
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Docno
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,095Gear list
Like?
Monitor/screen makes a huge difference...
In reply to Docno, Apr 26, 2013

Was just reading this thread on my iPad and went back to the shots I posted at the start. Amazingly enough, the difference was not as great as on my calibrated 'home screen', and the more punchy (second) version looked better, hands-down. Curious if other iPad owners out there see the same thing. I will see what happens when I print them.

 Docno's gear list:Docno's gear list
Sony RX100 Sony RX1 Sony Alpha DSLR-A900 Sony Alpha NEX-7
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads