Those wonderful rich colours in photos?

Started Dec 7, 2017 | Discussions thread
Gerry Winterbourne Forum Pro • Posts: 14,463
Re: Those wonderful rich colours in photos?

Brisn5757 wrote:

Public gardens

This is not exactly what I saw but I think I might have had the light against me. I don't think there is any way of enhancing this photo.

How about this? You need to look at original size for the differences to show.

This picture is quite useful because it shows some of the limitations of photography when related to what we see.

White balance first: I warmed WB a little, which went part way to bringing out the flowers, but that made the sky wrong. What I did was to adjust the whole picture and then cut out the sky from the original and pasted it over the adjusted version.

Dynamic range: some of the clouds are clipped to white and that's not fixable; a lot of the shadows look solid black but there is, in fact, some detail there. When looking at the flower beds you don't actively peer into the dark shadows under the trees and shrubs but you are subconsciously aware that there are things to be seen. It's easy to overdo shadow recovery but with back lighting like this it usually helps to open up a bit.

Selective vision: this is the tricky bit. Our eye-brain combination has evolved to select things that matter from the general mass of light. Think, for example, of picking out the tiger from the tall grass. In this sort of picture the things that mater are the blooms, so as you looked at the scene your brain subconsciously paid more attention to them.

Each eye has about 6 million cones (what we see colours with) and only about 2 million of those are tuned for reds. Compared to a high-MP camera that seems trivial; but we see by flicking our eyes constantly from one point of interest to another, and the brain makes a composite of about the last half-minute's flickers. That adds up to a lot of cones recording the important (in this case) red parts.

Here I've simulated that by boosting both saturation and luminance in the reds and oranges. By putting more cones on each point in the scene the eye captures more detail; I've added a small amount of sharpening to enhance the detail.

However - and here's the biggie - this type of scene really doesn't lend itself to wide-view photography. When the thing that interests you is flowers it's better to get closer to them. You can use a wide view to set a context but don't expect it to look vibrant.

-- hide signature --

First camera 1953, first Pentax 1985, first DSLR 2006

Post (hide subjects) Posted by
(unknown member)
(unknown member)
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow