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Thread: Autumn Colours are a problem

  1. #1

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    Autumn Colours are a problem

    Every year she who must be obeyed wants autumn colour pictures. Every year there are the same challenges (formerly known as problems). Firstly you have to find them, secondly the lighting has to be right and thirdly they never ever seem to come out looking so spectacular as when you were seeing them for real.

    On Sunday when out on a driver training run with my grandson we came around a corner and there was this magnificent tree, highlighted by the sun, in all it's orange, red and gold glory. Despite being in the middle of nowhere on a road that goes from nowhere to nowhere else when I was trying to get a picture there were cars hooting and the owner of the house wanting to know what I was doing. And a grandson who was keen to get back to the joys of motoring. We were about to drive into a fog bank so the sky was somewhat washed out.

    The picture I took was rather dull and did not show what I thought I had seen. So I resorted to CS2. I put on a Gradient Fill, lifted the contrast slightly and altered the colour balance on the midtones red and yellow. I also used Lab Sharpening and cloned out the 'L' plate in the car. I still have the RAW file.

    I have to admit I don't use PP very often so any suggestions would be welcomed.

    The camera was Canon 1000D with 18-55mm kit lens on P setting and handheld.

    Autumn Colours are a problem

  2. #2

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    Re: Autumn Colours are a problem

    Keith I love the look of that tree, I may have shot is differently as you have a flat sky. I would have shot it in portrait instead of landscape focusing tighter on the colours not the tree, as it is the colours that are important not the tree.

    Cheers:

    Allan

  3. #3

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    Re: Autumn Colours are a problem

    That's an idea Alan.We had fog for 3 days so I couldn't go back for another crack at it. We are supposed to be having some sunshine over the next couple of days so I might be able to try that. If not I could always crop the picture to take the sky out of it.

    Thanks for looking,

    Keith

  4. #4
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Autumn Colours are a problem

    Keith - a couple of suggestions. First of all shoot with a polarizing filter. It will reduce the reflections off the leaves and will deepen their colours. So long as you are facing in the right direction, that can help with the skies as well.

    Secondly, increase the saturation a bit in PP. Both will get your colours to "pop" a bit more. Increasing the contrast slightly, as you are doing already; and this helps as well.

  5. #5

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    Re: Autumn Colours are a problem

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    Keith - First of all shoot with a polarizing filter. It will reduce the reflections off the leaves and will deepen their colours. So long as you are facing in the right direction, that can help with the skies as well.

    .
    I never thought of putting the CPL on. It was in the car as well. I think I might stick it on for the next few days - I can use the 50mm prime as it doesn't rotate on focus. Thanks for that.

  6. #6

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    Re: Autumn Colours are a problem

    A couple of points, Keith...

    If you were wearing sunglasses that have polarized lenses when you looked at the tree, Manfred is right that the only way you're going to get the tree to look essentially the same in the image is to also use a polarizer on the lens. Even if you weren't wearing polarized sunglasses, you should almost always use a polarizer on the lens when shooting leaves, grass, rock, etc. when sunlight is shining directly on them.

    It shouldn't matter whether your lens rotates when you focus. That's because you should always focus first and then adjust the polarizer to the desired position. If the image isn't in focus while you're looking through the viewfinder or using Live View, you won't be able to determine how to position the movable ring that controls the amount of polarization.

  7. #7

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    Re: Autumn Colours are a problem

    Hi Mike

    Sunglasses in England in October? Now there's a thought. But I must admit I tend not to think of using the polarising filter, - that may have something to do with the dreadful 'summer' we have had this year. That's the beauty of this forum - getting other people's ideas and experience.

    and Manfred ..

    I have had a play with the Hue/Saturation and here is the result. (A tiny adjustment of the Hue and 28% increase in Saturation)

    Thanks

    Autumn Colours are a problem

  8. #8

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    Re: Autumn Colours are a problem

    Keith what are you using for your post processing?

    Allan

  9. #9

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    Re: Autumn Colours are a problem

    Your second version is tastefully done, not overdone. Normally I would remind you to get the image the way you like it, but your first post indicates that you'll be much better off getting it the way "she who must be obeyed" likes it.

  10. #10

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    Re: Autumn Colours are a problem

    Thanks Mike, I have said many times I don't like overdone PP so I always try to stop before that. I am also sure that 'the final arbiter' will like it, if not I can always try again.

  11. #11

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    Re: Autumn Colours are a problem

    I used Photoshop CS2, Allan.

  12. #12
    Glenn NK's Avatar
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    Re: Autumn Colours are a problem

    Quote Originally Posted by KCBrecks View Post
    I used Photoshop CS2, Allan.
    Does CS2 have both saturation and vibrance adjustments?

    There is a difference - vibrance tends to enhance the weaker less saturated colours; saturation boost the saturation on all the colours by the same amount.

    There isn't a tree in the world where all the leaves have the same saturation of all the colours at the same time - some will be less saturated. The vibrance adjustment will help to overcome this.

    The best advice so far is the polarizer. Years ago in a Popular Photography magazine (when Ansel Adams was alive and still writing articles), someone else wrote an article suggested shooting flowers in the rain. The clouds reduce the specular highlights, thereby increasing the apparent saturation. Bright reflections (specular highlights) are blown out and are pretty well colourless.

    Also watch your white balance - this can kill warm colours or enhance them.

    Glenn

  13. #13

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    Re: Autumn Colours are a problem

    No Glenn, CS2 does not appear to have Vibrance, I put it into the help system and got a blank back. I will be using the polariser though - if we get some sunshine and there are any Autumn colours left. It's half term next week and I suspect I will be a fisherman's chauffeur so with any luck I can give it a try, especially as I will be able to experiment with tripods, filters, lenses, ISO and White Balance and the like while he is waiting for the fish to come to the feast.

    I would also add that the aesthetic committee of one did actually like the last post, so thank you all for your help and comments as she will be able to use that on next year's family calendar, unless of course there is a better one from next week. (She has already finished this year's run of 24.)

  14. #14
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Autumn Colours are a problem

    Vibrance tends to be gentler on the mid-tones, so it is the right tool to use if you have people in the image and it will tend enhance the highlights and shadows. Saturation is more of a linear effect (i.e. use it and skin-tones will turn orange).

    For fall colours, I tend to use saturation, rather than vibrance.

  15. #15

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    Re: Autumn Colours are a problem

    Keith you may want to try and have some fun by going into camera raw, and going to the 4th icon under the histogram HSL/grey scale, it is in here that you can adjust the individual colour sliders of saturation and luminance, this will let you work on the colours to get that pop that you are looking for. As I use CS6 and never CS2 however I believe that it is there.

    Cheers:

    Allan

  16. #16
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Autumn Colours are a problem

    Quote Originally Posted by KCBrecks View Post
    and Manfred ..

    I have had a play with the Hue/Saturation and here is the result. (A tiny adjustment of the Hue and 28% increase in Saturation)

    Thanks
    I like your second image a lot better. It just has a bit more "pop". I suspect the real test will be what "she who must be obeyed" things of your work.

  17. #17

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    Re: Autumn Colours are a problem

    I hope that the car in the photo was not the one that you were taking your son on Driver Training, with parking on the roadway on a left hand bend with the passengers doorway open!

  18. #18

    Re: Autumn Colours are a problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken MT View Post
    I hope that the car in the photo was not the one that you were taking your son on Driver Training, with parking on the roadway on a left hand bend with the passengers doorway open!
    Its okay. They drive on the left in the UK!

  19. #19

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    Re: Autumn Colours are a problem

    That's true, we do drive on the correct side of the road. Anyway I was wearing my favourite fleece which is bright red with yellow shoulder flashes and khaki trousers so anyone approaching from behind would get a clear warning. The car also had a learner plate on which I cloned out. We were very visible and legally parked. (I even had the keys so he was not technically in charge of the vehicle.)

  20. #20

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    Re: Autumn Colours are a problem

    Thanks Manfred, I have certainly learned a few things from this post. 'She who must be obeyed' or 'the aesthetic committee of one' has approved the second post as well.

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