Posts Tagged ‘tonality’
For some time now I’ve been using and teaching a process of working on photographs in Lightroom. It consists of basically four steps: manual adjustments, tonality adjustments, hue adjustments and finally saturation adjustments. Quite some time ago I had the brilliant idea of converting the image to black and white before doing the tonality adjustments. The technique I used was the B & W tab in Lightroom’s HSL group. Once the tonality adjustments were done, the image would be converted back to color and the process continue.
It didn’t work out because when I converted the image back to color, the colors were so oversaturated and unnatural that the image looked horrible. It was just easier to do the tonality adjustments on the color image. So I quickly gave up on that technique. But the other day I was reading an article in Popular Photography magazine that rekindled this idea. It took a different approach. It turned the image to black and white by setting the Saturation adjustment to -100. Now the author did this in the middle of the process but I thought that if I applied this to my process and did that at the start it just might work. So I was eager to give it a try. Let’s try it with this image of the Watchman in Zion National Park.
This is the original raw file. I haven’t done anything to it yet. It doesn’t need any mechanical adjustments. These consist of removing spots, straightening the image, maybe some noise reduction and the final crop. But since none of these are required we can move on to the tonality adjustments.
Continue reading “Making a Photograph – A New Approach to Tonality Adjustments” »
Tags: black, black and white, color, contrast, exposure, graduated filter, highlight, HSL, hue, Lightroom, luminosity, saturation, shadow, spot removal tool, tonality, vignette, white
Posted in How To Articles, Journal, Lightroom, Making a Photograph | Comments (0)
It may not be obvious at first but a photograph’s border is a critical element of a successful composition. All too often we get so focused on the subject that the borders get ignored. Because it’s so important I’m writing a second post on the subject. To read the first post you can click on this link – Mastering Composition – Border Patrol.
For this post take a look at this photograph.
The photograph is of the famous tunnel at Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur, California. In wintertime, as you can see, not only do the waves come crashing through but the setting sun turns the water to liquid gold. It’s easy to get so absorbed by the spectacle that important elements of the composition get ignored. Can you see what I missed here?
Continue reading “Mastering Composition–More Border Patrol” »
Tags: Big Sur, blue, border patrol, California, color palette, composition, contrasting colors, crop, dark tonality, golden light, light tonality, Pfeiffer beach, rule of thirds, tonality, visual center of gravity, yellow
Posted in Composition | Comments (0)
Over the years there has been a lot of interest in the concept of ‘Expose to the right.’ This is something that is commonly done in digital photography where you intentionally overexpose an image. The idea is that in digital images there is more information to work with in the brighter tonalities than there is in the darker. And this will give you more to work with in the darkroom (Lightroom and Photoshop) which will result in a better image.
I’ve written several posts on this topic and if the concept is new to you please read these. I’m not going to go into the theory here; that is spelled out in these posts.
Lightroom Tutorial – Expose to the Right
Expose to the right – Revisited
Now, I understand the theory. I’m a computer guy; I had better understand it. But I’ve always wondered if the promise of a better image actually worked out in real life. So I did a test during our recent photography workshop to Big Sur.
Continue reading “Mastering Exposure – Expose to the Right” »
Tags: Big Sur, black point, Blacks, clarity, clipping, Darkroom, digital, expose to the right, exposure, exposure compensation, highlight, histogram, image, Lightroom, old coast road, over expose, overexpose, photo, photograph, photography, PhotoShop, redwood, shadow, tonality, workflow, workshop
Posted in Expoure, How To Articles, Lightroom | Comments (1)
Lightroom is a great tool. It’s quick and easy to use – once you get the hang of it. But sometimes mastering the workflow, the steps you go through to take a raw file to a ‘final’ image, can be a bit daunting.
Let me say up front that Lightroom is an important part of my workflow but it’s not the only part. Every photograph I work on starts in Lightroom but is completed in Photoshop. Nevertheless, Lightroom gets a photograph to about 80% of the final product. I know many people who use Lightroom exclusively and Photoshop only in rare circumstances if at all.
So back to the workflow. Can it really be made easy? Yes it can. There are four major steps (not counting import – see Lightroom Tutorial – Importing Photographs):
- Mechanical adjustments like dust spot removal and cropping
- Tonality adjustments
- Hue adjustments
- Saturation adjustments
Let’s skip the first step and start with the second. The example will be in Lightroom 4.
Continue reading “Lightroom Tutorial – Workflow Made Easy” »
Tags: adjustment, adjustments, Adobe, amount, Basic, black point, Blacks, blue, brighter, clarity, clipping, color, contrast, cool, corners, creative process, crop, cropping, Death Valley, dust spot, dynamic range, edges, elements, emotion, enhancement, exposure, Global, grain, green, greens, highlight, highlights, histogram, hue, image, images, impact, Lightroom, Local, luminosity, magenta, photo, photography, PhotoShop, Post processing, post-crop vignette, radius, RAW, saturation, shadow, shadows, tan, temperature, Tint, tonal, tonality, unsharp mask, Vibrance, vignette, warm, white point, Whites, workflow, workshop, yellow, yellows, Zabriskie Point
Posted in How To Articles, Lightroom | Comments (6)
I’ve been giving a lot of thought recently to what goes in to making a great landscape photograph. It turns out there are four things, four pillars if you will. Four, that’s a good number. There are the four legs of a table or the four wheels of a car. And not to forget the four sacred directions of the Native Americans.
In landscape photography the four pillars are evenly divided between the aesthetics and the technical. So what are they? The two aesthetic pillars are Fantastic Light and Strong Composition. No surprise there. The two technical pillars are Appropriate Sharpness and Optimum Exposure. No surprise there either. If just one of those pillars is missing, well, the table collapses, the image suffers.
Let’s look at them one by one….
(click on the images to enlarge them)
Joshua Tree Spring Sunrise (2011)
Continue reading “Making a Photograph – The Four Pillars” »
Tags: Aperture, balance, border patrol, cloudy, color, composition, constrast, cool, f/stop, fine art, focal distance, focal length, focus, golden hour, grad nd filter, graduated neutral density filter, HDR, High Dynamic Range, histogram, hyperfocal distance, light, luminance, mid-day, midday, open shade, overcast, photography, rule of thirds, shadows, sharpness, tonality, twilight, unity, visual tensioin, warm
Posted in Making a Photograph | Comments (9)
There are a lot of instructional books on how to use Lightroom, Photoshop, Photoshop Elements and the like. They provide a comprehensive and in-depth review of the various adjustments and filters available in these powerful tools. And as such they serve as excellent references. I own many of these fine books.
Now, a lot of workflows are built around the concept of seeing what needs to be fixed next and fixing it. I advocate a more structured approach; namely, fix the tonality first, then the hue and finally the saturation. See my recent post on Workflow. But I often hear the statement, “I look at my photograph and just don’t know what to do.” Many people often don’t know where to begin.
So I want to take a different approach. I want to look at an image and identify what it needs and then talk about the various techniques for achieving it. In other words, I want to start with the question, “What makes a compelling photograph?” and go from there. It doesn’t help to know all of the tools and tricks available in Lightroom and Photoshop if you don’t know when to use them.
We’ll start with this image. It is photographed in the Mesquite Flats Dunes of Death Valley. The dunes provide an inspiring variety of compositions and ligh. (You can click on this and all other images in this post to enlarge it.)
Let’s start by examining the images tonality and see what improvements can be made.
Continue reading “Making a Photograph – Black and White Points” »
Tags: Adobe, black point, Blacks, brightness, contrast, Curves, dynamic range, exposure, Levels, Lightroom, luminance, PhotoShop, Photoshop Elements, phtograph, tonality, white point, Workshops
Posted in How To Articles, Lightroom, Photoshop | Comments (7)
There are about as many definitions of “fine art photography” as there are people who call themselves “fine art photographers.” For many of us, fine art photography is an expression of our view of the world. Much of what we see in the world is captured in the images we capture in the field. But that’s not the whole story. Why? Because the true expressive quality of our photographs comes to life in the post processing – the digital darkroom if you will.
Continue reading “Lightroom Tutorial – Workflow” »
Tags: brightness, color, contrast, exposure, fine art, hue, Lightroom, luminance, photography, Post processing, saturation, tonality, workflow, Workshops
Posted in How To Articles, Lightroom, Workflow | Comments (4)
When it comes to evaluating our own photographs we’re probably the worst ones to do so. That’s not surprising because we’re so emotionally tied up in every aspect – the subject, the feelings we had when we got the shot, the work we’ve done on it in the digital darkroom.
Continue reading “Thoughts on Evaluating a Photograph” »
Tags: color, composition, photo review, photogrpahy, subject, tonality
Posted in Articles, How To Articles, Journal, Photographer as Artist | Comments (0)