Posts tagged ‘lightroom’

April 21, 2013

Exercise: Colour into tones in black & white

by Suzy Walker-Toye


The exercise on p119 is about trying to explain the use of colour filters on the outcome of a black and white photo. The exercise gives you the option of using actual colours filters on your camera of you have them or faking it with software if you do not. As I do not I choose to fake it with software as directed and I discovered something interesting (if not wholly unexpected). The sliders in LR (and probably photoshop is the same) do NOT mimic traditional filters. They can, if you know what you are doing with the sliders, and if you already know how traditional filters work, but I think this will confuse many people taking the OCA course (I did me, until I had it properly explained by Mike, B&W extraordinaire).

So what is the difference? Well, a traditional colour filter will lighten the area of that colour and darken the area of the complimentary colour in the resulting black and white image. So an orange filter would be used to darken a blue sky for example. In contrast the sliders in LR only darken and lighten the colour of that slider and all the other colours remain untouched. To demonstrate this I have taken a colour photo with all the primary & secondary colours, Blue,Red,Yellow,Orange,Violet, and Green.

These first photos below were processed using the sliders in LR. I made virtual copies of the colour photo and then, as directed, converted to black and white and tinkered with the b&w mix sliders for each. However, I noticed that the default position of the sliders on the neutral were not all the same (not a great place from which to start a comparison so I created another “neutral” with all the slider at -35.

Neutral b&w conversion – and default sliders, and next to that the increased yellow slider as an example…

LR Neutral LR Neutral Sliders LR Increased Yellow slider

Below is the set of LR slider based conversions. Notice for that each conversion, only the colour of that slider has been affected..

A photoshop plug in called Silver Efex Pro actually does have the facility to correctly mimic the use of tradition filters and their effects so here are the results of the same photo being run through against different filters.

You can see from this that the green filter not only lightens the green background but also darkens the red chilli, and also noticeably darkens the pruple box (because of the red element making up the purple from blue). Hopefully you’ve found this post interesting.

June 16, 2012

Exercise: Object in different positions in the frame

by Suzy Walker-Toye

Part one of the course is all about the frame. Composition in other words. The exercise on p42 is about placing objects that are set within a large, clear background in different positions within the frame. I actually did this exercise underwater in grand Cayman with the help of my little blenny friend. These blennies live in small holes in the coral, which in this case is my large background.  It is nice to show the environment that these little fish live in but it can be tricky to decide where in the frame to place them. The blenny (for the most part) is facing directly out at the camera so we don’t need to think about giving the animal some space to swim into. This is the view I finally went with:

It’s not cropped, I just moved closer to the blenny than in the other photographs. This is a pretty standard rule of thirds composition. Below is a small gallery of some the other positions I put the blenny in the frame. You can see the placement in the frame from the thumbnails because the image is so graphic, however if you click them that will launch the larger sized images.

The rule of thirds is only one of the many composotional frameworks you can apply to what might make a more pleasing photograph. Some of the others are the diagonal, golden ratio and the golden spiral. I have only just started Michael Freemans book (from the course reading list) but I’m sure it must go into all of these in detail.

As I was researching this post I made an excellent discovery about Adobe Lightroom! The crop tool actually has these tools as crop overlay guides so you can use them to help you crop your images. I took of screenshot of the golden spiral overlay, where you can see the spiral ends at the blennies head. You can rotate the spiral overlay by using the shift and O keys as a shortcut (O, not 0).

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