Monday, July 21, 2014

More Muted Colors (and how I did it)

I started posting in Cambridge and Colour and made a comment on one of the posts.  Majority of the comments were not receptive to the muted colors (see her photo below) but I thought it was cool.  In fact, I sensed that the photographer hesitated in going mute all the way so I suggested that it needed to be more muted.  [Actually I had meant to say, "more cowbells." Don't know why I said otherwise.]  One of the rubrics I follow is if you're going to do something different, make sure it is different all the way.  Hence, I was challenged to provide my own rendition of the image.  A rather bold challenge - considering that I am partially colored blind.  I blame me and my big mouth for getting into this pickle.  The above is a "quick and dirty" version of what would have been my vision.

The original post.  Not mine.
Addendum:  Some folks have asked me how I reprocessed the image.  In my mind, there are three important things to consider: [1] Will cropping help? [2] Where is the light coming from? [3] What tools do I use given the answers in question [1] and [2].

[1] Will cropping help?

I'm a big fan of  the rule of thirds.  It seems that the original image already is framed this way.  However, I felt that there are some areas in the picture that does not provide essential information that may add or enhance it.  I went for a more intimate look by cropping the image.  I'm still following the rule of thirds here - albeit not as strict as some may adhere to.

[2] Where is the light coming from?

It helps to know where light is coming from to make the processing look natural.  I see that the light is coming from the right upper corner.  This gives me a starting point on where I could dodge and burn.

[3] What tools do I use given the answers in question [1] and [2].

A lot of the heavy lifting was done in Photoshop CC6 using Viveza Nik Sofware as shown below:

The rests were selectively desaturating the reds, slight desaturation on the master, applying a yellow photo filter using the layers provided by CC6.  I also used Nik software Color Efex 4 for further lens vignette (which I may have been heavy handed - but that's me...) and some vignette blur to my taste.

The whole process is "quick and dirty".  I'm glad I'm not getting paid to process this image.  Otherwise I would have spend more time fine tuning it.  Besides, it was done at 3 in the morning because I could no longer go back to sleep.

Hope this helps.