Tag Archives: exercise

DPP: Part 3 – Processing the Image: Exercise 16 – Strength of Interpretation

The aim of this exercise is to demonstrate the increased flexibility provided by black and white in interpreting the tonal range of an image; it can allow far more aggressive changes to brightness and contrast than would look reasonable in colour.

I selected two images for this exercise – one which would best suit a strong increase in contrast, another which would suit a low key treatment.  I’ve been looking through the book “Ansel Adams: 400 Photographs” so ended up selecting a landscape for the second image.

Increased Contrast

ISO 100, f/4, 1/30s

“Bullet” – Original – ISO 100, f/4, 1/30s

I increased the contrast, adjusted exposure and increased black levels.  These are the results in black and white and colour.

Contrast Adjusted - Black and White

“Bullet” – Contrast Adjusted – Black and White

Contrast Adjusted - Colour

“Bullet” – Contrast Adjusted – Colour

I had to manually adjust the white balance of the colour image, as it ended up far too blue, but I actually think both versions look reasonable and I slightly prefer the colour version of the two.

Low Key

Original - ISO 100, f8, 1/800s

“Andorra” – Original – ISO 100, f8, 1/800s

I reduced the exposure in this image, then added a bit of fill light to bring out some of the detail in the shadow.  In black and white it looks almost like a night shot – in colour I think it doesn’t look much more than underexposed.  The black and white version I feel does change the nature of the image – effectively and significantly, while that kind of change isn’t achieved with the colour version.

Low Key - Black and White

“Andorra” – Low Key – Black and White

"Andorra" - Low Key - Colour

“Andorra” – Low Key – Colour

 

DPP: Part 3 – Processing the Image: Exercise 14 – Creative Interpretation

The aim of this exercise is to make interpretations of an image for creative purposes.  The exercise calls for me to select and image which is open to different creative interpretations; I’ve done this, although I have to admit that I narrows down my selection to this final one with the first interpretation at the forefront of my mind.

Original Image

Original Image

Original Image

First Interpretation

First Interpretation

First Interpretation

I had in mind the tree and colouring of Pans Labyrinth – I wanted to create a creepy, dark, woodland setting.  This image from the film was used as a reference point in terms of colour selection.  I adjusted colour temperature, reduced saturation and applied local adjustments – including exposure gradients at the top and bottom to darken them, while it was lightened again on the right of the image before I used the burn brush to “shape” the tree towards the bottom left so it fades out more organically.

I think I’ve achieved the effect I was going for with reasonable success, though it feels a heavier treatment than I’d typically feel comfortable applying!

Second Interpretation

Second Interpretation

Second Interpretation

In this version I wanted to enhance the sense of decay in the image.  I’ve reduced the exposure slider, increased contrast and darkened the shadows.  I’ve also increased clarity and sharpness so the differences between surfaces are more pronounced.

I think again I’ve been successful in achieving what I set out to do; it’s not such a strong change from the original, but it does give a very different look.

Third Interpretation

Third Interpretation

Third Interpretation

With the third image I thought I’d play with black-and-white to create a “vintage” look to the scene.  Apart from the black and white conversion, I reduced the contrast, increased the green and orange sliders in the black and white mix in order to lighten them and applied some graining so it appeared to have an old, poor quality, print look to it.

It isn’t a great image in this regard, but it does help demonstrate how an image can be given a different meaning.

DPP: Part 3 – Processing the Image: Exercise 12 – Managing Tone

This is the first exercise of two on optimising tone and colour – using basic adjustments to get the best image quality possible.  While the aim is to get good images from the camera there will always be elements that require some attention.  This exercise deals with adjustments in tone – exposure, contrast; dark, light and mid-tone levels.

I selected an image from my archives which required some adjustment.  It was shot in Raw and had some areas f clipping at the dark and light ends.  The images below show the unprocessed image, and the areas of clipping (red = highlight clipping, blue = shadow clipping).

Unprocessed "Buffet"

Unprocessed “Buffet”

Buffet - Highlight Clipping

Buffet – Highlight Clipping

Buffet - Shadow Clipping

Buffet – Shadow Clipping

Adjustments

I adjusted the exposure and brightness, reducing them to eliminate the bulk of the highlight clipping.  Lightroom had increased the black levels automatically on import, so I removed that which eliminated the clipping in the dark tones.

The image had an almost “clouded” look to it after these changes, so I increased the contrast in the image.  Finally, I used Lightroom’s adjustment brush to apply localised exposure adjustments using the “burn” tool to eliminate the highlight clipping on the bright areas of the plates and spoons.

Edited Buffet.  ISO 200, f/8, 1/200s.  Click to see large on Flickr.

Edited Buffet. ISO 200, f/8, 1/200s. Click to see large on Flickr.

The result is much-improved; the spoon in particular attracts my attention as the glare before was distracting.

DPP: Part 2 – Digital Image Qualities: Exercise 10 – Colour cast and white balance

Part One – Outdoor Scenes

Part one of this exercise is to create three images of scenes using different white balance settings on the camera.  The scenes will be in sunlight, cloud and shade on a sunny day.  The white balance settings to be used are; auto, daylight, shade and cloud.

These are presented below with my observations

Sunlit scene

Auto

Auto White Balance

Auto White Balance

The “coolest” in tone-terms of the images.

Daylight

Daylight White Balance

Daylight White Balance

The most appropriate setting for the scene and I think the most accurate/pleasing too.

Shade

Shade White Balance

Shade White Balance

The image has taken on a yellow tinge, which is most obvious in the clouds and white areas.

Cloud

Cloud White Balance

Cloud White Balance

The yellow tinge is less obvious here than in the ‘shade’ version.  In both cases the images look more like evening sun than the late morning sun they were actually shot in.

 Cloudy scene

Auto

Auto White Balance

Auto White Balance

As before, the “coolest” in tone.  As far as I know, there’s no reason that should be the case as a rule.

Daylight

Daylight White Balance

Daylight White Balance

Less of a blue tinge to this version.

Shade

Shade White Balance

Shade White Balance

There’s not a massive difference to the ‘daylight’ version, previous. Very slightly warmer but not significantly so.

Cloudy

Cloud White Balance

Cloud White Balance

The warmest of the images, but adding a yellow tinge to the scene.  I think the ‘shade’ version looks slightly better.

Shade on a sunny day

Auto

Auto White Balance

Auto White Balance

Again the coolest toned image of the set.

Daylight

Daylight White Balance

Daylight White Balance

Slightly warmer.

Shade

Shade White Balance

Shade White Balance

A warmer tone again.  I think is the one I prefer, as the others looked too cold – which the actual scene didn’t appear to be when I was there.

Cloudy

Cloud White Balance

Cloud White Balance

Slightly warmer than the daylight version, cooler than the shade version – but still a bit too cool in tone for my liking.

Part two – indoor/outdoor scene

The next part of this exercise involved a shot with incandescent lighting against a bluish, dusk, sky.  Given tungsten bulbs can’t be bought anymore for modern fittings I’ve gone back to an image from an exercise in my first module, and applied different white balance settings in Lightroom.  Even then, I think the bulb simulated tungsten but was actually fluorescent; I do wonder whether the course material needs to be updated given it’s simply not possible to do unless you have a stash of old bulbs!  The settings to apply were daylight, tungsten/incandescent and auto.

Daylight

Daylight White Balance

Daylight White Balance

The sky appears to be what I’d expect but the interior is very orange.

Tungsten

Tungsten White Balance

Tungsten White Balance

The whole image appears far too blue now, even the sky appears too blue.

Auto

Auto White Balance

Auto White Balance

Slightly more orange than daylight – which includes the sky too.

Custom

Custom White Balance

Custom White Balance

In the final version I’ve used the white balance picker in Lightroom to select part of the white wall and then adjusted the colour temperature to reach a compromise I think looks like a good balance between outdoor and indoor light.

Conclusion

It’s clear the programmed settings aren’t able to cope with this combination very well, and manually that’s really possible is a compromise – unless selective adjustment of white balance is available.

This has been an incredibly tedious exercise – as I don’t feel I’ve learnt anything I didn’t know before – and it’s been far to involved for no sense of reward.  The other exercise, while very technical, at least delivered some sense of new knowledge so haven’t bored me – that hasn’t been the case here.  I think I need to try and make sure my assignment involves something creative – else take a break from course photos to focus on a mini-project “just for fun”, as this course’s technical focus does take the fun out of it all.

DPP: Part 2 – Digital Image Qualities: Exercise 7 – Your tolerance for noise

This exercise looks at the effect noise has on an image.  The requirements were an indoor, daylight scene, with a combination of sharp detail and textureless areas – with some of the textureless area in shadow.

I used my TARDIS against a wall where the windowsill casts a shadow.  The camera was set up on a tripod and I shot a series of images at 1-stop intervals along the unexpanded ISO range of my camera.  Aperture priority was used to maintain a consistent depth-of-field.

With the images done, the exercise is then to record the results of altering the ISO setting.

ISO 100

ISO 100

ISO 100

The text appears sharp and the texture of the white wall is smooth throughout.  There’s a small amount of noise visible when zoomed in on the wall shadow and the light details on the open TARDIS door. IT’s not visible when reproduced at the above “web size”.

ISO 200

ISO 200

ISO 200

At web size there are no clear differences.  When zoomed in the noise is more apparent where it was observed before – breaking up the smoothness of the shadow area on the white wall.

ISO 400

ISO 400

ISO 400

Again, there’s not much difference, though the white part on the TARDIS door does have some noise that’s noticeable when zoomed in.

ISO 800

ISO 800

ISO 800

When zoomed in, the inside of the TARDIS has areas of obvious noise, but it’s not affecting the overall image too much.  Foreground detail is still clear.

ISO 1600

ISO 1600

ISO 1600

At web size noise is now slightly visible in the shadow on the white wall.  When zoomed in the blue of the TARDIS is dotted with red and purple noise.

ISO 3200

ISO 3200

ISO 3200

Noise is now apparent in the light areas of the image and is bad across the whole image – when zoomed in.  I’d say it’s okay for reproduction at a web size still, but I’d expect the noise to be visible on a print.

ISO 6400

ISO 6400

ISO 6400

Noise has increased again, though it’s still passable at web size.  On close inspection thought it looks like a very bad camera phone image:

ISO 6400 - Close-up

ISO 6400 – Close-up

Conclusion

In this particular image, noise hasn’t significantly affected the image when viewed at web sizes.  High contrast overall has helped in the areas of detail.  However, the noise is clearly evident when zooming in on the image – and at larger print sizes the image would suffer.  The exercise has demonstrated how prominent noise can become in dark and shaded areas.