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Old 2008-07-06, 18:35   Link #101
escimo
Paparazzi
 
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Ice Box
Age: 32
It's time for another photography tutorial.


Desaturating a photo

Desaturating a photo is not a big deal. Just click the correct option in the image manipulation software of choice. There are a few points to be remembered though.

Usually you can get rather good results just by desaturating the picture. Often you need to adjust levels afterwords though, since color contrast is lost, increasing the contrast in luminosity is usually a good idea. Otherwise the image may seem a bit bland.

Then there's an issue that's very often neglected much because it's not that relevant. Spectral sensitivity of human eye is not linear. It decreases towards both infrared and ultraviolet range, leaving the eye at its most sensitive to yellowish green light. Black and white films are mostly panchromatic so the luminosity reproduction is rather linear through the spectral range. In this it's very similar to what simply desaturating a color photo produces. Photographers used to use green filters with black and white films to compensate the spectral sensitivity of the human eye. As other than green colors were slightly filtered, the relative luminosity of the shades in the picture resembled more to what a human eye would see in color.

Don't run to your nearest camera store just yet, to buy filters. Digital age has made actually pretty much all filters useless. You can do the same in for example Photoshop. Here's slightly exaggerated example of what you can do if you want to make the grayscale conversion that emulates human eyes sensitivity. Generally this is not very important but can be useful if the desaturated image looks odd.


We'll start with a color photo. In this case the photo is quite saturated and has a high contrast already. So as seen in the plain desaturated picture the result is actually quite pleasing.


Here's what the picture looks like after color correction. As said, this is slightly exaggerated to illustrate the effect a bit better.


I made the color corrections using curves-tool. Green channel is unchanged but the maximum luminosity of both blue and red channels is reduced.


Now here are just plain desaturated and the color adjusted photo. Adjusted on the left. (or bottom if they don't fit your browser window side by side) Now when you adjust the levels, green parts of the picture will stand out more.

As said, this is very rarely needed. However if you have a part or a detail of some certain color in the picture that you want to bring forth you can do the same to the color in question. So you can use this method for much more than getting all anal about emulating the spectral sensitivity of the human eye.


Now lets get really really oldskool. This is just a trick which is somewhat related to my last tutorial. Old, I mean really old, films were practically only sensitive to blue light. These films are nowadays pretty much extinct as panchromatic films have been available since the 1930s. Still you may sometimes want to emulate the spectral qualities of these films. You can use the same method.


The color version again as a reminder.


Here's the color adjusted version in color.


Curves for the adjustment. You could actually remove red and green channels completely but it wouldn't be completely realistic since the old films were actually slightly sensitive to a wider spectral range. Luminosity curve wasn't linear either as seen in the blue channel's curve.


Here's the comparison again with the plain desaturated photo and the oldskool museum stuff. I made the appropriate level corrections to this one already to illustrate what the photo would actually somewhat look like taken with 1920s film.


A few words about filters

In digital photography colored filters are pretty much useless. Cons supersede the pros practically always, as the color adjustments can just as easily be made by software. UV-filters have indisputable benefits as they can increase the contrast of the picture. This is because digital sensors are slightly sensitive to ultraviolet light but can't process it correctly.

However, there's a pitfall of coating. Uncoated filters are extremely susceptible to flaring and reflections which on the other hand reduce the contrast of the photo. Single coated filters are a bit better but because of the physical properties of the coating, the coating is effective to a very limited wavelength range. Optical properties of triple coated filters are very good but they tend to be really pricey. Generally it's better not to use a filter than to use a bad one. I'd personally advice to stay away from all others than triple coated ones.

There's one very useful filter though, a polarizing filter. It's the kind of a case where pros supersede the cons despite of the coating. Polarizing filters are used to remove diffused light. In general they increase the contrast a bit. As a downside they do shade the lens about 1/3 stop. Removing diffused light becomes really handy when you're photographing for example through windows or taking pictures of water in strong lighting, as polarizing filter reduces and quite often completely removes reflections in these air to glass or water interfaces. But as using it affects the draw I'd recommend using it only when you really need it, just as any other filter.

There are also a bunch of special effect filters, like IR-filters, fishnets and cross screens. These are basically playthings but the same effects are quite difficult or even completely impossible to emulate in software so in special cases they might be useful.

Overall I'd avoid using filters, at least if you're not as rich as Croesus and you'd have to settle for single coated or uncoated ones. The ones to buy if you decide to get them are UV-filter and polarizing filter. Out of normal filters there's not much use for other ones.
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Old 2008-07-07, 04:51   Link #102
escimo
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First go at july sotm sig. Basically just testing out a concept so C&C is appreciated.

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Last edited by escimo; 2008-07-10 at 17:11.
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Old 2008-07-07, 05:21   Link #103
Eps~
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I like the concept, it's probably one of the kind

Now how to improve it, a good start would be throwing a shadow on the postcards or even make some hands holding them.
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Old 2008-07-07, 05:48   Link #104
escimo
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Originally Posted by Eps~ View Post
I like the concept, it's probably one of the kind

Now how to improve it, a good start would be throwing a shadow on the postcards or even make some hands holding them.
Tried to play around with drop shadows. Filesize becomes a problem due to 24bit PNG. 8bit just looks utterly horrible. Here's a test with a wood texture background, lighting effects and drop shadows.

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Old 2008-07-07, 13:51   Link #105
Riker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by escimo View Post
Tried to play around with drop shadows. Filesize becomes a problem due to 24bit PNG. 8bit just looks utterly horrible. Here's a test with a wood texture background, lighting effects and drop shadows.

Thought I'll pop in to say your postcard sig is very creative. Kudos!





Btw what font are you using for your sig above? Or is that your actual handwriting?
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Old 2008-07-07, 14:18   Link #106
escimo
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Thought I'll pop in to say your postcard sig is very creative. Kudos!

Btw what font are you using for your sig above? Or is that your actual handwriting?
Thanks.

I just wish my handwriting would be even remotely that good. It's a font called Bradley Hand ITC, no idea anymore where I got it. Sorry.
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Old 2008-07-07, 14:21   Link #107
Riker
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Ah thanks. I wished my handwriting was remotely that good as well. D:
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Old 2008-07-07, 15:16   Link #108
escimo
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Sotm sig remake.
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Old 2008-07-07, 15:21   Link #109
The Chaos
ǾΝΈ ΡЇΈΈ is the Best !!
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by escimo View Post


Sotm sig remake.
Really Look Awesome...Good Work on it escimo-San ^_^
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Old 2008-07-07, 15:24   Link #110
Eps~
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I just had 2 great idea for you! Why dont don't you try combining 2 seasons into one - a window on which are posted these postcards or photos from the summer time (maybe sa text, like photo album from the summer) and outside the window you could see the snow.

Or another idea, based on the sig above, why dont you 'put' the postcards on a table and in the behind you could see the sea, sunset etc. It would work out greatly with the perspective change tool.

Yes yes, just some crazy good ideas
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Old 2008-07-07, 15:37   Link #111
escimo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eps~ View Post
I just had 2 great idea for you! Why dont don't you try combining 2 seasons into one - a window on which are posted these postcards or photos from the summer time (maybe sa text, like photo album from the summer) and outside the window you could see the snow.

Or another idea, based on the sig above, why dont you 'put' the postcards on a table and in the behind you could see the sea, sunset etc. It would work out greatly with the perspective change tool.

Yes yes, just some crazy good ideas
I love the idea but I'm a bit concerned about the 500x160px size limit. Maybe I'll make a wallie.

The window might work... I'll look into it.
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Old 2008-07-09, 07:52   Link #112
escimo
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A wallpaper I made for myself. Feel free to use it, if you like.

1920x1200
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Old 2008-07-09, 14:56   Link #113
Daniel E.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by escimo View Post
A wallpaper I made for myself. Feel free to use it, if you like.
Good work!

Do you have it in other dimensions? ......cough 1024 x 768 cough
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Old 2008-07-09, 15:00   Link #114
escimo
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Good work!

Do you have it in other dimensions? ......cough 1024 x 768 cough
Just a minute. I'll whip something up.

Edit: Okay, here's the 4/3 version.
Added one pic. seemed a bit empty with just the originals...



1600x1200
1024x768

And made this my final entry for current sotm.

Funny thing, it's in a way a crop sig.
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Old 2008-07-09, 15:34   Link #115
The Chaos
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Quote:
Originally Posted by escimo View Post

Edit: Okay, here's the 4/3 version.
Added one pic. seemed a bit empty with just the originals...



1600x1200
1024x768

Good work on The Wall....Look Very Nice
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Old 2008-07-09, 16:12   Link #116
escimo
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Good work on The Wall....Look Very Nice
Thanks.

Heck, I might just as well share these.
PSD-pack for the wallpaper

Edit: Updated the widescreen version of the wallie. Resized it as a bit of an afterthought and didn't like what it did to image quality. PSD-pack updated as well.
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Old 2008-07-09, 17:58   Link #117
escimo
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The amount of flower photos I've posted begins to be borderline scary.

Anyway here's the flower photo batch from my Loppi-expedition.























Those are the decent ones out of about a hundred. Not a massive percentage.
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Old 2008-07-09, 18:34   Link #118
Daniel E.
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Originally Posted by escimo View Post
Just a minute. I'll whip something up.

Edit: Okay, here's the 4/3 version.
Added one pic. seemed a bit empty with just the originals...
Thanks and good luck in the SOTM competition.
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Old 2008-07-09, 22:07   Link #119
Ledgem
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You have some pretty neat flowers there! I like them overall, but according to the image properties you were shooting at f1.8 for all of them? I'd say it created a nice effect for most of them, but for some I might have used a higher f-number. For the last three that you have it created a pretty nice effect with the flowers themselves, but the background 'bokeh' is too soft, for my taste. It's pleasing, but the 'bokeh' I've come to like best occurs when you see tens or hundreds of dots of light, and the blurred colors are a bit more distinct. In those shots the background all mixes together. It's a bit more ethereal than the 'bokeh' I try to get, and definitely not better or worse - it's all subjective. Just some notes from my end

Of course, I'm also envious that you can get down to f1.8. HR-4 is my absolute favorite, and in that shot the shallow depth of field really played out very nicely. Let's see if I can +rep you now that it's been a few days... (edit: nope, still no good )
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Old 2008-07-09, 22:13   Link #120
Izayoi
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Very good photos dear.
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