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Old Nov 12, 2003, 8:49 PM   #1
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Default Art with auto-levels

The "auto levels" feature in Photoshop usually does a good job of bringing out the color and contrast in a photo. It somehow "knows" how the picture is supposed to look. It's amazing at times, but not usually the sort of thing one would consider "artistic".

But what happens when the original picture has a very limited range of colors? Auto levels tries to bring out color that shouldn't be there in the first place! I've noticed this most with pictures of clouds.

Here's an original, with no editing except resizing. This is pretty much how the sky looked at the time. It was a vibrant and oddly-hued sunset.


But auto levels turns it intosomething entirely different! The clouds actually looked orange, like in the first picture.
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Old Nov 13, 2003, 3:34 AM   #2
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Yes, I always try an automatic level correction.
Most of time results are good but sometimes not.
This mainly happens with dull color shots or shots with limited range as u stated or shots with haze.
What happens is usually an hue change which turns colors far from the real ones.
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Old Nov 13, 2003, 1:31 PM   #3
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In the final analysis, the human eye and judgement are more reliable than even Photoshop.

I don't think that's a bad thing.

Autolevels tries to align colour, brightness and contrast with a programmed "norm". Sometimes that isn't what you want - high key and low key photographs only use part of the tonal range, for example, and are completely ruined by applying autolevels.

I remember taking a series of colour pics (on film) through graduated red filters. My friendly local lab carefully filtered out all my artful effects and "normalised" the pictures. That's what autolevels does.
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Old Nov 13, 2003, 3:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fenlander
My friendly local lab carefully filtered out all my artful effects and "normalised" the pictures. That's what autolevels does.
THAT is exactly why I decided to stop using film. I had no control over stuff like that. I don't have the time or resources to do my own darkrooming. I even had problems with my local "pro" lab when it came to printing digital pictures. I would edit the color and contrast to the way I wanted, and then the lab would go and try to normalize those things.
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