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Old Feb 5, 2010, 2:35 AM   #1
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Default Is Color a Handicap?

I know that we're supposed to post only one shot for critiques, but please bear with me. I went down to the harbor in Newport Beach this morning. It was overcast. Took a number of shots and did some post-processing in CS3.

Here is an example of an original (untouched) shot. As you can see, it is rather bland.
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Old Feb 5, 2010, 2:37 AM   #2
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I then worked on it in Photoshop with the following result. Clearly an improvement, but I still wanted something more out of the shot.
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Old Feb 5, 2010, 2:39 AM   #3
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Why not convert it to black and white I thought. BTW, I was using a CPL filter which certainly helped with the sky. What do you think?
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Last edited by Walter C; Feb 5, 2010 at 2:41 AM.
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Old Feb 5, 2010, 7:08 AM   #4
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Between one and two its like looking with and without sunglasses on. The colors in the pic dont make a lot of difference to the impact of the scene itself. Thats why the B&W version works. In fact it helps everything work together without that big splash of red and that blue/green boat on the left.
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Old Feb 5, 2010, 8:20 AM   #5
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Hi Walter,

I like your pp work in the 2nd frame more than the original. The B&W is even better than the other 2 as the sky is much more dramatic and there is more depth to this image. I would crop a bit of the bottom off and clone out the sign though. Hope you don't mind, but this would be my suggestion:
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Old Feb 5, 2010, 8:42 AM   #6
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I think it might have been better if you'd moved the camera right a bit. I can see you've centred on the grey boat but it's not really on it's own. It's part of a group of boats that all seem to be pointing and drawing the eye to something off the right-hand side. I prefer the second colour pic - when you convert to black and white the blue sky looks like grey cloud and it's more oppresive. Maybe if you could have further lightened the foreground which still looks a bit flat compared to the more dynamic sky? And I agree the red,green and yellow elements grate a bit.
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Old Feb 5, 2010, 11:36 AM   #7
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i prefer the black and white version as well. as has been mentioned, it has much more depth on this shot, especially in the sky.

i am following martin's logic on the foreground, due to the overcast it is still a bit flat even in the b&w. a bit of selective dodging and burning could be employed to bring out some contrast to the foreground and balance it out with the sky.

my very quick n dirty edit
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Old Feb 5, 2010, 3:53 PM   #8
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Thanks, all, for the comments and suggestions.

Zig-123, I like the cloning out of the sign and pipe.

Hards80, I like your edit

Walter
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Old Feb 6, 2010, 12:26 AM   #9
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I prefer the black & white version from Hards80. Better contrast, more oomph !
But don't despair on the colour version.
Yes it's a bit flat. But you can bring it back to life with a little faux HDR in camera raw.
I think you can open JPEGS in CS3....File > Open As. Locate the JPEG and select camera raw from the 'Open As' drop down.

All done inside camera raw, with the exception of Smart Sharpen in PS :



Oh.....if you open as a smart object into PS, you can double click the layer thumbnail to go back in to camera raw if you wish to make any changes.
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Old Feb 6, 2010, 2:00 PM   #10
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Stevekin, it didn't occur to me to try a single shot RAW HDR. Your's is great. Thanks.
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