Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Experimenting with Photoshop – Hand Coloring

I had originally prepared an article on a useful iPhone app that tells you exactly where the sun is at any location on the earth, any time of day. After writing the article, I tried to find its web site to get specific details only to found out that this app is no longer available on the iTunes store.  Strange as it is, it's still loaded on my phone. There is another program (Photographer’s Ephemeris) that is very similar and maybe even a bit better but it is not free however, the PC version is free, which I have.

Therefore, I thought I would show some of the experimenting I performed with photo-editing.

The original idea was to convert an image to grey scale and then by using duo-tone features, hand color (mask in) specific objects or areas within the image.
I also wanted to change the colour warmth or coolness differently for the shadows and highlight for each objects so that the colour tone was not uniform in hue for the entire object. Naturally a 3 level duo-tone works well, but only good for one shot so to speak.  Can't add different tone sets to different sections of image.  The solution was to create copies for each tone set and combine them into one image and masks for each sections. In the grassy area I cooled the greens. For the yellows this worked great as it also changed any green hue in the top leaves to yellow. For the red sections I saturated and cooled slightly the shadow and mid-tones to better match the now brighter top section.

The original photo is below.

Each color layer was an individual tri-tone that was copied to this file.

It was a bit cumbersome using the duo-tone function so, for the next grey-tone image, which has clear defined detail, I used the color blend mode to add color. Then with the sliders on each layer I was able to adjust for the shadows, mid-tones and highlights for the same mask .

Tri-tone for wall, duo-tones for jacket, pants, door frame and sidewalk.
You may surely wonder that this is a lot of work for “how-much” benefit and I tend to agree. This was foremost an experiment and I love playing around to see the type of effects I could archive. The thing I like is that all the shadows have cooler hues than the mid-tones.

I now know that in the future some of these steps may be added to certain types of images, especially like the first image.

Leave a link if you have done anything similar or even something strange with your image editing.

Niels Henriksen

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

San Miguel de Allende – Part 6

This final set of photos from San Miguel are an assortment of odds and ends. A potpourri of fun stuff.

There was just something intriguing about this old German VW bug, not in pristine condition parked at Berlin bistro bar along Pica Sila Street. I used an overlay effect and some 'curves' adjustment on car only to make it more grungy.

At the school cultural event with the hundreds of kids (see link People of San Miguel ), it was difficult to isolate the subject for other children. With these 2 boys I was able to get grey background to help the boys bandannas stand out.

There is already enough color with the bright building in San Miguel so when you find a subject even more vivid, it just begs to be photographed. I did use selective contrast enhancement of the man's clothes.

In Juarez Park there are, especially on weekends, artists who display and sell their painting. The long bearded gentleman clearly typified for me the appearance of a classic artist.

This image was discovered when I was reviewing some of the photos taken. When you walk along capturing interesting moments you don't always notice everything in the field of view. This can be bad but sometimes good. In the photo above I like the disconnect and differences between the lady on the left and the 2 people interacting on the right.

There is nothing quite like a good fish market. I feel you're not experiencing the local flavors until you find places like these mixed in with all the other vendors around.

The el Jardin Park which is officially Plaza Allende, is the favourite gathering place of almost everyone in San Miguel. A wide collection of people show up from big show bands to nightly mariachi bands to single soloists.

One item that never ceased to amaze me is the bright jacaranda trees that were in full bloom.

Niels Henriksen


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