Sunday, August 11, 2013

Thinking of colour as an artist might

The latest email news from creative cloud discusses a utility called Kuler. I have looked at it briefly but before its current format and iPhone app look a lot like the nice color scheme app I have on my android phone. Once I read Kuler could now look for various colour scheme from photos I figure it would be perfect for my next round of photoimpressions. However I decided to try it out on a more mundane example. I have often speculated that photographers could do a better job if they considered colour like an artist might.
The nice feature when building your colour scheme with Kuler is you have a range of automatic select colour modes (colorful, bright, dark, deep, & muted) which select a complimentary colour scheme from parts of the image. You see little circular spots above the parts of the image that colour appears. You can also just drag the dots to any part of the image you like and that colour becomes part of your custom swatch. (I have added the lines below to highlight the colour dots)
adobe king parrot colour swatch
If you save the swatch, but you have to have an Adobe ID to do that, you can then edit the swatch. For example below I did alter the green to add more yellow, to bring the main colours into a more harmonious triad style. I left the brown beige (which has a yellow orange tint) as a compliment to the blue. Since the photo was a little dark I lightened the tones a little by dragging the circle in the colour swatch to the right on some of the colours. Like the impressionist I’m attempting to use colour to add light!
The next step was a bit of a shortcut, which involved using corel painter essentials which has a really neat imagepalette matching facility feature. The downside was I have to “paint” the image by sampling the original photo but using a brush with the transformed colour. Its actually a fun process, albeit very manual and results in a much nicer image than any of those artistic filters built into phone apps and on-line editors. In this case my “brush” acted like a a flat soft pastel. My next task is to figure out how to use the downloadable .ase (Adobe Swatch Exchange) files. At the moment I can not find a way to read them into lightroom or photoshop elements, it would be nice if I could perhaps write a preset to undertake this palette guided colour adjustment directly on the photo there!
Original Photo  Modified palette "painting"
I’m quiet happy with the result. What do you think?
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