Saturday, December 24, 2016

Using Notan to Guide Post Processing

In my last post I looked at making a notan sketch and using my Notan Cards to check tones. Below is the photo I took.

Original Photo

The Camera has done a reasonable job with exposure and despite the hard lighting I have managed to get a nice blue sky as well because I have a polarizing filter. However the photo looks quiet flat compared with what I remember of the harsh light, warmth (aka heat) and cicadas throbbing chorus.

Black & White "tonemapping" step

My first task is to re-establish the tonal range. Making the pathway and tree lighter (the whites slider in light room) and a slight tweak to the darken the shadows just a little. Often using trying to understand the tonal changes (low level tone mapping) it helps to just look at a black & white Version of the image while you are doing the adjustments. There are lots of ways to do this but one of the easiest is to just take the saturation slider to zero (all the way to the left in lightroom). After doing this “tonemapping” you should bring back the colour. You might be amazed to see it has become a little more intense the colours are (in a natural way, more like you have increased luminosity slightly, not a saturation overload).

Enhanced Image (like I remembered)

I’ve downloaded the 30 day trial of On1 RAW, so I’ve also taken this image into Effects and used Dynamic Contrast, which give that almost HDR look (which I like), I’ve also added a little warmth using their Sunshine Filter.

With a little notan guidance I think I have achieved an interesting composition with an slightly but easily enhanced photo that better resembles the scene I remembered (and recorded in my sketch)

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