Re: SCC book question

Dan Margulis

On Apr 2, 2020, at 4:51 PM, k_d@... wrote:

In the thick of reading Dan's new book: Simultaneous Contrast of colors. This question Dan can best answer but others may have an opinion too.

Pages 96-97, Fig.s 7.3 and 7.4:

I would have thought that changing the bkgd color would have little effect on the color of the ribbon facing the (bkgd) table. Yes, the ribbon appears to be shiny, but not so shiny it would completely take on the bkgd color?
The ribbon shadow on the table would change color, and as its darkness nullifies some of the color anyway, so it looks correct to me.

So maybe it was done for effect? Or maybe the partial ribbon color change was simply not the point of the images? Or it may have been an unintentional error?

I can't decide, hence my question: Shouldn't the ribbon side, reflecting the table, have remained mostly pinkish regardless of the bkgd color changes?

I’m not sure that it is pinkish in the first place, it might be a silver ribbon in the original that reflects the pink background in certain areas and not others. But whatever it is originally, certainly it is not realistic in any of the three alternate versions.

The reason is not that I couldn’t have done so but that it would have taken more time than I really wanted to spend and it wouldn’t have made the series any more or less instructive.

Recapping for those who haven’t seen it: the original is a photo of baskets containing three large bunches of grapes, one light green, one deep red, and one almost black. The background is a garish pink, but has no detail pronounced enough to stop us from changing it to any color we like.

The point of the exercise is that, assuming that each of the three grape colors is of equal importance, pink is a poor choice for background because it unduly emphasizes the green grapes at the expense of the others. And I show three alternate versions with different background colors to prove it.

The ribbon being referred to isn’t relevant to the exercise and I doubted that too many non-retouchers would look carefully at it. Changing the overall backgrounds is fairly easy but trying to get credible color changes into three versions of this silly ribbon, with all its gradations, would have added about an hour to the job that I didn’t feel like spending. If it was for a magazine advertisement, then of course I would spend the time. In this setting? Well, they say that perfection is the enemy of “good enough”. But, IMHO, sometimes “good enough” actually is good enough.

Dan Margulis

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