Date   

Re: Courthouse Wash: Results

Harvey Nagai
 

"So, here is the final 2021 case study challenge: cancel the cancel culture by restoring
the Courthouse Wash petroglyphs to their pre-1980 glory.  Or, more accurately, turning
the scene into something more understandable."

I think dangling the carrot of infrared imaging in front of our noses has been a distraction
from our goal, it certainly was for me.

Trying to extract useful details from the alternate exposures was interesting and all,
and it was certainly gratifying to get something comparable Mr. Turner's infrared image.

But I'm not sure using it led to "something more understandable", at least by my hands.

If everybody prefers versions that weren't supplemented by infrared information, then the
alternate exposures have no color imaging value, or we used it poorly.

In hindsight it might have been more "purposeful" (?) to have done the case study in two steps:
the first to tackle the infrared image preparation followed by correcting the base image
incorporating the results.  I think the prospect of a daunting technical problem of very narrow
applicability detered participation in the more useful (and interesting) part of the exercise.

BTW, I'll certainly post details my infrared shenanigans if anyone is interested, but I think
it will fit better after Dan starts a technical discussion, when techniques can be compared.

But this should give it away: red subtract blue


Re: Courthouse Wash: Results

Kenneth Harris
 

As I mentioned, I don't feel I engaged with the spirit of the project. There's paying work now, so make hay while the sun shines. I allotted four hours to the project, and after two hours of hacking away thinking I'd find a clean path and redo, I saw no better way forward and just cleaned up what I'd done to make it presentable. I didn't look at the background info Dan supplied. Not happy about that either.

I think the interesting question here is about hyperspectral color, but I don't feel this is an especially fruitful example. Sadly.

I could wax on about separation techniques. Better if Dan does it, if he does. I still sometimes do reproduction static-shots through filters when I have a difficult neg. Digital cameras have weak filters.

My question is, did anyone take two paths and compare? I didn't see anything in the IR that I couldn't force the base shot to cough up.

1102. My paying job is to hide what I do to pictures. Out of habit, I made up the missing 'good shot' of what it looked like prior to desecration, not what a shot of it would look like now if that all hadn't happened. Ergo, by having oddball color shifts toward cyan in the shadows, I was able to hide my cluelessness about pigment type, density, and variable weathering. My guess is that there were two different preparations of the red earth colors. Also a copper influenced earth used to outline the circles, but it seemed this was added after the white, and didn't bind well to the rock everywhere.

Ken Harris


Re: Courthouse Wash: Results

Harvey Nagai
 

Disregarding my entry, the two suggested videos and all other possible comparisons, the two entries
I favour the most are 1103 and 1111, although I'm not thrilled with their color (1103 is a bit
pervasively orange, 1111's non-purples are very subdued, both look good with the par's color).

The best pre-1980 interpretation is 1102.

The main problem with the default image is that the main figures of interest are indistinct,
these three present those figures strongly and with acceptable colors.  Better than in the par,
IMO.

Many of the entries were hindered by overly busy contrast and/or lack of color differentiation.

====

I found it more difficult than usual to judge the entries by their own merits and not have my
thinking colored by whether or not content from the alternate exposures was incorporated into
them.

An uninvolved viewer wouldn't care how these images came to be, just whether or not they were
interesting to look at.

However, as a participant I am interested to know whether or not infrared imaging can make
useful contributions to color imaging.  Hopefully that will become evident during these
discussions.

====

My own entry was guided by the CNHA video which showed an infrared image with detail not evident
in the pre-1980 photograph or the default image or googled images.

My original idea was to extract a comparable b&w image from the alternate exposures and marry it
with color from a straight-up correction of the default image.

The luminosity of the panel originated from IMG0047.  The figures were darkened by an auxilliary
image based on a RAW conversion with white balance fiddled to give the figures true purple color
in order to differentiate them from the orange background substrate.  The bordering Foreground Rock,
Ceiling and Shadow Area are (mostly) from the straight-up correction (using a selection mask).

The curse of extra time led to changes which didn't necessarily go to a better place (flatter
shadow, more contrast in the top end, more color), but going back seemed like regression.

So in for a penny, in for a pound: 1108.


Re: Courthouse Wash: Results

sj_90000@...
 

Hi fellow masochists,
 
Unfortunately this exercise seems to have flummoxed several participants. I can’t say where the errors crept in since there isn’t any consistency. If we assume that “5002 Turner_IMG0044-default.jpg” is the base image, as far as size and cropping, then half of the entries are misaligned. And unfortunately the par version suffers since it appears to have included some of these errant entries. If you view the extreme right edge of the par you’ll notice double images due to merging unaligned versions. The versions that don’t align are 1101, 1104, 1105, 1106, 1107, 1109, 1113 and 1116. I’m guessing some errors were introduced by using at least one of the supplemental images. When I examined them I couldn’t find any that aligned perfectly with the base image so I decided to leave them out rather than try to force-fit them.
 
My entry is 1112.
 
HTH – Steve J
 
 


Re: Courthouse Wash: Results

Robert Wheeler
 

For the petroglyph challenge, I first tried looking at channels in a number of the images, then tried some channel blending without good results.

 

Taking a step back, I looked closer at the IR images to see what subject features were strongest in each. Then I investigated channels of some of the IR images in different color spaces. To me, the detailing of the figures on the wall came out best in Lab color space, specifically the L channel. Stacking the IR images revealed that the one ending in 50 was out of alignment with the others, so I removed that from the stack (number mistyped in my summary sent to Dan). My entry is number 1101.Skip to bottom of message if you don't want to wade through the detailed processing steps.

 

I stacked the IR images with the one ending in 52 as the background image because it seemed to have the most detail across the rock wall. I added a curves layer to each IR image, used the auto button to increase contrast in L. The a and b channels seemed to have less useful information, so I made each layer monochrome with a BW adjustment. Here is how I used the IR layers:

             Image ending in 52 is background layer.

Image ending in 45, added in multiply mode, blend-if to keep changes to mid-tone since most of the figures were mid-tone greys.

[Image ending in 46, no improvement in figure definition, so not used]

Image ending in 47, added in screen mode with black mask, mask painted white along top and right edge of image to bring out detail in the rocks.

[Image ending in 48: no improvement in figure definition, so not used]

Image ending in 49: added in multiply mode with black mask; painted with white brush (with brush in overlay mode) onto the figures to bring out details especially of those in the left and middle areas.

[Image ending in 51, no improvement in figure definition, so not used]

Above the IR layers, I added a curves adjustment layer in overlay mode with a mid-tones layer mask to concentrate adjustments mainly to the figures and using and blend-if to further protect lighter tones. I pulled the curve down to darken the figures, then put the curve layer into a group folder with a black mask. I then painted white on the group mask as needed to optimize the darker detail in wall figures without darkening the surrounding rock areas and without damaging the mid-tones mask inside the group (mask the mask echnique).

 

I then converted the Lab IR stack to sRGB (flattening in the process).

 

Using the flat original ending in 44 as a new base layer, I placed the sRGB combined IR result as a new layer in luminosity mode. From there:

              Stamped layer, applied auto-tone with minimal change visible, so deleted the stamped layer.

              Added hue/saturation layer to boost color saturation.

              Made a stamped layer and sharpened with Topaz Sharpen AI.

              Exported as jpg.

 

I see by comparison to other submissions that mine could have used more color. I found the challenge useful in that it made me think hard about ways of using the IR images to extract detail, quite different than a typical color correction task. Am looking forward to hearing how others produced their submissions.

Robert Wheeler


Re: Courthouse Wash: Results

Kenneth Harris
 

Ok then, I'll open. Accurate, Historical. Plausible: pick two.

I'm 1102, and tossed accuracy out the back of the wagon right quick. I had a plugin for Image-J precisely designed to reveal weathered petroglyphs and used that to make masks (although for the most, I got similar masks out of lab when I looked for them). I could find no evidence of any of the original whitish pigment except in crevasses, so that I had to dodge it in. I do not feel I fully participated in the spirit of the exercise given the I ignored the IR shots after briefly playing with them.

Ken Harris


Courthouse Wash: Results

Dan Margulis
 

I’ve posted the results of the Courthouse Wash exercise, our final case study for this year.
 
Reviewing: The  panel at Courthouse Wash used to be the most spectacular display of pre-Columbian American rock art. In 1980, a vandal or vandals, using bleach and wire brushes, almost destroyed it. A quarter-century later, the late Bud Turner attempted to restore the pre-vandalism look photographically. We are given his raw captures, one a standard photograph, and several at various infrared wavelengths. Our job is to put these together in a way that suggests the grandeur of what was lost. Whether that means trying to make it look as it did pre-1980 is unclear.
 
We have 16 attempts, one of which came in six minutes before the deadline. There is one abstention, from a person claiming to have spent 100 hours on the project without getting anything worth showing. Most people also submitted a list of their steps, thanks very much. I haven’t read these, because I’d rather get a sense of who was successful and who wasn’t before investigating why.
 
The files don’t have people’s names on them, and were random-generator numbered from #1101 to #1116. As with past studies, we also have a “par” version, #1117. To get it, I chose five that I thought were among the best entrants, and averaged them, each one weighted 20%. This often creates a version that is superior to most if not all of its parents.
 
Normally I don't comment on results for two days after they're posted. Meanwhile, if you’d like to know how your own version stacked up, download the par version and compare the two directly. Do you think you got the same kind of quality? If not, I hope you’ll find further discussion useful.
 
That discussion will likely get very confused unless we can agree on terminology, because this image is full of vague objects that are difficult to describe in words. Therefore, I've made and attached a graphic with terms that I suggest we use.
 
The Folder is in the group's Photos section, 2021 Case Study: Courthouse Wash,
https://groups.io/g/colortheory/album?id=263467
 
I also have zipped the terminology guide along with all entries and, due to size limiations, uploaded two file to our Files section,
https://groups.io/g/colortheory/files/
Search for 051721_Courtyard-Wash_entries_Part-1.zip and 051721_Courtyard-Wash_entries_Part-2.zip
If you are going to study these versions I strongly encourage you to download it. Many of these entrants vary only in a minor way and it is hard to see the impact of a change without toggling back and forth between them.
 
I look forward to your comments, and hope you have found this series worthwhile.
 
Dan Margulis
 
 


moderated Re: Case study announcement: Courtyard Wash

Dan Margulis
 



Entries for the Courtyard Wash exercise are due in 24 hours, at 06:00 eastern daylight time tomorrow/1100Z/12:00 ora italiana. I'm sorry not to be able to acknowledge entries arriving later.

I confirm receipt of entries from the following individuals:

RoB**
JF
KH*
SJ
HN
SN
DS
KSu
RT
LV*
RW

*Indicates a revised version was received.

The following were submitted at an incorrect size/cropping:
None

Dan


moderated Re: Case study announcement: Courtyard Wash

Dan Margulis
 

Entries for the Courtyard Wash exercise are due in 48 hours, at 06:00 eastern daylight time Monday/1100Z/12:00 ora italiana. I'm sorry not to be able to acknowledge entries arriving later.

I confirm receipt of entries from the following individuals:

RoB**
KH*
HN
SN
DS
KSu
RT
LV*
RW

*Indicates a revised version was received.

The following were submitted at an incorrect size/cropping:
None

Dan


moderated Re: Case study announcement: Courtyard Wash

sj_90000@...
 

Dan said:
 
*The two pre-1980 photos that were posted for reference show thin white halos around the glyphs. So does at least one entry so far. Since I have not seen any indications of such halos in the Turner original photos, I am assuming that they represent unsharp masking on the part of whatever scanner operator or Photoshopper worked on those early images. I am not telling anybody to avoid USM, it can be useful in an assignment like this, but if the Fremont people were doing something similar I would like to know. So if anybody sees evidence that the halos were deliberate, please indicate.
====================
 
My take on it is that there were three phases. First the petroglyphs were etched. Then, at a later date and probably by a different tribe, white pigment was added/overlaid creating pictographs. And ultimately everything was trashed. But on two of the included sample images there are definitely white outlines on most of the glyphs. And I do see extremely faint traces of these outlines around certain glyphs in my enhanced version of the default image. While they are not as defined or bright as the samples, I believe they are real. Also, has anyone else noticed all the gouges in the glyphs? These seem “new”, as I don’t see them in the supplied samples. Was this part of the original defacement, or is this a second one?
 
HTH – Steve J


Re: Auto-Levels Question for Dan

Ronny Light
 

That’s a great 6-part series. Thanks.

 

 

 

Ronny

www.RonnyLightPhoto.com

5010 B Wilkerson Dr.

Nashville, TN 37211

 

 

 

From: colortheory@groups.io <colortheory@groups.io> On Behalf Of Gerald Bakker
Sent: Monday, May 10, 2021 11:06 AM
To: colortheory@groups.io
Subject: Re: [colortheory] Auto-Levels Question for Dan

 

This thread is a bit old (sorry about that) but this may be of interest to you.

I studied the Auto-Tone/Color/Contrast menu actions plus the Auto buttons on Levels and Curves (they are all related).
The result is in this article on my website: https://geraldbakker.nl/psnumbers/auto-options.html

The most important conclusion (for me at least) was that the behavior of the Auto-something actions depends on the defaults as saved on the Levels/Curves Auto Color options.
And (more obviously) the behavior of the Auto button on Levels/Curves varies considerably, again depending on the saved options.
--
Gerald Bakker
https://geraldbakker.nl


Re: Auto-Levels Question for Dan

Gerald Bakker
 

This thread is a bit old (sorry about that) but this may be of interest to you.

I studied the Auto-Tone/Color/Contrast menu actions plus the Auto buttons on Levels and Curves (they are all related).
The result is in this article on my website: https://geraldbakker.nl/psnumbers/auto-options.html

The most important conclusion (for me at least) was that the behavior of the Auto-something actions depends on the defaults as saved on the Levels/Curves Auto Color options.
And (more obviously) the behavior of the Auto button on Levels/Curves varies considerably, again depending on the saved options.
--
Gerald Bakker
https://geraldbakker.nl


Re: Case Studies in Retrospect, 2021

Gerald Bakker
 

On Sun, May 9, 2021 at 03:07 AM, James Gray wrote:
I was going to say I disagree with this.  However, I really am skeptical that it will work very well for many of us.  So to be specific I do not have reservations about creating auxiliary versions and have no real fear of constructing them.  As I have tried to study the comments from Dan and the other participants, I have often found myself saying to myself, "I never thought of that."  To be clear, I work on my photographs and almost never have access to versions made by someone else.  I could create ugly versions in the interest of beauty.
I too expect that in many cases constructing and blending extreme versions won't work. Also I agree with Dan when he says that many have a fear of the ugly. This is not a technique that I will use very often. But we've seen it being effective in multiple exercises, so I picked that up as a lesson. Something to add to the toolbox.
--
Gerald Bakker
https://geraldbakker.nl


Re: Case Studies in Retrospect, 2021

 

On Sun, May 9, 2021 at 10:43 AM, Dan Margulis wrote:
On the idea of the course not being able to be run again in person, and as an educator myself, I wonder: what would be the impediment to build it online? 
My age.

How difficult it would be to create a paid site, expanding on what the book explains, include some basic, mostly unmonitored challenges per each section or set of processes, and when participants get approved, you then grant them private ( and paid) access to one big challenge like the ones we have done this and last year? This online training would inevitably raise the level of the participants BEFORE entering any challenge, giving you ample chance to enjoy good quality images sent for each project and making a REAL mark in the impact of the participant's knowledge on the matter of Color.
It’s do-able technically but would be a real step downward from a true classroom experience, where everything happens in real time. In an ACT class, instead of doing 10 images over 10 weeks, we did 26 over three days, and the participants become a family who support each other when discouragement sets in.
Dan I will add my final cent in this discussion to say one more thing: back when you ran a test for donations (and it worked ok) you were still wondering what to do with that money other than paying the server's fees, etc. I have absolutely no doubt that most of us here would be willing to contribute to cover the expense of building such a website on behalf of both the participants and of your legacy!!

It is clear that the IRL ( In real life) meetings have provided an overabundance of examples in a few days ( something that can also be overwhelming BTW).  I still feel (apologies if I am going too far), that building something that will set the basis and secure the most basic principles of your system ( work on color first, then work on contrast, etc) will definitely train an entirely new generation of retouchers, graphic designers and photographers with a more systematic approach to their work, and that can only be positive!!. 

The pandemics at the least here in the USA seems to be receding and maybe some workshops might be re-established but I have no hesitation to say that a website where you can subscribe, pay for your monthly access, develop the basic skills based on the books, and eventually participate in some online challenges would bring to life ( and keep alive) your knowledge and history as an expert in the field, showcasing a totally different workflow and approach for color processing. And of course, if the conditions are met for new in-person workshops, well, why not??

As you already checked, there is limited and incomplete literature and videos on these subjects, so, even in terms of marketing, this is an empty niche that can be filled, and you have the know-how to make it happen.

Best
 
--
Jorge Parra 
www.jJorgeParraPhotography.com
Miami


Re: FYI: interesting article on simultaneous contrast

 
Edited

Steve, you may have noticed that during partial or total eclipses, the shadows under trees, for example, become quite unique! The last time I had the time to spend some minutes in such an eclipse, around midday, made me think in terms of "round pixels", (with an amazing yellow-orange hue, that you can only observe at the end of the sunset), as opposed to the square pixels we use as the foundation for digital photography.

Seeing the paintings and pictures in the reportage make me re-think my interpretation and probably impressionists, pointillists and other painters may have seen and used this observation and apply it to their work, as a quite unusual "new" way to portray natural light and it's color. 
--
Jorge Parra 
www.jJorgeParraPhotography.com
Miami


Re: Case Studies in Retrospect, 2021

Dan Margulis
 



On May 8, 2021, at 10:34 PM, KENT SOUTHERS <southers3@...> wrote:

Ironically, I tend to push certain things, then when I'm "finished" with an image, I'll place the original back on top, and use a blending mode / opacity adjustment to pull it back if I think I overdid something. 

There’s nothing ironic about it. Granted how the human visual system works, it’s the logical last step in PPW—a step that’s conspicuously missing in traditional workflows.

Consider the problems of Person A, who works traditionally, and Person B, who uses PPW.

Person A adds color to the original until satisfied. Person B goes overboard with the color and then backs off until satisfied.

The last thing Person A sees before making his final decision is the relatively dull original. The last thing Person B sees is the wildly oversaturated Color Boost version. These comparisons greatly influence their final choices. Person A is apt to approve something too bland, because it’s exciting next to the original. Person B will likely approve something that’s too loud, because next to the Color Boost version, it isn’t.

This is why Person B *should* now go back to the original, to see whether the “corrected” version should be toned down further. Person A has no such step available and is likely to live in ignorance of the dullness of his version.

Dan


Re: Case Studies in Retrospect, 2021

Dan Margulis
 



On May 3, 2021, at 1:17 PM, jorgeparraphotography <jorgeparraphotography@...> wrote:

Dan, first off, of course, many many thanks for being so generous with your time and knowledge and this has been invaluable, even for a rookie like myself!

I am happy to read this and similar comments and hope that the two series lead to a lasting improvement in people’s work. If so, it will be one of the few positive things to come out of this pandemic, without which there wouldn’t have been enough available time to do it in such depth.

Now, putting this great knowledge hole aside, I still learned so many things and even did relatively fine in one of the challenges ( the concert at the beach), while I messed up big time in others,

Anybody who participates in several of these exercises will do better on some than on others. That much is so obvious that we can overlook an important ramification.

Participants in this group range from beginner to expert but are all interested in the subject and all reasonably competent with the tools at hand. Anyone matching that description will sometimes produce a version highly competitive with the par and sometimes not. It’s those “other” times that define the skill level. An expert’s poorest entry may be obviously worse than par but it’s unlikely to be below average for the group.

When I was hiring retouchers, therefore, I wasn’t looking at their best work so much as at their worst. Clients aren’t good at distinguishing brilliant work from merely professional-level, but they are good at detecting garbage. So, I’d much prefer to hire a person who produces consistently good results rather than someone whose work varies from awesome to unacceptable.

My suggestion to participants, therefore, is to accept their own good results as natural and expected, and then to look closely at the bad ones.

but what I keep thinking here is that everyone who entered their images for review was completely and fully convinced that his/her approach was the right one for the image at hand, as it was properly expressed in the emails BEFORE your evaluation hit in.

I may not be reading this correctly but if it is saying that people needed to hear from me before concluding that their work was bad, I disagree. Plenty of people expressed disappointment in their own version as soon as the results were posted; this is why I deliberately stayed out of each thread for the first two days.

The times when the opposite occurred were when the individuals weren’t particularly happy with the par, which blinded them to certain deficiencies in their own versions. Then, yes, my comments may have changed minds because I was trying to show ways of improving their version to create an alternate par.

This is what created soo many different variations of the same subject.  For you, it may be a simple reflection of how little we know about color techniques, but To me, this is still a clear view of how subjective values, cultural biases, likes and dislikes, will always play a role in the decision-making process when evaluating a file and making choices on how to do about it in term of workflow and subtle adjustments.

That’s true but it can be overstated. Gerald and Ken often chimed in with their own choices for best, before knowing what my own were. Typically what would happen, if there were, say, 30 overall entrants, the three of us would recognize that one or two were head and shoulders above the others and that 22 were noncompetitive. This would leave five or six candidates to fill out the rest of our lists and then our personal biases would come into play.

The crucial thing seems to me to explain how the 22 noncompetitive versions got that way. Sometimes this was because of an obviously poor artistic choice, such as coolness where warmth is needed. Sometimes a crucial step was omitted, such as the channel blending needed in Hotel Lobby or in Pagodas. More frequently, though, it was a technical error. In a number of these evaluations I posted comparative LAB numbers, suggesting that certain ones were acceptable and others were wrong—not matters of personal taste at all.

In my personal and humble opinions, many images from each challenge would be "acceptable" to a client, in spite of having obvious technical problems which could be improved.  Very interestingly though, most of the images would not belong to a commercial project, the idea of adjusting amateur images brings an additional layer of complexity, starting with errors in the capture, a defective color rendering by consumer cameras, poor optics, etc. In the world of clients and commercial work, many of the defects of the original images would just not be there, so getting a good final file takes less work and the use of not so many techniques to achieve it. The challenges NEED to be done on mostly amateur images so we can get deep into adjustments.

All this is true, but again it brings up the need for more care, because without anything to compare it to, the client may accept something that isn’t very good. As an example, in all nine of the MIT studies in this round and in 2020, I posted the version that I did in 2017. Some of these still seem good, or at least good given the time constraints, but back then I had only the MIT retouchers to compare to, which made it easy to overestimate the quality of my own work. When I started a 2021 version of Bellagio I quickly realized that my 2017 version was poor. And I never did understand what was wrong with my 2017 (and 2021) Concert on the Beach until I saw the group’s versions.

Another outstanding situation was to find out how the latest images offered the opportunity of creating several PAR images, which adds even more gas to the fire: If there is not one but several reference files, which one is the most adequate one to evaluate all contestants? We fall again into the issue of subjectivity, even when counting with the best files and the best possible mix(es) to build a PAR or reference file.

Looking at a bunch of alternate pars indeed will provoke differences of opinion for the same reasons discussed earlier. When Gerald and Ken and I disagreed, we had each already eliminated a whole bunch of inferior versions and agreed on a couple of remarkably good ones. This left only a few choices and often they were questions of the lesser of the evils. But par versions don’t have serious defects, so lots of individual preferences manifest themselves.

On the idea of the course not being able to be run again in person, and as an educator myself, I wonder: what would be the impediment to build it online? 

My age.

How difficult it would be to create a paid site, expanding on what the book explains, include some basic, mostly unmonitored challenges per each section or set of processes, and when participants get approved, you then grant them private ( and paid) access to one big challenge like the ones we have done this and last year? This online training would inevitably raise the level of the participants BEFORE entering any challenge, giving you ample chance to enjoy good quality images sent for each project and making a REAL mark in the impact of the participant's knowledge on the matter of Color.

It’s do-able technically but would be a real step downward from a true classroom experience, where everything happens in real time. In an ACT class, instead of doing 10 images over 10 weeks, we did 26 over three days, and the participants become a family who support each other when discouragement sets in.


Well, at the very least, that is how I see it, and hope you take it as positive feedback since you asked for it. 

I do, thanks.

Dan


Re: Case Studies in Retrospect, 2021

KENT SOUTHERS
 

I too found the issue of blending to be a technique that comes with a mixed bag of pro / con issues that come along for the ride.  But, about half-way through the exercises ... it donned on me that (photoshop at least) blending modes afford a means for selectively using portions of an alternate image.  Basically, a mathematical mask, rather than an opaque one.  So, through the use of blending modes and alternate versions (pushing the envelope at times), coupled with opacity adjustments etc. we can harness some of what we want, and not what we don't.

Ironically, I tend to push certain things, then when I'm "finished" with an image, I'll place the original back on top, and use a blending mode / opacity adjustment to pull it back if I think I overdid something.  Basically, a reversal application of what the exercises were promoting as a cross-check / adjustment technique - tool.  Not a tell all, do all ... but, another tool for the toolbox.  And, like all tools, no single tool works every time, for everything, for everyone. 

How well we learn to use (any) the tool, will determine how frequently we use it ... or, is that vice versa. 😉
That, and if our other tools are working well for us, then we may have choices for which tools we prefer.


Kent Southers, CMRP
southers3@...



From: colortheory@groups.io <colortheory@groups.io> on behalf of James Gray <James@...>
Sent: Saturday, May 8, 2021 8:07 PM
To: colortheory@groups.io <colortheory@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [colortheory] Case Studies in Retrospect, 2021
 
I was going to say I disagree with this.  However, I really am skeptical that it will work very well for many of us.  So to be specific I do not have reservations about creating auxiliary versions and have no real fear of constructing them.  As I have tried to study the comments from Dan and the other participants, I have often found myself saying to myself, "I never thought of that."  To be clear, I work on my photographs and almost never have access to versions made by someone else.  I could create ugly versions in the interest of beauty.  Often I blend versions together.  You mention the Shasta exercise.   I blended 4 different versions together to create my entry to that exercise.  It still left a lot to be desired because I did think of the additional version with a better sky.  I do think my mountain was better than most.  Please understand I am not really trying to discuss again the Shasta exercise.  I am really interested in the issue of blending.  I think too many of the excellent par versions and some of the secondary par versions were good because they were created by different persons, not simply because auxiliary versions were created.  At least for me, the emphasis on blending was not entirely what I needed to improve my work.  I did appreciate all of the other details about what was right and wrong about individual versions and details about how to achieve certain goals.  I have thought about going through all of the specific steps for improving versions and compiling them into one combined document.

I will just say a few words about which exercises I preferred.  I liked the beach concert, the little girl in Peru, and the stupas (aka pagodas).  Less useful were the Niagra Falls and Beach at sunset.

Jim Gray

On Sat, May 8, 2021 at 2:26 PM Dan Margulis via groups.io <dmargulis=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:


On Apr 28, 2021, at 2:59 PM, Gerald Bakker <gc.bakker@...> wrote:

- When making multiple versions, ... so why not create a few extremes. 

Why not, indeed. This series has certainly demonstrated the utility of extreme auxiliary versions. Yet people are afraid to construct them. I used a few of them, but neglected to do so in the Shasta exercise. I decided that as long as I created a strong mountain all would be well, and went too far, getting a version that wasn’t to my liking when compared to the others. I should have made a more conservative version, plus an extreme version with more contrast in the mountain than anyone would possibly want. That would have let me make a more intelligent decision about how to blend them.

I suspect that we all have an instinctive fear of the ugly, even when the ugliness is created in the name of beauty. That is why, IMHO, some are afraid of acquiring a very flat version in the raw module, or of making a grossly too colorful version with Color Boost—or making a ridiculously contrasty auxiliary version. 

Dan


Re: Case Studies in Retrospect, 2021

James Gray
 

I was going to say I disagree with this.  However, I really am skeptical that it will work very well for many of us.  So to be specific I do not have reservations about creating auxiliary versions and have no real fear of constructing them.  As I have tried to study the comments from Dan and the other participants, I have often found myself saying to myself, "I never thought of that."  To be clear, I work on my photographs and almost never have access to versions made by someone else.  I could create ugly versions in the interest of beauty.  Often I blend versions together.  You mention the Shasta exercise.   I blended 4 different versions together to create my entry to that exercise.  It still left a lot to be desired because I did think of the additional version with a better sky.  I do think my mountain was better than most.  Please understand I am not really trying to discuss again the Shasta exercise.  I am really interested in the issue of blending.  I think too many of the excellent par versions and some of the secondary par versions were good because they were created by different persons, not simply because auxiliary versions were created.  At least for me, the emphasis on blending was not entirely what I needed to improve my work.  I did appreciate all of the other details about what was right and wrong about individual versions and details about how to achieve certain goals.  I have thought about going through all of the specific steps for improving versions and compiling them into one combined document.

I will just say a few words about which exercises I preferred.  I liked the beach concert, the little girl in Peru, and the stupas (aka pagodas).  Less useful were the Niagra Falls and Beach at sunset.

Jim Gray


On Sat, May 8, 2021 at 2:26 PM Dan Margulis via groups.io <dmargulis=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:


On Apr 28, 2021, at 2:59 PM, Gerald Bakker <gc.bakker@...> wrote:

- When making multiple versions, ... so why not create a few extremes. 

Why not, indeed. This series has certainly demonstrated the utility of extreme auxiliary versions. Yet people are afraid to construct them. I used a few of them, but neglected to do so in the Shasta exercise. I decided that as long as I created a strong mountain all would be well, and went too far, getting a version that wasn’t to my liking when compared to the others. I should have made a more conservative version, plus an extreme version with more contrast in the mountain than anyone would possibly want. That would have let me make a more intelligent decision about how to blend them.

I suspect that we all have an instinctive fear of the ugly, even when the ugliness is created in the name of beauty. That is why, IMHO, some are afraid of acquiring a very flat version in the raw module, or of making a grossly too colorful version with Color Boost—or making a ridiculously contrasty auxiliary version. 

Dan


Re: Case Studies in Retrospect, 2021

Dan Margulis
 



On Apr 28, 2021, at 2:59 PM, Gerald Bakker <gc.bakker@...> wrote:

- When making multiple versions, do not just take different paths, but more importantly, aim for completely different objectives. If the first version is pretty light, even if you like it, make another that is deliberately dark, etc. This is a lesson that I took from Dan's extensive comments, where different versions were cleverly merged to something even better. Normally, one doesn't have all these (very different) versions available, so why not create a few extremes. 

Why not, indeed. This series has certainly demonstrated the utility of extreme auxiliary versions. Yet people are afraid to construct them. I used a few of them, but neglected to do so in the Shasta exercise. I decided that as long as I created a strong mountain all would be well, and went too far, getting a version that wasn’t to my liking when compared to the others. I should have made a more conservative version, plus an extreme version with more contrast in the mountain than anyone would possibly want. That would have let me make a more intelligent decision about how to blend them.

I suspect that we all have an instinctive fear of the ugly, even when the ugliness is created in the name of beauty. That is why, IMHO, some are afraid of acquiring a very flat version in the raw module, or of making a grossly too colorful version with Color Boost—or making a ridiculously contrasty auxiliary version. 

Dan

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