[colortheory} Case Studies in Retrospect

Kirk West

Unfortunately, I only entered the fray midway. I had not realised all my notifications were being sent to a scam folder.
I am not a retoucher, I am what is now called a keen hobbyist photographer. To make matters worse, I have become a specialist photographer taking bird images. I hardly ever have any other type of genre that I lift a camera to, perhaps a bit more wildlife than anything else sprinkled with the odd landscape and a very occasional image with humans in it. My interest in colour correction and the PPW process started late 2012, when I had reached a certain level in my photography, but realised that my Photoshop skills were totally lacking. I have read the MPCW book numerous times as well as Lab Color edition 2. I also have Lab Color, first Edition, and Professional Photoshop Fifth Edition, where I make sporadic forays into the contents, in order to try and understand something better. 
Entering the fray with the Monuments image I soon realised that I am way to conservative regarding colour than most of the other participants. Also with the Greece Celebration I realised that I had become lazy with my colour correction, only paying attention to the highlights and shadows. Amazingly my skin colour did not turn out too bad, perhaps I pay too much attention to enhancing and finding the detail, especially with the young lady in the grass. Determined to get good bright colour, I obviously overdid the autumn colours turning the leaves a bright red. The final red rose I thought I did a pretty neat effort. I have seen rose varieties with pale edges to the petals so I assumed that was the varietal uniqueness, at the same time I accepted that with a light edge the colour would not be a deep vibrant red, it would be a softer more pastel shade of red. I think I produced a flower that I had imagined, however the rest of the participants saw flashes going off and deep red coloured roses.
Each image I worked on taught me something about myself and how I see and do colour correction. That I have gained out of the exercise, there is no doubt. I have already noticed that I am looking for more possibilities in an image, also I am not just going through the workflow and accepting the end result. I am trying to assess each image and think about if I could change the workflow subtly in order to end with a better image.
Towards the end of the case studies I was asked to judge a photographic competition of 800 plus images. Due to Lockdown and the virus, this had to be done remotely, i.e. at home on your own monitor and not publicly as a projected image. This meant after the judging, I had access to 800 plus images, which I relished the opportunity and have done a lot of correction on the entrants work. So far I have managed to improve every image I have worked on and sometimes have even produced a much more colourful image! there is definitely progress. 
Not being in a position to attend a course, nor having the correct money to even contemplate Daniele's challenges this was a very important exercise for me and I gained tremendously. Not only being able to participate, but also compare your work to other participant's efforts, was an important aspect of the exercise as working in isolation bad habits will be compounded. My only regret was that I missed the first six weeks. I am sure I shall remain conservative regarding colour but from the posts I gathered that there are others who tend to be conservative types.
Thanks to Dan for doing this exercise and passing commentary on our efforts, also it helped to stimulate the brain during lockdown which was a vital part of negotiating the pandemic.
Kind Regards and Keep Safe
Kirk West