The afternoon before our workshop with Dan Margulis, Doug Kaye and I checked into our hotel and then headed to Old Town.
We had a great time – in the late afternoon light – exploring this great state park. Along the way, we came across some great interiors – shops along the way. This was a great example – we walked into this shop and were met with this wonderful smile – and she loved posing for our attempts to capture her image. I was shooting with my Fujifilm X100S.
I put this image through the full Dan Margulis treatment – color correction, luminosity adjustments, and color enhancement. A bit of sharpening and shadow saturation reduction finished it up.
I’m just back from four intensive days with Dan Margulis and four other students (including my friend Doug Kaye) attending his four-day Applied Color Theory in Photoshop workshop. Over the last twenty years, Dan has developed and refined his techniques for color correction and image enhancement of images using Photoshop.
Dan’s written three major books on the subject of Photoshop – which I have and have tried to read and apply – but there’s nothing that can replace the opportunity to actually “do it” in a classroom. For me, this workshop might best be described as a Photoshop “retreat” – spending four long days with a true master of his craft and trying to learn and apply his teachings. The experience was very rewarding – providing me with new insights into what’s possible with images.
The image up top is one example of me attempting to apply some of these techniques. The evening before the workshop, Doug and I headed to Old Town – San Diego with our rangefinder cameras in hand (my Fujifilm X100S and his – a Sony RX1R from Borrowlenses.com that he’s reviewing). The original of this image has a yellow cast – and the first step in Dan’s workflow is to try to correct for color cast before doing anything else. The color cast in this image included a lot of yellow from the wall paint and a lot of blue from the outside light flooding into the room through a doorway. This final result is reasonably balanced and captures the lively colors in the scene. The left facing surfaces still include a blue cast – but the humans look reasonably normal! Not perfect, but better than the original – thanks to new learnings from Dan’s teachings!
This image also uses a technique that Lee Varis taught me – about how to desaturate the color in the shadow areas to provide a greater sense of depth to the image.
My good friend Jim Rowson took a delightful vacation to New England this fall. He’s posted many of his photos of lighthouses and waterfalls on Google+. His lighthouse images, in particular, have really caught my eye. See, for example, this great shot below of the Portland Head Light in Maine.
While Jim was exploring New England with his camera this fall, my photo buddy Doug Kaye and I have been exploring some new post-processing techniques for our images which are anchored in the Lab colorspace in Photoshop. Doug’s going to share some of these techniques on his blog. In parallel, I’ve been experimenting a bit as well with a more sophisticated post-processing workflow that’s anchored in several things:
- Dealing with color casts – and getting them adjusted correctly.
- Adjusting the fundamental tonality of the image, adding depth, making it much more interesting to the eye.
- Using the power of the Lab color space to adjust color in the image.
- Adding tweaks to enhance local contrast, and special sharpening techniques which are, again, based on the Lab color space.
Doug and I are still evolving our techniques here.
We initially benefitted greatly from a private workshop with Mark Lindsay. Mark taught us about the basic flow: adjusting color casts, then tonality (mostly using channel masks and Luminosity blend in RGB mode) and, finally, enhancing color using Lab.
Building on the foundation that Mark provided, we’ve learned more from the 10 Channel Workflow video tutorials of Lee Varis, and from the master of Lab – Dan Margulis – and his LAB color/Picture Postcard Card workflow videos on KelbyTraining.com, his book “Photoshop LAB Color: The Canyon Conundrum and Other Adventures in the Most Powerful Colorspace“, plus some other new tricks.
Earlier today, I applied my current workflow using my “de jour” combination of these techniques to that earlier image of Jim’s. Here’s the final result:
See a difference?