Just Back from Dan Margulis’ Applied Color Theory Workshop

Double Vision - San Diego - 2013

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.

One Reply to “Just Back from Dan Margulis’ Applied Color Theory Workshop”

  1. While I’m not a photographer myself, I always enjoy reading about your passionate pursuit of the art (and science?) of photography. Each person is given different gifts and talents to pursue and to use and it’s good when we use them to the best of our ability.

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