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Critic's CornerFiery Fall Foliage

Nature's beauty cannot be expressed more perfectly than in its flora.
- Flowers and plants in any state, from natural to arranged, outdoor or indoor.
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Charles Haacker
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Fiery Fall Foliage

Postby Charles Haacker » Thu Oct 19, 2017 6:47 pm

My son spotted this, on his way out the door to run Andromeda to daycare/preschool. He wondered if there were a picture there and I thought there was. I made several, all pretty much alike but looking for the flaming red to be framed, and deliberately out of focus (f/4), behind the still-green leaves of the pretty I-dud-doh-what-it-is tree on the front lawn. I made I think 8 exposures, looking for the right relationship of foreground to background, and chose these three. Each has been processed solely in Lightroom, and each has been processed differently. Two have been cropped to a 16:9 ratio. They are in chronological order. I like all three. I tend to favor #1. It's softer and the foreground greens are lighter. I have punched up both the global vibrance and saturation on that first one, and HSL has been played with for darkening or lightening and targeted saturation, so in other words I'm all over the place, but my personal preference is still #1. Waddya think? :|
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LindaShorey
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Re: Fiery Fall Foliage

Postby LindaShorey » Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:43 pm

The lighter greens of #1 make that my favorite, as well. With the other two I want a reshoot using fill flash :D
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Re: Fiery Fall Foliage

Postby Psjunkie » Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:04 pm

Yep....I'm with ya Chuck.

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Charles Haacker
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Re: Fiery Fall Foliage

Postby Charles Haacker » Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:32 am

LindaShorey wrote:The lighter greens of #1 make that my favorite, as well. With the other two I want a reshoot using fill flash :D
Thanks for looking and commenting, Linda! So far that's 3 votes for #1. It was one of 3 or so that were normally exposed. The others were underexposed by exposing for the sky. When I brought the dark ones into Lightroom I took the highlight slider all the way left but kept the shadow slider at zero, thinking that keeping the foreground leaves dark (but still visibly green) would allow the eye to travel past the sharp green leaves out to the fuzzy red ones. Plus the sky was better. I wasn't even going to work any of the normally exposed ones but I kept coming back to this one, which just happened to be the very first exposure. I'm liking it more and more. I especially like the two loop-de-loop whorls of green at center.
Psjunkie wrote:Yep....I'm with ya Chuck.
Thanks so much, Frank!
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Re: Fiery Fall Foliage

Postby Duck » Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:45 am

I can see the appeal of the scene. Boy are those colors bright!
For me, I'm split. I love the processing of the first but love the crop and composition of the third. It just seems to frame the red in a more cohesive and unsophisticated manner.
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Charles Haacker
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Re: Fiery Fall Foliage

Postby Charles Haacker » Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:15 am

Duck wrote:I can see the appeal of the scene. Boy are those colors bright!
For me, I'm split. I love the processing of the first but love the crop and composition of the third. It just seems to frame the red in a more cohesive and unsophisticated manner.

Thank you, Duck! I may not do it until tomorrow but I can go back and tinker some more with that one. I like it too. All it might take is pulling the shadow slider up.
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Charles Haacker
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Re: Fiery Fall Foliage

Postby Charles Haacker » Fri Oct 20, 2017 4:23 pm

Duck wrote:I can see the appeal of the scene. Boy are those colors bright!
For me, I'm split. I love the processing of the first but love the crop and composition of the third. It just seems to frame the red in a more cohesive and unsophisticated manner.
Charles Haacker wrote:Thank you, Duck! I may not do it until tomorrow but I can go back and tinker some more with that one. I like it too. All it might take is pulling the shadow slider up.

I went back to that third image, lightened the foreground foliage as much as I thought I could without affecting the overall look. I'm including the original post from yesterday plus the zeroed-out original from the raw for comparison:
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DSC00248.EMlr.jpg
This is the already posted original with no changes.
DSC00248.EMlr-2.jpg
This is this morning's rework to open the greens. This was done mostly in HSL plus additional HSL on an overall mask made from a "flipped" graduated filter. To raise those values any more would probably require moving it into Photoshop.
DSC00248.EMlr-3.jpg
This is what the original raw looked like SOOC, exposed for the sky to be sure it stayed blue. I don't seem able to get the sky this rich with the normally exposed files, even using various tricks. To relay do it I'd need to go into Photoshop and select and mask. I could of course, just don' wanna.
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Re: Fiery Fall Foliage

Postby Duck » Fri Oct 20, 2017 6:39 pm

Charles Haacker wrote:I went back to that third image, lightened the foreground foliage as much as I thought I could without affecting the overall look.

Thanks for the rework. I really do like the leaves more open. As for your sky issue, have you tried the point adjust in the curves panel? You can use the target picker to see if you can isolate the sky a bit. You can also use HSL on the blue or cyan colors to see if that affects it properly. Just a thought.

Charles Haacker wrote:I'm including the original post from yesterday plus the zeroed-out original from the raw for comparison:

Thanks for showing all three in tandem. It definitely makes comparison easier.
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Charles Haacker
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Re: Fiery Fall Foliage

Postby Charles Haacker » Fri Oct 20, 2017 6:56 pm

Duck wrote:Thanks for the rework. I really do like the leaves more open. As for your sky issue, have you tried the point adjust in the curves panel? You can use the target picker to see if you can isolate the sky a bit. You can also use HSL on the blue or cyan colors to see if that affects it properly. Just a thought.
Thanks for showing all three in tandem. It definitely makes comparison easier.

Thanks for looking and commenting! I consider that I have reached the maaaaybe "advanced beginner" stage in Lightroom, and confess I have not mastered curves. Nah, really I don't know nuthin' about curves and it's one of the big next projects I need to. I did use HSL on the blues, and for that matter the reds, being careful not to go "too far" (whatever that is). I also used it to open the greens. I bet you already know about a trick with the graduated filter, where you click down in a corner and instead of drawing the filter into the frame, you drag it out of the frame which causes a mask over the entire image that can then be manipulated with the sliders. I started where I figured I would, by opening the shadows as much as possible, then I made the mask I just described and used it to open the shadows still further. Then, in the mask, I targeted the greens with the color slider and just dragged hither and yon until I saw something I liked.

As to the sky, I think it's good as is, but for some of these things I suspect that trying to do all of it in Lightroom is counterproductive. I'm learning LR, I'm learning every day to love LR more, but I also know that the more powerful Photoshop can do things that either Lightroom cannot, or doesn't do as well. Some workers work only in Photoshop. I learned in Elements so I was familiar and fairly comfortable with the switch to the full-dress version, but OMG what the full-dress version can do and I have barely scratched the paint!
Friends call me Chuck. :photo: This link takes you to my Flickr albums. Please click on any album to scroll through it.
(I prefer to present pictures in albums because I can put them in specific order.)

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Duck
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Re: Fiery Fall Foliage

Postby Duck » Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:22 pm

Charles Haacker wrote:[...] I bet you already know about a trick with the graduated filter, where you click down in a corner and instead of drawing the filter into the frame, you drag it out of the frame which causes a mask over the entire image that can then be manipulated with the sliders. [...]

Yep, and don't forget, you have access to the brush tool so you can add/subtract/modify the mask in either of the graduated filter modes. I love this feature as it lets me fine tune where the effect is applied.

Charles Haacker wrote:[...] I learned in Elements so I was familiar and fairly comfortable with the switch to the full-dress version, but OMG what the full-dress version can do and I have barely scratched the paint!

Stick with your strong points but don't be afraid to reach beyond it.
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