Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Making Summer Color
In a season dominated by green, you can help the natural landscape with your camera, filters and the delicate use of Photoshop tools
There are times when a colorcast is desired, however—an overall wash of orange at sunset or shades of blue at dusk and twilight, for example. Once you understand how color affects the scene, the viewer and the colors around it, you’re free to take advantage of those effects for creative purposes.
There are many times when color gets in the way and desaturating or completely eliminating hue yields a stronger image than a color version of the scene. Again, digital has a working advantage here. In Photoshop’s Preferences, uncheck the Color Channels in Color box under Display and Cursors. Each RGB channel now will display in black-and-white, as if the scene was shot on black-and-white film through a red, green or blue filter. Toggle through them to see how different the image looks in each version. There are many creative ways to blend the preferred effect from each channel to create an image that looks very different from the color version or any single channel. I like to copy each channel onto a separate layer and then use a black or white paintbrush on layer masks to blend them together. Taking the leaves selectively from the green channel, the sky from the red channel and shadows from the blue channel all blended together can generate a look similar to black-and-white infrared. The look can be dramatic.
A longtime contributor to Outdoor Photographer, Daryl Benson is the author of many books and his work has appeared in many calendars. See more of his photography at www.darylbenson.com.
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