DSLR Dynamics – The Art and Practice of Digital Filmmaking

New Workshops – DSLR Dynamics

Join us and explore the art of digital filmmaking!

The Video Visuals workshops are taught by two award-winning instructors.

Barry Andersson is the author of a top-selling Amazon book for DSLR video/filmmaking, THE DSLR FILMMAKER’S HANDBOOK, speaks at top film schools, & is a regular instructor for many NFL, MLB, NBA & NHL production crews.

planetMitch is the owner of planet5D – a highly ranked website that features blog and video reports on topics vital to the HDSLR community — and he also interviews industry leaders via his popular planet5D podcasts. In addition, planetMitch co-produced the short film “Incident on Marmont Avenue.”

The sessions will cover, among other things, best lighting practices, cameras, lenses, and camera settings, adding movement to video, and effectively capturing sound, editing and post-production.

I’ll be joining them, sponsored by and representing Datacolor, and I’ll be addressing color management issues as they relate to capture and post-production.

Cities coming up on the schedule include Seattle, Portland, Phoenix, Denver, Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, and more.

For dates (sessions starting this week) and registration go here: http://dslrdynamics.com/workshop/

New Workshop/Seminar – “Camera to Output”

Camera to Output – “Begin With the End In Mind”
October 19, 2013 Denver, Colorado

Join us for this comprehensive seminar, and sharpen your skills in image capture, color managed workflow, studio photography, and post-production techniques.

Getting it right in the camera

Begin with the end in mind

Color managed workflow

Introduction: Live Studio Setups and Lighting

Live Image Capture

Macro, Product & Live Model shooting workstations

Effective and efficient post production techniques

Creating Portfolio-Worthy Prints

Attendees receive special discount coupon packs and free sample materials.
Hosted by Digital2You. Sponsors include Datacolor, Epson, Pentax, Eizo, and Photo Imaging Consultants. Fee for attendance. Lunch provided.

Register:  http://www.digital2you.cc/cameratooutput.html

New Webinar Schedule Updated May 1

Datacolor® , a global leader in color management solutions, announced today its spring 2013 line-up of free color management webinars featuring co-sponsors. The popular webinar series continues with a variety of introductory and advanced webinars that discuss new techniques and offer insights and tips for photographers to enhance their skills. Datacolor is bringing dynamic topics to photographers with the help of notable photography related companies including Triggertrap, Phlearn.com, onOne Software and Lexar.

Each webinar includes step-by-step demonstrations using Datacolor’s line of Spyder color calibration devices, and in-depth discussions on how to effectively use the right tools to create images. The bi-monthly webinars, hosted by David Tobie, global product technology manager for Datacolor, and David Saffir, Datacolor expert, noted landscape and fine art photographer, and author of “Master Digital Color,” focus on managing color using tools in both capture and processing stages. Topics range in subject matter and focus on providing photographers with new methods of producing high quality results with their images.

“Photography continues to evolve and there are always new methods to master,” said David Tobie. “Datacolor has always been committed to helping photographers achieve the highest quality photos. By adding more partners to our webinar series, we continue our goal of providing photographers at any level with the methods, techniques, and recommendations on tools to produce incredible photos.”

Upcoming topics for the Datacolor color management webinar series to include:

May 8, 2013 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. EDT: Digital Workflow Process for the Capture Stage (Co-sponsor: Hunt’s Photo & Video)

May 30, 2013 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. EDT: Remote Control Photography (Co-sponsor: Triggertrap)

June 12, 2013 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. EDT: Introduction to Color Management (Co-sponsor: Phlearn.com)

June 18, 2013 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. EDT: Focus Control: Before, During, and After the Shot (Co-Sponsor: onOne Software)

June 27, 2013 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. EDT: Digital Asset Management (Co-sponsor: Lexar)

Those interested in attending can register in advance for the free webinars. Attendees will be given discount codes for Spyder products and/or products from co-sponsors. They will also automatically be entered to win a Datacolor Spyder product and products from co-sponsors coinciding with the webinar topic. Guests will have the ability to interact with the speakers in a Q&A format, and get first-hand input on applying color management effectively in their workflow.

Register now at spyder.datacolor.com/freewebinars.
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Down In The Weeds © David Saffir

Selective Color Adjustment in Adobe Photoshop

This is the full text of an article that was recently published in Photo Technique magazine, PhotoTechMag.com. (there may be some minor differences in the text)
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Selective Color Adjustment in Adobe Photoshop, by David Saffir

There are quite a few ways you can edit color in Photoshop, even down to the colors of leaves on a tree. The advantages? You can target specific parts of an image for a simple color boost, change the color completely, add a color tint or color cast, improve dimensionality and more. I define selective color adjustment to also include selective color replacement.

I encourage the use of Photoshop, because many of these techniques can be applied to a new layer, or an adjustment layer, or a series of layers. This gives you maximum flexibility in editing although it can sometimes increase file size. I’ll review several methods I use, but keep in mind that there are also many more color adjustment options in Photoshop.

Figure 1 (iStockphoto)

Figure 1 (iStockphoto)

Some of the tools in Photoshop require working knowledge of the color wheel. Figure 1 is a modestly stylized version of a color wheel.

Note that that color blue is opposite yellow, red opposite cyan, and green opposite magenta. If an image has a blue color cast, adding an appropriate amount of yellow can balance the image and give a more neutral appearance. Adding even more yellow would result in a yellow color cast, or “warmer” appearance.

Color Balance Adjustment Layer

The Color Balance adjustment layer is a powerful tool: you can activate this from the Layers Panel, or go Layers>Adjustment Layer>Color Balance. Note the “warm tone” in this image. (I think of the Color Balance panel as a selective color adjustment, because you can balance the image using the color wheel as a guide, and also work selectively among highlights, shadows, and midtones).

Figure 2

Figure 2

I suggest that you work in small steps. For example, add a small amount of blue in the highlights, then switch to midtones, and repeat the cycle until the image is pleasing. Figure 2 is the ‘before’ photograph. In Figure 3 I’ve “added” blue to the image in the highlights and midtones, pushing it toward a more neutral appearance. In this case, I’ve added a bit more blue than necessary just so you can see the effect on this printed page.

Figure 3

Figure 3

Selective Color Adjustment Layer

This option offers a wide range of combinations. First, the panel offers a drop-down menu that contains six main colors that can be adjusted: red, yellow, green, cyan, blue and magenta. (Familiar, aren’t they? These are primary points on the color wheel). It also offers adjustments for white, neutral and black. Figure 4 is the ‘before’ photograph.

Figure 4

Figure 4

In a way, this panel is a “cousin” to the Color Balance tool set. It offers much more flexibility, however—examine the example in Figure 3—we have the option of increasing or decreasing the amount of cyan, magenta, yellow, or black in any of the choices offered in the drop down menu. In this case, (Figure 5) if we select red and increase cyan, its opposite on the color wheel, the reds become subdued. Small steps are best.

Figure 5

Figure 5

You may find it necessary to combine adjustments and/or corrections to get the look and feel you want. If you change the layer blending mode to “color” you can create multiple adjustment layers, and stack them for cumulative effect.

Replace Color

This is one of my favorite tools in Photoshop, particularly when editing landscape or still life images. It is frequently used by photo retouchers to change hue and saturation in commercial photography—and it can be adapted to use in landscape and scenic photography to add depth, dimensionality and tone separation to an image.

Here’s an image (Figure 6) that I took near the California Poppy Reserve some time ago. Basic adjustments, such as levels and curves have been completed. Partially overcast conditions make colors on the ground looks a bit subdued, and a little flat.

Figure 6

Figure 6

Next, we’re going to open the Replace Color panel (Image>Adjustments>Replace Color). At the top of the panel, enable “Local Color Clusters”. This will improve your control of any changes, in many cases limiting those changes to a patch of color, or a patch and its neighbors.

Next, use the left hand eyedropper to select a color area. In this case, (Figure 7) I’ve selected the yellow patch in the distance, on the left hand side near the horizon. I’ve also pushed the Fuzziness slider to the right, to include some of the colors in the grass. (Note that I’ve enabled Selection view in the panel, which provide a black/white view similar to the Threshold tool—the white areas show the selection quite clearly. You can use the +dropper tool to select additional areas—but take care to limit your selections to colors that are close to your original choice).

Figure 7

Figure 7

I then increase the saturation in the selected area. Note the change in the yellow areas of the photograph, Figure 8.

Figure 8

Figure 8

If you want to use a different color, you can move the Hue slider to the right or left. Keep in mind that this adjustment is very intense and challenging to control. I prefer to use the Color Picker, which can be accessed by double clicking on the color square just to the right of the Hue slider. You can select almost any color via mouse click, or by typing in the RGB or HSB numbers for a color (Figure 9). The Lightness slider can also be useful—particularly if you’ve increased saturation in an area, and it’s looking a bit too prominent. You can pull the Lightness slider to the left just a touch to subdue it.

Figure 9

Figure 9

You can continue this process of selected color modification in targeted areas. Note the changes in the grass and flowers on the left side of the image—and now, off in the distance, you can see a stronger hint of the orange color of the poppies in bloom. (In Figure 9, I’ve exaggerated the effect a bit to improve visibility on the printed page).

Final image - all images © David Saffir 2010

Final image – all images © David Saffir 2010

It takes a light touch to get well-controlled and realistic results. Color intensity, dimensionality and tonal separation can be improved. Practice is the key to success—and of course, take full advantage of multiple layers to mix and match and create your final image.

Interesting Photo from the Pre-Rose Parade Events

Every year, the Rose Parade organizers provide a venue where visitors can see the floats as they are put together. There are also quite a few antique cars in the mix; here’s an image of a 1938 Packard Standard 8. This particular car was exported by Franklin Roosevelt to Russia, for the exclusive use of Joseph Stalin. It has since been returned to the US (not sure how long) for restoration. It is the first image provided below; I’m not sure about the info for the second car shown.

IMG_5139 © D Saffir

IMG_5136 © D Saffir

 

 

Me? Use a Hand-Held Light Meter for Photography or Video? (Part 1)

Me? Use a Hand-Held Light Meter? (Part 1)

You bet. In fact, with some of the newer designs available, you’d find they are easier to use, frequently more accurate, and will often help you improve the quality of your work!

I recently attended the Exposure Photo Expo in Toronto, sponsored by Henry’s Photo and Video. A couple of models from Sekonic caught my eye, among them the L-478 and the L-478DR. They have all-digital readouts, touch screen capability, and more. Very nicely updated designs.

Features include incident light readings, spot readings, the DR model is capable of Pocket-Wizard triggering control, enhanced HD Cine features, exposure profiling, flash power controls, flash-ambient measurements, and more.

Spot reading, as compared to incident light metering, can be much more accurate in evaluating dynamic range in a scene, and getting the right exposure in high-contrast situations.

I’ll be writing more about this topic later on, focusing on using a hand-held meter vs. an in-camera meter – probably in two more additional segments – regarding general use, and in creating lighting setups.

Sekonic Meter


New Free Webinar: Calibration for All of Your Display Devices

Calibration for All of Your Display Devices: including iPhones, iPads & more
Tuesday, October 16, 2012 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM EDT, 12 noon – 1 PM PDT

Most photographers, artists, and designers own more than one display device – be it a laptop or desktop computer, projector, iPhone or iPad. It can be a challenge to get them all to work together and provide accurate and consistent color, hue, saturation, and brightness – which enables the user to work with confidence and transition between display devices efficiently and effectively. One should for example, be able to edit images on a desktop computer, and be assured that those images will be color-consistent when shown to a client or colleague on a laptop or iPad.

Join us Tuesday, October 16th from 3PM-4PM EDT (12 Noon – 1 PM PDT), as Datacolor Color Management Experts, David Saffir and David Tobie discuss the issues photographers encounter when calibrating displays for use in photo studios and related workspaces. Some issues to be discussed include: accurate color calibration, ambient light and studio setup issues, studio calibration standards, and side-by-side tuning of displays for visual matching.

An interactive Q&A will take place throughout the webinar to answer any questions you may have.

Register here: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/886424690