Color & Light
Meeting Photo Challenges
Creative Image Processing
Nature & Outdoor
Creating Better Photographics
Night & Low Light Photography
Light & Exposure
Close-Up & Macro
Digital Black & White
Color & Design
Choosing & Using Lenses
Digital Photography Equipment
Mood; Subtle Colors And Shades:
You can introduce this same kind of color by altering the white balance. In the photo of Brugge, Belgium (#10), the colors of night were changed because a tungsten white balance turns ambient daylight blue. If you shoot in Raw mode (as you should be doing), this can also be done using the color temperature slider in ACR or Lightroom. When you are in the field, though, it can be rewarding to see the results on the spot. If you include artificial light in the composition, the tungsten WB renders these lights correctly as our eyes see them. Therefore, the contrast between the lights and the cobalt environment is good but it’s not as pronounced as it can be.
By contrast, the dawn shot of the castle in San Marino (#11) was taken with a daylight white balance, and the scene has that bluish cast but the lights look golden because they were tungsten lights, and when a daylight WB is used this kind of lighting looks yellowish.
Opposite the moody blue tones of dawn and twilight are the golden tones you can capture with firelight and tungsten illumination when using a daylight white balance. The photograph I took of my niece, Andrea (#12) shows the beauty of this warm type of light. For skin tones, golden light is usually considered much more appealing than bluish tones. When I photographed a pub in Ireland (#13), I purposely used a daylight white balance to capture the golden colors that evoke the warmth of the environment. I think the mood makes the shot as does the use of a slow shutter speed to give an impression of being there rather than being very literal.
Mood can also be created in Photoshop by desaturating colors. The autumn foliage at the base of the Eastern Sierras (#14) has wonderful color and I like the image a lot, but compare it to (#15) where I used the pull-down command Image>Adjustments>Hue/Saturation and moved the middle slider to decrease saturation. The muted colors are beautiful in their own way. I did the same thing with an exotic tulip (#16), and while the original is beautiful in its intensity of color, the muted version (#17) seems, at least to me, more of a fine art picture that would look elegant if it were printed and framed.
To order back issues (Volumes 3,5,6,7,9, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20)
Hone your skills with fast-paced tutorials and easy-to-follow tips from the archives of PHOTOgraphic and eDigitalPhoto magazines.