Lesson 5 – Color

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    melissa tate


    Here’s my submission for the color assignment. I was walking through Zurich’s old town on a drizzly day. This rather extraordinary orange Mercedes really seemed to ‘pop’ in front of this relatively ordinary stone building. I’ll look forward to your feedback.


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    Duncan Rawlinson

    Hi Melissa,

    Thank you for submitting another great assignment.

    You are right, this colour certainly pops!

    First things first thought, lets’ take a look at the EXIF data for the image:

    Date Time Original: 2014:04:18 04:22:19
    Exposure Time: 1/50
    F Number: f / 5
    Exposure Program: Aperture priority
    ISO Speed Ratings: 200
    Metering Mode: Pattern
    Flash: Flash did not fire
    Focal Length: 52mm
    White Balance: Manual white balance
    Model: NIKON D90
    LensInfo: 180/10 1050/10 35/10 56/10
    LensModel: 18.0-105.0 mm f/3.5-5.6
    Lens: 18.0-105.0 mm f/3.5-5.6
    Exif Version:
    Date Time Digitized: 2014:04:18 04:22:19
    Subsec Time Original: 00
    Subsec Time Digitized: 00
    Shutter Speed Value: 5.64
    Aperture Value: 4.64
    Max Aperture Value: 4.60
    Subject Distance: 4.22
    Light Source: Cloudy weather
    Sensing Method: One-chip color area sensor
    File Source: DSC
    Scene Type: Directly photographed
    CFA Pattern: 758
    Custom Rendered: Normal process
    Digital Zoom Ration: 1
    Focal Length In 35mm Film: 78mm
    Scene Capture Type: Standard
    Gain Control: None
    Contrast: Normal
    Saturation: Normal
    Sharpness: Normal
    Subject Distance Range: Unknown
    ExifIFDPointer: 216
    X Resolution: 240
    Y Resolution: 240
    Resolution Unit: 2
    Date Time: 2014:04:20 22:27:29
    Software: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3.6 (Macintosh)
    DateCreated: 2014-04-18T04:22:19.00

    The first thing I noticed in the exif data was that you are using a really old version of adobe lightroom! I’m running adobe lightroom 5 these days and it’s fantastic. Especially the integration with lightroom mobile on the iPad. Honestly it’s a good idea to keep up with the updates but I always give them a few weeks to work out any kinks before major upgrades.

    What’s special about this image (other than the fact that’s it’s a nice image) is that it illustrates how digital cameras sometimes struggle with the reds and oranges. Often they are too saturated and or too vibrant. This is a good reason to shoot in RAW mode so you can post process them and tone down the reds/oranges a bit.

    Here is one way to do this:

    This is one of those tools that can be completely overdone so don’t do this too much… With great power comes great responsibility!

    Also in this image you used ISO 200 which will certainly help make for a sharper image if you are just running and gunning handheld but for something like this the increased sensor sensitivity also makes the camera struggle a bit with the colours here. I this case it looks like you could have used ISO 100 and adjusted your shutter speed/fstop accordingly.

    All of that that said the photo certainly meets the requirements of the assignment and the colours are lovely.

    Don’t forget about keeping your images level. Look at the horizontal lines slanting to the right. In lightroom it’s simple: http://youtu.be/bU_r5hS4fpE

    Also don’t forget to avoid clipping or amputating important elements in your frame (such as the door handle).

    Nice job here. Color is often forgotten about and people just snap away and yet it is critical to good photography.

    See you on the next assignment

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