Monday, August 17, 2015

Playing around with image manipulation

Although I'm still very much a neophyte when it comes to doing this, I decided that many of my pictures came out a little bit flat, washed out, and colorless—at least compared to the original that I saw with my actual eyes.  I took a few of my hiking pictures from my most recent trip up WFBF valley to Dead Horse Lake—and a picture or two of some spots on the Mirror Lake Highway that we stopped as well—and increased the contrast a bit, the saturation, and the color vibrancy before applying a muted and modest vignette filter to the image.  The results are modest, and yet also striking.  Witness below, and then scroll down to my earlier pictures to compare to the original untouched, raw photographic data.

A few notes.  The first one needed it the most.  Due to weather conditions (very overcast, sprinkly, late afternoon, poor light) it was already faded and washed out looking more than most.  The pictures of the far walls of the cirque immediately after the hailstorm, with sun on the grass, trees and mountains, but dark clouds still lingering in the sky, are the most dramatic, and look the best, because the raw photographic data was the best.

A few of the bright sunlight pictures from the next day turned out a little odd—the saturation and contrast made the sky literally chance colors into a strange turquoise.  I probably need to do a bit more work to find out exactly what image enhancements actually give them the best look, rather than wallpapering the same adjustments to every picture.

I overdid the vignette filter on some of them.  I like it better when it's turned down in size and also grayed out just a bit.  Pure black at even a relatively low size is often too stark.

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