1038 – On The Road To Find Out

Forest roads in bright daylight, that’s a worst case scenario when we talk about extreme contrast. Everything dark is very dark and everything light is extremely bright. The Topaz plugins Topaz Adjust and Topaz Detail can really help you here to model contrast and to re-distribute the tones more evenly.

And still, this is a 19 layer job, no single plugin in the world can do it in one click. You have to have a vision of where you want to go with your image, what it is that you want to accentuate, and then you have to do it. Those Topaz plugins or Alien Skin’s Snap Art are only tools. I’ve used all of them in this image, and then some tricks of my own. In the end I got an image that satisfied me.

Is this image true to what I saw? Hell, no! Not at all, but it resembles the image that I originally set out to make. Nature could not provide me with what I was looking for.

Over the last months you have seen many images that utilized a certain tool set, and although some of these images look as if they had been made in the same way, there is really no canned effect. I use the tools that I have, at times I add a new one, some get used less often, but with every new image I am again on the road to find out. That’s why it’s art, not engineering πŸ™‚

The Song of the Day is “On The Road To Find Out” from Cat Stevens’ classic 1970 album “Tea for the Tillerman”. See him perform live on YouTube.

5 thoughts on “1038 – On The Road To Find Out”

  1. 19 layers, pfiu… I don't very often have the discipline using adjustment layers but work more or less mostly directly with one or two layers. All tweaking goes into one and the b&w conversion into another.

    Wonderful picture, the colours looks like from a dream. The light seems magical.

  2. Of course, as some know, I would never use adjustment layers and post only virgin images directly from my flash card considering anything other than PreProcessing to be less than photography.

    However… and seriously… about saturation. As we build up the layers the intensity of saturation tends to erupt. And yet in multi layers it happens in ways such that our eye grows immune to the effect. I have taken to actually leaving an image I thought was finished for at least fifteen minutes to allow myself to appreciate what's happened to the tonal mapping and the relative dynamic range of the palette of my images.

    How do you handle the fact that the eye fatigues with respect to informing the mind about the intensity of dominant chromes so that they do not steal the attention away from the larger idea and feeling of an image?

  3. On the road to find out
    I like that a lot.
    Lyrics with layers

    Living life is
    like creating art

    Thers's so much left to know
    and I'm on the road to find out

    (tea for the tillerman; one of the first albums I bought, thirty years ago πŸ™‚

  4. I love it when someone says, "No, it doesn't look exactly like the scene I saw. It looks the way I want it to look."

    Hip Hip Hooray. Yippee. Bravo. And, any others I may think of later. If I were a photojournalist, I would be concerned about being true to what I saw. But, since I'm not a journalist, I am not the least bit concerned with whether someone doubts that I saw those colors, or cloned something out, or any other darn thing.

    Wow! Your post is energizing. Sing it from the rooftops!

  5. How do I handle the fact that the eye fatigues? Well, I consult the histogram πŸ™‚

    Really, in scenes like this sunlit forest, there is no such thing as too much saturation. That's ridiculous. We can't capture it with our cameras, and if we could, we couldn't display it on our monitors, we have to map it into the possible range. Sure, there are scenes that call for subtlety, but this is none of them πŸ™‚

    On the other hand, I had to let today's image rest until the evening. In the morning the light from outside (in Vienna the living room with the computer faces east) was too intense, and even though I closed the curtains, I could not judge the image, and doing it by histogram alone would not have sufficed. In fact I really made changes in the evening.

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