May 252014

Today’s pictures are more about nature and the color green. Both images were interesting to process, especially in terms of color temperature. The problem with the intense red of these poppies is, that you have to be extremely careful to not let them burn out. If that happens, you have nothing but red blotches without any detail or texture.

The problem with the forest is similarly complicated. Light in a forest is colored, because it is filtered through the leaves. In both cases it helps to use a much cooler color temperature and to compensate the cast by mixing magenta into the greens (in Photoshop) or by shifting the greens towards yellow (in Lightroom). The result is a much more lively palette. This is also very similar to the kind of filtering that our mind does in its continuous search for variation. It may seem counter-intuitive, but by employing these “manipulative tricks”, we end up with a much more natural looking image than what the camera recorded.

Where is the difference you say? The camera recorded green light, and when we see it in the image, it’s still the same green. Why shouldn’t our mind do the same as it did in the forest?

The difference is, that while being inside of a forest, we are totally contained in green. The green is everywhere, and therefore our mind kind of subtracts it away. Opposed to that, the image of a forest is contained within the context where we are looking at it. It’s green, but there is variation between the green of the image and the differently colored environment of the image. Thus the mind has less incentive to subtract green and the image looks greener than reality has looked. Does this make sense? Well, that’s why I take out green 🙂

The Song of the Day is one third time “Another Green World” from Brian Eno’s album of the same name. Hear it on YouTube.

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