Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Pumpkin Stem Variations

My original idea for this shot was to make a monochrome abstract with a shimmering tonality, similar to the "Rotting Gourd" picture posted earlier, and, after meandering through a number of treatments in Nik software, I settled on this image for printing.
Technical: Nikon D100, Nikkor 24-85mm f2.8-f4, macro mode, ISO 200, 66mm @ f/11 @ 1/400s.  RAW file processed in Lightroom 2.6, then edited in Nik Silver Efex Pro.

As I explore the trial version of Nik Color Efex Pro 3.0 and Nik Silver Efex Pro, I'm finding that I like the extremely fine control one can exercise after choosing a preset style.  To demonstrate, I thought I'd share the runner up images...

This is a nearly straight image, RAW file processed in Lightroom 2.6 to tune color, adjust to Camera Landscape, dodge the stem shadow and lighten the upper left corner.  It has technically correct color and contrast, but is a rather dull picture.

In Nik Color Efex Pro 3.0 there are quite a few style presets that emulate old tricks we used back in the darkroom era to boost detail.  This one is called "Bleach Bypass", which refers to skipping the bleach step during the processing of color negative film, in effect leaving a black and white silver image on top of the color image.  Tight control of the technique was pioneered by Technicolor labs for cinematography and became something of a standard visual cue to signal a flashback.

If you've ever watch CSI Miami, you'll instantly recognize the "Glamor Glow", courtesy Nik Color Efex Pro.  I'm going to stipulate that from now on, all photographs of me are run through this filter.

I deliberately went a little too far with the Nik Color Efex Pro "Film Effects" to make the faux-Fresson style visible in this small size.  The Fresson print is named for Theodore-Henri Fresson, who in 1899 demonstrated a technique for making carbon prints directly on charcoal paper in one step, unlike the earlier multi-step carbon transfer process.  In 1952, the Fresson family introduced a direct color process available only at Atelier Fresson in Paris.  A Fresson print generally looks very grainy with slightly muted pointillist color.  The process caught on with photographers in the 1980's during a brief resurgence of pictorialism, most notably in the dreamy photos by Sheila Metzner and Joyce Turbeville.  Reproductions don't do the process justice.

Finally, here is the Nik Color Efex Pro push button "Polaroid Transfer" style, complete with the characteristic green shift, softly desaturated color, muted focus and slightly ragged edges with a cyan outline.  Perfect!  I can't believe I bought a Polaroid slide copier to make these!

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