Misty Morning - Clipping tonal ranges




Ganesh H Shankar
Misty Morning - Clipping tonal ranges
In this image

image_id: 7452 we discussed about clipping extreme ends in the tonal spectrum and then re-spreading the mid tones. I have been using this more in prints since we often see shift towards darker regions in the prints.

I thought of illustrating what I meant by clipped processing here. The way to do this is to clip the levels in "Output leves" and then adjust the mid tones slider.

Raj, your expert comments please ? Would be glad to know how I could have improved this while managing the tonal ranges (mostly mid tones)..
Sat Sep 22, 2012 11:13 pm
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Ganesh H. Shankar
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Ganesh H Shankar  Joined CNP On 24 Apr 2008    Total Image posts 653    -   Total Image Comments 6155    -   Image Post to Comment Ratio 1:9    -   Image Comment Density 39     -     Total Forum Posts 953

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Commentby Nilanjan Das on Sun Sep 23, 2012 12:22 am

Ganshi, after today's exchange of sms, I was reading this......http://www.zuberphotographics.com/content/photoshop/levels-output.htm ....getting the idea now, but need to try this in various kinds of images of varying contrasts and observe for which one's this process might appear best fit. Probably when I meet you next I need to clear all my doubts. Rajkumar's inputs too will help a lot.

Nilanjan, I have corrected the link to the URL above by adding correct BB Code - Ganesh.

Nilanjan Das Photography

» Last edited by Ganesh H Shankar on Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:28 am; edited 1 time in total

Commentby Shivang Mehta on Sun Sep 23, 2012 8:59 am

insightful... tfs


Commentby Nilanjan Das on Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:39 am

Ganshi, thanks a lot dear :-)

Nilanjan Das Photography

Commentby dinesh.ramarao on Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:22 am

Our recoring is in color, we depend on software tools for the conversion to mono tones.
Photoshop and other similar commercial tools (i have not used SilverFX) could get the tonal ranges that you have discussed here. Now my question is does 8/16/32 bit processing helps ? Google did not yield many good results.

Commentby Rajkumar on Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:07 am

Hi Ganesh / Nilanjan as discussed

I think of it in three stages and I try to stay true to film based principles which are very much applicable in Digital sensitometery as well.

[b]How my equipment will respond [/b]. The typical problem is that the Luminance Range in nature far exceeds the capacity of the mediums we have

Eye Perhaps >10,000 : 1
Slide film 250 : 1
LCD projector 200 : 1
Glossy print 60 : 1

The CMOS sensor is somewhat similar to the Slide film. So calibrating and understanding how the sensor behaves and having that in control is the first aspect.

The sensor behavior is based on a Characteristic curve. This determines how it treats shadows and highlights . Not at all unlike a film. The famed Tri x had a specific Characteristic curve that users over the years learn to use and exploit to get a consistent look for their pics .

Pre visualizing the scene:
Now fitting the scene into the Sensor recordable range is both a technical and an aesthetic decision. Technical to record the maximum information possible for later use. Including max amount of pixels. Keeping the Histogram to the right. Here we have to remember that built in Matrix metering will always give an average reading and make its own compromises. At times we might want to take that decision ourselves.

Aesthetic because we need to decide what to leave out as information based on what we want to show.
Interestingly here the challenge is same as film low exposure and extracting the image creates grain and poor image.

Processing the Negative to create the visualization

This is where the greatest benefits of Digital world kicks in. In the analog world we were stuck with printing the negative on to a paper with a single type of tone response- That is a fixed characteristic curve.
In the Digital negative Photoshop allows us with curves to adjust the different tonal areas with different curves based on how we feel aesthetically pleased.
If we look at creating the visualization in terms of curves that would be the right way. Do I want to show a gentle gradation in the shadows with a greater leg portion of the curve ?
Do I want to show a greater Highlight gradation with the shoulder ?
Do I want to have a gentler slope in the mid tones to bring out a smoother range ?

I see clipping as a quick way of achieving this. I am not sure but I suspect by clipping and redistributing we may be loosing pixel information therefore loose very fine tonal gradation.

Again like in film the best tones adjustment is the minimum tone adjustment . That means a lot of things were thought out in advance.

Lastly better the bit depth better the tonal gradation.

Deft Definition :
Slide: Nothing to do with stock market or children play equipment :)
also known as transparency. Film based image where we directly get a positive image that can be projected. This used to have the highest dynamic range in Analog

Art is about what is inside rather than what is outside

Commentby Prashanth Sampagar on Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:51 pm

Moody! Negative space and the mood by the muted tones makes it a fine creation, Ganesh. Thanks a lot for the tips and examples. Really helpful.

Thanks Raj for gyan on the equipment and process of making image.