Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Golden Sky

Last Thursday in the ongoing pursuit of bargains, I took a break from more serious errands after I spotted a garage sale sign. A good number of blocks later without passing a garage sale I was about to turn around.  Then I spotted a second sign. Since it was mid afternoon of a blustery rainy day the sign was half blown over and not immediately readable from the car.  But since its road only went one way I turned and headed down the side street.

This time I drove several winding looping blocks without a hint of a garage sale.  Then I came on an entrance to one of the city's many neighborhood parks. For the moment it wasn't raining and my D7000 kit was on the back seat so I stopped to explore any photo opportunities. And found this addition to the photographic genre, atmospheric skies.

Yes, for the zillionth time I forgot to switch the white balance to auto after I finished shooting indoors under compact fluorescent lighting.


But that is what the white balance dropper is for. I clicked in the circled area.



And ended up with this image


Sort of what I was after--an essentially monochrome RGB image. But it lacked that extra punch.  I decided to experiment and see how well RT could tone this image.

The HSV flat field editor in the color tab had worked well on other more colorful images.  A disappointment here. With so little color to work on, I saw only a slight shift towand red.


I went back to my tried and true toning procedure-LAB mode in the exposure tab. As I've blogged about earlier the b color channel controls the ratio of the two complimentary colors, blue and yellow. Took only two simple drags to adjust their ratio and few more slider adjustments to fine tune the image.

A couple builds back I would have stopped here  but there was one more routine to try, the channel mixer.


Because of bugs it hadn't worked as expected the last time I tried it on some infrared images. But according to the RT forum, all those bugs had been swatted in time for the latest 4.0.3.4 build.

Nobody fibbed.  I moved the slider around without any particular plan or science until I found a richer color than I had using the LAB mode.


The  final image.


So download RT and try it on your images. You won't be disappointed.

PS. On my way back, I passed the garage sale a couple blocks farther down from where I made the wrong turn. Bought a neat junk/ treasure that will be used-a heated coffee carafe complete with a thermostatic control that varies the temperature from just lukewarm to burn you tongue.

Now, while I drive on a photo day trip, my coffee fiend of a wife can sip her favorite brew as she scans to countryside for more photo opportunities.

Serendipity,  wouldn't you say.


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