Images & Observations

The Rock Yard; Re-Worked

Nikon D7000 18-135mm @ 18mm ISO 640 3-bkts f/16 Lr3, HEP1; PsCS5

The Rock Yard is an outdoor performance area at the Fantasy Springs Casino & Resort in the low desert at Indio, California.  The resort’s pool is behind the line of palm trees in the background, and the pool deck gets very crowded during the day.  This adjacent area is a comprised of architectural elements, landscaping and a mix of comfortable chairs and lounges generously scattered throughout,  it is never crowded during the day and is a very calming and inviting place to relax in the early morning or late afternoon.  On weekend evenings live bands perform on the Rock Yard stage and guests can sit  on the benches on the lawn, at the cocktail “rails” and at tables on patios or an overhead deck adjacent to three restaurants and enjoy the music.

This HDR image was captured at 6:30 P.M. in late May as the sun was on its way past the western horizon.  The building tower and the palm trees in the background were the only elements that were in direct sunlight, everything else in the image was in open shade.  The yellow-ish color cast to the part of the building that is in direct sunlight and the color cast on the palm trees in the background are a result of color temperature of setting sun light.  I am not happy with the halo-ing in the sky and tried every trick I knew in an attempt to mitigate it in post processing, but was not successful.  I think that if I had captured more than three brackets I might have had at least one or two brackets with an even toned sky, but I was shooting hand-held, and three brackets in camera (without tripod and without my Promote Control) is all I could get.

Something else I am noticing as I post this in the WordPress hosted blog is that the color and brightness seems to be off when I preview this blog post, it does not match what I am seeing when I display the image on my laptop from within Lightroom from the DNG file or when I display a JPG of the image from my laptop’s desktop.  After I post this in the blog I will put it up on G+ and see how it looks there.

Update: I have the image up on G+ and the color and brightness are still off.  I am thinking it is an issue of the default color setting I use with Lightroom which is ProPhotoSRGB which is unsupportable on the Internet.  I made a decision to use ProPhoto because I always wanted the greatest color range available to my images when they are printed, but have never before today noticed a significant difference between rendering images directly from a file on my laptop or rendering images brought back to the laptop from the Internet.   This has me concerned because all the images in my sales gallery are ProPhotoSRGB JPG files to ensure the best color image when prints are ordered, what would a buyer’s reaction be if he ordered a print and when he received it compared it to the image he saw on the Internet and realizes the images are different?

Update #2: The image is now uploaded to my sales gallery which is hosted by SmugMug and I was pleased to see that it is reproduced there exactly as I see it when I am looking at it directly on my laptop.  This leads me to believe that both WordPress and G+ might be altering the color and brightness of my images when they display them, this is quite distressing.

Compare the image on this page to the image on G+ and to the image in my SmugMug gallery.

Update #3: I have taken James Brandon’s advice in his comment and re-worked the image in Photoshop, but not by just masking in the most even of the

Nikon D7000 18-135mm @ 18mm ISO 640 3-bkts f/16 Lr3; HEP1

original frames, but also increasing the blue channel saturation of that frame.  A final vibrance and brightness adjustment to the blended image in Lightroom and I have a more acceptable final image.  The new final image is above, and the original image is off to the right.

It also appears that WordPress is handling my image the way I intended, and that may be because I specifically saved the file in sRGB format.  I have since changed my Lightroom default to sRGB.

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10 responses

  1. Wow. What a colorful photo of the Rock Yard. We’ve never seen one quite like it. Great work

    August 15, 2011 at 2:32 PM

    • Thanks for the comment, Fantasy Springs is one of our favorite places to relax. Do take a look at the image in my gallery (tab at top of this page) in the Architecture group, much better color and brightness.

      August 15, 2011 at 2:43 PM

  2. oneowner

    This is a colorful photo but the WordPress page looks a little dull, that is to say the vibrancy that I think you intend is not showing on my display. It looks very similar to the G+ link (not sure what that is) but the SmugMug display is the most vibrant. My monitor is only calibrated with the Windows calibration device (which I think is fairly accurate) and matches the prints in color and exposure I get from MPIX. When the monitor matches the prints I think that’s as far as I need to go. MPIX has always delivered extremely high quality work for me. I wonder if some WordPress themes, yours is very dark, mine is very light) affect how an image appears on different monitors.

    August 15, 2011 at 3:13 PM

    • Thanks for the comments, Ken. G+ is Google Plus, would you like an invite to that? I recently acquired a Pantone Huey and am using that to calibrate the monitor. I print my images through my gallery on SmugMug and use Bay Photo and allow them to manually color correct for me, and I am very happy with the resulting prints.

      I do think the reason these images are not as bright and colorful when hosted on WordPress and G+ has something to do with their image processing. Another oddity that I noticed, is that if you look at my image today in my post to the G+ stream, or in my album on G+, the color and brightness is like it is here, but when I display the image as a thumbnail in my G+ Notifications window, the image is exactly as I expected and wanted it to be. So I really think there is some thing going on with their image handling. I am going to report this to them and see if they respond.

      August 15, 2011 at 3:50 PM

  3. Wayne – ProPhoto is not for printing but for viewing on your nice big display monitor. I too edit my images under the ProPhoto profile but then scale down for the needed medium. If it’s going to web I usually convert to sRGB. If print it just depends on the printer, but most want either sRGB, Adobe 1998 or CMYK.

    Your problem is likely being caused by this issue.

    As far as haloing, I would simply mask it the sky from one of the exposures (probably the darker one) if you have photoshop. Since the sky is totally blue then just loose the HDR version of the sky, it’s irrelevant. There may be some gradience in the original files too, but there definitely shouldn’t be any halos.

    August 15, 2011 at 3:17 PM

    • Thanks, James. I think I may go back to defaulting sRGB in Lightroom. In terms of the halo-ing, I think I should have paid attention to the histograms when I captured these brackets, in the O and +2 bracket the sky is completely blown out, and when I played with the -2 bracket I was not getting what I wanted. I think I may go back and try and use that -2 bracket again, I may not get the exact tones I want in the sky, but I might at least be able to mitigate the halo. I really appreciate your comments, good food for thought.

      August 15, 2011 at 3:42 PM

  4. You may also need to get a monitor calibrator and just make sure everything is correct on your end.

    August 15, 2011 at 3:19 PM

    • I calibrated the monitor about a week and a half ago.

      August 15, 2011 at 3:43 PM

  5. Nice one Wayne. I too have issues with the halloing on some of my shots and am going to try and go back to re-work them when i get some time. Love the color in this one. So much eye candy to eat up. Nice shot.

    August 16, 2011 at 5:14 AM

  6. Thanks, Adam. It definitely is worth the effort of finding a way to correct the flaws in previous images, I find that it helps me improve my skill and reinforce good work habits in to my processing.

    August 16, 2011 at 8:19 PM

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