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joker
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PostThu Jul 09, 2020 2:26 pm 
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You can't make everyone  happy with a single approach to any aspect of photos. And NONE of  them look truly  "real" - we see static two dimensional  images so differently than  we see the  real world that they will only ever be at most a rough approximation that elicits impressions and memories that one might get if actually  in the scene. See several essays  from  Galen Rowell for instance  on this  topic.

If any aspect of the processing  takes away from  the impressions that  the  photographer hoped to elicit then there  is  room  for improvement (I know I have plenty of such room  in my work, and that I often only notice a need to tone things down or otherwise shift an image after living with a rendering for a while). And what elicits tons-o-likes on social media will often NOT be an image you would want printed on a wall in a room you  hang out in a lot. And for sure after spending a lot of time working at the  monitor with an image or set of  images, it's quite  easy to lose perspective and creep the saturation level up (and many adjustments in Photoshop will have  a tendency to silently crank the saturation including things like contrast/curve/tones  adjustments). There's been a fair bit written on this e.g. see this article about "the seduction of saturation" (including tips on how to try to  avoid being  lured by those  sirens  onto  the  rocks).
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joker
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PostThu Jul 09, 2020 2:31 pm 
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Working with a color calibrated monitor (calibrated with a  colorimeter) is a big help as well - while lots of the  people who may view your images on their  screens won't have calibrated  screens, you  are at least more likely to kind of hit the average (and if you're  printing, it's an immense help to getting predictability in your  prints, so long as you're  using the  correct printer profile when printing...). I've also  noticed that sometimes when  I save a JPG image from a processed RAW image, particularly from  within Photoshop,  that  some extra saturation seems to get added in the conversion to  JPG. If I have a rendering  I like in Photoshop, I'll tend to upload a JPG of it  to Flickr and preview it  on a few other devices (like my phone and my laptop along with the desktop where I'm usually doing  my editing).
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Cyclopath
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PostThu Jul 09, 2020 10:32 pm 
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If you've ever read anything Ansel Adams had to say about photography, you know he makes a big deal out of the idea that it's generally an art form, not a scientific record.  The goal isn't to make an image that exactly mimics a scene in the world, it's to make a pleasing image.  No matter what pleasing means to you.

Galen Rowell explained why he chose Velvia over Provia film, "who wants to take dull photos that will last a hundred years?"  Like a lot of people, he picked a film that gave a more saturated look.

My personal taste is for images that are as vivid as possible without looking unnatural.  Tighten it down until you hear a crack, then back off a quarter turn.   cool.gif

I'm completely unrepentant, I love Maxwell Parrish too.  Especially for his skies.

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Cyclopath
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PostThu Jul 09, 2020 10:35 pm 
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Kim Brown wrote:
You don't have to work hard at saturating a photo, and that's pretty much all it takes to get that ego stroke.

To be fair, if the lighting, composition, subject matter, and timing aren't all just right, ramping the saturation up won't fix it.  It takes work and talent to make good photos.
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Bowregard
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PostFri Jul 10, 2020 11:20 am 
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I appreciate the tip and know a lot of photographers consider monitor calibration a must. I went through the effort once a number of years ago (borrowed a good device and expertise). But frankly I found that even with my monitor calibrated and downloading the printer profiles I still was not totally happy with prints without printing samples and adjusting the results. I don't print often enough to make calibration worthwhile and find that I can keep my monitor close enough for my purposes without special equipment. And for printing, a sample is cheap enough these days to make the iterative process work for me. For me, the scale of calibration error is much less than the sliding error correction my brain applies to what my eyes take in. I also find myself much less objective viewing images on a monitor (calibrated or not) than in print.

I definitely get seduced into pushing processing (saturation and contrast) too far sometimes and that knowledge makes me second guess myself and lose objectivity. I will have to take some time to read the article you referenced because once I am "in deep" into an image I really like I haven't found a good way to regain objectivity short of avoiding the image for a long time.
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silence
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PostSat Jul 11, 2020 12:34 pm 
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I agree that color can be very seductive, so I always try to come away with at least a few B&Ws from every trip. I find it much more challenging because Iím not using color as what I believe can tend to be a "crutch" of sorts, even though composition, etc. is still important, and I do work hard to make a color look like I see it. My roots are in B&W having my own tiny bathroom darkroom in the old days. Back then, the image had to be well thought out because you didnít have a lot of options in the darkroom. Today in the digital age the tools allow for so much more creativity, which almost makes it equally seductive.

In 2013 I processed this and posted it.

Over the years I decided Iíd gone too far so in 2018 I went back and reworked it. Iím much happier with it now.

On the other hand, I took this relatively flat, but iconic shot that I didnít even bother to process in either color or B&W. A few months later I saw an Ansel Adamsí photo of the same scene and was inspired to work on it. Yes, admittedly, I used a lot of those digital tools available to me now (and of course that is quite obvious) to create a striking image that Iím still happy with.

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Bedivere
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PostTue Jul 28, 2020 11:28 am 
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Cyclopath wrote:
To be fair, if the lighting, composition, subject matter, and timing aren't all just right, ramping the saturation up won't fix it.† It takes work and talent to make good photos.

But cranking the saturation up in a mediocre photo gets all the "oooh's" and "aaahhhhs" and "beautiful pic" and likes on social media.

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Chief Joseph
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PostTue Jul 28, 2020 11:48 am 
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Yea, I thought it was cool the first few times I saw OS photos, after that my mind just said "Fake"!

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Cyclopath
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PostFri Jul 31, 2020 9:21 am 
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Bedivere wrote:
But cranking the saturation up in a mediocre photo gets all the "oooh's" and "aaahhhhs" and "beautiful pic" and likes on social media.

I guess so, but why should it bother me if people I've never met like a stranger's photo?
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BigBrunyon
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PostThu Aug 13, 2020 8:21 pm 
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More is more!! Look its kinda like flavor! Once you've tasted the flavor BURST from that blue razz airheads nothing compares. More is more! Only gets better the more you keep pumpin' it up!

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pula58
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PostFri Aug 14, 2020 8:22 am 
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It seems to me that the human race generally suffers from always wanting more. So, a beautiful landscape isn't enough, it has to be "more." So, crank up the saturation.
For me, the NW landscapes are more than enough, and my own internal philosophy is that if I can't appreciate it for what it is, then I will never appreciate anything.
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Forum Index > Photography Talk > overly saturated photos.
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