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PENTAPRISM N째11 December 2015

m a g a z i n e

INTERVIEW

bill

GEKAS reportage

KOLKATA City of Joy BY MAHESH BALASUBRAMANIAN


www.pentaprismcommunity.org

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Welcome to Pentaprism, an online photo-sharing community. We are an international team of passionate photographers and artists that gathered in order to achieve common goals: show to the world great, high quality photographs, present amazing artists, allow new and talented photographers to be seen and recognized. The Pentaprism website is a user-friendly platform that guarantees easy navigation and worry-free photo uploads. We constantly work on the improvements of its interface and content. In order to ensure a high quality of photos presented on our website as well as in the Pentaprism Magazine, our curators carefully screen and assess all photos prior to their publication in our gallery. The Pentaprism Magazine is an extension to our website. We prepare it periodically in order to highlight specific works and to give a deeper insight of the photographers’ visions. The content of the Pentaprism Magazine includes special topic articles, interviews with our featured artists, photo reportages with travel stories and lots of great photographs. We believe that art has a catharsis-like quality and should be available to the masses. Therefore our website and magazine are accessible to everybody free of charge. In addition we do not allow any kind of commercial advertising on our platforms. The Pentaprism team of curators works voluntarily on a non-profit basis. If you wish to support the maintenance and development of the Pentaprism website and magazine, please feel free to make a donation. Your greatly appreciated support will be used exclusively to improve Pentaprism online visibility. Thank you for your visit and support. We hope that you enjoyed our photos and stories! We invite you to visit us again. The Pentaprism Staff


N째11 December 2015

EDITORS: PENTAPRISM STAFF

GRAPHIC DESIGN: ELENA BOVO

COVER PHOTO/INDEX PAGE PHOTO: BILL GEKAS


index 6 INTERVIEW WITH BILL GEKAS 32 FOCUS ON 50 REPORTAGE: IKOLKATA BY MAHESH BALASUBRAMANIAN 80 HIGHLIGHTS 138 SIGNALS FROM THE UNIVERSE OF COLOR BY MARCO OLIVOTTO 146 MEET THE PENTAPRISM STAFF


INTERVIEW

b i l l

GEKAS 6 PENTAPRISM


Born and residing in Melbourne Australia, Bill Gekas is a multi awarded and published fine art portrait photographer. Self taught and by learning the intricacies of photography since the mid 90’s, his admiration and respect for the works by the old master painters has influenced his stylistic approach to the craft. His works have been published in various art journals, books, magazines, newspapers and other media outlets worldwide including BBC, NBC Today, ABC News, Daily Mail and others. Although he occasionally shoots commissioned work, the renowned and exhibited works are primarily of his young daughter portraying a protagonist in a storytelling scene, a universal child. Practicing the art of photography and constantly refining his style. MAIN AWARDS Finalist - Open category KL International Photography Awards KL Malaysia 2015 Finalist -National Photographic Portrait Prize 2015 Australia 2015 Published - ‘BBC’ UK February 2014 Finalist - Open category KL International Photography Awards KL Malaysia 2014 Gold Award 1st place - PX3 Prix De La Photographie Paris, France 2014 Finalist - Open category KL International Photography Awards KL Malaysia 2013 Published - ‘Daily Mail’ newspaper UK February 2013 Gold Award ‘First Place’ - International Loupe Awards Australia 2012 First place - WPPI first half portraiture category USA 2012 www.billgekas.com PENTAPRISM 7


BILL GEKAS

We are very proud to have as guest in our interview space of the magazine, a fantastic photographer, known in the web for his fine taste in portrait photography in his childhood pictures. Welcome to Pentaprism magazine Bill Gekas. Thank you for having me, it’s a pleasure! Bill, you are one of the most followed photographers of the net, What was that one thing that made your photographs so appreciated? At first glance the photos can be taken for paintings, this alone demands the end viewer look twice to verify whether it’s a painting or photograph. Once the end viewer has settled that they then usually take the whole image in and appreciate the thought that went into creating it from the aesthetics of the image to the technicals. There are many great photographs out there by many great photographers doing some amazing things but I believe some images are appreciated more when the sum of all the parts of an image work together that demands a second look. We’d love to hear a little more about your background in photography and how you got started in the field. My first encounter with a camera was my fathers Pentax ME-Super film slr camera back in the 1980’s and it’s where I had a first play with a serious manual slr type camera. In the 1990’s when I was a bit older and had a bit more money I acquired my own camera, a Pentax K1000, some lenses and then I learnt the craft of photography and traditional b&w darkroom printing. I never attended any formal But it wasn’t until about 2005 when I switched to a complete digital workflow and things started to get interesting in the speed and way I could experiment! Is there any artist/photographer who inspired your art? A lot of the work i’m known for and current work has been inspired by the old master painters works and I always try to infuse their atmosphere in my own photography work. There are also many photographers both past and present that I have a lot of respect for but if I had to pick one photographer it would be U.S photographer Dan Winters. I think his portraiture work is brilliant, both the technicals and artistry!

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How would you describe the style of your work? Although it’s a more stylistic approach to conventional portraiture it’s been described before as fine art portraiture, conceptual portraiture, emotive portraiture etc. but I just like to keep it simple and call it portraiture as that’s the general genre it sits under. Other people are always free to call it what they want and I have no problem with that. Do you have a preferred setup that you use for most of your work in terms of camera and lighting? Can you tell us what’s your photographic equipment and your lightning gear? I’ve had to use many light modifiers with my work from grids to cookies to bare bounced strobe as fill but generally for key lights when i’m shooting indoors in a studio type environment I use a medium sized softbox or octabox around the 28-30” size as a key light, when shooting outdoors I prefer the simple 43” shoot thru umbrella. Each of these modifiers has their advantages and disadvantages and the environment I shoot in will dictate which type of light modifier i’ll use. For cameras in the past and for most of my published work I used the Pentax dslr system and lenses but recently this year I switched across to the mirrorless Fuji X system and now am shooting with an X-T1 and X100s with various Fuji lenses. Once you have an idea how do you start to bring it all together? I find inspiration from many mediums of art, be it visual mediums like paintings, photographs, movies, sculptures and even audio mediums like music where I hear something and say to myself I’d like my image to look like that music sounds. Once I have an idea in my mind then i’ll sketch it in my sketchbook of ideas and notes so I don’t forget to reference back to it some time in the future. I find this is important as I usually have so many ideas that come and go I try not to lose any of them. The actual photography shoot time is very short. I’ve done some shoots in 15 mins and some lasted longer up to an hour or so but generally we’re done within half an hour as we’re only ever shooting for ONE image! The key to this is preparation. It’s the pre-production which takes time and that’s something myself and my wife do ourselves in our spare time, planning it making or buying props and costumes etc. Once we


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PIERRE PELLEGRINI

have every detail planned out then it’s just a matter of me setting up the set, camera, lighting etc. Is there a particular image that you are especially proud of / is your favourite? I’ve never been able to pick a favourite as they’re all different and unique. My favourite image in most cases is my latest one until the next one comes along but if I really had to pick one image that actually speaks to me on a personal level i’d probably pick the image ‘Sanday’. In this one portrait of my daughter I sort of captured both her current childlike appearance yet her powerful gaze in her eyes gives me a glimpse of her future more mature self. It’s special to me, a type of portrait I may never make again. If you could give 3 top tips to someone looking to create good portraits, what would they be? a) Planning is key, we don’t just go out on the chance something may work. By envisioning what you want to achieve and planning all the aesthetics and technicals beforehand the chances of success are a lot higher than trying to wing it. b) Light and shadow always play a key role in the overall mood of the image. As important as what light is and how you ultimately decide to light your subject in relation to the environment you must also never underestimate shadow and width of transitions, this is one thing the great portrait painters from hundreds of years ago understood and practiced very well. By studying their works there’s a lot you’ll learn that isn’t usually written about in modern photography books and other recent resources. c) If shooting colour photography take care of the colours you choose to use in the frame and how they’ll work together or against each other. Some strong colours like reds and yellows can draw a lot of attention and can be used much like light if you want to draw attention to a certain part of the scene or subject, thoughtful use whether using it a lot to make a statement or a splash just to highlight an area can make a good image great!

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PIERRE PELLEGRINI

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BILL GEKAS

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BILL GEKAS

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BILL GEKAS

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F O C U S O N

r o m a n

SUSLENKO

I was born in Tomsk, Russia in 1984 where I lived and studied at TSU University. When I was 25 years old, I was invited to work as a journalist in a small city within the Polar circle. There was no Internet. There was no cinema. There was nothing. Only the tundra and oil derricks was all around. But this isolation helped me to discover my first camera, searching lights and colors around me with new eyes . Then , totally changing my road in photography , I started looking at ordinary girls whom I wouldn’t have noticed earlier. Now I live in Novorossiysk .

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Devotion


Untitled | Roman Suslenko

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Untitled | Roman Suslenko

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F O C U S O N

Rolandas KUGAUDA My name is Rolandas Kugauda and I was born in 1985 in small country called Lithuania and currently live in UK, which has been my home for over a decade. Ever since being little I was always interested in art and drawing and different ways of expressing myself. I always had and used different cameras starting from point and shoot to entry level DSLRs, but never saw photography as the means of expressing myself and my vision creatively. Photography has never been my main interest until few years ago when I stumbled onto photographic technique called daytime Long Exposure on internet and all of the creative possibilities that came with it. I got hooked ever since and never looked back. I mainly use it to shoot landscapes/waterscapes and I think it works really well with minimal simple compositions that I am so fond of. I love researching different locations that I could photograph finding out about high tides, weather, sun location etc. and eventually getting out into fresh air and photographing them but the main interest for me at the moment is honing digital post processing skills which is what actually allows me to create images that I do and it is a part of photography that I enjoy the most. In my images I do not seek to recreate reality its quite opposite I try and make an image that looks “out of this world� and most importantly aesthetically pleasing. Currently most of my images are in black and white as I find it works the best for the work that I do but in the future I plan of making some colour series as well as trying out some portrait photography.

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Jagged| Rolandas Kugauda


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Wrecked | Rolandas Kugauda


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F O C U S O N

M a x i m MASHNENKO My name is Maxim. I live in the Republic of Belarus, that is a small country in the very centre of Europe. I am a portrait photograher. But I have made a long way to accomplish good results in this sphere. I have been keen on drawing people since childhood. When I had become more mature I started to paint and study the art history. I have always been inspired by the masterpieces of Rubens, Rembtandt, Vrubel. I bought my first camera in 2010, that was Nikon d90. And that has become a great start. At the very begining I had been making experiments with the composition, light and colour. But afterwards I reached the naturalnessin in my photographs. Through the portrait I strive for depicting the person’s character, his or her mood and inner emotions. I try to get inspiration from music. I am a fan of doom metal style. Most of my works are influenced greatly by this music. I have started to conduct lessons on retouching of photographs and I am planning to make some videos devoted to this issue. I do not have a specific way of retouching photoes, I start to work with each photograph from scratch. I try to find a special approach to each photo. In future I would like to gain better results and to develop myself as a portrait photographer and a teacher of retouch. I hope I will be a success.

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Kristina | Maksim Mashnenko


Kristina | Maksim Mashnenko


Elizabeth | Maksim Mashnenko


r e p o r t a g e

KOLKATA CITY OF JOY BY MAHESH BALASUBRAMANIAN

Mahesh Balasubramanian is an amateur photographer presently based in Chennai, India. He is a passionate and sell-taught photographer, who works mainly on travel portraits and daily street life of people. He has started his photography journey in 2008 as a serious passion. Kolkata is the capital of the Indian State of West Bengal and the second largest city in India. It is also known as the cultural capital of India. The city is so vibrant and there is life at each and every corner of the city. He had a chance to visit two times during 2013 and 2015 to document the daily urban life of Kolkata.. He always wants to capture human emotions in picture. The following pictures tell different stories with different human emotions. www.maheshb.com


Vegetable vendor - Near Jagannath Ghat, Kolkata


Pure love between sibling.


Kids are playing and bathing @ Jagannath Ghat


On the Streets of Barabazar, Kolkata


Bathing on the Hooghly River, Kolkata


Typical market scene on the street of Kolkata


Typical market scene on the street of Kolkata


People are sitting in front of street food shop.


Tender Coconut Vendor


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People are sitting on the shades near Howrah Bridge

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Vegetable Market vendors near Howrah Bridge

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Daily life @ Mallick Ghat


@ Mallick Ghat


@ Kumartuli, Kolkata


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HIGHLIGHTS

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Wrong Answer | Gavin Prest


Friends | Roberto Pazzi


Nadia Czaporowska | Maciej Szcześniak

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DarkRiver | Ruslan Isinev

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Alice non si sveglia | Marco Olivotto

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Untitled | Paul Apal’kin

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Before the hunt | Pekka J채rventaus


Untitled | Ajie Alrasyid

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Never more | Dmytro Sobokar

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Zigzag | Markus Studtmann

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Untitled | Krzysztof Kozlowski

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La nacre | Eugene Reno

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HotelNoir | Dasha and Mari

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Lanthanum | Holger Glaab


Untitled | Roman Kramskoy


Winding in the cold | Cesar Alvarez


Davy Jones’ Locker | Sherry Ajrami

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Neknomination | Sue Trower


Soar | Frederic Vasquez


Wildlife | Klaus Lenzen


Kingsdale crossing | Thomas Bichler


Portrait | Alessandro Cereda


Untitled | Vlasov Aleksey

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Bodyscape | Jozef Kiss


Puffin in flight | Juanma Hernรกndez


Fabienne | Anton Rothmund

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Run Away | Özkan Konu

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Kornelia | Malgorzata Siemieniako


m a r c o OLIVOTTO PHOTOSHOP | COLOR CORRECTION | POST-PRODUCTION | DIGITAL IMAGING | PHOTOGRAPHY

Dan Margulis, who invented color correction in Photoshop, has called him a renaissance man because of his eclecticism. Classical studies, a degree in Physics, two years’ work in the field of system management (University of Trento). He then becomes an independent sound engineer and music producer for almost twenty years. Finally, he gets (back) to the field of imaging, a passion he’s had since he was a child. In 2007 he discovers Dan Margulis’ books on color correction and starts studying with him. He attends both the ACT (Applied Color Theory) and AACT (Advanced Applied Color Theory) classes. Through the years he has taught in several private and public schools (computer science, recording techniques, programming languages). In 2011 he starts teaching color correction techniques in Photoshop, still relatively unknown in Italy. His forty hours of video-courses published by the leading Italian company Teacher-in-a-Box currently represent the most organic and global resource on the subject available in Italian. In March 2011 he organises the first Color Correction Campus, a full-immersion, two-day practical course. The Campus is repeated all over Italy and soon a community of students and followers is born (1700 subscribers, September 2014). The community is very active in sharing techniques, suggestions and information through the Web. The two-day courses are joined by one-day workshops, both for independent organizations and large trade shows like Photoshow (2012, 2013) and Grafitalia (2013). In 2014 he becomes a FESPA speaker at the FESPA Digital trade show in München (D), where he delivers six different seminars over four days. Since 2013 he’s been writing for the Italian magazine Fotografia Reflex, which hosts a monthly section about color correction. This is currently the only resource on the subject with a fixed cadence in Italy. He has taught for the most important graphic and design schools in Italy: IDP (Verona), IUSVE (Venice), ILAS (Naples), NAD School (Naples), Scuola Romana di Fotografia (Rome). He is currently in charge of the college-level courses of Photography, Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign at IDP in Verona; Photoshop at IUSVE in Venice (Verona section); Quality Control of the Printing Process at the Institute of Higher Education Artigianelli (Trento). In his spare time he loves traveling, taking photographs, staying with friends away from the crowd and he prefers a book to television. When they call him an expert in digital color he thinks that he’ll never be able to reproduce the dark and deep light in his son’s eyes. He lives in Nogaredo, in the hills near Rovereto (TN), where he was born on January 27th, 1965.

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Signals from the universe of color BY MARCO OLIVOTTO T h e a r t o f a r b i t r a r y COLOR There are times in a photographer’s life when accurate color reproduction is mandatory. A typical example is when one takes pictures for a catalogue: a dress, as well as a wooden object or a car, should be printed as close to reality as possible, especially when the catalogue is used to make a choice. Discovering that the light blue blouse one ordered is cyan instead yields good chances that the item will be sent back. Art reproduction, especially when paintings are involved, is another case which requires attention. Achieving consistent color is not at all easy: it involves a complex workflow starting with the creation of a camera profile, shooting in controlled light conditions with a color-checker, accurate choice of the development space, a properly calibrated and profiled monitor and in general a knowledge of color management and its limits down to the final version of the image, both for printing and for the Web. There are times, though, when accurate color is not needed, and even nonsensical to some extent. Let’s clarify this a bit. The importance of correct white balance shouldn’t be underestimated. If you’re shooting jpeg, this involves setting a color temperature in camera so that neutral objects are actually reproduced as such. If you’re shooting raw, instead, this step is less important: you can click on an apt neutral point later, in the process of raw development, and set things straight. This is done by means of two controls whose name, in general, is Temperature and Tint. In Camera Raw, for instance, Temperature controls the bias of the white

point either towards blue or yellow, Tint is concerned with green and magenta instead. These opponent colors look suspiciously similar to the a and b channels in the Lab color space, and there’s a reason for that. The actual meaning of Temperature, though, is interesting. The color temperature of a source is not a real temperature: it is expressed in Kelvin, the unit of absolute temperature, but its actual meaning is tricky and interesting. At the beginning of the 20th century, a physicist called Max Planck studied an idealized physical body which he called black body. Its main feature is the ability to completely absorb whatever incident electromagnetic radiation, of any frequency, coming from any direction. Such body, when kept at constant temperature, emits electromagnetic radiation according to Planck’s law: the spectrum is dictated by temperature alone, and the shape, material and dimensions of the body are irrelevant. This radiation is called black body radiation. For a wide range of temperatures, the black body radiation falls into the visible spectrum: i.e., it is perceived as light. The color temperature of a source is defined as follows: it is the temperature of a black body radiator that radiates light of comparable hue to that of the light source. Quick example: we light up a tungsten bulb and heat a black body until its emission looks like that of the bulb. When the point is reached, we measure the temperature of the black body and state that it is the color temperature of the source: for instance, 3,200 K.

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MARCO OLIVOTTO |T h e a r t o f a r b i t r a r y COLOR

Fig. 1

Figure 1 shows the CIE 1931 chromaticity space. The horse-shoe shaped area represents the visible gamut, i.e. the full range of colors which can perceived by the human visual system. The black curve is called Planckian locus, and shows the perceived hue of a light source at a given color temperature. Not all hues are covered: no color temperature can produce the sensation of a magenta or green hue, for instance. Thus, only the light sources going from bluish to reddish, including yellow ones, can be described this way. This means that some light sources don’t have a color temperature. We’ve all seen bright green neons, for instance: their light can’t simply be described by means of a parameter expressed in K. That’s why we have the Tint cursor: it compensates for a tendency towards green or magenta, which can’t be described

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by Temperature alone. As if this wasn’t enough, some lights have weird spectra. By “spectrum” we mean the distribution of wavelengths in the light: it can be continuous or not, and sometimes its shape is quite wild. Look at figure 2: it plots the distribution of a fluorescent light source, which shows some serious peaks at about 440 nm, 550 nm and 610 nm. We would probably call these components “blue”, “green” and “orange” – as vague as these names are – but our eye would perceive a white wall hit by such light as white. A camera may wish to differ: a sensor can’t emulate the behavior of our visual system beyond a certain extent, and sometimes white balance is impossible. Moreover, some colors are reproduced randomly wrong. Try


MARCO OLIVOTTO |T h e a r t o f a r b i t r a r y COLOR

Fig. 2

shooting pictures in a room lit by fluorescent light and you’ll know what this means. Get ready for a long postproduction session to fix seemingly random colors. One of the toughest test runs for this concept are rock concerts. Lighting is so extreme and out of control that one has to do with what’s available – and in some cases the word “low” is an overstatement. Figure 3 depicts Gianni Maroccolo, bass player with bands which made the history of Italian rock music like Litfiba and CSI, pictured on stage. I call this picture a blue nightmare, but the name is unfair: the actual color is violet, not blue. This, at least, is what the camera saw. White balance is “as shot”, with a nominal color temperature of 4,850 K and the Tint parameter at -1, basically neutral in the green-magenta axis. You may complain the photograph is underexposed, but that’s not a real issue: believing what the light meter says, in these cases, is a recipe for disaster. The scene was dark, and I do mean DARK. Against all sensible prescriptions, it should be reproduced as such. I was shooting at ISO 2,000, because the previous light setups had been a lot lighter, and I was using a 300 mm lens with a maximum aperture of f 5.6. The exposure time was 1/20”, with no tri-

pod. Lucky that anything came out, and that my hand was still: but the bottom line is that trying to picture Marok, as we call him, in such darkness was more or less like digging a black cat out of a coal mine. The main point of concern, though, is color. I always try to remember what the lights look like and, believe me, there was not a combination of lights that produced such a strong violet hue, ever, in the whole concert. The reason why the camera thought this was the color is probably twofold: first, it was fooled by some weird spectral behavior of the lighting on stage; second, I’ve often seen expensive cameras give up completely when you call for a deep, rich and yet dark blue. The color doesn’t seem to be on the menu, although it fits easily in a large but not huge color space like Adobe RGB. This may sound like a joke, but how do we white balance a picture like this? We have lots of references, if we want: the T-shirt is black, the writing is white, and Marok’s beard is near neutral. How about clicking on one of the lightest points in the “ENEIDE” writing? Easily done: you get figure 4. In Camera Raw, Temperature goes skyrocketing to 50,000 K and hits the ceiling; Tint collapses to -150 and hits the rock bottom. The result is not identical to figure 3, but it’s not that

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MARCO OLIVOTTO |T h e a r t o f a r b i t r a r y COLOR

Fig. 3

Fig. 4

Fig. 5

Fig. 6

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MARCO OLIVOTTO |T h e a r t o f a r b i t r a r y COLOR

different either. Conclusion: white balance on a raw file won’t do. More powerful weapons are needed. The cast, if you dare call it so, is so huge that there is almost nothing left in terms of color. Figures 3 and 4, to me, are as nearly black and white pictures covered by an acetate of tremendously saturated color. My first choice in these cases is to pack all I can from the raw file into a raster version and have a go at it in Photoshop. The extreme nature of the colors involved suggests that a wide gamut RGB space like ProPhoto RGB be used for development. Chances that all the colors contained in the resulting file can be displayed on screen are dim, but going for a less extended space would probably jeopardize the final result. Fiddling a bit with the faders leads to an interesting discovery: an Exposure boost of 1,50 in Camera Raw and a recovery of Blacks of +20 brings the histogram inside the range. Anything more in Exposure will clip the highlights in the blue channel, anything less in Blacks will plug the shadows. I decided to keep the white balance “as shot” because the picture is so far out of whack that anything will basically do. I couldn’t see any real advantage in tweaking colors that cannot actually be tweaked.

contained in the smallest RGB space commonly used, sRGB. It translates into 56R 12G 195B, for your curiosity. Lab makes it easy to smash colors and fly them around in one fell swoop. Recipe: duplicate the background layer, activate the a channel in the Channels palette and fill it with 50% Gray. This tames the a channel to neutrality, leaving the b channel available to roam freely. The result is figure 5, but with a problem. To load the image on the Web I need to convert it to sRGB, which is the only sensible choice of colorspace for this media. The original is in Lab, and the blue I see on a wide-gamut screen receives a serious hit during conversion. So, what you’re looking at doesn’t look like the original result in Lab, and there is no way I can show it to you if I need to respect the guideline that every image for the Web should be sRGB. Try to imagine something as dark, but more electrically blue than my version, and you may have an idea. I admit that the move was probably too strong: we don’t want to kill the magenta, a-positive component completely, we just want to feel that the picture is blue rather than violet. But some variation can be in-

At this point, a decision on what’s needed is mandatory. The idea of removing the cast completely making the picture look as if it had been shot under white light won’t work either technically or aesthetically. I remember the original light as blue, though, not violet. The easiest way to fix this problem is a diversion into the Lab color space. Similarly to what happens with Temperature and Tint in Camera Raw, the a and b channels are responsible for hues going respectively from green to magenta (a, as Tint) and from blue to yellow (b, as Temperature). But – Lab curves are infinitely more aggressive than Temperature/Tint sliders, if needed. The violet hue visible in the picture comes from a strong magenta component. A typical value in Marok’s hair, in the middle of the head, is 25L 55a (85) b, where () indicates a negative number. So, very low lightness, a seriously magenta component (a is positive) and a strongly blue component (b is negative). This color, although it looks rather extreme, is easily

Fig. 7

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Fig. 8

Fig. 9

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MARCO OLIVOTTO |T h e a r t o f a r b i t r a r y COLOR

deed welcome, so a 50% Opacity for the manipulated layer yields figure 6. A serious boost of the Lightness with a steep lightening curve in the L channel yields figure 7, which is far more satisfactory than the original. I don’t think that going further would bring an improvement. Surely, had we been in front of the stage, we wouldn’t have seen a normal skintone in the face: the intensity of the color is so overwhelming that almost everything else disappears. But – version 7 is better not only because it is lighter and more blue than the original; the reason is that a resemblance of color variation is now visible. The neck of the bass, as well as the face, appear redder than the rest. They aren’t red, strictly speaking: the b channel in the wood of the neck is strongly negative (around -25) and that prevents any color from reaching red. But the same channel elsewhere sinks to -90 and beyond: which means we perceive the wood as warmer (more of a yellow component) simply because it is less blue. In reality, this is probably closer to what we would have seen: we know the color of skin, as we know the color of wood, and our brain in the end tries to see what it wants to see. From a perceptual point of view, figure 7 is a safe win over the original. With less desperate originals, there is more leeway. Figure 8 is the flat development, with color temperature “as shot” of a concert of CSI in Rome. It looks decent, but it shows the typical excess of contrast between dark and light areas of the image. Also, for once, there is at least a vague reference for a white point: the centre of the projected photograph by Luigi Ghirri (no less!) spots some neutral areas which can be used for a first balance. Nobody expects the reproduction of the original photograph to be perfect, but the original looks definitely too blue. Figure 9 is the result of placing the white balance point more or less in the middle of the projection, and working on the contrast of the image so that some kind of balance exists between dark and light areas, and the musicians are more visible. Are the colors on the stage correct? I have no idea, and in general I’ll never know. But it’s not so important: a photograph like this is about emotion and suggestion, there is no catalogue to be compiled. I actually ended up enhancing the variation of color on the stage, because one of the key points in this picture is the smooth gradient happening between different hues. Yet, if you look carefully, this makes the real colors absolutely wrong: in faces,

hair, and the likes. Does it matter? Yes, in general. Not at all, in this case. These are of course extreme examples, the first one in particular. But it’s important to realize that white balance is not all there is to a picture, especially when some margin for creativity is allowed. We even accept unnatural skintone, mostly because we can put it in context and realize it is biased towards a color depending on unnatural lighting. Yet we must use our eyes rather than believe a sensor, and even our taste if we see something horribly clashing. Lab is of course the color space of choice for major color surgery, and I would like to dig deeper in this in a further article. ‘Til the next time, godspeed you!

www.marcoolivotto.com www.moonphotoshop.com marco@marcoolivotto.com

PENTAPRISM 145


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j o à o CASTRO

My interest in photography started a few years ago... Ever since then I became inseparable from my camera. With the proper education, i started to enjoy the process of creation - not only the post processing part but mostly the development of something, of an idea, that caught my attention. I spend days conceiving “the idea”, creating the scenario in my head, imagining the mood i want to transmit... creativity is the sublime dimension of the human condition! It is very rewarding to produce something new and unique, that represents a little of myself and my interpretation of the world. Photography allows me to expand my horizon, to accept change and innovate beyond I could ever imagine. So my motto is: try to see things in a different way. In photography and in life. Portfolio

148 PENTAPRISM


Door to nowhere | Jo達o Castro


Walking trough geometry | Jo達o Castro


i walk alone | Jo達o Castro


154 PENTAPRISM

Brambling flyer | Marco Roghi


marco ROGHI

I’m 47 years old and my passion for photography arose 25 years ago. Landscape and architecture photography have been my first interests but in the last four years I’ve been focused on nature photography. I love to transmit the beauty of the avian world and the sense of freedom of birds’ flight. I prefer to take pictures of birds in flight or in action. There’s no greater satisfaction than obtaining the perfect shot with the right light and the beauty on the action. Portfolio


PENTAPRISM 157

Shoveler | Marco Roghi


158 PENTAPRISM


David VS Goliath | Marco Roghi


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