Thursday, 18 June 2009

Challenging processing

Swaledale morning, June 2009

I'm cracking through part 3 of my SoFoBoMo efforts, facing a processing challenge I've not done for a while. The final collection will be from my Swaledale pictures, which contain quite a lot of landscapes shot in mixed lighting. The challenge here is producing a colour balance that provides a natural look across the entire frame. Single white balance changes don't cut it.

Most of my processing these days is done in Lightroom but doing areal colour changes like this is quite slow and hard to control. This is where I turn back to Lightzone, which for a long time was my main processing platform but no longer. Returning for an extended spell a relive all its annoying foibles which make other programs more attractive. In this situation, however, Lightzone has a powerfully useful feature: selective white balance control. Sure, there are other ways to control local colour balance but I find the parameters of a standard white balance tool (colour temp & hue) to be intuitively photographic.

An aside: I note Bibble5 is out on pre-release. The publicity material suggest it might be a contender for my ideal hybrid between Lightroom and Lightzone. I'll certainly be trialling the full version when it comes out.

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