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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Dangerspouse's Avatar

    Color Select in camera vs PP

    This week's Photo Challenge was "Color Select", something I'd never tried before. I knew my camera (D5500) had that function available in the "Effects" dial, but I'd also read it could be done in Post Processing. I decided to compare the two methods to see if there was any difference, and thought some here might also find it interesting.

    Not far from my house is the "Colored Cemetery", a historic final resting place for slaves and freed blacks that dates back to the mid-18th century. Many graves are completely unmarked, so white posts have been erected where testing has shown human remains lie below. There are a few graves that do have very small headstones, but there are two or three that are larger and have actual inscriptions. It's a solitary, somber place located in an out of the way rural area, but people come to leave memorial pebbles and other remembrance tokens on a regular basis.

    On this day I brought along a bunch of poinsettias and laid one on the marker stone, the rest on various grave sites. I left them there after the shoot.

    All these shots are focus stacked.

    First up is the shot in color for reference:

    Color Select in camera vs PP-colored-cemetery-reference.jpg


    The reference photo above processed in Lightroom by desaturating the entire scene and then using HSL to bring back anything red:

    Color Select in camera vs PP-cemetery-color-select-pp-1-1-.jpg

    By contrast, this is using the in-camera color select function in the Effects dial:


    Color Select in camera vs PP-colored-cemetery-color-select-stacked-photo-1-1-.jpg

    What do you think? Personally I consider the in-camera processing to be superior to my Lightroom effort. In hindsight I should have further adjusted the scene in that second picture to bring out the words on the plaque, and sharpened the landscape, but after seeing that I couldn't bring back the original hue of the flowers I didn't bother. Not that the in-camera processing was spot on perfect - I think it over saturated the red a bit and made it somewhat artificially luminous - but overall it looks much more realistic than what I was able to achieve in PP.

    BTW, it was a very windy day when I shot these. Windy enough that it caused some wobble apparently in my tripod. As these were all focus stacked, when Lightroom auto-aligned them it cut off part of my left border, apparently unable to blend them because of camera shake. So it looks like I missed the left side of the plaque when I framed the shot. I don't know why it only did it on the left side - maybe there was more contrast on that side or something? Either way, it's very frustrating to look at after I spent so long setting up the shot. Another effect of the wind: there was only one blade of grass sticking up in front of the plaque on the bottom right. But gusty winds while I was taking my reference photo stack whipped it back and forth so the camera caught it in several positions making the final photo look like there was an entire sheaf there, lol. The wind died down a bit when I took the pictures for the third photo, so it only looks like two. In retrospect I should have moved the stalk out of the way when I started, but I was so concentrating on the other factors that I completely overlooked it.

    All in all, I'm glad I did this comparison. In the future I think I'll trust the camera's brain rather than my own if I ever want to do this type of photography again.


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    Fiat lux. Fiat vox.



  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Dangerspouse's Avatar

    Re: Color Select in camera vs PP

    After looking at these pics side by side here, I think I over lightened the woods in the last photo. Although I don't like the flower as much in the PP (second) picture, I do prefer its darker woods. Makes it a bit more moody and appropriate to my mind. For the third picture I should have used an adjustment brush to only lighten the plaque. Oh well, lesson learned.
    Fiat lux. Fiat vox.

  3. #3
    Senior Member

    Re: Color Select in camera vs PP

    I was going to say that I liked the LR version best, but the more I look at it I'm not sure. Tough call.
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    D810; D7200; AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8G ED; AF-S 24-120mm f/4G ED VR; Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 Sport; Sigma 2X Teleconverter;
    AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; AF-S 85mm f/1.8G - Old non-AF; 105mm f/2.5; 28mm f/2.8 - Godox V860II & AD200

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Needa's Avatar

    Re: Color Select in camera vs PP

    Like the contrast in the scene better in the second one. Just lighten and and add some sharpening and contrast to the plaque should help. I think I would have approached it differently. I don't have luck with focus stacking unless nothing is moving. I might have tried merging 2 photos one focused on the plaque the one the background, just cut the one with the plaque in focus and insert it in the other. This would also allowed you to adjust the exposure for just the plaque.
    Is that a shadow on the plaque or just not uniform in color? If a shadow a little fill flash might have helped.

    YMMV.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Dangerspouse's Avatar

    Re: Color Select in camera vs PP

    Quote Originally Posted by Needa View Post
    Like the contrast in the scene better in the second one. Just lighten and and add some sharpening and contrast to the plaque should help. I think I would have approached it differently. I don't have luck with focus stacking unless nothing is moving. I might have tried merging 2 photos one focused on the plaque the one the background, just cut the one with the plaque in focus and insert it in the other. This would also allowed you to adjust the exposure for just the plaque.
    Is that a shadow on the plaque or just not uniform in color? If a shadow a little fill flash might have helped.

    YMMV.
    That's very good advice, and it's a PhotoShop skill I should probably learn. Right now I'm still learning the ins and outs of Lightroom, having had it for only a matter of a few months. I do use PS for photo stacking, as LR does not have that function. But outside of that, I still haven't delved into what PhotoShop can do.

    The color difference on the plaque is discoloration. After almost a quarter century exposed to the elements, I guess a certain amount of weathering is inevitable. I just wish, from a fotog's perspective, that Mom Nature had seen fit to weather it uniformly
    Fiat lux. Fiat vox.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    STM's Avatar

    Re: Color Select in camera vs PP

    This seems to work well but I don't use LR. In PS I use the quick select tool, select the items I want to leave in color, invert the selection and then use Image, Adjustments, Black and White and adjust the sliders until I get the desired effect or just use the Desaturate tool.
    Thanks/Like Dangerspouse Thanks/liked this post
     
    Nikon FTn, F2A/MD-2, Nikkormat FT2, F4E, D850, D500, D700, D7100

    8-15mm f/3.5-4.5 AFS, 15mm f/3.5 AIS, 16mm f/2.8 Fisheye AIS, 18mm f/3.5 AIS, 24mm f/2.8 AIS, 25-50mm f/4 AIS, 28mm f/2.8 AIS, 35mm f/2 AIS, 35-70mm /3.5 AIS, 50mm f/1.8 AIS, 50mm f/1.4 AIS, 55mm f/2.8 AIS Micro, 85mm f/1.4 AIS ,135mm f/2 AIS, 80-200 f/4 AIS, 105mm f/1.8 AIS, 105mm 2.8 AIS Micro, 180mm f/2.8 ED AIS, 200mm f/2 ED-IF AIS, 300mm f/2.8 ED-IF AIS, 500mm f/8 Reflex Nikkor, 600mm f/4 ED-IF AIS, 1000mm f/11 Reflex

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    STM's Avatar

    Re: Color Select in camera vs PP

    Quote Originally Posted by Dangerspouse View Post
    This week's Photo Challenge was "Color Select", something I'd never tried before. I knew my camera (D5500) had that function available in the "Effects" dial, but I'd also read it could be done in Post Processing. I decided to compare the two methods to see if there was any difference, and thought some here might also find it interesting.

    Not far from my house is the "Colored Cemetery", a historic final resting place for slaves and freed blacks that dates back to the mid-18th century. Many graves are completely unmarked, so white posts have been erected where testing has shown human remains lie below. There are a few graves that do have very small headstones, but there are two or three that are larger and have actual inscriptions. It's a solitary, somber place located in an out of the way rural area, but people come to leave memorial pebbles and other remembrance tokens on a regular basis.

    On this day I brought along a bunch of poinsettias and laid one on the marker stone, the rest on various grave sites. I left them there after the shoot.

    All these shots are focus stacked.

    First up is the shot in color for reference:

    Color Select in camera vs PP-colored-cemetery-reference.jpg


    The reference photo above processed in Lightroom by desaturating the entire scene and then using HSL to bring back anything red:

    Color Select in camera vs PP-cemetery-color-select-pp-1-1-.jpg

    By contrast, this is using the in-camera color select function in the Effects dial:


    Color Select in camera vs PP-colored-cemetery-color-select-stacked-photo-1-1-.jpg

    What do you think? Personally I consider the in-camera processing to be superior to my Lightroom effort. In hindsight I should have further adjusted the scene in that second picture to bring out the words on the plaque, and sharpened the landscape, but after seeing that I couldn't bring back the original hue of the flowers I didn't bother. Not that the in-camera processing was spot on perfect - I think it over saturated the red a bit and made it somewhat artificially luminous - but overall it looks much more realistic than what I was able to achieve in PP.

    BTW, it was a very windy day when I shot these. Windy enough that it caused some wobble apparently in my tripod. As these were all focus stacked, when Lightroom auto-aligned them it cut off part of my left border, apparently unable to blend them because of camera shake. So it looks like I missed the left side of the plaque when I framed the shot. I don't know why it only did it on the left side - maybe there was more contrast on that side or something? Either way, it's very frustrating to look at after I spent so long setting up the shot. Another effect of the wind: there was only one blade of grass sticking up in front of the plaque on the bottom right. But gusty winds while I was taking my reference photo stack whipped it back and forth so the camera caught it in several positions making the final photo look like there was an entire sheaf there, lol. The wind died down a bit when I took the pictures for the third photo, so it only looks like two. In retrospect I should have moved the stalk out of the way when I started, but I was so concentrating on the other factors that I completely overlooked it.

    All in all, I'm glad I did this comparison. In the future I think I'll trust the camera's brain rather than my own if I ever want to do this type of photography again.
    To make your tripod steadier I suggest you attach a sand bag or other heavy (5-10 lbs) weight to the center column. My tripods have a built in spring loaded hook on the bottom of the center column and I just hang a boom stand sand bag on it. It works like a champ, especially when using the 600mm f/4 beast with a 2x teleconverter.
    Thanks/Like Dangerspouse Thanks/liked this post
     
    Nikon FTn, F2A/MD-2, Nikkormat FT2, F4E, D850, D500, D700, D7100

    8-15mm f/3.5-4.5 AFS, 15mm f/3.5 AIS, 16mm f/2.8 Fisheye AIS, 18mm f/3.5 AIS, 24mm f/2.8 AIS, 25-50mm f/4 AIS, 28mm f/2.8 AIS, 35mm f/2 AIS, 35-70mm /3.5 AIS, 50mm f/1.8 AIS, 50mm f/1.4 AIS, 55mm f/2.8 AIS Micro, 85mm f/1.4 AIS ,135mm f/2 AIS, 80-200 f/4 AIS, 105mm f/1.8 AIS, 105mm 2.8 AIS Micro, 180mm f/2.8 ED AIS, 200mm f/2 ED-IF AIS, 300mm f/2.8 ED-IF AIS, 500mm f/8 Reflex Nikkor, 600mm f/4 ED-IF AIS, 1000mm f/11 Reflex

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Dangerspouse's Avatar

    Re: Color Select in camera vs PP

    Quote Originally Posted by STM View Post
    To make your tripod steadier I suggest you attach a sand bag or other heavy (5-10 lbs) weight to the center column. My tripods have a built in spring loaded hook on the bottom of the center column and I just hang a boom stand sand bag on it. It works like a champ, especially when using the 600mm f/4 beast with a 2x teleconverter.
    Thank you for the PS tip. Once I start learning more about that program I'll definitely try that.

    Your tripod sounds as beastly as that 600mm! That's great, what a convenient and useful feature. I've got a 30+ year old Slik with just a screw column in the center. I'll have to see if I can jury rig a hook onto it.

    Thanks again!
    Fiat lux. Fiat vox.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    STM's Avatar

    Re: Color Select in camera vs PP

    Quote Originally Posted by Dangerspouse View Post
    Thank you for the PS tip. Once I start learning more about that program I'll definitely try that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dangerspouse View Post

    Your tripod sounds as beastly as that 600mm! That's great, what a convenient and useful feature. I've got a 30+ year old Slik with just a screw column in the center. I'll have to see if I can jury rig a hook onto it.

    Thanks again!


    The one I use most is a Bogen Carbon Fiber one, can't recall the model number off hand. It is amazingly sturdy but also extremely lightweight. It handles the 600mm f/4, D850 w/battery pack and my gimble head no sweat and I have even stuck about a 5 pound sand bag on it. That is about 21 pounds worth of camera gear and tripod head plus another 5 pounds for the bag. The photo below is an old Slik U212 I have that could handle the load too, though it did groan a bit. The Bogen never even breaks a sweat
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Color Select in camera vs PP-beast.jpg  

    Last edited by STM; 11-23-2019 at 10:00 PM.
    Thanks/Like Dangerspouse Thanks/liked this post
     
    Nikon FTn, F2A/MD-2, Nikkormat FT2, F4E, D850, D500, D700, D7100

    8-15mm f/3.5-4.5 AFS, 15mm f/3.5 AIS, 16mm f/2.8 Fisheye AIS, 18mm f/3.5 AIS, 24mm f/2.8 AIS, 25-50mm f/4 AIS, 28mm f/2.8 AIS, 35mm f/2 AIS, 35-70mm /3.5 AIS, 50mm f/1.8 AIS, 50mm f/1.4 AIS, 55mm f/2.8 AIS Micro, 85mm f/1.4 AIS ,135mm f/2 AIS, 80-200 f/4 AIS, 105mm f/1.8 AIS, 105mm 2.8 AIS Micro, 180mm f/2.8 ED AIS, 200mm f/2 ED-IF AIS, 300mm f/2.8 ED-IF AIS, 500mm f/8 Reflex Nikkor, 600mm f/4 ED-IF AIS, 1000mm f/11 Reflex

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Dangerspouse's Avatar

    Re: Color Select in camera vs PP

    Quote Originally Posted by STM View Post
    The one I use most is a Bogen Carbon Fiber one, can't recall the model number off hand. It is amazingly sturdy but also extremely lightweight. It handles the 600mm f/4, D850 w/battery pack and my gimble head no sweat and I have even stuck about a 5 pound sand bag on it. That is about 21 pounds worth of camera gear and tripod head plus another 5 pounds for the bag. The photo below is an old Slik U212 I have that could handle the load too, though it did groan a bit. The Bogen never even breaks a sweat
    What a rig! And your new one is even better, you say? Wow, that's just fantastic. Good for you!
    Fiat lux. Fiat vox.





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