RGB and Y
  • Aperture: ƒ/5.6
  • Camera: ILCE-7RM2
  • Taken: 22 December, 2015
  • Exposure bias: -3/10EV
  • Flash fired: no
  • Focal length: 90mm
  • ISO: 2500
  • Shutter speed: 1/250s

I like playing with words but, sometimes, finding a title for a PotD can be tricky. I almost went for my first ‘Untitled’ but finally settled on ‘RGB and Y…’, more out of stubbornness than conviction. I’d noticed this hedge just off Av. Belgrano in Salta many times on my way to and from my accommodation and the city centre but had shied away from stopping because of the security guard patrolling outside the adjoining restaurant. I needed to be on the restaurant’s property to get the right angle so ended up taking the easy option and having lunch there. I’m not sure why this tiny stretch of land between the two buildings had these colourful rigs but there they were. What caught my eye was how the straight lines of the metal frames jumped out from the organic shapes of the leaves, with the different colours adding an extra dimension.

I underexposed by a third of a stop, this time more out of habit than necessity, and made the tone of the green hedge more uniform by selecting the Shadow option in Capture One 9’s new Color Balance tool and dragging the colour balance towards the greens. I also lifted the shadows in the greens and muted the highlights in the metals using the sliders in the HDR tool, mainly to keep everything within the same mid exposure and not have anything too punchy. The reason for this is because it suits the image better, the subject a lo-tech hard working contraption, no need for bling. I always use the Clarity and Structure sliders to various degrees in the Clarity tool to lift an image up from the flatness you get from a Raw file. Keep an eye on the Clarity slider that you are not adding too much, especially when working with skin, as the highlights can easily become too pronounced. There’s been a few time during this project when I’ve found myself struggling to get the gradations of light on a face to look more natural, only to then realise that I’ve been too aggressive with the Clarity slider.

Working with so many images in this FHaB project, I am becoming much better at achieving what I want from just within C1 and am understanding the capabilities of the software more and more. I had become so used to a particular workflow over the years, processing a good basic image from C1 and doing the rest in Photoshop. To be honest, it was usually 2-3 versions of the same image that I then combined in Photoshop, jut to have the dynamic range that I needed before starting the retouching. With the dynamic range I am getting off the sensor from the Sony A7RII, I can now use the range of tools within C1 to achieve the result I want. Obviously, for a fashion or advertising shoot, where I need to work on skin or on multiple elements, then Photoshop is still going to be part of my workflow. I also have a separate software just for adding the final grain. But for these standalone images, I’m loving that I can get professional results so seamlessly.


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