Two photos today, both the same but different. Having captured yesterday’s shot of the dipping sun illuminating the fishing boat in Loh Dalam Bay I faced my camera the other way towards the sun. Since I’m working with a slide scan and was too lazy to re-scan it with different settings, I’m stuck with the colors captured in the slide. The challenge here is that there was no obvious neutral mid-tone from which to correct the color balance. I tried various attempts in Lightroom and various passes through PhotoTune but couldn’t get anything respectable. So I just decided to play a little in Photoshop. First I duplicated the layer and changed the blend mode to overlay, then backed off the opacity a little. I then added a levels adjustment layer and adjusted the black, white and mid-points and got the image below that I was quite happy with.
But then I went back to The Adobe Photoshop CS5 Book for Digital Photographers and on pages 165 – 167, Scott Kelby describes an approach taught to him by Dave Cross on how to find a neutral grey. There’s a caveat that it doesn’t always work but I though it worth a try. The image below is the result. It’s still not really a representation of what I saw but it’s closer than my abstract version above. This is one of the limitations of scanning slides – they already have a limited tonal range so you have less to work with than a RAW image.