Colors and emotions

Color psychology is the study of the way that things are perceived and processed by humans. The fact that colors affect our moods, emotions and behavior, has been known to humankind from ancient times. Although, the way a certain color affect someones mentality is very individual and one color can have different effects on different people.

Different studies give us the evidence that human reaction to colors with different emotions. Besides, depending on our psychological state, we see colors in a different way.

As a photographer, I have experimented that it is true when you are going to edit a picture. Your mood is going to influence in the color treatment that you are going to do. Although your beginning processing steps were very basic and mechanical, like White Balance adjustments and other minor basic color settings in a RAW editor. In the final steps of your processing workflow, you are going to show this, in how you do with the minor alterations to tones, doing for example a sky more dramatic, a sunset warmer… And all of this, and the results show the complex personality that you have. Your pictures are the mirror of your soul..

After editing a lot of pictures and making a lot mistakes doing HDR. I have not only discovered how to correct the hues alterations that are produced by Tonemapping Software like Photomatix. I have learnt to see the reality in my mind. To remind the scene when a picture was taken and to reproduce the colors that I saw. Besides, the emotions that I felt and that I am having in the moment of edition are mixed to reach the final image result, giving you a more hyper-realistic or surrealistic feeling to your canvas.

In the case of the post picture, after making primary White Balace adjustments in LR for each exposure to generate an HDR file and tonemapping it in Photomatix, I finally mixed several layers with ‘Pop pup’ preset using Topaz Adjust plugin and ‘Tonal Contrast’ and ‘Pro Contrast’ with Nik Color Efex Pro in Photoshop over the HDR image and the 0EV exposure. The purpose was to get warmer tones and richer textures on the fountain and the grainy floor and to obtain a more purple sky. I wanted to give a dreamy touch to the picture , doing it more surrealistic , with the golden tones in the fountain and the floor, due to artificial lighting (yellow bulbs).

The Fountain Of Golden Dreams #1 :: HDR :: DRI

Sabatini Gardens, Royal Palace, Madrid (Spain).

Canon EOS 450D | Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 DC EX HSM @ 10 mm | f11, 6s, ISO 200.HDR/DRI from 3 exposures on a tripod Manfrotto 055XPROB + 322RC2 @ [-2 EV .. 0 .. +2 EV ]

She’s A River

An old version of this picture was one of the winners of the International HDR Day. The pictures were selected by the HDR guru, Trey Ratcliff and Rick Sammon.

I was not happy with the final result of this image, so as I am usually doing in last weeks, I have re-processed it again. The picture had artifacts due to an usual problem with tonemapping software is the objects in motion. In particular, the water streams like waves on the sea or fountains.

Photomatix or other HDR programs don’t correct efficiently the ‘ghost effect’ produced by the water motion, so the best way to correct this is to manually blend in Photoshop the tonemapped image with one o several exposures. Although I don’t explain this in the photo-feet because I do in a shorthand. I usually do this, also knows as Digital Blending or DRI (Dynamic Range Increase) in my current workflow ,for so many pictures, to get a more natural look on them.

The manual blending is done, working with different layer masks for each of the exposures and the initial tonemapped image. I really love to do this. It is like painting. I was afraid when I was a beginner but now, I enjoy. You can try it. Just put your tonemapped image in a layer and one of the exposures in another one. Create a layer mask and select a soft black pencil with some opacity ( that depends in the image) to make transparent the above layer. They are combined to get the final image before removing noise and sharpening the picture.

In this case, I used the 0EV exposure to correct the ghosting in sky cloud and fountain water and the -2EV exposure to get more details in the water flow.

She's A River :: HDR :: DRI

Plaza de España, Madrid (Spain)

Canon EOS 450D | Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 DC EX HSM @ 10 mm | f11, 2.5s, ISO 100. HDR /DRI from 3 exposures @ [-2 EV..0..+2 EV]

A Colourful Fountain

Near the ‘Club Financiero’, the headquarters of Jesús Gil in Marbella from where he controlled the city, is located this park. The name ‘Parque de los Enamorados’ is in commemoration of an statue of two lovers situated in the middle of the park. The building of this park was very controversial due to that was constructed in the old caves called ‘Pecho de las cuevas’, where some poor people lived occasionally.

In the centre of the park, it is this fountain with decoration like sails.

A Colourful Fountain :: HDR :: DRI

Parque de los Enamorados, Marbella (Spain)

Canon EOS 450D | Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 DC EX HSM @ 10 mm | f8, 13s, ISO 100.  HDR from 3 exposures @ [-2 EV .. 0 .. +2 EV ]