Case Study: Moody Blues
This is another image I took at the waterfall, this time to demonstrate how to achieve a moody atmosphere in post processing. Now, for the original image, I altered white balance in camera. For this image, I kept the in camera white balance set to auto to get a neutral raw file, and now I'm going to fine tune the visual narrative in light room. And what I want to achieve is a dramatic presentation of the scene that represents the cold and desolation of winter. Again, I'm going to start at the top with white balance and ease out the neutrality by reducing the color temperature, which adds an underlying called blue tone. And this time I'm going to add a little more magenta into the tint to remove a very slight green cast in the water. The exposure is close, but I'm going to add half a stop to the overall exposure, and now I'm going to get a bit more drastic with texture and clarity. Now I'm doing these first because clarity in particular affects tone. And so I want to create visual prese...
nce and then balance the tone. Now I rarely use a lot of clarity but my vision for this image calls for it, so I'm going to punch it up quite high and to further enhance rough texture, I'm going to punch in a fair amount of texture to and you can see from the red alerts. As I anticipated, some of the patches of highlights in the water have blown, but that's okay because the in camera exposure captured that detail. So I can now go back to the tone controls and recover the lost detail using the highlight slider. I also want to pull back some of the shadows which were affected by the heavy application of clarity, which I can do with the shadow slider that's got the overall look and exposure where I want it. So I'm going to work on color now. The Mosses in this scene are the overwhelming source of color, so I want to emphasize the greens. So I'm going to add a medium amount of vibrance, and I'm using vibrance because saturation will overcook everything. Vibrance is just that bit more subtle, and I also want to add some contrast in the green, so I'm going to open the SL toolbox, click on luminescence and punch in a bit of light. And while I'm here, I'm going to do something similar with the water. And now I'm going to get a bit more creative to really add to my story of foreboding. I'm going to open up the effects toolbox to get at one of my fairy favorite tools, the vignette tool, and I'm going to drag in a pretty hard, dark vignette. This closes everything in and creates a greater sense of claustrophobia, but I see an escape in that light patch of sky at the very top of frame. So I'm going to use the graduated filter to add some visual weight to the top of the frame, which stops the ICT escaping through the trees. And here is my final image, a backdrop for a fantasy movie, perhaps, where a band of intrepid explorers battle with dark forces over the fate of the world