Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Fading Paris Boats

and how much to unfade...

Nikon D800  F/13  1/640s  ISO-800  PrPR  EV 0  120mm
Paris boats (the boat being the symbol of the city of Paris) are everywhere.

It's like when you are thinking of buying a certain brand of new car; you start seeing them everywhere you look.

And as soon as I said to the person I was with what I've just told you I was able to find two more example, one on a parking meter and the other on a street bench, so there you go.

Anyway, I collect these things, and here's a splendid, if weathered example.

One of the decisions you have to make when you get a weathered old version is how much to 'bump it up'. In other words, these days, by saturating the colours and such like we can make it look almost as good as new, but not as good as reality - that's the danger.

Here I decided to go gently and try not to overdo it.

All I did to the pic on the left was a touch of colour strengthener in Nikon's ViewNX2 under what they call 'Color Booster' with the option set to 'People' (as opposed to 'Nature'), which keeps the effect managable and not too exaggerated.

Then I sharpened to the max and after the serious reduction down to 400px the result is what you see above. Not much difference really.

Then I cropped but don't think I did much else to it.

The final version below is a major zoom to show, once again, just how useful all those 'extra' pixels can be. Here I too the shot from across the road, thereby keeping the image fairly 'flat' without any troubling zooming away parallels yet still managed a 'close-up', as it were. Thanks again Nikon D800. All hand held as usual.

It was still on program mode and JPG only for some reason, so I didn't have access to a couple of the useful controls in ViewNX2 such as White Balance and Picture Control, which I suppose are only available when you've taken the shot in RAW. Another good reason for taking your shots in RAW, I guess...

It's funny, but the more I look at the shot below, the more I think I should have saturated the colour more. But I'm being seriously influenced by the way I usually process my iPhone pics where I do just that. The shot you're looking at is brighter and richer than in reality already, and it's easy to forget that.

My photo philosophy isn't to achieve images which are as close to reality as possible; it's to do the opposite and move them over to something a bit more impressionistic. Here, however, especially as it will be part of my series on Paris boats, I want it to be pretty lifelike so I'll leave it as it is. In all its glory. And I do find it quite glorious, by the way - the Paris boat that is - but that's just me!


* Sab Will runs Photo and Curios Tours in Paris, and also manages a variety of Paris and photography-themed sites and blogs. He writes an illustrated Paris Chronicle every day, runs a Meetup group for Paris lovers, interviews Paris personalities and reviews Paris books (on this blog), and even contributes to the city's street art (shh), so feel free to browse some of the links below and in the right-hand column to find out more about what he gets up to out there...

© 2012 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free - Contact me directly for photo tours, interviews, exhibitions, etc.

No comments:

Post a Comment