DPChallenge: A Digital Photography Contest You are not logged in. (log in or register

DPChallenge Forums >> Out and About >> DPC Mentorship - Digital Color
Showing posts 1 - 25 of 160, (reverse)
07/10/2005 01:02:52 PM · #1
DPC Mentorship Rules of the Road

Group: Digital Color
Mentor: nico_blue
Students: Shutterfly, DustDevil, Sunniee (more students arriving)


1. If you are not an active member of this mentorship group, please feel free to follow this thread. It is not intended to be exclusionary - we hope everyone can learn from it.

2. If you are not an active member of this group but have a question or comment, please send it directly to the moderator by Private Message. The moderator will either answer you directly or post your comment and their response to the thread. Thank you for understanding that we are trying to keep these groups small and on-topic. If this experiment takes off, we plan to start more groups to try to accommodate as many people as we can.

3. Mentors are volunteers with jobs and/or families. They're human too, and may make mistakes on occasion. If you feel the burning need to criticize them, point out a mistake, or point out your own infinately greater knowledge in they subject they are teaching, please do so in a PM to the mentor, not in this thread.

4. Have fun learning!

P.S. To see updated group information, see my profile.

Message edited by author 2005-07-12 16:55:19.
07/10/2005 01:32:06 PM · #2
Looking to learn anything I can from anyone. Will try to become a sponge. And I promoise not to quit or give up.
07/10/2005 05:50:14 PM · #3
Check here for latest post/updates!

Lesson 8 - Grunge
A big thanks to Joey for guest mentor-ing this lesson.
The assignment is to achieve the grunge Joey look using one of your own photos.


Lesson 7 - Free study
Browse this gallery and notice how colors are used in some of the works. Whether it be complementary, toned or monochromatic.

To do: The assignment for this lesson is a free study where you get to choose an image and do anything you've learnt so far (+ anything else) to post process the image. Then congratulate yourselves for conquering digital color Part I !

PS - please post any specific topics you would like discussed/covered; topics can range from anything like techniques to tools to settings etc. For Part II of the mentorship I will try to participate in the assignments and learn along with you guys so Im definetely looking forwrd to it.

Timeline - till Mon


Lesson 6 - Converting to black and white, the hard way
Follow along - Adobe tutorial
Honestly I never use this method because it is time consuming and a bit complicated. But it is something that is very good to know because it give you complete tonal control of your individual values. As far as I know it is the best way of converting a colored image to black and white.
To do - Convert a color image to black and white using only the steps outlines in the tutorial. Try to simulate adjustments such as curves and levels by playing with your individual color channel tones by adjusting hue, saturation and lightness.

Timeline - till tue


Lesson 5 - Duotoning
Sorry for the lesson being a bit late in getting posted.
Read - Luminous landscape duo-tone tutorial
In case you miss it you have to convert you document to a black and white file by going to image>mode>grayscale before you can do image>mode>duotone. Dont worry about how you are converting you color photos into black and white. (the tutorial talks about using the channel mixer method which will be covered in a future lesson). I use duotoning as the generic name for duo/tri/quad toning.

To do -
Take an image, old images work perfectly as well, convert it to black and white and then duo/tri or quadtone it (remember back to the cool/warm assignment when thinking about your shade color choices :-)) Then make final enhancements using a mix and match combination of the three 'essential' tools (levels, curves and/or dodge/burn) i.e. you may decide you only need to do a levels adjustment or you may decide you need to do all three or none at all. Its totally up to you!

Timeline - till Fri


Lesson 4 - Burning and Dodging
Read - Burning and Dodging in Photoshop by Pedro
Burning and Dodging is a very very old technique that is almost as old as photography itself. The two tools we have available to us in photoshop are similar to what can be achieved in film.
Basically burning makes stuff darker, dodging makes stuff lighter. Together they can dramitically increase the contrast, mood and impact of your image. While this isnt a color modifying technique per say, imo it is one of the basic essential skills just like levels or curves.

To do -
Assignment for this lesson is to enhance a black and white photo using dodge and burn (and stuff from past lessons) paying careful attention not to lose too much details in you blacks and not blow out your lights... a little of each is ok, it is actually good since it shows you are using the whole tonal range. And of course there are times when rules are made to be broken :-)
Have fun shooting and editing!

Timeline - till Sat


Lesson 3 - Making those little things better
In my short time using photoshop I have found a couple of neat things that always at least in my opinion really make any photo better. The first two of these things you have encountered already in lesson 1, levels and curves. Perhaps one of my personal favourite tools in PS after these two would be selective color. The upside is that there is a lot of stuff you can use it for, the downside is that image quality begins to suffer if you do too much. Here are some of the things I usually use selective color for...

- Bringing back the blacks in my image...
Very very quick and easy... you go to the black channel in selective color and increase the black meter depending on how much you want. You can think of it as giving the same results as applying curves or levels to just your darks.

- Making skies bluer...
This is a bit more complicated but still relatively straight forward. Usually the sky falls into two channels - cyan and blue. To make my skies a nice dark blue i usually go to the cyan channel and bump of the cyan, magenta, yellow and black between 10-40% paying attention to the tone of the color produced. It is really based on personal taste. Then in the blue channel bump the cyans and yellows (magenta if need to fix tone) and blacks by 50-100%. Viola! your sky should now be a lot deeper blue.

- Fixing individual colors
This is pretty self explanatory. If I am unhappy with my yellows, say they are too red, I can go to the yellow channel and increase the complementary color which would be green (there is no green to can do yellow + cyan) or reduce the magenta direnctly.

- Slightly shifting color tones
This involves playing with the sliders in the neutral channel but I usuallu helps to have some sort of idea what you wnat before hand.

To Do -
Play around with selective color. Then edit a shot using selective color as one of your post processing tools, feel free to as well use levels, curves and anything else you feel is necessary.

Timeline - till wed



Lesson 2 - Color temperature
This is the second part of our short intro to color theory. I will look for a good article on color temperature tomorrow but I just wanted to get you guys started on the lesson.

Read - (Color temp article will be more relevant for next lesson but go ahead and read it anytime you want)
All colors depending on their hue can be grouped into groups, warm colors and cool colors. The typical warm colors are based around red and yellow while the typical cool colors are based around blue. This is not to say that you cant have a cool yellow or a warm blue however.
Color temperature when controlled effectively can be used to add a little more emotion into a shot. Cool tones are more calm, sometimes a bit sadder, more toughtful and somber and tend to recede into the shot. Warm tones on the other hand bring in warmth, comfort, and tend to call attention to themselves in a shot.

Do - Take a shot, reduce the color saturation (using hue/sat to about -50) and make a warm and cool version of it. Feel free to do levels + cruves if you think your image would benefit from it.

PS technique -
- This basically emulates shooting through a different colored filter and adjusts colors accordingly. Play around with the different filters and settings. For your warm version think about using one of the inbuilt filters or deep yellow and for cool think about the cool filters or deep blue.
Color Balance
- If you dont have photofilter in your post processing software or would like to try a different technique with more manual control use Color balance. Play around slidding the yellow/blue slider in each direction and with varying degrees for the shadows, midtones and highlights.

Timeline - Till Fri/Sat



Lesson 1 - Color theory basics
Read -Color theory

Do - Notice how the colors in your surrounding interact with each other and keep a look out for complementary colors. Try to take a shot where you have complementary colors either next to each other or one surrounded by the other. Post your shots in the thread and please leave comments on all posted shots. Try to be as honest as possible with comments, it is perfectly ok to say you dont like a shot just make sure to say why you dont like the shot.

PS technique - Apply Levels to bring out the contrast in your image, if you feel comfortable with levels try Curves as well. Pay attention to how the colors change and compare before and after shots.

Timeline - Tue 7/12 through Sun 7/17



Group members
Sorry I am not taking any new members, but everyone is more than welcome to follow along in the thread and send me/others pms.
Here are group members with profile links -


First assignment :-)
Write a short introduction about yourself in this thread so we can get to know each other a bit better.
Then, post a favourite photo from another photographer on dpc where the use of color is a major element and write a really short explanation why you like the photo you post (1 sentence is perfect)(please post the photo as a thumbnail)

Also dont forget to add this thread to your watched threads for easy finding.



Hey there everyone!

My name is Nick, I am 19 years old and I am in college now at Brown University. I have a decent amount of experience in visual art and have taken classes in drawing, illustration, painting and scultpure in art school (Rhode Island School of Design for anyone that may have ever heard of it... hopefully next semester I will finally have time on my schedule to take a digital photo class)

So it looks like I will be your mentor for this wonderful group on digital color. The only requirement I have is that people have adobe photoshop or some sort of comparable post processing program. I chose PS because that is the program that I am most familiar with... but I guess if you can follow along with some other post processing program then that can work as well.

So a quick overview of what this group is going to focus on...
Basically we are going to deal with color and its manipulations both in photoshop and in camera. I hope to cover basics like introduction to color theory and move on to stuff like duo/tri/quad toning, converting to and from black and white, altering colors, manual coloring, selective desaturation and move on to lots of other crazy things involving color. By the end of the mentorship I hope to make each of you feel very comfortable working with colors and be able to use colors in such a way as to add extra depth and dimension to your work.

Also, I am very open to suggestions and would love to hear from you guys what you would like to learn or practice.

Looking forward to the group!

Message edited by author 2005-08-18 04:20:23.
07/10/2005 06:08:43 PM · #4
Sounds great, Nick... looking forward to it!
07/10/2005 06:20:17 PM · #5
Heya Nico - I know I'm not on the 'official' list yet, but I just got the PM back from you and sent one off to David about joining the group. I'm eager to hear what you have to say - I love your work, and the colors (among other things) are always magnificent. I manage to 'get by' (by my standards) with some of the basics, but would love to move to 'another level'. I'm looking forward to working with this group on our little learning experience.
07/10/2005 06:24:20 PM · #6
Hey Nick,
I'm not officially registered for this group, but I was wondering if I could also hop in. I have been impressed with your portfolio since I started here at DPC and definitely think that I could learn a lot from you since I like your style. Plus, since I live right on the East Side of Providence too... I figure you could let me know of some good places to shoot in the area.

I've only been into this photography thing now for about a month, so help in any area would be appreciated.
07/10/2005 07:06:34 PM · #7
Nick - it is nice for you to share your "official" your credential, even though I think the consensus is that your portfolio speaks for itself.
I am honored that I will have this opportunity to learn from you.
Now - when do we get started?
07/10/2005 08:40:45 PM · #8
I am running Jasc Paint Shop Pro 9 and I have used PhotoShop CS but I personally prefer PSP. I do understand enough of PS so I can follow any coloring suggestions. Looking forward to it very much.
07/10/2005 09:40:58 PM · #9
Horray I'm In! Thanks Nick- looking forward to this! :0)
07/10/2005 09:51:49 PM · #10
Thanks for including me in your group Nick. I can't wait to learn. I could use some help with just about everything you listed and I'm very eager to get started. I'm very interested in the duo/tri/quadtone. I've tried it on my own with some very sad results. lol
- Laura
07/11/2005 02:57:13 AM · #11
Hey guys please always refer to my first post for updates/news/assigments and stuff like that. I will try to be as organized as i can so hopefully it should never be too hard to stay up to date. First assigmnet is posted :-)
07/11/2005 03:10:23 AM · #12
Hi everyone - my name is Brian, and I'm currently finishing up my BS in Biochemistry at UCLA - I should be done after the fall quarter. Then I plan on working as an EMT for a little while and getting a feel for whether or not I may like a career related to (or in) medicine.

I've had a slight interest in photography for quite some time, but have really become most interested since I found DPC.. and even moreso upon purchasing my Rebel back in December. I love all kinds of photography, but have recently found myself leaning towards Macro and Nature shots.

As for a shot - it would be so easy to choose one of yours, Nico.. but I'll try not to.
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/264/thumb/116372.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/264/thumb/116372.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' by geewhy
I love the colors here because they are vibrant, yet have not lost their texture (if that makes any sense). I think that the complementary character of the leaves works quite well.

Message edited by author 2005-07-11 03:12:02.
07/11/2005 10:27:53 AM · #13
Hello! My name is Wendy and I work for a Mazda dealership at the moment. I have been taking pictures since I can remember. I took the NY school of photography home course and a couple of smaller courses through the boces program here. I bought my first digital camera in 2002 and upgraded to DSLR this past October and been having a blast with the digital side of photography. I like nature and macro photography best with lots of vibrant saturated colors and want to learn as much as I can in this mentorship!

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/104/thumb/24102.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/104/thumb/24102.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

I chose inspzil's 'The highlighted area' because the colors are so vibrant that it catches the eye right away.
07/11/2005 10:34:27 AM · #14
Hi, My name is Michele, and I'm a photographaholic..... my camera goes everywhere with me. I work part time at Sears Portrait Studio... I have been there for approx 2 months. A friend of mine used to manage it and hired me knowing I wanted some experience in the portrait field. She now is opening her own studio where I will be her back-up photographer/assistant. I also work as an EMT, a job that I love and am extremely passionate about.

As far as photography... I have been an artist, working in oils for 10 years (off and on) I took up photography approx 2 years ago and havent painted since! Got the Dig rebel about 6 months ago and it has only increased my passion for photography. I have begun working freelance with families and seniors. I am extremely excited to learn new things here!!

One of my favorites.... the composition and colors in this shot are fantastic!
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/60/thumb/11505.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/60/thumb/11505.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
07/11/2005 10:49:50 AM · #15
Hi all, I am charles but you can call me anything like chuck,dust,dusty, etc. I am 35 and a former us marine. I have only recently been serious about photography. I have no real prior experience besides taking photos for ebay. I do alot of other types of hobbies like digital art and the like.

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/354/thumb/197894.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/354/thumb/197894.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

I did not vote in this challenge but found this to be a very colorful subject. The frog against the white of the ipod makes the colors pop out.
07/11/2005 01:00:16 PM · #16
My name is Laura (...Hi Laura) and I've been addicted to DPC now for... oh wait, this is my other group! ;0)

This has got to be one of my all time favorite uses of color- if you scroll down the comments she explains how she got the effect. I like this image because the color is so unique! It seems muted but it is really quite saturated.
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/1368/thumb/129658.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/1368/thumb/129658.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

I love the idea that you can do so much in photoshop but I am relatively new to the digital world. I have been a photo editor for about 10 years so have dabbled with PS quite a bit but only 'on the surface' -minor adjustments. I have been interested in photography since my mother bought me a 110 and I lined up all my toy horses on my bed and took countless shots of them and have been shooting professionally on the side for about 5 years.
I think I'm gonna bite the bullet and sign up for membership today!

Message edited by author 2005-07-11 13:03:45.
07/11/2005 01:29:51 PM · #17
My name is also Laura (Hi Laura! lol) and I'm completely obsessed with photography. I work a completely boring job Fri-Sun (12 hour days). This allows me to be off the other four days and devote my time to photography. I still have so much to learn that its scary. Becoming a member of this site was one of the best decisions I've made.
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/46/thumb/9482.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/46/thumb/9482.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' This is one of my favorite shots. The color takes an ordinary water drop and turns it into a feast for my eyes.
- Laura
07/11/2005 01:35:14 PM · #18
Hi folks. Any objection to my joining this thread and participating? I might not be as active as some of you 'cuz I am mentoring "natural light" but I'm interested in this area and I admire nico's work.

07/11/2005 01:42:57 PM · #19
Originally posted by bear_music:

Hi folks. Any objection to my joining this thread and participating? I might not be as active as some of you 'cuz I am mentoring "natural light" but I'm interested in this area and I admire nico's work.


none here- I am following your natural light thread too- good stuff! :0)
07/11/2005 03:54:46 PM · #20
My name is Joy... I have been here on DPC for a long time (2/1/03).
A friend introduced me, she has moved onto other interests and I stayed behind. I have always had creative interests. At various times I have enjoyed drawing, painting and writing.
The photography bug got me when I was still a kid. I received a 110 as a gift and pretended to be a professional photographer. Recently, I received the XT as a gift and again I pretend to be a photographer.
I really enjoy the way photography forces you to look at the world from different perspectives(a skill that I am really trying to improve).

Ok, (15-20 minutes later) I have decide on one favorite, a very difficult task indeed.

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/254/thumb/106707.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/254/thumb/106707.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

I like this photo because the colors are awesome!
07/11/2005 09:54:22 PM · #21
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/252/thumb/102007.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/252/thumb/102007.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

This is "The road to San Gimignano, Tuscany" by jonpink...

I love the simplicity and the strong, deep, rich colors.


Hey Robt, you are always welcome!


Please take the time to look through the images people have choosen and notice how the colors are used in these images, they can be really subtle or be so direct that they just blow you away.
When working with color I think it is always important to have a mental image of what you want your finished piece to look like. With practice and experience you will be able to not only visualize the finished piece more clearly but have the skills to achieve it as well using whats available to you (in this case your camera and post-processing).
Before I post the next assingment I encourage people who have the time to browse through the highest rated photos on dpc and pay close attention to the colors. I think this short excercise should help build imagination and creativity, and it is always an excellent source of inspiration if you are in one of those artistic ruts.

07/11/2005 10:02:37 PM · #22
Alrighty then. Love the notes on this one, the laconic "adjusted colors", LOL.

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/264/thumb/117274.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/264/thumb/117274.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

07/11/2005 10:07:19 PM · #23
Originally posted by nico_blue:

When working with color I think it is always important to have a mental image of what you want your finished piece to look like. With practice and experience you will be able to not only visualize the finished piece more clearly but have the skills to achieve it as well using whats available to you (in this case your camera and post-processing).

That's definitely the goal. In B/W photography a la Zone System, that's exactly what we do. We can't use the tools properly unless we have a "previsualization" of what we want the finished result to look like. I'm slowly plugging away at a zone system for color, sort of, where I can completely previsualize the desired result before I even capture the image.

I'm sure we've all had the experience os SEEING beautiful colors and been disappointed when they don't "come out" in the shot. This seminar should help everyone learn the ways they can faithfully reproduce what they saw with their mind's eye, which is, IMO, the single greatest benefit of the digital darkroom.

07/12/2005 12:46:32 AM · #24
Lesson 1 has been posted, try to have fun with it and it is completely fine if you dont manage to get a shot in. The dates are more for me to have a rough timeline to work on. They are in no way a deadline :-)

Post thumbs in this thread and leave comments on the photos themselves.

Pm or post here with questions/comments/concerns, if i cant answer i am sure someone else will be able to.

Thats it from me for now, remember to pay particular attention to the colors in your surroundings this week.


Message edited by author 2005-07-12 00:53:21.
07/12/2005 05:44:02 PM · #25
I think I totally failed this lesson. I looked for a "natural" looking subject to try this on but decided to use my light box. They are just some dye flowers from albertsons's.

I tried using yellow/red and blue colored ones. I do not think it came out very well.

But I did learn alot from the color description link.

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/36078/thumb/203082.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/36078/thumb/203082.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
First attempt
Curves and levels but ended up making the image to washed out and over processed.

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/36078/thumb/203124.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/36078/thumb/203124.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
Reshot tried using just the red and blues this time.

Curves and levels and it seem to work a bit better.

Message edited by author 2005-07-12 19:25:47.
Current Server Time: 07/24/2021 08:34:08 PM

Please log in or register to post to the forums.

Home - Challenges - Community - League - Photos - Cameras - Lenses - Learn - Prints! - Help - Terms of Use - Privacy - Top ^
DPChallenge, and website content and design, Copyright © 2001-2021 Challenging Technologies, LLC.
All digital photo copyrights belong to the photographers and may not be used without permission.
Proudly hosted by Sargasso Networks. Current Server Time: 07/24/2021 08:34:08 PM EDT.