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Photo Manipulation: Discuss Enhancing dye photograph...Hi all, I have a photograph taken of two dye colours swirling in water. One dye is green, one is ...
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Old 28-10-2015, 04:14   #1 (permalink)
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Enhancing dye photograph

Hi all,
I have a photograph taken of two dye colours swirling in water. One dye is green, one is pink. The water colour is slightly green as well. What I'm hoping to do is make the dye stand out a lot more than the background water. What do you suggest?
I've tried inverting the image and that helps to some extent.

James

The full image is available here

Or a smaller version:
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Old 28-10-2015, 12:04   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Enhancing dye photograph

Welcome to Pixalo James

Your post got held back as new members are not permitted to post links until their post count is 5. This is an anti spam measure. I tried to follow your link but it did not work so I removed it The link to the small version is not visible in your post. The syntax looks wrong. We have a maximum size for display of 1024 pixels on the longest side but no other restriction for images hosted off site.

If you want to try again the Crew will keep an eye out for your post in the moderation queue.
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Old 28-10-2015, 14:21   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Enhancing dye photograph

Without seeing it, it's hard to say but my first thoughts would be some or all of the following.

Increase the saturation.
Select by colour and increase saturation on dyes or decrease on water.
Increase the contrast.
Select and alter the colour(s) to a more highly contrasting pair.

And when I see what you've got, I may decide that none of my ideas so far are any good!
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Old 29-10-2015, 00:14   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Enhancing dye photograph

Thanks for your initial comments. Sorry the website didn't work, my server is down at the moment.

Okay I tried hosting it on some free website. How's this?



Or full size here.
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Old 29-10-2015, 00:43   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Enhancing dye photograph

As you have your 'image edit OK' showing I've had a bit of a play on my laptop and come up with this



Is this what you wanted?
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Old 29-10-2015, 05:53   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Enhancing dye photograph

Yeah I think it helps highlight the green, but it also shows up the green in the water a lot more. The pink dye is harder to see I think.

Thanks for your help.

Did my post get deleted with the original photograph?
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Old 29-10-2015, 09:36   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Enhancing dye photograph

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesvenning View Post
Did my post get deleted with the original photograph?
No, just the links to the photographs were removed. Your posts are still less than 5 so until you have posted 5 times any posts with links are automatically trapped by the system. The Crew will release them after checking the content. As explained this is an anti-spam measure. As the Crew members are all on a different time schedule from the antipodeans we don't pick it up immediately .

To get back to your image. You have a few things working against you, low-light, and green water. The low light will cause most cameras to intensify the red in an image - red blotches often referred to as noise, and the green will throw the white balance out. If you do not adjust for these by setting the camera before you take the photograph, recovering the detail will always be difficult - if you are taking JPG (the camera manipulates the image before it stores it on the card). If you are taking your photographs in RAW (the camera does not manipulate the image), you have the opportunity to manipulate the image as you desire - correcting for things like white balance. There are some things you can do with a JPG image but not as much as if you were working from a RAW source.

This is what I have come up with for your image - you will notice the noise, due to the low light, and I have done my best to recover the white balance, and then intensified the spectrum where I think the colours of the dyes are. I believe the post to the left is of wood and that gives a guide that the original colours in your image were interpreted incorrectly by the camera. No problem, digital cameras while good aren't able to see what we see the way our brains interpret colour. This is not as good as you would have got if you started with a RAW image but it shows the possibilities ...

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Old 30-10-2015, 00:19   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Enhancing dye photograph

Thanks. That starts to intensify the green of the dye which looks nice!

The post is actually stainless steel, not wood.

If I image this again I would take it in RAW as well. Any other tips? I had a lamp on but I guess more light is better?
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Old 30-10-2015, 00:56   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Enhancing dye photograph

More light should give better results, but as important is to correctly colour balance either in camera by setting a pre-set to match the type of lighting or in post processing if you shoot in RAW. You could use a grey card to assist in this, and again with any lighting change.
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Old 03-11-2015, 21:21   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Enhancing dye photograph

Just an idea with regard to lighting. I'm guessing again, that the light you are using is attached to the post on the left and shining downward.

If so:
You could try illuminating the tank from the side, ideally just below the surface level. This will lower the scattered light reflected back to the camera, and help to avoid reflections from the bottom of the tank.

Beyond that, if you have access to coloured filters, you could use these in front of the lamps to help intensify the lighting of the dyes. Ideally a separate lamp and filter for each dye. This should work better than trying to filter the colours in the camera or in post processing software, and be better than using a continuous spectrum lamp to illuminate the whole tank (which will tend to light up more material than you are interested in).
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