Bethany Souza wrote: Why bother with a useless reply?
On issues of color -
It's basically like someone with a full set of paints and paint brushes asking how to make a particular shade of red ... "experiment" is the only real answer that any of us can give you without actually doing it for you.
I am sure there are many different ways to achieve the 1st picture you posted. Personally I would use ASE4 but any version could probably do it. I have no doubt Peano will be here soon with an exact formula!
The second image looks like some kind of tonemapping software was used. I see some faint halos around the trees on the left, and some small, sharp halos around the trees on the right. I also feel that the person let the color balance, and the saturation get "out of control". Although I like the shadows to look like shadows, and the highlights look like highlights, (with more detail in both), I feel that the maker of the second one did NOT control all of these elements.
Using three conversions from the RAW, one with the exposure slider left in the middle, (default), and two with the exposure sliders on the opposite extremes, ("over", and "under" exposed), will allow you to use the software, Photomatix, and tone map the three conversions. I also use the three conversions in Photoshop to distribute the tones the way I want to see them. Curves adjustments made to the blended images can get the contrast where you want it, and "stretch" the tones to the edges of the histogram. I blend the tonemapped image(s) with the Photoshopped one(s) to get a more "natural" look. If you want an "over-the-top" look, with lots of saturation, and local contrast, like the second image in your thread, you just have to control the image to look like that. If you want a more "natural" look, but with more shadow detail, and more body and detail in the highlights, that can also be done.
I use the "original", unprocessed TIFF conversion to guide me to a somewhat more photographic looking distribution of the tones, but get more shadow detail, and more highlight detail than I can with "conventional" techniques, using the other two conversions. I also use the shadow/highlight feature, in Photoshop, but CAREFULLY, as using that tool can result in the halos I mentioned earlier, along with other "artifacts", which I HATE !
All the while, you have to control the saturation and color balance, as these aggressive techniques move everything all over the place, if you don't do so.
I realize this isn't dumbed down a lot, and that the explanation is vague and incomplete, (the exact techniques would take two hours to describe), but you have to experiment with the tools, especially curves, to understand how they work, and how to control them.
My son has been using Light Room to move the tones, and local contrast around easier, with very good results. I have yet to experiment with it, but will still always refer to my histogram, once I get the image into Photoshop, to help me to better see exactly where I have put everything.
I hope this has helped - you can also control your image to resemble the first one, using the same techniques, by applying them differently.
My whole point is that you can get pretty much ANY look you want, but you have to "force" the image into that look. Absolute control can be at your fingertips. You decide if/when, your image looks the way you want it to, then stop !
P.S. I was going to write a book explaining how to implement all of this, and give understanding of the powerful tools used, as it would take a whole book to do that, but I haven't felt motivated, and improvements to Photoshop, and Light Room will probably make such a book obsolete after I finish it anyway. My advice is to just have fun, and BE PATIENT ! (I have been using Photoshop for over 15 years, and consider myself to still be a student).
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
I see some photographers whose whole styles are something like these. I sometimes wonder after looking at the tutorials whether they really do that with every single image. I mean the work to do with 1 image seems so much I've never bothered trying as I know I'm not going to have just 1-2 pics in a set with some weird effect. Even when I try filters I tend to prefer the natural look. Maybe I'm naive cuz a lot of people seem to want to pay for their whole wedding to look like this...
A lot of people seem to love these instagram type effects. The second one with the bright colors, to me it looks like the sky and the clothes were enhanced by making the colors more vibrant. There could be more to it I don't know but that's my best guess.
I assume the green from the picture did not look like that.
Duplicate the background, choose Replace Color and select all the green from the picture.
In the same window , select Hue and drag it to the left until you find the right color, something toward brown and vintage feel of green.
And maybe it is done the same way with the other colors, I can not tell.
I am pretty sure about a vintage green because I've done it recently.
About cross processing, I personally do not like it, all pictures look the same and it is invasive and destructive to the picture. But it is a personal taste.
Washington, District of Columbia, US
Well, Bethany, you ain't gettin' a whole lotta help here.
- You ask how to get an effect, and you get someone's personal opinion about how the effect stinks. No help there.
- Another tells you that "experiment" is the only possible way to get the colors in your second example. No help there.
- You ask for a simple way to get the effect and you get a condensed doctoral dissertation. Not much help there.
And so it goes ...
*** end of rant ***
For the altered blue sky in your second example, open a selective color adjustment layer. In the Cyans and Blues, experiment especially with the amount of cyan and magenta in those colors. Increase cyan and decrease magenta (= increase green) in each of those panels. Most important, eyeball that target image and try to see the constituent colors.
In the target image, as compared with a "normal" blue sky, can you see the higher levels of cyan and green in the target image? Seeing that is two-thirds of the job.