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How much color is too much color
Which of these do you like best?
Confronted with an unprecedented range of software programs and sliders, digital photographers sometimes struggle finding the right balance. Browsing through the websites of my esteemed photography colleagues, I get the feeling that the opinions on color treatment seem to diverge, rather than converge. New software companies, like Topaz Labs, satisfy the need of the extreme end of the spectrum, while purists contest the unnatural appearance of these pictures. Composition and lighting alone used to make good photographs, but today it seems that color treatment becomes just as important. Since all our senses are overloaded every day, it becomes harder and harder to make a visual impact. Attracting a viewers attention may require a bold statement, but how bold is too bold and how much is too much?
Are you a purist or a color fetishist? Which of the above pictures do you prefer? To make your decision easier, I have put larger versions below. Let's hear your thoughts!
Below is the "consensus image" that I compiled after reader all your excellent comments. I stacked all three images. Image two lies with 50% opacity on Image one, which gives a bridge saturation between Image 1 and Image 2. Then I created a layer mask for the water and used image 3 with 83% opacity for the water. Then I created another layer mask for the sky and the mountains. Thanks to my Wacom tablet it only took about 30 minutes ;-). I put another layer of Image 3 into this mask with 75% opacity.
I hope you like it. I saved all layers and masks into a psd file in case we come up with more ideas.