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View Full Version : Silkypix highlight color controller tutorial



Norm in Fujino
07-30-2006, 06:13 AM
Several people on other forums have wondered about how to use the Silkypix highlight color controller; it is admittedly a bit difficult to see results in many cases, but there are occasions when it is a lifesaver. A quick shoot of a sleeping bee on a bush gave me some material to illustrate its usefullness once more.

First of all, let me remind people that the highlight controller menu terminology is wonky; the Highlight Controller menu has three sliders, named:

1. Saturation <-> Tone
2. Saturation <-> Hue
3. Restoration

However, at least one of these is seriously mislabeled. A better translation might be:

1. Chroma emphasis <-> Luminance emphasis

2. Saturation <-> Hue

3. Highlight Compensation (or Highlight Restoration)

With that much understood, the following is one of the frames I took tonight; I was shooting this with the Olympus E-300 + ED 50mm f2.0 macro; illumination was a hand-held flashlight (also necessary for focusing in the pitch black), and this frame came out seriously underexposed:

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c197/Peregrinor/technical/_7309652_1w1.jpg
This is straight from the camera, all Silkypix controls at their default. The histogram's right side is about in the middle of the graph, so while all the highlight info is there, it isn't being used to advantage. So I raise the Silkypix EV to +1.0 to correct the overall underexposure, and get this:

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c197/Peregrinor/technical/_7309652_2w1.jpg
Raising the exposure has overexposed several of the petals in the flower, resulting in washed out color. Here's where the highlight color controller comes in. I move the top slider "Saturation <-> Tone" (=Chroma emphasis <-> Luminance emphasis) fully to the left (0 = full chroma emphasis), and get this result:

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c197/Peregrinor/technical/_7309652_3w1.jpg
Virtually all of the overexposure has been corrected, but the saturation is still too low, so now I move the 2nd slider ("Saturation <-> Hue") toward the left until I get a pleasant result; here, I move it from its center 128 position to the left until I get to 28, where I stop:

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c197/Peregrinor/technical/_7309652_4w1.jpg

Despite the 1 stop overexposure in pp, the highlight controller has corrected for the excessive local luminance and loss in saturation. After using the other main controls to fine-tune the WB, overall contrast and color, I get the following final result (resized and sharpened in PS7):

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c197/Peregrinor/technical/_7309652w1.jpg

The subject and picture aren't all that impressive, but I thought it made a good example of this technique.