1933 National Duolian

Tim Tucker

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I tried, but I couldn't go a whole weekend without taking a photo. ;)

1933 National Duolian guitar against a Morris Recliner. Though originally designed by William Morris the chair shown is more in the American 'Craftsman' style, so two classics of affordable American design. Now I just need a slug of bourbon, a tab out the corner of the mouth and I'm off down the delta. ;)

_DSC1347_sRGB_sm.jpg
 
Love it. Nice light.

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Wonder if there is about 50% too much blue/cyan in the fret board and sound board of the Duolian...just a thought.
 
A '33 National?
Goodness gracious.
 
Wonder if there is about 50% too much blue/cyan in the fret board and sound board of the Duolian...just a thought.

Yes :), and no ;). It was blue sky outside and it's steel, so the slight colour is natural, it's also quite low saturation (35-40% max), but then the saturation of the colours in the wood has also been kept deliberately natural and low. It's actually the cool of the very slight blue/cyan against the slight warm colours of the wood that bring the colours out (the overall colour balance is still considerably on the warm side). It's the contrast between the cool and warm colours that works, and as I said before is completely natural because the reflective surfaces naturally reflect the light from the blue sky outside. We commonly see this and are used to it even if you don't always realise it. It's also what I talk about a lot on this forum ;), the way we as digital photographers use the tools at our disposal to equalise the values within our images. To negate the differences that are natural and really govern then way we see the world with all the depth and colour it offers. Without it we invariably boost saturation to get back what we process out. So you can see this is the effect if I remove the blue/cyan reflected from the outside I've put it side by side with the original. I think that the removal of contrast within the colours actually flattens the image considerably, (when viewed side by side you will see the extra warmth in the colours on the right, but viewed in isolation the lack of variation in the right image will serve to deaden the effect). But congratulations for being observant enough to see it. :)

example-1.jpg


A '33 National?
Goodness gracious.

Oh yea, imported at a fair price but still expensive. With it's original neck and fretboard intact. :):):):)
Once I replaced the Continental cone with a proper spun National courtesy of Lenny at National Guitars the sound of what was essentially a 'budget' guitar at the time completely and utterly blows away the other two budget resos that I have. It's not just me, on the rare occasions the missus makes me play it for guests the sound completely masks my inability to play it. :) You guys over the pond really know how to put together a blues guitar.
The glass slide I actually cut myself from a champagne bottle. The look on the girlfriends face when I bought a bottle of champagne home unexpectedly was scary, when I explained why I actually bought it? Priceless... ;);)
 
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Did not realize the sound board was steel. Interesting. I did both options but brought back the whites in the song books and a bit more on the recliner leg...just playing with options more than being critical.
 
Did not realize the sound board was steel. Interesting. I did both options but brought back the whites in the song books and a bit more on the recliner leg...just playing with options more than being critical.

Soundboard, sides and back. The only wood is in the neck. Play away and compare to my edit if only just to see the differences in what you do, here's the uncropped raw just re-sized and with default first stage sharpening:

original_raw.jpg
 
Didn't get much different from the first go around but here's my take...and I did pretty much what you did but at the end gave it a bright lights mask at about 60% then painted back most of the blueness in the soundboard and upper neck and tuning keys. The mask helped to separate the strings from the fret board. I like that it looks more like steel to me now than when I did it before.

tims duolian2.jpg
 
Didn't get much different from the first go around but here's my take...

Ok, I'm going to proceed carefully and choose my words here, but only because the concept I'm about to explore requires a shift in the way you think about colour. Because you talk and think in absolute terms and I'd like to show you the relative nature of colour.
First I'll show you your edit in absolute terms and discuss the difference in absolute terms. Then I'll show you the image in relative terms and hopefully demonstrate the relative nature of colour. I'm going to show you both edits twice, I'm going to present both images exactly as they are making absolutely no changes at all. Now if colour is absolute then you will always see it as constant and therefore the individual edits will look the same because they are the same. Now if colour is relative you'll see a difference, and I think you're going to be surprised at the difference when I show you your edit the second time. ;)

Here they are in absolute terms, both edits together. Fullscreen your browser so you can see them at 100%:

absolute.jpg


The first thing we notice is that we both do selective editing. If I concentrate on the headstock you'll see your edit has far more vibrant (saturated) colour. I'm not sure if this is deliberate or the result of not separating your colour from luminosity. When you use an adjustment layer such as curves or levels in Photoshop with the blending set to 'normal' you adjust both the contrast in luminosity and colour. Increasing the colour contrast changes the colour by way of saturation. You can separate this by changing the blending to 'luminosity' or 'colour'. Luminosity only changes the bright/dark and keeps colour constant, colour only changes the colour and keeps luminosity constant. If we look at the music you see I've retained more colour here. Here's an enlarged comparison of the headstocks with your edit on the right:

headstock.jpg



You have indeed created a far more neutral tone in the guitar and it's here that you talk in absolute terms. You think in terms of the guitar being too blue so you select that item and directly adjust that property. But perhaps this is not the case, perhaps it's not the guitar being too blue but the rest of the image being green/red? This is not as odd as it sounds, and if we look at a direct comparison of the two fretboards side by side (your edit on the right again) without making comment yet...

fretboard.jpg


Now I think we can agree that both full edits show a depth and richness of colour though in different areas, or do they? Now let's look at them again and this is where I hope you'll see the difference. Go back to mine and your original edits and 'right click open in separate tab' for both of them. The idea is that we now look at both images in isolation, separately but in sequence. Look at mine first for about 30 seconds then flick to yours.

Oh dear, what happened to the colour? o_O

Colour is in fact constant, it just that we see in relative values and the eye adjusts the balance. Cyan appears slightly more blue when placed next to green and slightly more green when placed next to red. It is the variety of colour in context (i.e. of roughly equal saturations) that not only stabilises the viewer's perception but also provides the contrast or difference that brings the colours forward. It's what I mean when I (broadly speaking) say that modern editing tools, and the way we use them, are subtractive. When you increased saturation you brought the dominant hues forward by subtracting the other colours, when you removed the colour of the guitar you did just that, subtracted colour and equalised the values across the image.

Let's look at the fretboard again. Look at the variety and contrast in colour on both sides. Does the left really show a blue cyan cast or does the right show a green one? Going back to my earlier statement:

You think in terms of the guitar being too blue so you select that item and directly adjust that property. But perhaps this is not the case, perhaps it's not the guitar being too blue but the rest of the image being green/red?

Not as odd as it sounded at first. Have you really given the fretboard a more neutral tone or have you just removed the contrast in colour that made it appear too blue/cyan? When you viewed the images side by side you saw the colours of both in reference to the colours of both, when viewed separately you see the colour of each in reference to the colours they contain. Although colour is constant, the way it appears to the eye is very much relative.

This has turned a fairly ordinary image into a discussion on one of my favourite subjects, please accept that i didn't start the thread with this intention but I hope, as always, that it might be thought provoking and useful.
 
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When I did my color adjustments, I only did it to the guitar as a whole (on a mask) and not to the rest of the image, so (and this is a question begging an answer) how did the reds and greens get affected in the rest of the scene when they were not touched? Or, are you saying that by my "destaturation" of the blue/cyan made the reds push the cyan more toward a greenish hue?
 
When I did my color adjustments, I only did it to the guitar as a whole (on a mask) and not to the rest of the image, so (and this is a question begging an answer) how did the reds and greens get affected in the rest of the scene when they were not touched? Or, are you saying that by my "destaturation" of the blue/cyan made the reds push the cyan more toward a greenish hue?

Heavily edited from the original so deleted and re-posted as new:

What you have to think of is not the absolute value of one colour but the effect of placing two colours next to each other because it's not the colour but the combination that produces the impression of colour in an image, the way they contrast each other.

The colour balance of my original edit is predominantly warm, but the colour on the guitar is from the reflected outside light and does show a blue/cyan tint. The effect of placing the cool against the warm in this case is that it exaggerates the blue, it makes the guitar look slightly bluer than it actually is, it has the impression of more colour. This effect also works the other way, the cool colours on the guitar also enhance the warm colours in the rest of the image. No you didn't really remove much colour, the real difference is that you removed the variety and most importantly the contrast between different colours, the contrast that in a very real way pushes the colours apart, and by equalising the values of colour you remove the very thing that brings colour alive. It's why many photographers reach for the saturation slider, because modern digital tools tend to equalise values and remove the very real differences that enhance colour in an image.

In very loose and broad musical terms, instead of just thinking of notes in terms of their names (say C and F sharp) think in terms of the interval between them, because just as in music the amount of tension or release is governed by the interval between colours and not the colours themselves. It's not so much about adding anything but more about retaining the differences.


EDIT 2: You can see the effect of contrasting colour in: Morning light
The blue and orange are near complementary colours (the opposites of each other), in colour contrast terms they are the equivalent of black against white. And just as you see localised high contrast as extra 'punch' with black and white so it's the same with colour. By removing the blue you remove the black/white contrast in colour that sets the colour off, you now just have the equivalent of grey/grey contrast in the colours and the appearance is to dull the colour of the whole image. It's the relative difference in colour that's important, not the absolute colour of specific objects.
 
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When I did my color adjustments, I only did it to the guitar as a whole (on a mask) and not to the rest of the image, so (and this is a question begging an answer) how did the reds and greens get affected in the rest of the scene when they were not touched? Or, are you saying that by my "destaturation" of the blue/cyan made the reds push the cyan more toward a greenish hue?

Heavily edited from the original so deleted and re-posted as new:

What you have to think of is not the absolute value of one colour but the effect of placing two colours next to each other because it's not the colour but the combination that produces the impression of colour in an image, the way they contrast each other.

The colour balance of my original edit is predominantly warm, but the colour on the guitar is from the reflected outside light and does show a blue/cyan tint. The effect of placing the cool against the warm in this case is that it exaggerates the blue, it makes the guitar look slightly bluer than it actually is, it has the impression of more colour. This effect also works the other way, the cool colours on the guitar also enhance the warm colours in the rest of the image. No you didn't really remove much colour, the real difference is that you removed the variety and most importantly the contrast between different colours, the contrast that in a very real way pushes the colours apart, and by equalising the values of colour you remove the very thing that brings colour alive. It's why many photographers reach for the saturation slider, because modern digital tools tend to equalise values and remove the very real differences that enhance colour in an image.

In very loose and broad musical terms, instead of just thinking of notes in terms of their names (say C and F sharp) think in terms of the interval between them, because just as in music the amount of tension or release is governed by the interval between colours and not the colours themselves. It's not so much about adding anything but more about retaining the differences.


EDIT 2: You can see the effect of contrasting colour in: Morning light
The blue and orange are near complementary colours (the opposites of each other), in colour contrast terms they are the equivalent of black against white. And just as you see localised high contrast as extra 'punch' with black and white so it's the same with colour. By removing the blue you remove the black/white contrast in colour that sets the colour off, you now just have the equivalent of grey/grey contrast in the colours and the appearance is to dull the colour of the whole image. It's the relative difference in colour that's important, not the absolute colour of specific objects.

Guess I am going to have to go back to having a gander as a B&W before making color edits. Not a bad thing, nor a step backward. More that in my move from film B&W, I've not made the separation of colors right in my head, yet. Thanks for another informative interaction.
 
Guess I am going to have to go back to having a gander as a B&W before making color edits. Not a bad thing, nor a step backward. More that in my move from film B&W, I've not made the separation of colors right in my head, yet. Thanks for another informative interaction.

When you do B&W you think of contrast in terms of values of luminosity only, but colour can be spilt into 3 properties of hue, saturation and luminosity. When you switch to colour you add these two properties but some don't always see the way they interact, still thinking of contrast in terms of B&W only. Contrast also exists between hues and saturations even with colours of the same luminosity.

Here's something I put together yesterday evening but removed because I thought it too much a specific effect of colour, namely complementary contrast. But it does show one thing very well. It is three colours (not including the neutral ground) that share the same luminosity and saturation, the only difference is in hue. Yes three colours, the middle colour is the same in both, it shows very clearly that contrast between hue alone affects the way we perceive colour:

colour.jpg


Keep experimenting, it's exactly how I learnt. :)
 

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