Week 47: Solarization in Color Efex Pro 4
Known as being one of the earliest effects in photography, true solarization occurs when there is a reversal of a portion of an image due to prolonged or extreme exposure to light. This is an in-camera effect, and there is no secondary exposure.
The effect, as a dark room technique, was described by many photographers and documented in a number of articles published in the mid 19th century. However, the effect did not gain popularity until it was described by Sabatier in 1862, and has since become synonymous with him. Solarization as it is popularly known, or the Sabatier effect, is the result of exposing a partially developed negative or print to light, then continuing the development. This results in a reversal of tones (i.e. dark areas appear light and light areas appear dark) on the entire image or a portion of the image. This is also a very unpredictable process, with many variables contributing to its difficulty, which makes it hard to achieve consistent results.
The solarization filter within Color Efex Pro 4 simulates the Sabatier process, or the effect of exposing a partially developed image to light and then continuing the development. It is a great filter to use to create a stylistic effect in which some tones and colors are reversed, with quick and consistent results.
This filter is very straight forward; let’s take a look at the controls to see how we can to add some style and impact to your images.
The Method drop down menu offers two types of Methods, 6 different Color options (offers different color and tones) and 6 different Black and White options (alters the tones, negative vs. positive), with each offering a unique look.
The Saturation slider works in conjunction with the Method that is chosen. If a Color Method is selected, the Saturation slider controls the vibrancy of the colors within the image. If a Black and White Method is selected, the Saturation slider controls the saturation of the image prior to the black and white conversion, which adjusts the contrast in the resulting image. This is set to 50% by default.
The Elapsed Time slider adjusts the effect by simulating the amount of time the image would spend in the developer before re-exposing the image. The default setting is 50%, with the sliders operating between 0% and 100%.
Tip: Solarization is a great creative effect, but may be a bit heavy handed at times. This is a great opportunity to utilize the Opacity slider in Color Efex Pro 4. Found by expanding the Control Points section, you can then adjust the slider to your desired effect.
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