Back before Disqus shut down the "picture this" forum along with all the others they were hosting, a person identified as hnddvn gave us an introduction to Rawtherapee and he posted pictures that had been processed by his "Aqua Green" profile. I think this might have been one of them:
Well, I was really impressed with the way he brought out the glistening water drops and the waxy sheen on the green leaves. It inspired me to spray some water on plants and and take pictures. Here is one straight from the camera. Try as I might I couldn't get the image processing to make the droplets look more like water.
Why the water drops look like waxy blobs
Click to open the full size original then zoom in to see it looks slightly out of focus. I had stopped the aperture right down to f/32, thinking that would avoid shallow focus plane issues. That could have resulted in diffraction, but I suspect the auto-focus of the a-mount 100mm Sony macro lens using a semi-translucent mirror adapter for my mirrorless (e-mount) camera was just not performing accurately.
That a mount lens had been a big mistake caused by Amazon "auto-correcting" the lens type number for my search and me not noticing the wrong type number. It's poor performance with the adapter persuaded me eventually to splash out on the 90mm Sony e-mount macro lens that I had wanted in the first place. Note: Today I prefer manual focus for macro photography because the autofocus rarely focuses exactly where I want it and so after that new lens got stolen I got an ancient Pentax 6x7 macro lens with a tilt-shift adapter but more about that some other time.
Alas, as U can see, my water drops don't quite have that same crystal clear aquaeous quality to them. Hoping to learn more, I asked hnddvn if they would share their processing profile, but they explained patiently that it was specifically for leafy greens and not for red cactus flowers. It didn't deter me and I experimented with leafy greens...
... as well as colorful flowers with real rain drops on them, rather than from a sprayer.
I decided to revisit it. I really want my water drops to look less waxy and my greenery to look more greeny.
The profile I created is just those parameters I thought relevant so one can super impose it on other profiles with other pictures and it won't disturb unrelated settings. You still may have to adjust a few things like exposure and black level that can vary from one picture to the next, but basically just cut this text to your clipboard then paste it in the raw therapy profile of your "aqueous green" picture.
[Exposure] Auto=false Clip=0.02 Compensation=2 Brightness=0 Contrast=54 Saturation=-13 Black=8312 HighlightCompr=0 HighlightComprThreshold=0 ShadowCompr=50 HistogramMatching=false CurveFromHistogramMatching=false ClampOOG=true CurveMode=FilmLike CurveMode2=Standard Curve=3;0;0;0.28661087866108798;0.41004184100418367;0.91631799163179894;0.68410041841004188;1;1; Curve2=3;0;0;0.70711297071129697;0.42887029288702916;1;1; [HLRecovery] Enabled=true Method=Blend [Luminance Curve] Enabled=true Brightness=-20 Contrast=-4 Chromaticity=35 AvoidColorShift=false RedAndSkinTonesProtection=0 LCredsk=true LCurve=0; aCurve=0; bCurve=0; ccCurve=0; chCurve=0; lhCurve=0; hhCurve=0; LcCurve=0; ClCurve=0; [Sharpening] Enabled=true Contrast=65 Method=usm Radius=1.3999999999999999 BlurRadius=0.53000000000000003 Amount=312 Threshold=20;80;2000;1200; OnlyEdges=false EdgedetectionRadius=1.8999999999999999 EdgeTolerance=1800 HalocontrolEnabled=false HalocontrolAmount=85 DeconvRadius=0.75 DeconvAmount=100 DeconvDamping=0 DeconvIterations=30 [White Balance] Enabled=true Setting=Camera Temperature=5384 Green=0.88300000000000001 Equal=1 TemperatureBias=0 [Color Management] InputProfile=(cameraICC) ToneCurve=false ApplyLookTable=true ApplyBaselineExposureOffset=true ApplyHueSatMap=true DCPIlluminant=0 WorkingProfile=ProPhoto WorkingTRC=none WorkingTRCGamma=2.3999999999999999 WorkingTRCSlope=12.92 OutputProfile=RTv4_sRGB OutputProfileIntent=Relative OutputBPC=true [RAW] DarkFrame=/szeva DarkFrameAuto=false FlatFieldFile=/szeva FlatFieldAutoSelect=false FlatFieldBlurRadius=32 FlatFieldBlurType=Area Flatfield FlatFieldAutoClipControl=false FlatFieldClipControl=0 CA=true CAAvoidColourshift=true CAAutoIterations=2 CARed=0 CABlue=0 HotPixelFilter=false DeadPixelFilter=false HotDeadPixelThresh=100 PreExposure=1 [RAW Bayer] Method=amaze Border=4 ImageNum=1 CcSteps=0 PreBlack0=0 PreBlack1=0 PreBlack2=0 PreBlack3=0 PreTwoGreen=true LineDenoise=0 LineDenoiseDirection=3 GreenEqThreshold=0 DCBIterations=2 DCBEnhance=true LMMSEIterations=2 DualDemosaicAutoContrast=true DualDemosaicContrast=20 PixelShiftMotionCorrectionMethod=1 PixelShiftEperIso=0 PixelShiftSigma=1 PixelShiftShowMotion=false PixelShiftShowMotionMaskOnly=false pixelShiftHoleFill=true pixelShiftMedian=false pixelShiftGreen=true pixelShiftBlur=true pixelShiftSmoothFactor=0.69999999999999996 pixelShiftEqualBright=false pixelShiftEqualBrightChannel=false pixelShiftNonGreenCross=true pixelShiftDemosaicMethod=amaze PDAFLinesFilter=false [RAW X-Trans] Method=3-pass (best) DualDemosaicAutoContrast=true DualDemosaicContrast=20 Border=7 CcSteps=0 PreBlackRed=0 PreBlackGreen=0 PreBlackBlue=0 [MetaData] Mode=0
So how does that work in practice I wondered and here I try it on my cactus picture:
Well... it's different, but I think the droplets still look waxy rather than crystal clear and I think what it needs is specular reflections on the drops so they look shiny as opposed to just brigher and that, I suspect depends on the lighting at the time the photo was taken and whether the light source is reflected back at the camera.
A more recent one with an antique Pentax Macro lens
I think the profile does help to bring out that glistening wet feeling, but no doubt it could be improved.
A different camera, same profile
Oly' Air has a much higher auto exposure so my wet-green profile totally saturated where the sun is shining. Keeping all the other parameters I reduced that back down to zero to get the second image.