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Old 09-27-2015, 07:27 PM
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Value Viewer from Plein Air Magazine

I've been going through a bit of bother with eye problems (laser surgery, shots, drops...all that stuff) that makes it much harder to squint to determine values. In fact, in bright sunshine squinting makes my eyes tear up. I will be taking a 3-day plein air workshop in Sedona, AZ with Shelby Keefe and need something to help in the bright sun.

So, I've been wondering about using the iPhone app called "Value Viewer". Is anyone using it? Pros/Cons?
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Old 09-28-2015, 11:03 AM
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Re: Value Viewer from Plein Air Magazine

My iPhone photos editor has a black and white choice under color. I am not sure what the "value viewer" would do better. You can adjust the value contrast in the editor. Now that I look at this, it might be a good way to review my paintings while working.

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Old 09-28-2015, 11:10 AM
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Re: Value Viewer from Plein Air Magazine

I might also add that my 70 year old eyes do not squint very well either. I try to concentrate at how hues and values compare in adjacent objects. Of course my paintings aren't that good. That might not be great recommendation
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Old 09-28-2015, 11:13 AM
kentiessen kentiessen is offline
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Re: Value Viewer from Plein Air Magazine

The light out West can be very bright! I understand this, working in Colorado and Wyoming every summer. Protect your eyes also from the high UV. I understand some of the things the right app can do, but it further complicates your process. Simplicity and efficiency are important in the field- Good luck with the Workshop- an excellent painter!
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Old 09-28-2015, 02:06 PM
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Re: Value Viewer from Plein Air Magazine

Thanks Trikist and Ken for the head's up on the iPhone camera. I didn't think of that and just tried it and it will do the job for me.

Thanks again, George
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Old 10-04-2015, 10:14 PM
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Re: Value Viewer from Plein Air Magazine

Hi George -
I love the Value Viewer app. I began using early last spring. I'm a novice Plein Air painter and have trouble 'seeing' values.
I prefer the "levels" setting instead of the Notan setting. I can adjust the bands of highlights and shadows to really study the subject. I also love that I can change the size of the photo and grid it proportionate to my painting size.
For me, it is all PRO; no cons. well worth the cost!

Sue Ann
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Old 10-05-2015, 09:22 AM
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Re: Value Viewer from Plein Air Magazine

Sue Ann,

After trying the camera on my iPhone for viewing values, I realized that the screen is much too small to be useful. So, I purchased the Value Viewer for my iPad.

I tried it this last Saturday in the bright sunshine of an Arizona sunrise and it worked perfectly. I also do not use notan, just the values level.

About the only problem with using the iPad is that it is heavier and my plein air pack is quite full. But, that's the price I suppose.

Thanks for the reply.
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Old 10-17-2015, 10:53 AM
**Kathryn** **Kathryn** is offline
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Re: Value Viewer from Plein Air Magazine

I have also seen artists use a sheet of transparent red film. It causes the highlights and mid tones to redden and the darks to become more apparent.
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Old 10-27-2015, 02:44 PM
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Re: Value Viewer from Plein Air Magazine

I have a question for those who use the Value Viewer. The human eye can see something like 100 steps in value (it takes a 1% change in value for the eye to recognize the change.) If the Value Viewer reduces the scene to, say, four values, does it give you any kind of control of what to do with the remaining 96 value steps? That is, if a value could go either way to a mid-light or a mid-dark, does it give you the ability to tell it which "bucket" to put it in?

Also, for those who can't squint, maybe these would help:

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Old 10-27-2015, 06:53 PM
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Re: Value Viewer from Plein Air Magazine

Hi Michael, the values in the ValueViewer are adjustable, so in a sense you are telling the tool to put more levels into the mid-dark bucket, or in the mid-light bucket, and so on.
But the important thing is to realize in my opinion is that the ValueViewer is not a tool to help you establish what the value of the shapes are... it is to help you visualize whether the arrangement of similar-range values adds up to a pleasant, balanced composition. Then you can use your own eyes to make the adjustment you are suggesting, that if I make certain shapes slightly lighter (or darker), it will be enough to balance the contrasting shapes on the other side of the composition.
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Old 10-28-2015, 06:22 PM
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Re: Value Viewer from Plein Air Magazine

Michael and Marcio...both of your suggestions are super. The next time I go to Alaska I'll try to buy (steal?) native-built sunglasses.

Marcio...that's what I know use the ValueViewer for, just to verify a pleasing painting.
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Old 10-28-2015, 06:25 PM
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Re: Value Viewer from Plein Air Magazine

Quote:
Originally Posted by **Kathryn**
I have also seen artists use a sheet of transparent red film. It causes the highlights and mid tones to redden and the darks to become more apparent.

I tried the red film prior to my eye problem but it kept disappearing into the bowels of my plein air carrier. I know it's in there, somewhere...

It also helped, and if I can ever clean out the bag I might find it and try it again.

Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 10-19-2017, 04:32 PM
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Re: Value Viewer from Plein Air Magazine

Value Viewer was a great app that I used many times. Unfortunately the developer never updated the app so it would be compatible with IOS 11.0.1 or subsequent IOS versions. This is a great disappointment. However there is another app called Notanizer that offers some of the functionality of Value Viewer. I was very surprised to see Value Viewer advertised in the November 2017 issue of Plein Air Magazine. I plan to check into that further.
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Old 10-19-2017, 06:48 PM
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Re: Value Viewer from Plein Air Magazine

I never found those red filters to be helpful. What I have found is a free app for Android (maybe it's for Apple too?) called Artist's Grid. Several useful features in the free model and B&W for value scaling is definitely there.
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Old 10-19-2017, 08:13 PM
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Re: Value Viewer from Plein Air Magazine

Quote:
Originally Posted by bartc
I never found those red filters to be helpful. What I have found is a free app for Android (maybe it's for Apple too?) called Artist's Grid. Several useful features in the free model and B&W for value scaling is definitely there.

I too find the red filters to be not much of a help, but a photo, whether adjusted or not can be a very useful tool for me. There is only one major problem with that - some plein air competitions / shows I participate in specifically forbid ANY use of electronic or photographic devices used in making a painting for the event.
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