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Open Discussion On Colour Correction  
User currently offlineCpd From Australia, joined Jun 2008, 4879 posts, RR: 38
Posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 3149 times:

Since we are having a lot of good discussions at the moment, I figured that an open discussion on colour correction / white balance / colour temperature would be very useful.

Experienced photographers/uploaders can share their methods and offer general tips for the newcomers who are just starting out in photography here.

--------------------------------

Colour correction was always the one thing that gave me a lot of trouble to start with. I think these days I've got it sorted pretty well. I tried a lot of strategies and methods, but the one that works really well for me is done through Adobe Camera Raw, and it involves tweaking the colour temperature and the tint controls. This only works for RAW images.

Just as in Photoshop, you can drop colour samplers on the image in Camera Raw. One or two of these on areas of what should be neutral colour will show up any colour casts by the numbers not being equal or near equal. You can then start to adjust the white balance slider to compensate. Daylight in sunny conditions will have cooler temperatures (maybe 4550K or so), while cloudy conditions will need warmer temperatures (maybe 5000K or so). And if you still can't get the precise result, you can then use the tint controls to fine tune. After those, you might still need to tweak the colour temperature again - but this should correct the colour cast and give you a neutral looking image.

Once into Photoshop, the only levels adjustments you might need to do will concern luminosity/contrast.  

If you want to go a step further, you can pre-program the colour-temperature into your camera for the conditions - and then you'll save some time in Photoshop. Some high end cameras like the Nikon D700 and D3 series allow you really precise adjustment of white balance with a basic setting, and a colour pointer to fine tune the setting.

It's a fast and simple way of achieving the desired results for most photos, provided you use the RAW image format of your camera.

[Edited 2009-10-17 07:40:42 by cpd]

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineHNLPointShoot From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 319 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 3139 times:

I'm fairly new to this, but I just mess with the temperature and tint sliders in Adobe Lightroom, and check the results against the histogram to see if one color is too bright or too dark. I haven't tried doing anything more complex in Photoshop CS4 yet.

User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4770 posts, RR: 26
Reply 2, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 3087 times:
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Color correctness is one of my biggest stresses in post-processing. Identifying color casts and knowing when a cast is appropriate is something I'm always debating when editing a photo. I have even started setting custom white balance and still I am not confident. Funny thing is, I cannot remember ever getting a color rejection here at airliners.net, so why I am so stressed, I don't know.

I'm glad you started this thread. I have been meaning to start one for a while now.

I should also mention that color casts are a bigger problem here in Southern California because of the air quality most of the time. The haze of smog and pollution mixed with typical haze from an on-shore flow can really make for strange casts when viewing a scene with the naked eye. So maybe that's why my images just never seem right.

[Edited 2009-10-17 10:43:29]


ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlineSovietjet From Bulgaria, joined Mar 2003, 2577 posts, RR: 17
Reply 3, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 3041 times:
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I almost never get rejections for color but usually auto levels/color is fine. No need to go to some advanced method. At least I haven't had to..

User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (4 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 2998 times:



Quoting Sovietjet (Reply 3):
I almost never get rejections for color but usually auto levels/color is fine. No need to go to some advanced method. At least I haven't had to..

Same here. I do it the simplest way if I have a colour issue and just put in / take out appropriate amounts of blue, green and red using the PS Elements colour menu. I've never actually edited a RAW file to put on A.net - I do shoot RAW (more often than not) but for me it's more of a safeguard than anything else.

I see some very complex workflows here and I often think a lot of it is overkill.

Karl


User currently offlineNicolasRubio From Argentina, joined Sep 2005, 584 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (4 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 2945 times:

I shoot RAW and I use Auto Levels, Auto Tone, Auto Contrast and Auto Colors after exporting the highest resolution JPEG possible in Adobe Lightroom.

Also, when the situation allows, I'll use a grey card (WhiBal).

PS: I SUCK in levels/contrast/color correction.



Gripped 7D + Sigma 10-20mm + 17-40L + 50mm f/1.8 II + 70-200mm f/4L IS + EF 400mm f/5.6L + 580EX II
User currently offlineAlevik From Canada, joined Mar 2009, 957 posts, RR: 8
Reply 6, posted (4 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 2939 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD SCREENER

Calibrating your monitor is important to make sure you are seeing the same colors that everyone else is seeing. I use an eye-one calibrator, but there are many other brands.

I calibrate both my macbook pro 17" screen and my 30" cinema display with it.



Improvise, adapt, overcome.
User currently offlineStackhouse007 From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 418 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (4 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 2922 times:
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So you guys are saying that all you need to do in photoshop is hit Auto Color, Auto Levels, and Auto Contrast? I swear that gets me a weird looking picture.. Did I read the above posts wrong?

Thanks for the help and this is a good topic.

Kyle



Nikon D60: 18-55mm - 55-200mm / Canon 50D: 100-400mm
User currently offlineNicolasRubio From Argentina, joined Sep 2005, 584 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (4 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 2915 times:

Quoting Stackhouse007 (Reply 7):
So you guys are saying that all you need to do in photoshop is hit Auto Color, Auto Levels, and Auto Contrast? I swear that gets me a weird looking picture.. Did I read the above posts wrong?

Thanks for the help and this is a good topic.

Kyle

It has worked flawlessly for me except for sunrise/sunset shots. I now have 148 shots in the DB and all of them (except sunset/sunrise and MAYBE some other exception) have been edited using that method or even not edited at all. If you get white balance and exposure correctly while taking the picture, it shouldn't need color correction AT ALL.

Some examples (excuse the self plug):

Correct WB and exposure in camera


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Nicolas Rubio - Argentina SpottingTeam
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Nicolas Rubio - Argentina SpottingTeam



No editing at all


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Nicolas Rubio - Argentina SpottingTeam
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Nicolas Rubio - Argentina SpottingTeam



WhiBal (18% grey card)


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Nicolas Rubio - Argentina SpottingTeam
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Nicolas Rubio - Argentina SpottingTeam



[Edited 2009-10-18 15:41:28]


Gripped 7D + Sigma 10-20mm + 17-40L + 50mm f/1.8 II + 70-200mm f/4L IS + EF 400mm f/5.6L + 580EX II
User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4770 posts, RR: 26
Reply 9, posted (4 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 2908 times:
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Quoting Stackhouse007 (Reply 7):
So you guys are saying that all you need to do in photoshop is hit Auto Color, Auto Levels, and Auto Contrast? I swear that gets me a weird looking picture.. Did I read the above posts wrong?

I use CS2 and auto levels and auto color give me TERRIBLE results. I never use them. I will sometimes use auto contrast as a base to start my contrast adjustments.



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlineCpd From Australia, joined Jun 2008, 4879 posts, RR: 38
Reply 10, posted (4 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 2890 times:

Good replies everyone!

For me - auto-levels only works as a fine-tuning method for colours that are almost correct, not for outright correction of colours that are far from correct.

Like NicholasRubio above, I also try to have correct white-balance set in the camera to begin with, so that any corrections I might need to do, they are only fine tuning, not outright large corrections.

Note: I'm unable to provide any demonstrations of anything I'm talking about, the video card in my PC (with CS3 on it) died.   Waiting for a replacement.

[Edited 2009-10-18 18:57:54 by cpd]

[Edited 2009-10-18 18:58:41 by cpd]

[Edited 2009-10-18 19:01:41 by cpd]

User currently offlineSovietjet From Bulgaria, joined Mar 2003, 2577 posts, RR: 17
Reply 11, posted (4 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 2844 times:
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Looks like this thread was created with good timing  . I run into editing problems when I take photos during some extreme conditions(such as snow/fog). For example, I'm thinking of uploading this photo here but am unsure if the colors are correct. Applying auto color leads to a dramatic change however I think given the horrible gloomy conditions this is the correct representation(as how I remember that day). This is after editing but no color correction was applied.




It's hard to search the database for a similar shot but I found this which makes it seem that I'm right:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © MR



[Edited 2009-10-19 16:45:13 by sovietjet]

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