User avatar
cpd
Posts: 4639
Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2008 4:46 am

Open Discussion On Colour Correction

Sat Oct 17, 2009 2:38 pm

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]
 
HNLPointShoot
Posts: 226
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2007 3:32 pm

RE: Open Discussion On Colour Correction

Sat Oct 17, 2009 2:46 pm

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.
 
Silver1SWA
Crew
Posts: 4458
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 6:11 pm

RE: Open Discussion On Colour Correction

Sat Oct 17, 2009 5:37 pm

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.
 
sovietjet
Posts: 2558
Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2003 12:32 am

RE: Open Discussion On Colour Correction

Sun Oct 18, 2009 7:11 am

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..
 
JakTrax
Posts: 4661
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 3:30 am

RE: Open Discussion On Colour Correction

Sun Oct 18, 2009 11:39 am



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
 
NicolasRubio
Posts: 566
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2005 11:45 am

RE: Open Discussion On Colour Correction

Sun Oct 18, 2009 8:23 pm

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 avatar
alevik
Crew
Posts: 1195
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2009 3:50 am

RE: Open Discussion On Colour Correction

Sun Oct 18, 2009 8:48 pm

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.
 
Stackhouse007
Posts: 377
Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2007 4:07 am

RE: Open Discussion On Colour Correction

Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:51 pm

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
 
NicolasRubio
Posts: 566
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2005 11:45 am

RE: Open Discussion On Colour Correction

Sun Oct 18, 2009 10:36 pm

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
 
Silver1SWA
Crew
Posts: 4458
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 6:11 pm

RE: Open Discussion On Colour Correction

Sun Oct 18, 2009 11:04 pm



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 avatar
cpd
Posts: 4639
Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2008 4:46 am

RE: Open Discussion On Colour Correction

Mon Oct 19, 2009 1:56 am

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]
 
sovietjet
Posts: 2558
Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2003 12:32 am

RE: Open Discussion On Colour Correction

Mon Oct 19, 2009 11:43 pm

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]

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos