Although I enjoy photographing unusual (and ordinary) people, my real joy of photography takes me out to unusual or beautiful locations to photograph objects or landscapes, sometimes even an “urbanscape” is worthy of capture too. Regardless, not every capture can come “straight out of camera” exactly as you wish. In fact, most of the time I see what I want from the image but know that their is no reasonable way I can get what I see in a single exposure. At the same time, I know I can easily set up and capture a bracket and make an HDR from it, more often than not, I can easily get a SINGLE exposure and do some extreme editing to get the very most detail and color out of the camera RAW file as possible.
Needless to say, that is what this video tutorial is about. Although it’s not my very best work, I felt it was a worthy image and I was working on it already since I captured this image just the night before.
On to the video! Read more…
So, it’s been months since I had the time to sit down and write a blog entry. And quite frankly, I still don’t have the time to sit down and do a lengthy, formal tutorial. Instead, I have sat down and finished two video tutorials, one for Lightroom 3 and the other for Photoshop. As always, both in HD quality for viewing pleasure.
The first video for today is a tutorial covering how to correctly balance color using a ColorChecker Passport or any other white balance target, including reasons behind why you should not balance using the dress, suits or other objects with unknown color tones. As well as how to quickly apply these settings to a group of images. I also cover basics of the histogram and highlight/shadow clipping warnings in Lightroom, what they mean and how to correct for it.
Click through for the second video plus a link to more freebies!
Getting good color can sometimes be a difficult task, but if you follow some of these steps and use the tricks I explain in this post you can make color correction a much easier task.
Everyone has their own personal preference on what is “good color”. Some people prefer warmer skin tones and overall deeper, richer colors. (This is my own personal preference.) While others may prefer cooler skin tones with little or no yellow or red cast or low contrast bright images or very over saturated color or who knows! This is why learning to correct your color to your preference is ideal as nobody but yourself can get the color exactly how you want it and save a few dollars on lab fees for color correction.
Then again, some people wouldn’t know what good color is if it hit them in the head. Let’s be honest…. If that person is you, you can read on but you are probably better off sending your files to the lab as-is. Bad corrections can sometimes be more damaging than sending files with poor color straight out of the camera.
I’m sure you’ve encountered this problem before. Lighting conditions that are so bad that even a custom white balance in camera simply cannot fix. And you don’t have time or perhaps don’t have the skill to correct for these color errors on your own in post production. Even if you do, it’s not time well spent. Instead, here is how you get the best color from these extreme lighting conditions.
First off, do feel free to read back to my lengthy review of a number of professional labs as well as several chain stores and other popular printers to understand better what labs may give you the best service for your money. The Big Lab Throwdown – Final Results
Here are some tips on how to get the most out of your lab and get back the best prints every time. Including press-printed products that many labs now offer.
Rather than show you all of the steps involved in detail on the blog, I decided to just record a video tutorial and post the link here.
Here is the before and after comparison. This was taken 2 years ago with a Nikon D70 camera and I am editing the NEF (camera raw) file in Lightroom first and then doing some final tweaks in Photoshop.
Click through for the video.
First off, a quick history on the ColorChecker:
“The Munsell ColorChecker—first produced as the Macbeth ColorChecker in 1976 and still widely known as the Gretag Macbeth ColorChecker—a cardboard-framed arrangement of twenty-four squares of painted samples based on Munsell colors. Its maker Munsell Labs and parent Gretag Macbeth were acquired in 2006 by X-Rite, a color management and colorimetry company.”
Color chart. Wikipedia. Retrieved Dec. 08, 2009, from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ColorChecker
Today it is used as a reference for color in both film and photography and it continues to be an accepted standard. But original cardboard versions are still quite expensive, large and easily damaged. It also needed to be kept safely in a plastic sleeve and kept out of direct light to avoid bleaching the colored squares. In comes the more durable, extremely compact and multi-talented X-Rite ColorChecker Passport.