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…
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.
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.
You may have seen it from other photographers and wondered “just how did they do that?” Although their are plug-in filters and no doubt other ways to do it, here is a nice easy free way to do it with only Photoshop and starting with any file, even it if it is a boring, slightly underexposed JPEG.
Thanks to the folks over at Profoto, Tony Corbell has created these great videos on 1, 2, 3 and 4 light portraiture that can apply to pretty much any studio gear you may already own.
These are short but absolutely worth watching for a few quick tips and tricks that might open up some creativity with lights.