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!
So this caught my eye today. It seems that the Fujifilm FinePix W1 launched last year was such a hit that they have taken the technology, shrunk the package and added some features that make it a very interesting pocket size camera.
Due to time constraints, I am going to just post a quick few lines on the currently Beta product from Oloneo called the “PhotoEngine”. The PhotoEngine software takes working with RAW captures to a whole new level. Imagine being able to “mix” light in multiple exposures like an audio engineer might use a mixer to blend different levels of instruments or effects. The PhotoEngine allows you to do something very similar to this. It also takes HDR do a new level with an easy to use interface and very good HDR processing for accurate and very realistic results.
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.
Although I planned on doing competitions in past years, something always came up around the time I planned on prepping images to be printed for competition. And I suppose i was a little scared to submit, mostly due to lack of knowledge on the process. But this year things changed in my favor. Nothing came up, I had ample time to prepare digital files and I decided to contact some people who have been through the process before to help walk me through step by step.
Like most photographers, you may have the basic software to get the job done. Typically some version of Photoshop and possibly software that came with your camera for importing and processing files. But what about software for a very specific purpose? Or better yet, what software is worth even getting? I can honestly say that I have tested and tried many of the most popular plug-in’s and programs made for photographers and image processing. Most are decent in their own way, some are a waste of money but here is my short list of those that make the cut as my favorites and/or most used programs (excluding Photoshop which is a given).