5 tips to INSTANTLY up your PHOTO GAME
How to Take Photographs That Are the Correct Color
You see a pretty red rose in bloom, you get your camera out and you get ready to photograph it but instead on the viewfinder or resulting photograph it comes out pink! The sky in your beach pictures and the water came out green and not blue. The people in your portraits are either alien green or some crazy orange color. All these color mishaps in photography can be avoided if you learn how to adjust the camera settings or use the preset camera scenes to make those tricky colors come out correctly on your resulting photographs. Get the camera out and use this article to help you out.
Understanding the Properties of Color
Learn the difference between additive and subtractive color situations.Like in any form of visual arts photography requires some knowledge about how colors react to light. There are two color properties that can be helpful when trying to get photographed objects to turn out correctly. Once you learn how to correctly identify the color situation you're dealing with and how these situations affect different hues of color you can photograph colors more accurately.
- Additive colorsare the result of adding white light to a color against a black background. In this situation if you add equal parts of red, green and blue you'll get white.Whenever you use a lighted screen such as the computer screen you use this system. This color system is called RGB or Red, Green, Blue system.
- Whenever your using high exposure or a flash you are adding a white light thus this is a additive color situation.
- Subtractive colorsare the results of what you if illuminate a colored filter from behind with the white light. If you mix all of these colors together in equal parts you get black. It's the opposite of the additive.This property is most commonly used in mixing colors with any art mediums not involving light. This systems as also called the CYMK or Cyan, Yellow, Magenta, Black.
- If your object is an art project on a sheet of white paper or is surrounded with a lot of white without flash you are in a subtractive setting.
Some cameras are only additive (RGB) or subtractive(CYMK) in capturing images.Others may have a way you can opt in or out between modes or systems. Check out the manual or ask questions on discussion forums on photography for more information on this feature.
Try experimenting with viewing colors under different filters, colors of light, with and without the camera.Search for art sites, camera stores and shops that sell these filters or you can make your one using any color plastic or glass transparent item like a plastic cap, sunglass lens, 3-D glasses lens and take any colored item and experiment with how the color of that filter affects that color being viewed. Many cameras with large millimeter lens have special filters and lens available for purchase but the smaller lens ones are hard to find. If they are too expensive or not available you can always make your own.
- You can use these filters as well as other equipment in many different applications when using the camera. Place them over the flash to color or diffuse the light that comes out of the flash. Put clear filters over the lens it self to see how it affects the colors.
- There are now new small camera accessory kits and zoom lens that are actually made to fit over the camera lens of an Android smartphone or iPhone. However these can easily fit over the lens of smaller digital cameras without a protruding lens (like a waterproof compact). Don't use one with other models or you'll likely break the lens mechanism.Consider experimenting with these as they are very inexpensive.
Learning how to select the correct white balance and light temperature settings.
Learn how to identify white balance settings in different situations.White balance refers to the cast or glow that white areas and subjects appear in photography. Unless you what to do a special color effect like Sepia (brownish cast) you need to set the White Balance on the camera settings to match the light temperature of the light source. You know this when you see the pure white, pure blacks or pure gray on the viewfinder(if there is any item in these colors).
- The main white balance settings on most cameras are
- Daylight(on a sunny day),
- Cloudy(spread out light softening colors,
- Incandescent(warm yellowish light )
- Fluorescent( cool bluish white).
- Halogen(pure white without any colors)
- Candlelight(warmest light that can appear orange)
- If your camera doesn't have some the settings listed on the options screen already it may behiddenin the "shooting mode" or "scene" options under different names like"romantic", "dusk or dawn", "snow". Some cameras the color temperature setting chart is a series of colored squares or temperatures. Some cameras have smart portrait settings that let you adjust the color temps by skin, eye, make-up or foundation color. Check your product's manual.
Become familiar with how different degrees of color temperature affects the colors of subjects in photographs.Color temperatures refers to how cool (blue) or how warm (red) in the light of the photograph's setting. Under neutral color temperature green grass is green as you see it with your own eyes. Move the color temperature to the setting into the reds and the grass turns to brownish color (olive or lime). Move it towards the blue and the green turns bluish (teal or aquamarine). Be careful when selecting the color temperature to make sure the subjects stay their natural colors.
Use a neutral colored accessories and charts to help you find the correct white balance and color temperature.The actual color accessories are available in many camera stores and websites but may get too expensive. You always make your own by finding non reflective white, gray or black colored boards, papers in the stores or using paint swatch boards in the hardware store.
Use the color temperature and white balance to create atmosphere.Use the cool ones in waterfall setting to enhance the relaxing feeling of the sound of running water. Use the warm settings in romantic or Christmas settings.
When confronted in a setting with a dominating warm or cool color hue or light use an opposite temperature color setting.Adding more the dominating color will in most cases cause everything in the picture to be that specific hue or very similar to it. Choosing a opposite color temperature setting can help balance out that strong hue and give other colors some oomph.
Choosing the Correct Amounts of Saturation
Reduce the glare or blur of very highly saturated colors by reducing how saturated or how vivid they are using the color settings.Ever tune the color settings on your TV to maximum? The colors start flaring out and running together making details, highlights and shadows hard to pick out. The same happens when too much saturation is in photographs and videos. Lower the saturation or vivid settings on your camera to correct this.
- Lowering the saturation can also bring out other next door neighbor colors that the dominating color were canceling out. A red leaf shot under lower saturation will likely reveal nuances of brown, pink and purple.
- Don't use high saturation in food pictures. This will result in an unappetizing neon or fluorescent food effect unless the food is brightly colored like candy or Rainbow Sorbet.
- However there are times when high saturation can help a picture out. If you photograph a cloudy grey sky with peeks of blue increasing the saturation helps the blue stand out more.
- Use different degrees of vividness to help enhance the atmosphere and feeling of a photograph. Fun ,cheerful, festive photos can be enhance with high saturation. The opposite can be achieved in lower saturation settings for scary, cold, or moody pictures.
Beware how flash and exposure affects colors in the picture.Too much brightness can wash out a picture as too much flash. Just like adding white paint to any color on a painting the same thing can happen to pictures when using flash and changing the exposure higher. At their worst the whole picture will be a white square.
- However lowering of the exposure can be used to reduce the washing out of colors in pictures when the flash is used. You can also experiment with different flash speeds on your camera depending on your model and type your using. Also experiment with varying amounts of exposure and make note which ones work the best.
- Too low exposure can be just as bad as too much. Many underexposed photographs are dull grayed out and lifeless.
- When dealing with items with light, whether it's a firework video or a light up skyscraper, keep your exposure low to avoid the "light flare blur". Also when dealing with sunsets and sky photos lowering the exposure keeps the details of clouds and the landscape clear and pushes the sky nicely into the background. The same goes for any reflective or metallic surfaces. Adjust shooting scenes with lowest exposure first and adjust the exposure higher to figure out.
- Flash can also do amazingly strange things for some pictures. Try it in a dark landscape picture and the little minute details of the clouds in the sky become very clear as well as the gradients of brightness in the sky. Low exposure flash pictures with lots of adjusting or experimenting can lead to amazing pictures with sharp detail.
- Flash can also cause the very common culprits in photography as well. In portraits using the wrong flash or using it incorrectly can cause the dreaded red eye. Flash can also kill critical details in textural, macro photography as well.
Handling Tricky Color Situations
Watch out for colors that shift from one color to another.To avoid this, it's best to use a lower saturation point because by lowering the saturation level one point off the center or two and even changing the white balance and color temperature settings can change the colour. Consider changing the outdoor sunny white balance setting to cloudy or indoor lighting like fluorescent.
- Be careful with extremely bright and neon colors. Other terms for these kinds of colors is highly saturated and pure. These colors easily transform themselves into other colors different of which they are viewed with the human eye, in the viewfinder or on the actual photograph. Yellow lemons can turn to green. Bright red poppies turn out orange or pink.
- Red produces very strong wavelengths that can easy take over a photograph and cause blobs, spots, other strange phenomenon in photography. Bright saturated reds are very tricky even for professionals to photograph accurately.
- The color of the walls in a room indoors or the surrounding buildings or other things outside can be reflected onto your subject affecting the color.
- Some darker colors can affect the colour as well. Dark burgundy can become bright reddish purple and not deep and rich.
- Many items are not just one color. What appears to be bluish green to a naked eye under the magnification of a camera in macro zoom can have extra spots of yellowish green. Almost every leaf is or flower petal is not that pure color but has veins of many different tones, tints,shades and even other colors. These colors blend with each other and cause different colors. Same goes for trying to photograph a child's art project. The different stokes of crayon even if it's the same color can appear more or less intense due to the color of the background paper.
Get your object sharp and in focus and in detail before taking the shot.It can be difficult to tell rather or not the subject is the correct color when it's out of focus and colors are blurred together.
Don't be afraid to experiment in using different preset scenes on the camera other than their proposed purposes.Also experiment with various different degrees of white balance, saturation, and color temperatures in different settings. Don't be intimidated and take risk to see what the results are. You'll be surprised. Have a notepad and pencil handy with you to be able to copy down the settings of the exposure, white balance, aperture, shutter speed, flash settings etc. in the mode so you use different parts of these settings in a custom or manual mode if one is available to create your own perfect mode or setting.
- The snow setting can be useful when photographing a landscape loaded white flowers and rocks.
- The snow setting as well as the beach setting is good for when you are in a situation where there is a lot of reflection like a portrait behind a glass building.
- The sunny white balance setting used indoors can make colors appear natural and very pleasing instead of using the cloudy or indoor settings.
Using Photo-Editing Software
Download photo editor software from sites and install the software.There's always one problem color that'll never come out correctly despite your best efforts. There's some great software to help you out. Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom can be a bit costly. However you can just download and install freeware and then find plugins from Adobe that can really help to bring your pictures to their best light.
- Photoscapeis a freeware editor that has a lot of color correction features including color temperature and remove color cast. Very lightweight and fast. Also comes with a built in .RAW to JPG converter.
- Gimpthe popular "Photoshop replacement" also has features that include color correction and enhancement features and can use most Photoshop Plugin "8bf" files. It however comes in a new updated version that may or may not work well on many Windows computers and uses lot of memory space on the hard drive. It's best to use the portable version. Do not use the clone GimpShop because of bugs and risk of virus.
- Deep Paintby Right Hemisphere has a freeware version called 2.0 downloadable from the site named can easily use many Adobe Plugins by just moving the files to the plugin folder.
- Deep Paint also does many things Photoshop and other similar programs do without needing plugins, actions or scripts. It also uses layers and blending modes and offers easily controllable options. Unlike the others, there are adjustable lighting features. Add a blank layer, fill it with a color and adjust the opacity for endless effects.
If using Photoshop make sure your pictures files are in .RAW not .JPG format.Photoshop's Cast Removal Tool doesn't work on .JPG and this format doesn't store color information in precision like in .RAW. Updated versions might not have this problem but you can always convert JPG to RAW format using another software.
Search for suitable plugins on the web for download.Some are free and some are expensive. Some are good and others not so good. Some are the exact same features already on the main software only under a different name. Gimp and some other programs can use Photoshop plugins with some extra steps or just by moving the files to the plugin folder. Action files do not work in such applications. These additions also can use a lot of memory on the hard drive and a lot installed can get overwhelming.
- AAA Filters site disappeared in 2015 but is still via other websites.
- Gives you precise color correction with the use of curves you adjust by moving and adding points and sliding the line up and down.
Use photo editing or photo enhancing software on your camera already installed.Many digital cameras and smartphones come already equipped with photo editing tools on them. Many of these are simply finding the color fixing tool you want and moving the sliders.
Be sure to know the Color Correction Tool's location and its name on the software or camera being used.Some softwares color correction tool is simply the curves tool. Some softwares can correct color cast by extra steps and procedures which you can find by searching Color Correction and the softwares name on a search engine, whether watching a Youtube video or viewing a tutorial page.
- Sometimes wrong color results in the photography is a defect in the camera itself. Take the camera to the shop and have it evaluated and repaired. Repairs however can cost more than the camera itself. In can be the sensor in the camera or maybe the screen on the viewfinder.
- Different camera models also have different sensors and technology which result in color display differences.
- Never point the camera directly toward an intensely bright light source or the sun for extended periods. Depending on the brand or model of a camera this well ruin the sensor device in the camera and make the viewfinder screen turn completely dark. This well appear on the viewfinder but not in the finished photograph. It also hurts your own eyes as well or can cause blindness.
- Never look directly at the flash or have your subject look directly into it when doing close ups. Not only does it make the eyes look sleepy it can also cause eye injury or blindness.
- Know when to and when not to use flash or camera sounds. Fish aquariums, museums, concerts and schools don't allow flash to avoid distracting the performers, viewers or/and harming the fish/animals or even materials. A wildlife viewing club will not want you scaring the animals away with distracting noises from your camera. Using camera sounds and flashes can get you kicked out as well.
- When experimenting with flash coverings make sure the item is not completely clinging to the flash so the heat produced by the flash has a place to escape. This prevents the burning of the object, and the flash bulb. If you smell burning or see scorching stop using the item and throw it out. The heat produced by flash varies by model of camera.
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