warmer colors

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by don_myers|1, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. This is more a pre-processing question, but I was not sure where to post it...
    When I was taking some pictures of the sunset the other day I was getting ok pictures, but was not getting the warmer colors I was trying for. I switched up my WB, underexposed by 1/2 stop, and even tried playing with the saturation and contrast settings.
    I know that I can use a warming filter that will boost the reds, but lacking that, is there any paticular camera settings I can change that will make the reds a little more punchier?
    Thanks for any insights.
    Don
     
  2. You might want to try bracketing exposure to see if that doesn't help. Then process in ACR or such, where you can 'slide' color temperature back and forth, for example.
    For interesting color editing possibilities that seem to handle reds especially well try playing with LAB color space - where the first channel is 'lightness' and the a and b channels are a magenta-green axis and a yellow-blue axis, respectively (see Margulis's book http://www.amazon.com/Photoshop-LAB-Color-Adventures-Colorspace/dp/0321356780 )
     
  3. If you can't do it in camera, use the HSV or HSL tool, Don.
    This (for the benefit of others it stands for Hue/Saturation/Value or Hue/Saturation/Lightness depending on implementation) allows for very effective manipulation of discrete areas of colour within the image - I use it all the time, to great effect.
    So for more punch in the reds, go to the tool (In Photoshop it's Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation...), select the Reds channel and have at it - the saturation slider's obvious enough, but experiment with the Lightness and Hue sliders too.
     
  4. effective manipulation of discrete areas of colour within the image​
    Probably better to rephrase that as:
    effective manipulation of discrete ranges of colour within the image​
     
  5. Presumably, you know not to use Automatic White Balance in situations like this?
    T
     
  6. What you want to do is actually to not color balance the image. Color balancing (normally) mans to neutralize color casts, which is the opposite of what you want. So turn off automatic white balance and set it to one of the higher color temperature settings, for example overcast/cloudy or shade (even daylight may give good results).

    Suggested reading: http://www.ianplant.com/photo-tips-how-to-white-balance.htm

    Best results are imo achieved by taking raw images with the camera and adjust the white balance in the raw converter. Adobe Camera Raw can also take JPG images for adjustment, including color balance. You then have to open it from Bridge.


    BTW: If you are using automatic white balance, any effect from a color filter mounted in the light path will be compensated for in the automatic color balance algorithm (that is what it is there for). The filter's effect will be removed.
    Happy color balancing!
    Frode Langset
    00bNg8-521459584.jpg
     
  7. Thanks everyone, and keep the suggestions comming...
    I may not have been specific enough on what I am using or what I did. My camera is a Pentax K-5 and I almost always shoot Av and the ISO as low as possible: Typically 100. (This is to mimic as close as possible my film camera and film I used to use.)
    As for white balance, I tried daylight, shade and cloudy, and shot using "Landscape" mode. (The instruction book does not give a lot of info on what the different mode setting are supposed to do.) I did not bracket per se, but I did under expose compared to auto exposure by 1/3 and 2/3 stop.
    Keith, you mentioned Hue/Sat. Both controls are (individually) availible in-camera, but I am not sure what to look for with the hue setting -- I went to the extreme ends of the slider, and see little difference; perhaps in combination with the saturation?
    Frode, I also want to thank you for the article on WB - I'll check that out more thoughly.
    One last question for the PS users: I have the choice (when shooting RAW) of using PEF or DNG; is there anyone in paticular you would use if given a choice, and why if I might ask.
    Thanks again.
    Don
     
  8. Do I understand you correctly that you compared "daylight" to "shade" white balance settings but either did not see any change, or the changes were not sufficient?
    If this is the case, either something is broken or you are doing something incorrectly because there should be a substantial difference between these two settings.
    A few questions: How are you viewing the results? On the LCD on the back of the camera, or on a computer monitor? If on a computer, laptop or desktop? Do the colors of photos on photo.net generally look good to you on that monitor?
    You mention that you sometimes shoot in RAW. When you do so, do you also produce an in-camera jpg? If so, have you compared the colors of that jpg with the colors you see when you view the RAW file?
    When you were comparing the different white balance settings on your camera, might you have been looking at the RAW files using a raw converter not written specifically for your camera? For example, might you be using Photoshop ACR as the raw converter instead of something supplied by Pentax?
    Sorry for all the questions, but there are so many things that can go wrong, that in order to help you, we have to find out exactly what you were doing.
    Tom M
     
  9. To give you an idea of how much of a difference there should be when you change the in-camera settings, I dug up this old sunset photo taken on a Nikon d700 for which I compared the 4 in-camera settings shown.
    The last setting, "Vivid +" is Nikon's "Vivid" setting that I modified by adding the maximum amount additional in-camera saturation and, as I recall, a bit more contrast.
    You Pentax will likely have a similar range of in-camera adjustment. Perhaps someone who shoots with a Pentax will chime in with an analogous comparison.
    Was the magnitude of the changes you saw in your photos about the same as in my example?
    T
    00bNjN-521529584.jpg
     
  10. ... and, for fun, if you want to fry the viewers' retinas, here's what you can do if you throw caution to the winds and crank up practically every control in ACR / PS to "11"
    ;-0
    00bNjZ-521535784.jpg
     
  11. One last question for the PS users: I have the choice (when shooting RAW) of using PEF or DNG; is there anyone in paticular you would use if given a choice, and why if I might ask.​
    I have for several years used PS CS2. When I bought my Pentax K-7 I found the latest version of Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) compatible with CS2 to be too old for the K-7 PEF files. It won't open them (PS says: "Could not complete yur request because it is not the right kind of document"). When I switched to DNG everything worked OK. Therefore I have since used DNG and will continue to use it. Hopefully Pentax will continue to offer the DNG option for RAWs in their future cameras so I don't have to update PS if I buy a camera after CS7 is out and updates for ACR for CS6 is stopped.
    I also have a Ricoh compact camera (Caplio GX 200) that offers DNG raw files. I might very well choose to insist in the future that a camera supports DNG if I am to buy it. It might just be too expensive to upgrade PS every time I buy a new camera.
     
  12. cjk

    cjk

    Don, a lot of good advice above. My 2 cents in trying to simplify your process:
    - Show RAW
    - Forget about the WB in the camera, since you're shooting RAW it doesn't matter.
    - Do NOT underexpose.
    - In Lightroom, play with the different WB options to get close to what you want.
    - Play with the Exposure sliders in Lightroom to get fine tune more.
    - Still in Lightroom, adjust Hue / Saturation / Luminance to taste
    It's pretty straightforward if you follow the steps above.
    If you use Aperture, I am sure it can do the same thing. If you use Bridge + Photoshop, then you can do the first step (WB and Exposure) in ACR then the HSL in Photoshop.
    Yes, LAB adjustments are incredibly powerful and Dan Margulis' book is a bible on that, though I have to say that since I moved to Lightroom, I have not felt the same need to work in LAB.
    Please share some photos so that we can enjoy them too :)
     
  13. Hey everyone;
    Thanks for all the advice, you all have given me a lot of info to go over. I shot 90 plus pictures today playing with WB, exposure, EV settings and anything else I could think of. I unfortunately forgot to try the HDR, but there is always another day.
    Tom, to answer your questions, all the "changes" I observed were "on camera" using the LCD screen, along with observing the histogram. As for the different WB, there is a slight difference between daylight, shade and cloudy, but the histogram showed no difference at all. Even though there was red in the sunset, there was none in any of the printed pictures - just different shades of blue. Using auto exposure, the histogram was pushed up against the right side of the screen. I do realize I should have a lot of bright areas from shooting into the sun, but there was a lot of overexposed areas and the colors are non-existant, so therefore the underexposure. (It didn't help.)
    As far as shooting RAW, I only do it on occasion, and have never with JPEG; only one or the other. (All the pictures from the other day were JPEG, but it should not have dumped all the reds.) My wife took the memory card to work to develop the pictures and see what difference she might get, so I cannot upload the photos to show you the difference. I might put up a couple over the next few days with the metadata to show you what I mean. If all else fails I will take it in for a tuneup and have the settings checked.
    Anyway, thanks all, and have a good week.
     
  14. - Show RAW
    - Forget about the WB in the camera, since you're shooting RAW it doesn't matter.
    - Do NOT underexpose.
    - In Lightroom, play with the different WB options to get close to what you want.
    - Play with the Exposure sliders in Lightroom to get fine tune more.
    - Still in Lightroom, adjust Hue / Saturation / Luminance to taste
    It's pretty straightforward if you follow the steps above.​
    Couldn't have said it better! Don, what Cesar said.
    In terms of not under exposing for raw (when you have the time and light) see:
    http://www.digitalphotopro.com/technique/camera-technique/exposing-for-raw.html
     
  15. Don, here's a thought: If there was red in the sunset and it was the color with the highest brightness, you could have completely overexposed (aka, "blown") just the red channel. If this happens, the reds will be turned into other hues, typically, yellows and oranges.
    To check for this, bring one of your problematic files into your image editor and look at the histogram for only the red channel. If you see a tall, narrow spike up against the right hand edge of the graph, that's what happened.
    Let us know.
    Tom
     

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