Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Color Choice Isn't By Chance
Getting color right isn't just about the scientific quantities of the Kelvin scale and wavelengths of light; it's also about emotion and creativity.
Software makers have focused attention on photographers' needs and new tools are abundant. Among these software makers, there are differing ideas about tools, so you'll want to examine each product to discover how that company approaches adjusting images. Synergy was previously discussed in the Nov./Dec. 2006 issue of DPP [“Synergize”].
Universal or selective settings. Decide whether you must change the appearance of the entire image or just an area of the image! Will you want both capabilities? You bet you will! Go for software that lets you do both. You'll want to research and identify the product that most fully supports your needs. Check for available software trial versions and experiment before laying out cash! You'll want to concurrently use several software products, taking advantage of each maker's special tools and design approach.
Let's take a look at the changes that are typically available and learn some points about how you'll use them as you balance on the color tightrope.
Color balance. This tool helps adjust color balance. Some software provides slider controls for the balance of RGB (red/cyan, green/magenta, blue/yellow), plus added control for brightness and contrast. Slider controls provide an easy way to quickly set balance. For quick changes, many also include a place to make a numerical setting.
If the color you're trying to correct (eliminate or change) is a mix of the primaries, study how to mix and match the settings. It'll require patience and experimenting.
Color boosting. This makes color more vibrant by raising the chrominance and luminance. If you apply this tool uniformly across an image, all colors will be adjusted in unison. A selective application of color boost (to a specific color range) can be creatively used in conjunction with overall color desaturation and resaturation of a specific color.
Luminance, chrominance and hue. LCH control adds drama and a unique appearance. Together with adjusting image saturation, these tools are often located in the tool known as the LCH Editor. The tools typically enable you to make a uniform change throughout the image, or selectively to specific color ranges (yellows, greens, blues, reds, etc). This tool also requires experimentation. It's versatile and fun to use.
Hue. This control, often found in the LCH Editor, enables you to concurrently shift the balance among the primary colors. You've got to see this one to fully understand it. There's nothing automatic about it, and it requires your visual acuity and creativity.
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