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Colour Correction

kat2290 7 92
9 Feb 2011 5:03PM
I've recently bought a new book by Scott Kelby about photoshop, in it he talks about the technique of using curves to colour correct an image. I've tried the technique and it seems simple enough, however I'm wondering whether or not it's a good idea to this to every photograph that im going to edit, is it necessary or not? How do I know if the colour in my image need correcting in the first place, is it just a personal choice?

If I do decide to colour correct a photo and use the curves technique, is it best to correct it at the beginning or end of the PP?

Thanks Smile

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JamesGarfield 9 915 4 United Kingdom
9 Feb 2011 5:08PM
I guess the first question would be: Is your monitor calibrated, is it showing you a true representation of the colours in the picture? If it's not then the colour correct would still be incorrect?
CathyT 12 7.3k 18 United Kingdom
9 Feb 2011 5:10PM
I'd say its personal choice....or how you remember the photo....if you are working on a landscape you may wish to keep the colours very natural ..the same with a wildlife shot. On the other hand if you are working on a portrait you could be quite artistic in your approach.
Dave_Canon 11 1.4k United Kingdom
9 Feb 2011 5:24PM
Perhaps it would be better to suggest that Curves can be used to alter the colour. Only a few types of photographers need colours to be very accurate (e.g. fashion photographers, product photographers). Most of us would not be happy with an obvious colour cast but getting every colour accurate is probably unnecessary. How far you go to achieve accuracy is up to you.

CathyT 12 7.3k 18 United Kingdom
9 Feb 2011 5:27PM
Are you referring to page 200??
kat2290 7 92
9 Feb 2011 8:37PM
My monitor is calibrated Smile I'm just asking this because colour correction is not something i normally do (unless its very obvious) but whilst i was reading this chapter it occured to me that perhaps I should always be doing it. I suppose I'm just curious as to what other people do.

Cathy- I don't have the book with me right now but if its the section where they are working on a dull picture of a guy on a bike in a street then yeah thats the one!
CathyT 12 7.3k 18 United Kingdom
9 Feb 2011 8:48PM
UUmmm...no she's a model with a white shirt that isn't white....Wink

To be honest...what ever you decide to do in your post processing can be tackled at any point..I fiddle about for ages tweaking this and that.
User_Removed 8 4.6k 1 Scotland
9 Feb 2011 10:04PM
If you are using CS5, the skin tone correction facility is one way of "correcting" portraits. Otherwise, the eye dropper on a neutral grey is a good starting point.

I am not sure about the "can be tackled at any point" point. I tend to think that colour balance should be corrected first, before adjusting the hue, saturation of luminance of individual colours.
swanseamale47 10 124 United Kingdom
10 Feb 2011 8:16AM

Quote:Are you referring to page 200??

Which book?, Scott's got quite a few out.
Edit it's page 147 of Scotts the "Adobe photoshop book CS5 for digital photographers" (I think)
jken 12 1.7k 1 United Kingdom
10 Feb 2011 8:58AM
You've got to start with screen calibration, it's a simple as that.
If you're adjusting the image on screen from a print you've just produced how do you know which is correct if the screens not been calibrated.
John_Frid 12 514 57 United Kingdom
10 Feb 2011 9:21AM
Perhaps an obvious question is do you think your images need to be colour corrected?

If you are happy with the output (be it on screen or printed), then I see little need to get too worried about whether it is a completely accurate representation of the colours. Of course, if you are bothered about accurate colour display then you need to take more careful consideration. Whilst this starts with correct monitor calibration, this is only the start as a correctly calibrated monitor doesn't in itself correct your colours for you - it only ensures that you can see precisely what the colours are so you can apply the right correction.

Whilst I strive to ensure (in the main)that my image colours are believable, I'm not always bothered that they are 100% accurate to how they actually were. Many of my images are seeking to recreate the feeling or emotion that I had at the time - if a scene was joyous then I have a tendency to make the colours more vibrant, whereas if it was more melancholy I may use a more subdued palette. In both of these situations I wouldn't bother too much about 100% colour correction. However, if I am shooting something where I want an accurate colour representation then I will use one (or more) of the various colour correction techniques. The one in Scott Kelby's book using curves is a fairly good general technique, but there are others.

So to answer your question - only you can decide when 100% colour accuracy is required.

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