Old 02-28-2018, 02:37 PM   #1
cyberdoctorind
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 18
Default Need Help on Understanding Color (Hue) in a Photograph

I am trying to learn the nuances of post processing photographs and one of the tripping points always has been the Poor Color / Hue. I have recently got a rejection http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...57&key=2273277 and I am looking for help in fixing this color cast issue along with an explanation on how to get the color cast proper.

Thanks in advance
cyberdoctorind is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2018, 03:58 PM   #2
KevinM
Senior Member
 
KevinM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,983
Default

Most often, when you see a rejection like that, it is because the color balance (often called "white balance") is significantly off (from reality), or because the image has an overall color cast (a bluish, yellowish, greenish, etc). There are a variety of ways in which this can happen, ranging from having the wrong color temperature set in your camera, to some post-processing step. Even the "AUTO" white balance setting in your camera can sometimes get it wrong.

A few suggestions:
  1. If you are shooting raw, there are settings in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) that will allow you to adjust the color temperature and tint. If the image is too blue, you can raise the color temperature and if it is too yellow or warm-looking, you can lower it. If the image looks reddish you can bring down the TINT slider. If it looks too green, you can bring it up. Adjusting these things manually does require a little experience.
  2. An easier way to make an adjustment is to look for the "Remove Color Cast" feature in PhotoShop or PhotoShop Elements. That's an eyedropper tool that you can touch to some element in the image that should be black, white or gray. It's an automatic adjustment, so you cannot fine-tune it, but you can undo it if it does not look right to you. You can also try picking a different color target (black, white, gray) and see if it gives you better results.
  3. A third possibility is to use the "Auto Color Correction" option. Again, this is an automatic adjustment and you cannot fine-tune. I don't recommend this option, because when I try it, I generally don't like the results. Be careful with "Auto" adjustment options, because they can actually CAUSE color casts. In PSE, for example, I find that Auto-Levels and Auto-Smart-Fix tend to turn images too green. I don't like or use these options very often.

On most images, you can find something black, white or gray to help you make adjustments, but that's not always the case. There are some images which are indeed difficult to correct, and as noted, experience really helps.

Just make sure that the White Balance on your camera is not set to some wacky value. That will definitely cause your pictures to have color casts. Fortunately, if you are shooting, raw, it is correctable. If you shoot only JPEGs, having the White Balance set incorrectly will make your image very difficult to correct.
__________________
/Kevin

My RP stuff is here.

Link to my Flickr Albums. Lots of Steam Railroad stuff there from all over the US.
KevinM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2018, 12:51 AM   #3
cyberdoctorind
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 18
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinM View Post

A few suggestions:
  1. If you are shooting raw, there are settings in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) that will allow you to adjust the color temperature and tint. If the image is too blue, you can raise the color temperature and if it is too yellow or warm-looking, you can lower it. If the image looks reddish you can bring down the TINT slider. If it looks too green, you can bring it up. Adjusting these things manually does require a little experience.
  2. An easier way to make an adjustment is to look for the "Remove Color Cast" feature in PhotoShop or PhotoShop Elements. That's an eyedropper tool that you can touch to some element in the image that should be black, white or gray. It's an automatic adjustment, so you cannot fine-tune it, but you can undo it if it does not look right to you. You can also try picking a different color target (black, white, gray) and see if it gives you better results.
  3. A third possibility is to use the "Auto Color Correction" option. Again, this is an automatic adjustment and you cannot fine-tune. I don't recommend this option, because when I try it, I generally don't like the results. Be careful with "Auto" adjustment options, because they can actually CAUSE color casts. In PSE, for example, I find that Auto-Levels and Auto-Smart-Fix tend to turn images too green. I don't like or use these options very often.

On most images, you can find something black, white or gray to help you make adjustments, but that's not always the case. There are some images which are indeed difficult to correct, and as noted, experience really helps.

Just make sure that the White Balance on your camera is not set to some wacky value. That will definitely cause your pictures to have color casts. Fortunately, if you are shooting, raw, it is correctable. If you shoot only JPEGs, having the White Balance set incorrectly will make your image very difficult to correct.
Thank you Kevin, I guess it will take me a little practice to clearly identify the color casts. I have made a mental note of your points and will scrutinise my photographs for color casts going forward.
cyberdoctorind is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2018, 07:21 AM   #4
miningcamper1
Senior Member
 
miningcamper1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,211
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinM View Post

[*]An easier way to make an adjustment is to look for the "Remove Color Cast" feature in PhotoShop or PhotoShop Elements. That's an eyedropper tool that you can touch to some element in the image that should be black, white or gray. It's an automatic adjustment, so you cannot fine-tune it, but you can undo it if it does not look right to you. You can also try picking a different color target (black, white, gray) and see if it gives you better results.


On most images, you can find something black, white or gray to help you make adjustments, but that's not always the case. There are some images which are indeed difficult to correct, and as noted, experience really helps.
A method that IS variable: some versions of Windows have a "color enhance" feature (8.1 and maybe 7). This can enhance a selected color, but can also variably desaturate that color.
Yesterday I tried it on a snow scene with a difficult color cast. Selecting a snow patch and desaturating fixed not only the snow, but the overcast sky as well.
__________________
flickr photostream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11947249@N03/

RP Photos: www.railpictures.net/miningcamper1/

Last edited by miningcamper1; 03-01-2018 at 04:33 PM. Reason: revision
miningcamper1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2018, 05:25 PM   #5
RobJor
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 719
Default

I think I see you solved it? Looks brighter, what else you did? Looks like some white areas to use Kevins hints. Daylight photos should not be too hard as you have a single light source.

In addition to Kevin excellent rundown I like Auto Tone and in PS when you use these auto adjusts, you can go back and fade the effect just like you were using layers.

Some times a "little" negative vibrance slider helps also.

My personal feeling is on just regular photos they are a little too strict but on more "creative" ones they allow a lot of leeway. Blue Hour is a good example of that, it is a desirable look so they allow a cast well beyond normal.

Bob

Last edited by RobJor; 03-01-2018 at 05:28 PM.
RobJor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2018, 03:00 AM   #6
cyberdoctorind
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 18
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobJor View Post
I think I see you solved it? Looks brighter, what else you did? Looks like some white areas to use Kevins hints. Daylight photos should not be too hard as you have a single light source.

In addition to Kevin excellent rundown I like Auto Tone and in PS when you use these auto adjusts, you can go back and fade the effect just like you were using layers.

Some times a "little" negative vibrance slider helps also.

My personal feeling is on just regular photos they are a little too strict but on more "creative" ones they allow a lot of leeway. Blue Hour is a good example of that, it is a desirable look so they allow a cast well beyond normal.

Bob
Yes Bob, I have started using Auto Levels in Affinity Photo and then go from there. I still am yet to get one photograph approved where the WB leans more towards warm (Eg, a warm sunny morning) but again as you mentioned, looks like regular photographs will not be extended this privilege. I am slowly realising the concept of rejections and trying my best not to repeat the same mistake for a subsequent rejection.
cyberdoctorind is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2019, 04:44 PM   #7
Wendel Moran
Junior Member
 
Wendel Moran's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Sycan, Oregon
Posts: 4
Default Okay, could you explain this one.

This image is what I saw when I took the photograph. I have auto everythinged this in Photoshop. What do you see as the problem with this, because I don't see one. Thanks in advance.

https://www.railpictures.net/viewrej...76&key=8602420
Wendel Moran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2019, 06:49 PM   #8
KevinM
Senior Member
 
KevinM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,983
Default

I'm thinking the image is too blue. As I noted in my original e-mail a couple of years back, I caution against using those "Auto" function in PS or PSE. Sometimes, they work well, but often, they make things worse.

There should be a tool for fixing color casts. I know that PSE has one. I often like the results that I get with that tool much better than the "Auto" functions. In that tool, I would touch something white or grey and see what happens. In Lightroom, you can do the same thing with the color temperature eyedropper and see what kinds of results that yields.

Unfortunately, I'm more used to digital camera images than film scans, so I don't have a good feel for what kind of results you might get with this.
__________________
/Kevin

My RP stuff is here.

Link to my Flickr Albums. Lots of Steam Railroad stuff there from all over the US.
KevinM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2019, 12:23 AM   #9
miningcamper1
Senior Member
 
miningcamper1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,211
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendel Moran View Post
This image is what I saw when I took the photograph. I have auto everythinged this in Photoshop. What do you see as the problem with this, because I don't see one. Thanks in advance.

https://www.railpictures.net/viewrej...76&key=8602420
Before the image even finished loading, the problem was obvious (IMHO).
It's a color slide that has faded and shifted! Excess red is everywhere. Needs a ton of contrast as well.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	3139.1559916771 (4).jpg
Views:	61
Size:	720.6 KB
ID:	9734  
__________________
flickr photostream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11947249@N03/

RP Photos: www.railpictures.net/miningcamper1/

Last edited by miningcamper1; 06-08-2019 at 12:48 AM. Reason: revision
miningcamper1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2019, 01:20 AM   #10
Decapod401
Senior Member
 
Decapod401's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 407
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by miningcamper1 View Post
Before the image even finished loading, the problem was obvious (IMHO).
It's a color slide that has faded and shifted! Excess red is everywhere. Needs a ton of contrast as well.
I don't agree that the slide has necessarily shifted and faded. this can be a combination of under/overexposed scan, as well as having an inaccurate white balance in the scanning software. I really have a tough time getting a true white balance in my scans.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinM View Post
I'm thinking the image is too blue. As I noted in my original e-mail a couple of years back, I caution against using those "Auto" function in PS or PSE. Sometimes, they work well, but often, they make things worse.

There should be a tool for fixing color casts. I know that PSE has one. I often like the results that I get with that tool much better than the "Auto" functions. In that tool, I would touch something white or grey and see what happens. In Lightroom, you can do the same thing with the color temperature eyedropper and see what kinds of results that yields.

Unfortunately, I'm more used to digital camera images than film scans, so I don't have a good feel for what kind of results you might get with this.
Color casts are the thing I struggle with most in slide scans. After setting levels/contrast in Lightroom, the color of a scan is almost always off for me. I have had no luck with any auto features, as you state, so I start with the temperature /tint eyedropper. It never gets me where I need to be, but it points me in the right direction.

For instance, I'm currently processing some Rio Grande scenes, and the scans usually have a purple cast, easily noticeable in the black locos. If I place the eyedropper on the side of a loco, it will over warm the temperature and set the tint too far into the green range. If I reduce both offsets by 50-67%, the balance is usually much better, but I may still need to desaturate dominate colors. Then I need to revisit the levels.
__________________
Doug Lilly

My RP Pics are HERE.

I've now got a Flickr. account, too.
Decapod401 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2019, 02:52 AM   #11
miningcamper1
Senior Member
 
miningcamper1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,211
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Decapod401 View Post
I don't agree that the slide has necessarily shifted and faded.
Well, unfortunately we can't view the original slide directly. But it sure bears more than a little resemblance to my (thankfully few) Ansco and Agfa faded and shifted slides!
__________________
flickr photostream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11947249@N03/

RP Photos: www.railpictures.net/miningcamper1/
miningcamper1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2019, 03:15 AM   #12
Decapod401
Senior Member
 
Decapod401's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 407
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by miningcamper1 View Post
Well, unfortunately we can't view the original slide directly. But it sure bears more than a little resemblance to my (thankfully few) Ansco and Agfa faded and shifted slides!
I am pretty sure that Anso disappeared well before I started shooting in the mid-70's and well before this 1989 scene. Regrettably, I shot some Agfa during that time period, ant the biggest issue that I have with those slides are color balance (not from fading), and grain. I'm also pretty sure that Agfachrome disappeared from the US scene well before 1989.
__________________
Doug Lilly

My RP Pics are HERE.

I've now got a Flickr. account, too.
Decapod401 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2019, 03:39 AM   #13
miningcamper1
Senior Member
 
miningcamper1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,211
Default

I became curious as to what shade a Cotton Belt caboose should actually be. An image search was no help at all- some were bright red, some were boxcar red!

EDIT: Something I should have noticed before- this caboose is boxcar red, but with the ends painted bright red. [Anyone notice the little graffiti cartoon on the right side steps?]
__________________
flickr photostream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11947249@N03/

RP Photos: www.railpictures.net/miningcamper1/

Last edited by miningcamper1; 06-08-2019 at 09:32 PM. Reason: addition
miningcamper1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2019, 07:36 PM   #14
Wendel Moran
Junior Member
 
Wendel Moran's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Sycan, Oregon
Posts: 4
Default The slide isn't faded

Quote:
Originally Posted by miningcamper1 View Post
Before the image even finished loading, the problem was obvious (IMHO).
It's a color slide that has faded and shifted! Excess red is everywhere. Needs a ton of contrast as well.
This is a Kodachrome 64 slide that was processed by Kodak. I have stored it in reasonably decent conditions since it was exposed. Thanks to Kodachrome's archival quality, the slide looks the same as when I shot it. I scanned the transparencys on a Plustek scanner.

This is the same image on my Flickr account, with the contrast jacked up and a lot of blue added to the image.

Wendel Moran is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 11:05 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.