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Color Saturation

This is a discussion on Color Saturation within the Podcasting forums, part of the Education & Technical category; Hi Marko -- Thanks for your podcast! I think you hit a good balance of basic information with more advanced ...

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    mrtim is offline Junior Member
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    Default Color Saturation

    Hi Marko --

    Thanks for your podcast! I think you hit a good balance of basic information with more advanced techniques.

    I've often heard lists of good things to try if you want your images to be sharper, like the ones you listed in an earlier post on this forum. Certainly these are good tips.

    I was wondering if you would consider a podcast on the topic of improving color saturation and/or contrast. It seems to me that, like sharpness, it would be better to get this right in camera as much as possible. Often I think I overdo saturation enhancements in post unless I'm very careful.

    Things I've tried, with some success, include polarizing filters and underexposing just a bit. But then I read somewhere that for the best colors one should "expose to the right", which sounds like slightly overexposing . . . but in my experience this results in more washed out colors.

    I did notice an improvement in color (and in contrast) when I replaced a f/5.6 zoom with a f/2.8 equivalent. If it matters I'm a Nikon shooter with a D300 and a growing addiction to fast glass

    - Tim

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    Hey Tim!

    Thanks again for joining and for your comments!

    Colour saturation is especially hard to talk about because many individual variables come into play. If all of your shots are oversaturated then the problem likely lies in your monitor setting or printer/printing settings.

    Contrast is a whole other story and is dependent on the existing light in the scene you are shooting and can be (and often is) improved with just a bit of post-processing.

    Let's chat this out a bit...it may be a problem particular to your setup.

    thx
    Marko


    Quote Originally Posted by mrtim View Post
    Hi Marko --

    Thanks for your podcast! I think you hit a good balance of basic information with more advanced techniques.

    I've often heard lists of good things to try if you want your images to be sharper, like the ones you listed in an earlier post on this forum. Certainly these are good tips.

    I was wondering if you would consider a podcast on the topic of improving color saturation and/or contrast. It seems to me that, like sharpness, it would be better to get this right in camera as much as possible. Often I think I overdo saturation enhancements in post unless I'm very careful.

    Things I've tried, with some success, include polarizing filters and underexposing just a bit. But then I read somewhere that for the best colors one should "expose to the right", which sounds like slightly overexposing . . . but in my experience this results in more washed out colors.

    I did notice an improvement in color (and in contrast) when I replaced a f/5.6 zoom with a f/2.8 equivalent. If it matters I'm a Nikon shooter with a D300 and a growing addiction to fast glass

    - Tim
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    mrtim is offline Junior Member
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    Marko,

    I'm not really having a regular problem, it's more a matter of improving shots under some specific conditions. In most cases colors come out fine. But I've noticed that in some circumstances they get washed out, and I'm wondering what a good solution would be.

    For example last weekend I was standing in a small stream taking some pictures with nice water reflections. In particular I was looking for some good greens from both the trees and some mossy rocks. Much of the foliage that was farther downstream seemed pretty washed out, so I experimented with using a polarizer . . . which helped, but of course affected the reflection I was trying to get in the first place. I then reduced the exposure a bit, which helped those trees but naturally made everything else a bit darker.

    I'm still experimenting with the results. I capture in RAW and then in general have good success with curves and *gentle* saturation adjustments. In this case the reduced exposure shots with some "fill light" in post are close to what I wanted, but there are still some areas in the frame where the sun was directly on some trees that look a bit dull. (I'll post some examples when I get home.)

    So then I read something about "expose to the right for the best colors", but it seems like I'm doing the opposite if I understood it correctly.

    Maybe it's just a matter of waiting until a cloud comes along

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    There's so much to learn it can often be very confusing.
    Exposing to the right is a good thing in general, but it's not some rule of thumb that should be memorized out of context.

    The best judge will be your eyes looking at the results after the shot is taken. If it's too light stop down. Take the shot again and see the results. If it's too dark let in more light. But know that your camera can only capture so much light and it is LESS than with a film camera. If your shots are washed out after you stop down then you are likely exceeding the camera sensor's range.

    The expose to the right article is here and it's good learnin' but a bit technical. http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tu...se-right.shtml
    another good article on exposure http://www.luminous-landscape.com/co...exposure.shtml

    Hope that helps

    Marko
    Last edited by Marko; 07-24-2008 at 11:26 PM.
    - Please connect with me further
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    "You have to milk the cow quite a lot, and get plenty of milk to get a little cheese." Henri Cartier-Bresson from The Decisive Moment.

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