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Colour Correction vs Saturation Phobia

This is a discussion on Colour Correction vs Saturation Phobia within the Podcasting forums, part of the Education & Technical category; ...

  1. #1
    tegan is offline Senior Member
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    Default Colour Correction vs Saturation Phobia

    I think that getting the colour right and correcting off-colour is often a greater problem than colour saturation.

    Shooting in the shade tends more toward the blue spectrum and needs to be warmed up. Shooting at night with auto colour balance on, tends often toward the yellow which is quite difficult to correct. Red often ends up as orange in some light and even green tends toward yellow when exposure is slightly high. Purple can become blue in the shade.

    Exposure also affects colour. Darker areas tend to lose colour and need some saturation to get it back. Hard or software filters may be necessary to get the colour accurate and correct as well.

    Saturation has become a bit of a phobia for some photographers. Yes, beginners with photo editors tend to overdo the saturation controls and create all sorts of visual problems, but weather also contributes to saturated colours. In the Maritimes, greens and reds are almost always saturated. The greens from rain, mist, and fog, and the reds from the wet ground and mud full of iron oxide. Ontario even has saturated colours this summer due to considerable precipitation. I have never seen Québec city so wet either.

    Regular polarizers, enhancement filters and enhanced polarizers, as well as colour solarizers will also affect saturation and colour.

    The controversial issues are whether the colour is natural and accurate or artificial and "created". On the other hand, in FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY, is it really relevant, or does it really matter?

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    Travis is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tegan View Post

    The controversial issues are whether the colour is natural and accurate or artificial and "created". On the other hand, in FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY, is it really relevant, or does it really matter?
    I think for fine art photography reality of colour vs displayed is not really relevant...

    Colour correction would be a difficult podcast to do... you would kinda need visuals to accompany... i think it would better fit a youtube tutorial...

    As far a saturation (over saturation) I find this to be a big problem... especially among noobs... colours bleeding all over the place.... looks sick...

    It doesn't help that entry level dslr jpeg algorithms are engineered to oversaturate in order to please the untrained eye...

    for example when i shoot landscapes in IIIa sgrb I sometimes have to pull back the in camera saturation because my little D60 is starting to fib showing richer colours than what I'm looking at...

    For some of my photography (non fine art) I still feel a strong need to ACCURATELY portray the scene I'm looking at.... It's the difference between creating a superb moment with technology vs documenting a superb moment with good compositional skills and the help of mother nature...
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    tegan is offline Senior Member
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    To have a visual impact, the colour must be effective and have punch but it also must be believable. The challenge is to get the balance right.

    Viewers with limited experience tend to suspect that they are seeing artificially saturated images, when in some cases they are seeing as shot images under ideal lighting.

    Tegan
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    Travis is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tegan View Post
    Viewers with limited experience tend to suspect that they are seeing artificially saturated images, when in some cases they are seeing as shot images under ideal lighting.
    I don't understand this... help me...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis View Post
    I don't understand this... help me...
    I think what tegan is suggesting is that people with little photography experience just don't know what they're looking at anymore. The colours in some shots may be naturally rich (like under a cloudy day) but the viewer may think that they are photoshopped.

    I think colour casts and colour correction do matter - especially when they detract from the image. If the image has a subtle blue cast for example, and it calls attention to itself, then it matters. But if the cast is so subtle that it is barely noticeable, IMO it doesn't matter.

    In terms of a podcast on saturation/colour correction - that will have to wait until I try my hand at videocasting - it's just too difficult to really explain this well verbally without pix.
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    tegan is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by marko View Post
    I think what tegan is suggesting is that people with little photography experience just don't know what they're looking at anymore. The colours in some shots may be naturally rich (like under a cloudy day) but the viewer may think that they are photoshopped.
    Quite correct. I shoot often in wet areas where the greens are extremely bright and where there are reds in the rock and dirt. Wild flowers that are also wet and shooting at dawn or toward sundown add to the richness of the colour. The houses in Québec and the Maritimes are also very brightly coloured. Put all this together with a polarizer to reduce glare and you can get some naturally very saturated colours. It can be frustrating to be accused of photoshopping saturation on an AS SHOT image.

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    No offense tegan but HERE is way we play tit for tat based on past posts Many many times you have suggested that realism is a silly thing to go for in photography because nothing is real. It's all manipulation (lens choice, filters, printing etc)

    So why would you try to keep something that looks fake even though it may be real?

    IMO, when something calls attention to itself (thereby becoming a distraction) - EVEN when it is real, it's time to change it, rather than try to defend it.
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    Travis is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tegan View Post
    Quite correct. I shoot often in wet areas where the greens are extremely bright and where there are reds in the rock and dirt. Wild flowers that are also wet and shooting at dawn or toward sundown add to the richness of the colour. The houses in Québec and the Maritimes are also very brightly coloured. Put all this together with a polarizer to reduce glare and you can get some naturally very saturated colours. It can be frustrating to be accused of photoshopping saturation on an AS SHOT image.

    Tegan
    I still don't think I'm getting it...

    If a circumstance causes the colour to be more saturated than it appears I don't think it's any different than photoshopping it...

    Of course, I'm strictly speaking about the style of truthful representation (not fine art). As I mentioned earlier, when i'm taking a sunset and my camera starts to oversaturate, I don't really care if it's the JPEG algorithm or some natural atmospheric condition... the bottom line is the image does not represent what i see with my eyes... so i'll wind down the saturation to correct...

    There are also times when I don't mind some mild oversaturation and leave it in.... I think I'm more particular with setting landscapes... I could take a picture of the sun setting at my cottage every night and make it look interesting.... when really it wasn't....
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    tegan is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis View Post
    I still don't think I'm getting it...

    If a circumstance causes the colour to be more saturated than it appears I don't think it's any different than photoshopping it...
    That is a total contradiction. How can the circumstances make the colour more saturated than it appears????

    If the vegetation is a bright green colour because of the rain, mist, fog, etc. in the area, then that is how it appears and is accurate. If the setting sun makes a boat stand out from the water through lighting and rich colour, then that is also how it appears and is accurate too.

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    Travis is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tegan View Post
    That is a total contradiction. How can the circumstances make the colour more saturated than it appears????

    If the vegetation is a bright green colour because of the rain, mist, fog, etc. in the area, then that is how it appears and is accurate. If the setting sun makes a boat stand out from the water through lighting and rich colour, then that is also how it appears and is accurate too.

    Tegan

    yea... i told you... i still don't think i'm getting it...

    i think i misread your post..... the end point i'm getting at is that for me the saturation level i see on my lcd must closely reflect the saturation level i see with my own eyes during the capture...

    i thought you were talking about a environmental situation that would cause your camera to oversaturate...
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