Sunset in Kruger

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I'm reading through a book on color correction, and the RGB waveform display seems like a great approach to fixing up the coloring not just in video, but on still images as well. However, I see photo-editing software such as Photoshop and Gimp do not have these. You have to use Apple Color, Adobe Premiere, and other video-focused applications if you want to use this features. Why not it should be applied for still images too?

(from Scott Danzig via Quora)

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3 Answers 3

RGB parade is used in a different form with certain types of RGB histograms (they are overlayed). A parade is less useful for telling the differences between colors but easier to quickly tell them apart. This is most critical with video because it is a constantly changing image.

Vectorscopes are a similar thing, they are used for determining if you have proper broadcast color and analyzing color balance. Since photos aren't used for broadcast, a vectorscope has less meaning and again, you are mostly looking at changes over time. Since photos are still images, they are less useful.

You still could use one if you wanted to in theory if it was what you are more comfortable with, but in general, the information is less useful than the tools designed to work with still images.

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One of my favorite correction programs is http://3dlutcreator.com/. You can correct images in it or save out LuTs for video correction. It has a amazing palette of color tools for visualizing and changing color Photoshop only dreams of.

I'm quite disappointed with Photoshop's color correction tools too. In the end it comes down to mainly masks, hue/sat and curves. You can quickly get odd looking results doing corrections in rgb mode. LuT creator has color modes that I didn't even hear of so far and just work and tools that are amazing for altering color.

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Actually, the open source program DarkTable has a waveform display. I've been involved in video editing for years, and I agree that it's also a useful display for photos. It's an impressive program.

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