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Color is the human perception of light as having different hue, from reds and oranges, through yellows and greens, to blues and violets. Color is a fundamental aspect of the arts and photography.

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68
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6answers
12k views

Do fluorescent lighting and shutter speed create a problem with color cast?

I took a bunch of photos at my son's martial arts club using a D90 with a 50mm F1.8. The club is lit with overhead fluorescent lighting, and I was getting some weird results where some shots are ...
30
votes
8answers
7k views

What's the difference between Adobe RGB and sRGB and which should I set in my camera?

In my Canon 60D, there's a setting between Adobe RGB and sRGB. What's the difference and what should I prefer when shooting to RAW ?
29
votes
6answers
2k views

How can knowledge of human perception of color be used in photography?

How does the human vision system perceive color, and how can/should this be taken into account when taking and post-processing photographs (both in color and in black and white)? The bit above is ...
26
votes
7answers
1k views

Is it possible to be color-blind and still be a good photographer?

Is it possible to be colour-blind (or color-blind, in the US) and still be a good photographer? Are there any steps one can take to mitigate the effects of colour-blindness? Can you point me to any ...
26
votes
3answers
3k views

Why is the blue channel the noisiest?

It is widely observed that the blue channel in digital cameras is the noisiest. I've certainly noticed that with my camera. Why is this? Is it an artifact of some particular technology (e.g. Bayer ...
24
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the meaning of “white balance”?

I would like to understand the term white balance. My camera has settings for white balance with the following options: Auto white balance Daylight Cloudy Shade Flash Incandescent lights White set1 ...
23
votes
7answers
2k views

Why are there no dark yellows, or bright violets?

In his book The Photographer's Eye, photographer and author Michael Freeman says: Another consideration is relative brightness. Different hues are perceived as having different light values, with ...
23
votes
2answers
5k views

What do Hue, Chroma, Saturation, Value, Tones, Tints, Shade, etc. mean?

I've read several online tutorials about color theory but I'm still confused about how to "visually" catch color concepts and use them efficiently. The only thing I seem to understand is "hue" which ...
21
votes
2answers
5k views

How do I get good colors when taking pictures in the city at night?

I'm very interested in doing night time shootings. I'm using Canon 5d3 with 85mm at f/1.2, and at iso 2000 I'm able to get exposure times around 1/150s-1/200s. However, the lighting in my city ...
21
votes
4answers
1k views

Is the Zone System useful with a DSLR?

The Zone System was originally used with B&W film photography. With colour digital photography, though, couldn't you get much the same results by keeping an eye on the histogram? I think I might ...
18
votes
4answers
6k views

Is there an equivalent to Adobe's “Vibrance” in Gimp?

See: What's the difference between saturation and vibrance in Lightroom? In a nutshell, Adobe's Vibrance is a "smart" color adjustment that increases saturation selectively, leaving skin tones ...
17
votes
10answers
13k views

What is the best background color to use when displaying images?

A group of people and I are creating scientific posters for a conference. The posters will be displaying multiple 5x7 photos. There is minimal text on the poster. With that being said, what ...
17
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2answers
797 views

Why do I see this yellow color shift at high ISOs and fast shutter speeds? [duplicate]

I recently purchased a full-frame DSLR with a reported highest ISO of 204,800. Iā€™m intrigued by the possibilities of the high ISO range and how far Lightroom and Aperture (I use each of them) can ...
17
votes
5answers
19k views

How many colors and shades can the human eye distinguish in a single scene?

How many distinct colors, shades, hues, and tints can the average person distinguish in a single scene? In other words, what's the theoretical bit-depth required to be sure of recording a photograph ...
17
votes
3answers
774 views

How much of a difference do different color spaces make?

How much of a difference does it make to use one of the extended colorspaces vs. the normal sRGB? And what difference does it make? Are there situations where it is not important, and conversely are ...
15
votes
5answers
6k views

How can I make colorful, “saturated” photos like this example?

This may not be the best example but I liked the colors and angle. I have seen lot of similar photos. They look very colorful but not overdone (does it have any technical term) . Any suggestions for ...
15
votes
3answers
909 views

How do color spaces like sRGB and Adobe RGB overlap?

Is sRGB included in Adobe RGB, and Adobe RGB included in ProPhoto RGB? Meaning that a photo in a "lower space" will look like exactly the same in a "higher space", e.g. a sRGB photo will look like ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Why not use a camera as a colorimeter?

Clearly to achieve reliable results, it is essential to calibrate key parts of the imaging pipeline - particularly the computer display on which images are edited. Few seem to question the ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Are RGB numeric values equal to CMYK percentages?

are RGB numeric values equal to CMYK percentages?
14
votes
1answer
409 views

Why do pictures of fire come out purple?

When I'm taking pictures of my log fire the flames and embers come out in rich shades of purple rather than red. I've tweaked everything I can on my camera; white balance, metering, ISO, exposure, but ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

Does black and white photography still make sense?

I think at first it was because of a limitation of the cameras present at the time, but with the color cameras that we have available now, what do you think of black and white photos? In other words, ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

How does the colour of ambient lighting affect colour rendition?

How does the colour of ambient lighting affect colour rendition? For example: If I stand under a sodium-vapour (orange) streetlight and calibrate my camera's white balance, what effect would this ...
13
votes
5answers
3k views

What is the major factor that makes colors in photos very vivid?

Once you have a good enough camera, what are the other major factors that makes some of the photo very vivid? For example, looking at the following picture, the colors are vivid. If I take the same ...
13
votes
9answers
13k views

Why is Aperture changing the color of my RAW photos?

For some strange reason, Aperture 3 seems to shift the colors of the raw images, after importing them. For example, the reds become washed out and something not red. In the following example, the red ...
13
votes
3answers
644 views

How would I go about using my SLR to measure the 'greenness' of a photo?

Background My digital pictures can be read into a computer program like Matlab or R as a m x n x 3 matrix where m x n is the number of pixels observed by each of the three (red, green, and blue) ...
12
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the function of the tint slider in Lightroom?

In Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (c) there's a Temp slider which controls the color temperature of the photo. To the left it creates a blue, cold looking image. To the right, an orange, warm image. This ...
12
votes
8answers
536 views

How to set tint if one is colour blind?

How should someone with red-green deficiency in colour vision set tint in Lightroom or other post-processing tools?? Are there any external tools (other than asking someone) that say whether white ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

How can I keep skin color from coming out too red in prints?

I've noticed lately that subjects with darker skin, especially brown hues, tend to come out with lots of red in prints. When shooting against red or brown backgrounds, this effect is significantly ...
11
votes
4answers
394 views

What are ways of improving aerial photos?

When taking photos from a plane, what are ways of improving the quality of your photos? I've noticed two main issues: When photographing through the plane window, you'll often get reflection and ...
11
votes
1answer
346 views

Why are the red light and its hood in my image colored different than they were in reality?

I took this image in a train station with shutter speed 1/8 second and AV mode, the aperture was chosen to be 4.5. The problem in the colors of the spotlight in the right corner of the image. In the ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

How do I get this “Washed out” effect for street photography?

I was browsing an unrelated question here and noticed this photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sparth/5730541580/lightbox/ I've seen countless street-photography shots with this kind of color effect ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

Recommended clothing colours for portraits?

What colour of clothing do you recommend your clients wear during a portrait photo session? I recently completed an urban photo shoot where the colour of my client's dress gave an odd cast to some of ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the difference between black and white film and color film?

What is the difference between black and white film and color film? How does color film record color? Is it like black and white film with something more, or is it entirely different?
10
votes
4answers
888 views

Why does the red area in this photo look very un-natural?

I was looking through some photos I took at RAF Cosford a few weeks ago, and noticed this big red area (it's a large door surround on the floor below) In the photoshop RAW preview, it looked almost ...
10
votes
1answer
418 views

What special properties does 18% gray color have in photography? [duplicate]

I keep seeing 18% gray color backgrounds being used in different areas of photography. What's special about it, why 18% and not 17 or 19?
9
votes
4answers
955 views

Are there written guides or rules of thumb for setting color saturation, clarity, vibrance, etc. in post-processing (or in general)?

This isn't another "how do I get a picture to look like such-and-such-link-inserted-here in LR" question. There's a saturation (no pun intended) of these questions here. Interesting, but not general ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

Why do my photos looked washed out when using my telephoto lens?

I own an aging Nikon D40 and recently picked up a new telephoto lens: the Nikkor 55mm-300mm f/4.5-5.6. I've noticed that when I zoom in on subjects, the color in my photos often looks washed out. Here ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

What's the difference between colour space and bit depth?

I know that there are different types of colour space and that sRGB is the most common. Bit depth defines the variations of a colour channel, where (I think) 8 and/or 16 bits are the most common. ...
9
votes
4answers
11k views

What is the difference between halftoning and dithering?

As I understand it, halftoning is the process of taking an image with a given color range (as defined by the colorspace) and blending the colors to form an image with a smaller range of colors. How ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

Why do bright red flowers end up without details?

With our DSLR, indoor flowers come out detailed. Outdoor violet and blue flowers are detailed, too. But outdoor bright red flowers give us problems. They come out as a single flat detail-less spot. ...
9
votes
3answers
48k views

How do I select all pixels that match an exact color value in Adobe Photoshop?

Is there any way to select all pixels on the current layer that match a specific color value exactly? My first instinct is Select > Color Range..., but I cannot determine how to input a specific ...
9
votes
3answers
810 views

How does color affect auto-focus?

I've noticed that the subject color seems to affect auto-focus, and am curious if I am just imagining this, or if there is a reason for it. For instance, I shoot a lot of figure skaters, and ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Why are gels used for digital photography?

What is the purpose of color-adjusting light sources with gels in digital photography? Are they reserved exclusively for scenarios in which one wants different colors from different lights? I assume ...
8
votes
6answers
3k views

How do pros manage to make the color green so bright in their nature photographs?

I am an amateur photographer, I had a question how do professional photographers manage to make the green color so bright in their images. For example: ...
8
votes
4answers
4k views

How is the YCbCr color space represented in a JPEG image?

I know that a 24 bit image dedicates 8 bit each for R, G and B. Is it just for RGB color space. In YCbCr color space for a 24 bit JPEG image, how are the bits distributed?
8
votes
3answers
388 views

What is the significance of the word “Color” in the names of some older lenses?

This seems closely related to How does a lens affect the saturation of a picture?. Some older lenses I've seen contain the word "Color" in the name, such as Color-Yashinon and Color-Skopar (the ...
8
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3answers
343 views

How did Matt Grum color correct the images in “Why is the Fluorescent filter for a flash green?”?

I saw in another question - "Why is the Fluorescent filter for a flash green?" - that Matt Grum had amazingly color corrected two images and would love to know how. Of course, all are invited to ...
8
votes
2answers
875 views

Why are sensors less sensitive to blue light?

This is a followup question to Why is the blue channel the noisiest?. The simple answer to that question is that sensors are less sensitive to blue, and therefore require more amplification, which ...
8
votes
1answer
399 views

Is the use of coloured lighting in industrial photography a bit… Passée?

I have been asked to do some photography around an aerospace engineering company, they make parts for planes basically. Having looked at their previous imagery stash, taken i think 2003 ish, the ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

Do colors always come out bland when shooting in RAW format?

I shoot all my pictures in RAW format and every time during post processing I need to tinker with the saturation because the color comes out bland. I do realize that changing camera saturation level ...