Questions tagged [color]

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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82
votes
8answers
38k 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 "...
56
votes
7answers
25k views

Why are Red, Green, and Blue the primary colors of light?

Colors don't have to be a mixture of red, green, and blue because visible light can be any wavelengths in the 390nm-700nm range. Do primary colors really exist in the real world? Or did we select red, ...
48
votes
8answers
16k views

Why do we use RGB instead of wavelengths to represent colours?

As we know, the colour of a particular beam of light depends on its frequency (or wavelength). Also, isn't that the information which is first captured by digital cameras? Then, why do we use formats ...
41
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5answers
8k views

Why don't cameras offer more than 3 colour channels? (Or do they?)

Currently, most (all?) commercially available cameras capture light in three colour channels: red, green and blue. It seems to me that it would be very useful to have a camera with a greater spectral ...
36
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8answers
8k 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 ...
35
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3answers
3k views

Should changing the shutter speed affect the moon's color?

I just took two moon photos: one at shutter speed= 1/400 and the other at 1/200. Both @200mm, f/8, 100 ISO I can understand with a higher shutter speed less light will enter into camera sensor, ...
34
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8answers
17k 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 ?
33
votes
5answers
8k views

How does Kelvin for color temperature relate to Kelvin for actual temperature?

Color doesn't have actual temperature. Try putting a blue square and a red square up on your monitor and hold a thermometer against both regions. If you find that there's a difference, you're doing it ...
33
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6answers
3k 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 the ...
31
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4answers
8k 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 ...
30
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3answers
4k 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 / ...
29
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3answers
7k views

What's it called when white objects or white backgrounds become blue in photographs?

Sometimes when I take photos with my smartphone, the white objects or the white backgrounds become blue. Most of the time it happens when the location is a bit shadowed, but sometimes it happens in ...
29
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3answers
14k 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 ...
28
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7answers
2k 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 ...
27
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9answers
21k 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 ...
26
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3answers
8k 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 ...
26
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5answers
17k 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 ...
26
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4answers
2k 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 ...
21
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3answers
3k 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 ...
20
votes
13answers
7k views

Do photographers see ambiguity in the color of the blue/black (gold/white) dress?

Okay, so, this has taken the Internet by storm today... You've probably seen it and lots of commentary. Apparently, many people see this as gold and white; to me, it's unambiguously blue. There are a ...
20
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11answers
50k 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 ...
20
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3answers
3k views

Why don't mainstream sensors use CYM filters instead of RGB?

From what I understand most digital cameras have a sensor where each pixel-sensor has three sub-sensors, each one with an R,G and B filter. RGB is obviously the more fundamental colour model since it ...
20
votes
4answers
8k views

How do I shoot birds against the sky to be faithful to their colour?

I have a Nikon D5300, and a host of hawks flying around near where I live. I have two lenses: an AF-S Nikkor 18-55mm VR (1:3.5-5.6GII), and an AF Nikkor 70-300mm (1:4-5.6G). The latter is excellent ...
20
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4answers
48k 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 ...
20
votes
1answer
16k 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 ...
19
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4answers
6k views

What causes the fake colors of stars on these pictures?

About two years ago I was at a spot with a beautiful night sky with no moon so I tried to get some pictures of the sky. I wasn't well equipped back then, I had a 35mm f1.8 lens and Nikon D50. I didn't ...
19
votes
5answers
255k 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
18
votes
4answers
5k views

Are RGB numeric values equal to CMYK percentages?

are RGB numeric values equal to CMYK percentages?
18
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
17
votes
8answers
6k views

Why don't color spaces use up the entire color spectrum?

Take a look at the CIE 1931 chromaticity diagram shown with the sRGB color space gamut. Why are certain colors intentionally left out of color spaces, like you see below? Why not just include all the ...
17
votes
5answers
11k 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 ...
17
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8answers
2k views

Is there any point in photographing directly to black & white? [duplicate]

As opposed to photographing in colour, then having all the freedom to edit it afterwards?
17
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1answer
1k 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. I’m intrigued by the possibilities of the high ISO range and how far Lightroom and Aperture (I use each of them) can ...
17
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...
16
votes
8answers
3k views

Help for a film shooter: how to cope with the paradox of choice?

So I've always shot film, and it was great because of the constraints it placed on color: you shoot 36 consecutive exposures with a particular feel, and if you don't like to results, deal with it ...
16
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5answers
7k 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
1k views

What colour scheme for model aircraft should I use to give a realistic black and white film photo?

I very much doubt I'm the only person here who has wanted to do this, and I'm hoping that some advice can be sought before I start on this project. I have been a big fan of model building since I was ...
15
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5answers
6k views

Water behind ships much bluer than rest of ocean

On Wikipedia I have found the following image: The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) destroyer JDS Kongō (DDG 173) sails in formation with other JMSDF ships and ships assigned to the USS ...
15
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6answers
2k 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, ...
15
votes
5answers
15k 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. ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

What techniques were used in this late 1970s car ad featuring a family picnicking with giraffes?

Judging from the registration number, I am guessing it is a commercial poster for/in the UK. I would like to know, any additional information: who photographed it, location, when? how it might have ...
15
votes
9answers
19k 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 ...
15
votes
5answers
1k views

What color combinations indicate that a photo represents the future?

Black and white or sepia-toned photographs can be used to represent the past — or faded color-shifts for prints from the 1970s or 1980s. Which color or color combination can we use for the future?
15
votes
6answers
2k views

How to decide whether a portrait should be in color or black and white?

How to decide whether a portrait should be in color or black and white? I'm particularly concerned with "headshot" style portraits, showing primarily the subject's face. On what basis should it be ...
14
votes
7answers
4k 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
7k views

What is the difference or relation between a Color Model and a Color Space?

What is the exact relation or difference between a color model and a color space? I find these two terms to be used interchangeably in some literature. Are they simply the same? Thanks!
13
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
1k 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) ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

Why does flash make a brass subject look grey?

I wanted to take a photo of some items I'd turned on a lathe, and lined them up. Photo was taken with an older samsung android phone, so absolutely nothing fancy. There are no filters enabled, the ...

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