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

TL:DR Do primary colors really exist in the real world? No. There are no primary colors of light, in fact there is no color intrinsic in light at all (or any other wavelength of electromagnetic ...
Michael C's user avatar
  • 175k
51 votes

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

This is called a color cast. As others have said, it is a result of an incorrect white-balance. Your camera is assuming that light is of a different color than it is and is compensating for that, ...
Itai's user avatar
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47 votes

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

The goal of the imaging engineer has always been to capture with the camera a faithful image of the outside world and present that image in such a way that the observer sees true to life picture. This ...
Alan Marcus's user avatar
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43 votes
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Should I shoot color or black and white 35mm film to learn photography fundamentals?

If your goal is to practice composition and work with shadows and lighting cheaply and efficiently, then you should shoot digital, not film. You will get more immediate results, and the ability to ...
scottbb's user avatar
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41 votes
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Water behind ships much bluer than rest of ocean

Is this an effect like HDR or plain photoshop (post processing)? I'd say neither. The effect is natural. The ships' propellors churn the water quite a bit, causing the wake to become aerated. This is ...
scottbb's user avatar
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40 votes
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Why don't cameras offer more than 3 colour channels? (Or do they?)

Why don't cameras offer more than 3 colour channels? It costs more to produce (producing more than one kind of anything costs more) and gives next to no (marketable) advantages over Bayer CFA. (Or ...
Euri Pinhollow's user avatar
38 votes
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How does Kelvin for color temperature relate to Kelvin for actual temperature?

It is related to a heated substance, albeit in a somewhat theoretical way. The substance is an ideal incandescent black body, which would radiate a given color within a given color space at a given ...
junkyardsparkle's user avatar
38 votes
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Should changing the shutter speed affect the moon's color?

but why i can see little bit of orange color with shutter speed 1/400 ? My best guess is that you had the camera set to automatic white balance (AWB). In the 1/200s shot, the moon was bright enough ...
Caleb's user avatar
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36 votes

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

You said, this is the information that is captured at first by digital cameras. That is not correct. By themselves, sensors on most digital cameras respond to a broad band of frequencies of light, ...
scottbb's user avatar
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33 votes
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Will a lens upgrade from the kit lens give me better colors on my backpacking travels?

"Better image quality." You use that phrase. When we say image quality in reference to comparing two lenses, we rarely are talking about anything with regard to which one is "... less dark and gives ...
Michael C's user avatar
  • 175k
28 votes

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

Wikipedia's introductory statement on color temperature relates them quite well: The color temperature of a light source is the temperature of an ideal black-body radiator that radiates light of ...
scottbb's user avatar
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27 votes

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

We ended up with RGB because they're a reasonable match to the way the three types of cones in our eyes work. But there's no particularly privileged set of wavelength choices for Red, Green, and Blue. ...
JerryTheC's user avatar
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26 votes
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Is the white balance wrong in these field poppy pictures?

What is going on? I compared both pictures of the field (left out the one with the tractor, as it suffers from the same problem as the other over-exposed picture, IMHO) in After effects. The image ...
flolilo's user avatar
  • 6,467
25 votes

Water behind ships much bluer than rest of ocean

Many navy ships intentionally inject air into their wake to obfuscate their sonar signature. See Prairie-Masker air system This added air gives the wake a light blue hue, and since the air bubbles ...
Crash Gordon's user avatar
22 votes
Accepted

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

More than a comment, less than an answer, because I have no clue what camera/lens/film... The car's registration plate sets it firmly between August 77 & July 78 - the letter is the year for old ...
Tetsujin's user avatar
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21 votes

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

Well, in order to get good results, you'll have to make the plunge into non-auto settings. I'd recommend Manual mode. The problem you're running into here is that you are pointing your camera at a ...
ElendilTheTall's user avatar
19 votes

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

A few notes from this long-time optical systems engineer. First, there are things called "hyperspectral" cameras which use gratings or equivalent to break the incoming light into dozens or ...
Carl Witthoft's user avatar
19 votes

What causes the fake colors of stars on these pictures?

I can tell 3 common reasons for weird/fake colors in astrophotography: Chromatic aberration makes some starts appear white in the center, but their borders blue or red, depending what of those two ...
vsis's user avatar
  • 1,251
18 votes

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

The colour temperature is related to the black-body radiation produced by hot objects. The black-body radiation curve, shown below, shows the approximate intensity* curves at each wavelength for the ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 405
17 votes

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

There's no one way. Personally I find digital frees me to defer choices until after the shot. Not only that but I can "discover" new interpretations of a scene with different crops, different toning,...
StephenG - Help Ukraine's user avatar
16 votes
Accepted

How can I maintain brightness in a landscape without overexposing the sky?

How can I make my shots look like this one? I added an emphasis to the question you asked, which is pretty much the answer: You make an image like that. There's no way your camera will produce an ...
null's user avatar
  • 8,514
15 votes

Photoshop's color replacement tool changes to grey (instead of white) — how can I change a grey background to pure white?

Graphic Design Stack Exchange: How to cut how hair accurately Advanced hair extraction tutorial First off, plugins and simpler methods are available. This is if you want to get higher quality results. ...
RyanFromGDSE's user avatar
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15 votes
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What's it called when white objects or white backgrounds become blue in photographs?

Your camera, for whatever reason, is setting the color temperature and white balance at different points for the two images. That gives it what we often call a color cast, tint, or hue which simply ...
Michael C's user avatar
  • 175k
15 votes
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What colour scheme for model aircraft should I use to give a realistic black and white film photo?

I would not worry overmuch about the color schemes. Two reasons: the emulsions you mention (Bergger and HP5+) are panchromatic, in both cases with rather decent color rendition your scenes will ...
Jindra Lacko's user avatar
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14 votes

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

RGB camera sensors are so popular because they reproduce human vision That's what most people need - making photos that look like what we see. Replacing RGB subpixels with more different kinds of ...
szulat's user avatar
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14 votes
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Why does flash make a brass subject look grey?

My assumption is that the auto white balance took over. The image, because you took the photo pretty close is dark everywhere except the brass. If the auto white balance is turned on, the warm tint of ...
Rafael's user avatar
  • 24.5k
13 votes

Why are the color spaces we have access to incomplete?

First Question If all colors are combinations of red, green and blue, and my monitor's pixels use all three, why is its color space limited to so small a portion of the actual complete color space? ...
2012rcampion's user avatar
13 votes
Accepted

Photoshop's color replacement tool changes to grey (instead of white) — how can I change a grey background to pure white?

The color replacement tool isn't working for you because its default mode is "Color", which changes hue and saturation, but not luminosity (brightness/value). That's why you get the blue or the gray→...
mattdm's user avatar
  • 143k
13 votes

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

The reason cameras and displays work in RGB is because our retinas work that way. Since our eyes encode colors with those components (RGB), it is a very convenient system (although certainly not the ...
heltonbiker's user avatar

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