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Thread: Color Management Question

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    Alis's Avatar
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    Color Management Question

    I have been getting comments that my pictures have too much cyan or magenta from time to time. While I was processing one of them the other day, I just selected cyan in PS and decreased the saturation a bit to get rid of the excess color. When I look at them on the monitor, I do not notice anything as a result of doing this or when I do the same thing with magenta.

    Since I print them online later, my question is should I be concerned about this?

    Thanks!

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    Re: Color Management Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Alis View Post
    I have been getting comments that my pictures have too much cyan or magenta from time to time. While I was processing one of them the other day, I just selected cyan in PS and decreased the saturation a bit to get rid of the excess color. When I look at them on the monitor, I do not notice anything as a result of doing this or when I do the same thing with magenta.

    Since I print them online later, my question is should I be concerned about this?

    Thanks!
    Can you post that photograph here ?

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    Re: Color Management Question

    Hi Ali,

    You need to work out if a colour cast is really there (and thus needs correction) or if it's a monitor issue.

    Auto white-balance usually does a pretty good job, but it can usually be improved upon on most occasions ... so using something like a gray card / Whibal / Expodisk is essential for ACCURATE colour. Secondly, if you're going to evaluate colour then it's ESSENTIAL to work from a calibrated and profiled monitor. Not sure if you have something like a Spyder III at all?

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    Re: Color Management Question

    Quote Originally Posted by ashwin View Post
    Can you post that photograph here ?
    Hi Ashwin,

    One of them was the one on the nSCP thread, my son on the bike, that you edited and posted side by side.

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    Re: Color Management Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hi Ali,

    You need to work out if a colour cast is really there (and thus needs correction) or if it's a monitor issue.

    Auto white-balance usually does a pretty good job, but it can usually be improved upon on most occasions ... so using something like a gray card / Whibal / Expodisk is essential for ACCURATE colour. Secondly, if you're going to evaluate colour then it's ESSENTIAL to work from a calibrated and profiled monitor. Not sure if you have something like a Spyder III at all?
    Hi Colin,

    As far as I can tell, there is a color cast, I just was surprised that when I click on an area on the picture with the eyedropper in CS4 and it picks cyan for example and I desaturate, nothing much happens to the rest of the picture. Same thing for magenta. That is why I thought may be I don't see any change from desaturating these two because they are not really the monitor colors and may be I will see the effect when I print those pictures. Looks like it even reduces the noise a bit.

    I am using Spyder III and my monitor is calibrated but not profiled, as I print them online, at Mpix.com.

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    Re: Color Management Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Alis View Post
    Hi Ashwin,

    One of them was the one on the nSCP thread, my son on the bike, that you edited and posted side by side.
    Hi Ali,

    Here is the photograph corrected by me

    Color Management Question

    And here is the close up view of face from this photograph, which clearly shows that there is Cyan cast.

    Now you select Colour Balance ( Ctrl + b ) on window
    select Highlight - In the colour level Box - in the 1st Box which is for Cyan/Red make it +7 and in the last box that is for yellow/Blue make it - 12 click OK and see the result

    Color Management Question

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    Re: Color Management Question

    Hi Ali,

    Colin will not agree with me the way I am doing, as I rely more on my Judgement and my eyes, while Colin RELY ON proper method and the proper technique. My monitor is not properly calibrated, yet I get COLOUR of my Final Prints as I see them on my monitor.

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    Re: Color Management Question

    Quote Originally Posted by ashwin View Post
    Hi Ali,

    Colin will not agree with me the way I am doing, as I rely more on my Judgement and my eyes, while Colin RELY ON proper method and the proper technique. My monitor is not properly calibrated, yet I get COLOUR of my Final Prints as I see them on my monitor.
    Hi Ashwin,

    At the end of the day, doing it "by eye" isn't "wrong"; if you get the desired result then the end clearly justifies the means - but in many ways it's a bit like trying to judge your speed when your driving without looking at the speedo - or cutting a piece of timber "by eye" without using a ruler ... some will be better at it than others, and even those who are good at it will be better some days and worse other days - whereas when one does it using a spectrally neutral reference then they get accurate, repeatable results everytime. So no "right or wrong", but I certainly know which I prefer.

    When I first set myself up for colour management I did a little test with a collegue (who shoots weddings for a job, so I'd like to think that he knows a correct skintone when he sees it); I had him take a shot of me holding a gray card - on my PC I then mucked up the white balance and have him adjust it by eye for accurate skin tones - and we then used the eyedropper to see how far out he was. Unfortunately it was too long ago for me to be able to quantify the result, but I remember his effort being "in the ball park, but not particularly accurate". The moment we hit the gray card with the WB eyedropper we could immediately see a distictive change for the better.

    So if people want to risk their reputations based on judgement by eye then that's entirely up to them - but if they can't get it right then I'd suggest that the first thing they do is abandon that approach and do it scientifically.

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    Re: Color Management Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Alis View Post
    As far as I can tell, there is a color cast, I just was surprised that when I click on an area on the picture with the eyedropper in CS4 and it picks cyan for example and I desaturate, nothing much happens to the rest of the picture. Same thing for magenta. That is why I thought may be I don't see any change from desaturating these two because they are not really the monitor colors and may be I will see the effect when I print those pictures. Looks like it even reduces the noise a bit.
    Hi Ali,

    I think you're putting the cart before the horse with this approach. For your type of shooting (outdoors, candid) an Expodisk would be perfect ... you can use it to set a custom white balance quickly - and as an added benefit you can use it for nailing manual exposures too if you wish. That way you won't have to make any adjustments at all in PP to your WB. Only other option is a gray card.

    I am using Spyder III and my monitor is calibrated but not profiled, as I print them online, at Mpix.com.
    Not quite. Calibration is the adjustment of the monitors controls to get it as close as possible to what's needed and then the profile kicks in to tweak it to perfection. It's a bit like having a correction card for your car's speedo (most over-read by about 5km/hr @ 100km/hr for liability reasons) - if you could adjust your speedo mechanically (calibration) then the corrections required on a correction card (profile) would be smaller which (for technical reasons) is moderately beneficial. So your monitor is profiled, but probably isn't calibrated.

    Sounds like you should re-check the profile though -- it's possible that someone has played with the settings on the monitor so it may need to be redone.

    My guess is that your probably just relying on in-camera Auto WB which just isn't close enough now that your developing a more descerning eye for this type of thing.

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    Re: Color Management Question

    Hi Colin,

    Thank you for your detailed comments. I fully agree with what you are saying. But still I can say with full confidance and my PRACTICLE EXPERIANCE and the long Discussion I had with Fuji People that If you have good judgement of colours, you can do very good work in colour correction effortlessly. There is no trial and error method, as you are constantly monitoring the changes on your computer monitor.

    Besides all the RIGHT STEPS SUGGESTED BY YOU, there are other factors also which have to be considered to get proper colour balance.

    I am in no way suggesting Ali, or any other persons not to follow right procedures. But just helping them to achieve desired good result, with explanation as to how I had done the same.

    I have noted your initial trouble in getting proper white balance. I had face many such problems and solved them.

    I think I should share my practicle experiance and the guidance I got in PHOTOKINA about colour management, but this is quite lengthy, one day I will share it with you by PM.

    Hope this will help you in guiding here in forum
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 17th April 2010 at 08:04 AM.

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    Re: Color Management Question

    Quote Originally Posted by ashwin View Post
    Hi Ali,

    And here is the close up view of face from this photograph, which clearly shows that there is Cyan cast.

    Now you select Colour Balance ( Ctrl + b ) on window
    select Highlight - In the colour level Box - in the 1st Box which is for Cyan/Red make it +7 ( THIS EFFECTIVELY REDUCES CYAN ( BLUE - GREEN MAKES CYAN ) BY 7 %

    and in the last box that is for yellow/Blue make it -12 ( THIS EFFECTIVELY REDUCES BLUE BY 12 % )

    click OK and see the result

    Color Management Question
    Hi Ali,

    Did you find this Helpful ?

  12. #12
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    Re: Color Management Question

    Quote Originally Posted by ashwin View Post
    And here is the close up view of face from this photograph, which clearly shows that there is Cyan cast.
    Hi Ashwin,

    I did not disagree on the presence of the cast. I was, in my own weird way of framing questions, wondering if what I do with those sliders (only moving toward disaturation) would be visible on print since I did not see that much side effect from doing that (too much of it) on the monitor.

  13. #13
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    Re: Color Management Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hi Ali,

    I think you're putting the cart before the horse with this approach. For your type of shooting (outdoors, candid) an Expodisk would be perfect ... you can use it to set a custom white balance quickly - and as an added benefit you can use it for nailing manual exposures too if you wish. That way you won't have to make any adjustments at all in PP to your WB. Only other option is a gray card.



    Not quite. Calibration is the adjustment of the monitors controls to get it as close as possible to what's needed and then the profile kicks in to tweak it to perfection. It's a bit like having a correction card for your car's speedo (most over-read by about 5km/hr @ 100km/hr for liability reasons) - if you could adjust your speedo mechanically (calibration) then the corrections required on a correction card (profile) would be smaller which (for technical reasons) is moderately beneficial. So your monitor is profiled, but probably isn't calibrated.

    Sounds like you should re-check the profile though -- it's possible that someone has played with the settings on the monitor so it may need to be redone.

    My guess is that your probably just relying on in-camera Auto WB which just isn't close enough now that your developing a more descerning eye for this type of thing.
    Thanks a lot, Colin. I think I have misunderstood the difference between profiling and calibrating. I think I am going to do two things: buy a WB card and also read that Color Management book I have been keeping in the library

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    Re: Color Management Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Alis View Post
    Thanks a lot, Colin. I think I have misunderstood the difference between profiling and calibrating. I think I am going to do two things: buy a WB card and also read that Color Management book I have been keeping in the library
    No worries Ali,

    In all honesty though, I think that for your style of shooting, an Expodisk would work well. If you haven't seen them, you just pop them in front of your lens - point the lens towards the light source - take a shot - and then quickly set a custom white balance (you can also use them to set the exposure). They don't really work that crash-hot with flash, but for outside shots where you can't get your subject to hold a gray card they work well.

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