Color Correction and Enhancement

What is Color Temperature?

Different light sources produce light at different color temperatures. For example, while an incandescent light bulb in your table lamp will give off a warm light at 2800-3200 degrees Kelvin, the sun gives off a blueish light at around 5000-5600 degrees Kelvin. Cloudy days and fluorescent bulbs produce still more color temperatures and if one has more than one interacting at a time (say a fluorescent-lit kitchen with sunlight streaming through the windows), you can have a number of different colors of light in a single shot. A professional photographer’s job is to be mindful of these differences in color temperature and come up with solutions to potential problems while shooting.

Digital Color Correction

Traditional point-and-shoot cameras automatically select the light which it thinks should appear as “white” and makes a jpeg out of the scene, ready for you to use. Professional cameras have the ability to shoot in a “raw” mode which allows the photographer to interpret the color afterwards. So if a shot is interpreted too “orange,” the color temperature reference point can be adjusted to make all the color in the shot consistent with the light source–and the orange cast turns white. This is more than taking the orange out of a shot as one could do with basic photo tools, it is reinterpreting the light which fell onto its chip. This means that not only is orange (in this case) taken out, but the true colors are restored.  Having the ability to digitally adjust color temperature in post production, we can compensate for slight shifts in color temperature within a shot or from one shot to another (such as with changes in cloud cover while shooting outdoors). Additionally we can make stylistic changes: if a cozy cabin feels too cold, we can increase the color temperature to create a warmer feel in the image. Likewise, lamps blasting yellow/orange light can be cooled down to appear white.

Color Enhancement

Beyond color temperature, we are able to isolate specific color ranges and make targeted adjustments which will bring out the blue in a sky, or the green in a lawn, or the oranges, purples and reds of a stunning sunet. Color enhancement can be a simple way to make the most of a photo. We perform basic color enhancement on all our photography. Additionally, colors can be manipulated in dramatic, complex, and creative ways–from creating dramatic black-and-whites to color shifts such as making a yellow lawn a little greener or pulling the sepia tone out of an aging photo.  We also offer color enhancements and manipulation to existing photos. While the quality of our services largely depends on the quality of the existing file or photo, we can usually dramatically enhance any image. Contact us for pricing and details.

Too warm

Too cool

Just right