Natural light photographer, I thrive on these fleeting moments where the love, joy, or soul shows. My artistic background is always showing through my photography work. You will get the more formal portraits, they are after all, what we are looking for at first . But beyond that, candid moments, soulful mood, unexpected places is also what I want to bring out... I hope you'll like my photographic vision...
Isabelle ♥

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Do you love red?

How do you manage your red exposure without losing detail and keep the vibrant, true red color?

You have two options, either you do it "in camera" or afterwards in your editing software.

If you choose to do it "in camera" then you have to select the RGB histogram and watch that red channel, make sure it's balanced.
It's an easy method. The luminosity histogram will tell you if the exposure in general is correct, but you won't see the balanced colors.
It may come in handy if you know you have a red subject to shoot.

If you decided not to bother with "in camera" settings, and find your reds have lost detail or look washed out, or too warm, then your editing software will correct the final look of your image. BUT, if there is too much clipping, you will still end up with a loss in detail.

Use the Selective Color command and select the red color, then adjust until the histogram in your software shows the reds to be balanced, or when you are pleased with the final look of it.

Here are three photos I took of a red subject. I decided that exposing the reds wasn't enough of a challenge so I added white china, what was I thinking? :)

The first one was taken outside, natural light, in the shade. The red is just a little too pink for me. Watch that sun, it warms up the reds a lot!
The two following were done in controlled lighting conditions (studio). I find the reds being more true to their original colors. The white china shows a burnt spot where the light hits the rim, but I can live with that. Those shots are basically SOOC, raw to jpeg conversion and resized for web only.

So, go out and shoot those red tulips and poppies! Red is calling you!


Johnna Riddell May 4, 2010 at 7:28 a.m.  

Before "realizing" what I was actually doing with my camera... I never thought a color would be a challenge, but now-a-days, red is the worst...
I love red but like you mentioned, it's so hard to get those true-to-life reds...
Wonderful tips here and WOW I love that tulip on white china. You're awesome!!


Sylvia May 4, 2010 at 4:45 p.m.  

How did you know red has always been the most difficult for me? I've never done the in camera exposure correction, I'll have to try on of these days!

Karin A May 5, 2010 at 1:17 p.m.  

So interesting to read this. :) I've always found reds and yellow particularly hard to photograph. Thanks for sharing. Have a wonderful day! xo

Sharon (30yrs later) May 6, 2010 at 9:43 p.m.  

Thanks for the mini-tutorial; I have some begonia images I am going to re-visit. I LOVE the tulip in the white cup, Isabelle!


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