Can color accuracy be increased? Yes. In many ways. Targets like gray cards and color checkers can help to a limited degree; they’re useful in idealized lighting situations (5000K) but not others (the gray card isn’t gray in the ‘golden hours’ – it’s golden). Add ambient light readings (amount, temperature, spectral distribution) for more precision. Written observations on site about colors and color relationships can help too, if the language used to describe color is precise. (I recommend LHS.) And, onsite verification and adjustment; compare the image made with the subject at the time of capture.

Find out more in my downloads , DVDs, and workshops.

A precise language for color (LHS)(Luminosity-Hue-Saturation) can increase not only the precision of color communication but also color observations. There are too many flavors of RGB and CMYK. Lab takes too much calculation. But LSH is a great language conceptually (and you see it in the interfaces of Lightroom and Photoshop). Luminosity and Saturation are both specified on a scale of 1-100. On a scale of 1-10 (10 high) how light or saturated is a given color? Now multiply by 10. Simple. Hue is more challenging because it’s plotted as a color wheel or circle with 360 degrees. 0 is cherry red. Add 30 degrees to the next color family (30 is orange, 60 is yellow, 90 is yellow green, 180 is cyan, etc). Learn this one variable and you’ve got a new language for color which is precise and simple enough to use. (Or you can memorize all the numbers in the Pantone swatchbook.) You can quickly learn to specify these numbers within plus or minus 10%. That’s a lot more accurate than linguistic observations. What color is mauve? How green is seafoam? You’ll also find that better language leads to better perception. Learn this language and you’ll begin to see color more precisely.

Want proof? The color above is 50/0/100 in LHS.
Now go mix that color in Photoshop.
Enter the values into the Color Picker in the HSB field.

Find out more in my downloads , DVDs, and workshops.

A lot of photographers set an objective to match color the way they remember it. But how reliable is their color memory? Not very.

Try this. Look at this color. Then hide it. Mix it in Photoshop. Then compare your results with the original. Were you too light or dark, warm or cool, saturated or desaturated? Do this with 50 different colors and you’ll start to be able to identify consistent errors, which indicates your color tendencies and preferences.

Find out more in my downloads , DVDs, and workshops.

See the results my workshop students generated this week. Read more

M blg s s ystrdy.
If you can translate this you’ve been spending too much time microblogging.

I’m on Twitter here.
I’m on Facebook here.
My Alumni Facebook group is here.

Sally Mann

April 26, 2009 | 1 Comment |

Echoing Joseph Campbell’s “Follow your bliss.” Sally Mann recommends you photograph what you love.


April 25, 2009 | Leave a Comment |

“The stunning presences, within the series Allies, reminiscent of Native American totem poles, African sculpture, or Hindu figurines, had been pursuing me for months. There were, and still are, dozens waiting to find homes. While the majority of the images I had created featured solitary figures, I was drawn to explore the effects of many within a single image — group dynamics …  Most leading actors need supporting actors, all save the soloist need accompaniment. But, when supporting actors compete with main actors, the thrust of the drama is confused …”

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