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Dieselstation Car Forums > Multimedia > Photography
Brent B
Hello all. I don't mean to clutter up the forum with a thread that may need to be placed elsewhere, buuuut...

When I am editing a set of photos, I have a hard time getting them to look consistent--tonal and color-wise. I've read in the past on sites like Sean K's blog about how he saves color correction for the end of the edits, but idk. Somehow overall the photos don't look consistent. I really love how Frederic S's latest TechArt Porsche set was just so consistent; to me it's very difficult to achieve that level of consistency for multiple photos when each of them takes at least one or two hours to edit. Can you guys share a few ideas to help me out here or send me off in the right direction?

Also, I feel this is somewhat related... do you guys use Nik Software or similar plugins/programs? I know a few guys do, but what are your opinions on it and how well does it fit into your workflow?


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Blue Devil
I don't know about nik software...

what I do end up doing is basically work on one image all the way across... then i copy all my adjustment layers to the next photo... and just rework the masking.
SC David
I know what you mean, but I don't have a good answer for you. I struggle with the same thing at the end of editing every set.

My makeshift solution is to use the "color picker" tool in Photoshop, and designate a couple of areas on the car or background that I want to look consistent, and simply go by the numbers, using selective color and curves to even out the colors and tones.

If there's an easier way, I'd love to know of it! I think it just takes a good eye, mostly.
darelmiler
I recommended Spyder4 PRO, it is a display colour calibration solution. The Spyder4 PRO software gives highlight and shadow details, inaccurate the control of brightness, white point and tone response with calibration. Spyder4 PRO after calibration, images can be viewed and edited with confidence.
Brent B
QUOTE(Blue Devil @ May 30 2013, 02:38 PM) *
I don't know about nik software...

what I do end up doing is basically work on one image all the way across... then i copy all my adjustment layers to the next photo... and just rework the masking.

Ah. Yes, I tried that a few times before, but I think my workflow is so unorganized at this point that most of the time it isn't very effective. Either that or my settings from shot to shot are off too much.


QUOTE(SC David @ May 30 2013, 03:08 PM) *
I know what you mean, but I don't have a good answer for you. I struggle with the same thing at the end of editing every set.

My makeshift solution is to use the "color picker" tool in Photoshop, and designate a couple of areas on the car or background that I want to look consistent, and simply go by the numbers, using selective color and curves to even out the colors and tones.

If there's an easier way, I'd love to know of it! I think it just takes a good eye, mostly.

Hmm. Okay, those are good suggestions it sounds like--especially looking at numbers as the base/starting point. I'm learning how necessary that is. I'll have to keep messing with those techniques, so thanks!


QUOTE(darelmiler @ May 31 2013, 12:56 AM) *
I recommended Spyder4 PRO, it is a display colour calibration solution. The Spyder4 PRO software gives highlight and shadow details, inaccurate the control of brightness, white point and tone response with calibration. Spyder4 PRO after calibration, images can be viewed and edited with confidence.

Ah. Color calibration is next on my list for upgrades. Thanks for recommending Spyder4 Pro! I hadn't researched the various systems for quite a while, so it's a good reminder.

However, while color calibration is necessary, it doesn't help me keep the colors and tones consistent (regardless of proper calibration or not) while I am doing my longer, more in-depth edits. So going along with what SC David said, what does everyone else do to check the numbers for proper/consistent grays/blacks/whites and tones? I'm not as familiar with this area of Photoshop and would like to learn. Thanks for the tips, guys! Keep 'em coming!
Martin
I do the same as B.D. But that requires that your starting material from raw is as similar as possible. And i like to start out with something that is quite flat in exposure. If the whitebalance or exposure is a little off you will get different results just applying the same adjustment layers as the pic before. And normally I just check the pics side by side in photoshop and go for what I think looks right enough.

Brent B
QUOTE(Martin @ Jun 19 2013, 03:36 AM) *
I do the same as B.D. But that requires that your starting material from raw is as similar as possible. And i like to start out with something that is quite flat in exposure. If the whitebalance or exposure is a little off you will get different results just applying the same adjustment layers as the pic before. And normally I just check the pics side by side in photoshop and go for what I think looks right enough.


Great tips, thanks! I do need to make a greater effort to keep all shots as similar as possible settings-wise like you said.


Does anyone use color correction/grading plug-ins, pre-baked actions, or are all your guys' corrections just done in PS? Just trying to see get a feel for what others like to use to speed up their workflows.
Martin
QUOTE(Brent B @ Jun 19 2013, 11:34 PM) *
Great tips, thanks! I do need to make a greater effort to keep all shots as similar as possible settings-wise like you said.


Does anyone use color correction/grading plug-ins, pre-baked actions, or are all your guys' corrections just done in PS? Just trying to see get a feel for what others like to use to speed up their workflows.


Depends on the job ofcourse. If you shoot for a private client they'll probably just be glad if there some difference in them, different strokes for different blokes and so on. But its good to have the know how when its something more important. When I do editorial for magazines I mostly just do small corrections and then it isn't a big issue.

I think most guys here do all corrections manually in PS.
Brent B
Sweet. Thanks, Martin! smile.gif
Nike SB'd
Color consistency IMO is what marks the pros from the hobbyist photographers in terms of retouching, aside from knowing when you've gone "too far."

After years of experimenting I've gotten pretty damn good at matching tones throughout a set. Here's my basic workflow...

1- Very basic grading done in RAW processor (Lightroom or Capture One depending on the job). The goal here is to make the colors uniform throughout the set, but I rarely do a severe shift at this stage.

2 - Open images in PS and start working on them. I'll do all layering first to create the basic composite of my choice (i.e. background balanced, car nicely lit or what have you).

3 - Adjustment layers for style - contrast / sharpness / luminosity changes etc. The basic tonality changes.

4 - The very last thing I'll do once the image is looking more or less "right" is my color treatment. More often than not, I do two adjustments - usually one that's global and one that's local or tapered. The power of working in small sections is that, with a working understanding of color theory, you can change color X by instead changing color Y which to the observer makes X look different.

5 - Save whatever method I've come up with for color treatments. For example, if I used a gradient map, I'll save it. If I did a special channel adjustment curve I'll save that. Regardless of the adjustment layer I've utilized, I'll store that.

6 - Now starting with the next image I'll get up to the point where it's time to colorize and I'll load my pre-saved selections and mask accordingly.

7 - If it's a really critical series (advertising or magazine cover story etc) then I'll go back at the very end when I've processed all of the photos and compare them again to look for any minor shifts. I'll then neutralize those as necessary. This step may be overkill and difficult for some people, but I have a freakish ability to see minor shifts in color so it irks me when everything isn't the same if it's an important job.
Brent B
QUOTE(Nike SB'd @ Jun 25 2013, 09:46 PM) *
Color consistency IMO is what marks the pros from the hobbyist photographers in terms of retouching, aside from knowing when you've gone "too far."

After years of experimenting I've gotten pretty damn good at matching tones throughout a set. Here's my basic workflow...

1- Very basic grading done in RAW processor (Lightroom or Capture One depending on the job). The goal here is to make the colors uniform throughout the set, but I rarely do a severe shift at this stage.

2 - Open images in PS and start working on them. I'll do all layering first to create the basic composite of my choice (i.e. background balanced, car nicely lit or what have you).

3 - Adjustment layers for style - contrast / sharpness / luminosity changes etc. The basic tonality changes.

4 - The very last thing I'll do once the image is looking more or less "right" is my color treatment. More often than not, I do two adjustments - usually one that's global and one that's local or tapered. The power of working in small sections is that, with a working understanding of color theory, you can change color X by instead changing color Y which to the observer makes X look different.

5 - Save whatever method I've come up with for color treatments. For example, if I used a gradient map, I'll save it. If I did a special channel adjustment curve I'll save that. Regardless of the adjustment layer I've utilized, I'll store that.

6 - Now starting with the next image I'll get up to the point where it's time to colorize and I'll load my pre-saved selections and mask accordingly.

7 - If it's a really critical series (advertising or magazine cover story etc) then I'll go back at the very end when I've processed all of the photos and compare them again to look for any minor shifts. I'll then neutralize those as necessary. This step may be overkill and difficult for some people, but I have a freakish ability to see minor shifts in color so it irks me when everything isn't the same if it's an important job.


Sean, that's exactly the kind of reply I was looking for. Thanks a ton. Your step #1 while perhaps very obvious is probably the biggest help. I remember reading #5 on your blog a while ago and that helped a lot. With that said, I definitely need to experiment a lot more and get more comfortable with gradient maps. Thanks again for the reply.
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